“Where is the remote control?”
Kumar was getting his nerves tight. Checking the remote in between the pillows and cushions he was trying hard to control his anger. He checked the electronic instrument all over frantically among those ‘Times of India’, ‘Economic Times’ and ‘Readers Digests’.
“Why are you changing the place of the remote control now and then? You and your ‘saas bahu’ serials. It will be surely somewhere in kitchen.” He walked over to the kitchen. Displacing all the vessels over there he did a rat search for the remote.
“Where are you now? I don’t understand this. Whenever I ask for the remote you never respond properly.”
He waited a second for some response from the bedroom. Impatient, he reached the bedroom in a jiffy. There was no one inside. A new sari was lying over there in the bed. He looked towards the bathroom door. Its closed and the light switch is on.
“Arundhati, where did you hide the remote”, the tone was harsher this time.
“What happened? Why are you shouting so much with your weak voice? Doctor had told to take rest minimum for three months.” She tried to remind him.
“Oh please, don’t try to change the topic. Tell me where the remote control is? Then give all those silly advices.” He found her remark irritating. His clenched his fists.
“Ok then! You keep on searching. Or else wait till I come after my bath. There is nothing much to panic like this for a remote control. It will be there itself in the living hall. You might have missed finding it.”
He could hear the voice of water dripping from the tap. He stood there in front of the door, furious. In a hurry, he locked the latch of the door from outside. A devilish grin bloomed over his face. Without uttering a word he headed towards the living hall.
Fifteen minutes went over. Arundhati came out to the living room. Drying her hair she asked, “So, got the remote?” He was there sitting in front of the television, barehanded and not paying any heed to her, as if she was talking to someone else. “Now, won’t you at least reply to my question?” She growled.
“My doctor had advised me to keep a tab on my voice. Now why are you making me strain?” He retaliated. Somewhere inside he felt happy to attack her with the same coin.
“I don’t want to strain your voice. It was only you kept on screaming about the remote. Why I will hide it? You only need a reason to blame me of something. And to be frank there is no point in arguing with you.” Arundhati walked towards her bed room hastily.
“Oh yeah, and you want me to scream out of loudest voice for the remote control. You are well aware that I do watch the stock market updates this time and whoa! What a time to take bath? Its all planned, I know. You never liked me watching those sensex figures” Kumar didn’t even look at her this time. His moustache was shivering with anger. His eyebrows coned.
“There is no point in talking to you. At the end, you will just convince me that I am wrong and all is my fault.” Arundhati’s voice scrambled. Her eyes moistened. Her fingers were curling up the tail end of her cotton sari. Staring the television she sat on the couch, taking extreme care to sit on the other end where Kumar sat.
“You don’t love me” she whispered. He sat there staring the television. Stock market updates were flashing on the screen.
Half an hour went.
“Hey, did you have the tablets for your head ache this morning?” He asked her. He glanced over her and found a drop of tear ready to roll down from the walls of her eyes. He kept his remote on the sofa and positioned himself near to her. She turned her face onto the opposite direction.
“Ok dear, I am sorry. You know I love you a lot. I won’t get angry on you anymore. This is a promise.” He tried to raise her face.
“Oh, shut up!” She grinned at him. “This is a promise I started to hear right from the day after our honey moon got over. Thirty years back. Today I am not going to fall for this sentimental dialogue of yours.” She was enjoying Kumar's fingers trying to wipe out the tear drop which already started rolling through her cheeks.
“Oh yeah, the very same thing you say every time I make this promise.” He laughed loud. And she couldn’t control her either.
-->A hug, the first thing to follow their laughter.