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It was a Friday night, and Sendhil was busy at his office trying to wind up his report for the week. He was looking forward to a relaxing Friday night at home with his kid. He switched off his computer and immediately received a call from his friend Amit.
“Hey, what’s the plan tonight?” asked Amit. “Nothing much, just looking forward to some rest finally,” said Sendhil trying to cut down the conversation.
“Please don’t bore me again Sen. This was the same thing you said last week as well,” said Amit. “But that didn’t help me either. Finally, your plan worked, you remember,” said Sendhil.
“Oh Please, It didn’t live up to the expectations. But this time let me tell you, it’s going to rock. I know this place, and it is just awesome” said Amit.
“Listen Amit, we are not that young anymore and looking for a drink and disco amidst girls is not my cup of tea of late,” said Sendhil trying to get away from Amit’s plans.
“I know you are married. But I also know that it’s not working. Then what else do you intend to do Sen. At least try to break away from the routine for a night? This alone can help you relax.” coaxed Amit.
“It’s not about that. I want to relax too.” Sendhil tried to explain. “Oh, please, come on now. I am coming to pick you up in an hour. You better be ready.” Amit cut the phone leaving Sendhil no chance to speak further.
Sendhil sat down on his seat again. He thought about what Amit had said and decided that it is not that bad an idea to chill out. He kept waiting for Amit, who took around two hours to reach his office.
“Seriously, when will you be ever on time?” asked Sendhil angrily. “Come on Sen. One can never be late to a Friday night party,” said Amit and pulled Sendhil out of his chair.
They both left for the party which was at a close distance from Sendhil’s house. They joined the party with a beer, and slowly their drink got hotter. They both started to dance as if it was the last dance of their lives.
Every time Sendhil drank, he thought about Priya and ordered for more. He was shouting ill of Priya all the while and Amit encouraged him to pour out his emotions.
This kept going on and on when finally Sendhil fell flat on his face. The next thing he remembered was that he was being carried home on Amit’s car. He slowly regained his consciousness and felt sorry for Amit as he had spoiled his party. However, Amit didn’t bother and continued to help Senthil.
Leaving Sendhil at the entrance of his house, Amit bid goodbye and drove on for his next adventure. When Sendhil tried to open the door of the house, he received a text in his mobile stating that he had exceeded eighty per cent of his credit limit in his card.
Sendhil in an intoxicated state felt that he should have gone overboard today and did not realize that most of the purchase from his card was for Amit and the girls which Amit had hooked up in the party. Sendhil entered the house slowly, trying not to get noticed. Priya, however, was well awake and was watching the Friday night movie.
“Why do you even come back home? You should either live in a bar or with your girlfriend. Either way, you will be happy than here.” Priya shouted without taking her eyes off from the television.
“I had no intention to drink today, but it just happened,” said Sendhil still in an intoxicated state.
“You need not explain anything. Anyway, I am here only for a couple of months more so you better save your excuses for your girlfriend.” Priya shouted again.
“Which girlfriend are you talking about? Linda is my colleague and a good friend. I don’t understand what is wrong with you. I have even stopped speaking to her after your doubts, and you still do this. Maybe you have started liking to hate me” Sendhil shouted back.
“Yes, I love to hate you, and I hate me for having loved you. You cheated me into your love, and today I have lost everything which I had. Very soon, I am going to be a single divorced woman with a kid. Thank you very much for that.”
“You decided the divorce thing and your Mother supported it. What sort of Mother will be able to do that? The family is between you and me and not fucking anybody.” said Sendhil in a raised voice.
“Don’t you dare to speak anything about my Mother. She knows what is good for me, unlike your Mother, who only knows what is good for her. From day one, she looked at me like a servant and tried to control me like a puppet. I am done with your family, and now I am done with you. If not for this boy, I would have killed myself by now.”
“Then let me kill myself and give your much-needed joy” replied Sendhil. Priya remained calm for a while and then she said to Sendhil in a quiet voice
“Who were you before the marriage and what the hell happened to you now? "
"You wanted me to be independent then and now you want me to leave my job."
"You said I was the most important person in your life and now you dance to your Mother’s tunes."
"You said my parents are like yours and now you don’t even talk to them."
"You said that you trust me more than yourself, and now you can’t even tolerate me speaking to my male colleague.”
Sendhil retorted, “Just because you had said it, it does not become true. If you don’t like me, leave me alone and live your life. And remember I can get the kid as well, so don’t act smart. There is simply no point in repeating the same fight. Divorce is on the way, so you better mind your own business and let my mind my own.”
Saying these words, Sendhil came out of the house, banging the door at the back. He sat on the bench at the garden and opened his cigarette pack. He lighted his cigarette with his trembling hands, and he didn’t realize that his eyes were moist.
He continued to smoke repeatedly until he finished the entire pack in no time. He threw the cigarette pack and lay down on the garden looking at the sky.
“Are you alright, Sir?” asked Subbu walking towards Sendhil.
Realizing that Subbu was nearby, Sendhil woke up, wiping his tears and said, “Yeah, I am alright.”
“I am sorry to intrude in your private life, but I could not help myself overhear your fight with your wife,” said Subbu.
“It’s alright, Subbu. I think the whole neighbourhood would have listened to our fight,” said Sendhil in a calm and collected manner.
“Subbu you can’t help me. Leave it as it is,” said Sendhil.
Subbu trying to lighten the situation said, “Believe me, Sir, I can help you. I had a wife too.” Sendhil smiled amidst all that was going through his mind and asked, “So where is she now?” “Well Sir, She is no more, but I do speak to her in my dreams” Subbu smiled.
“Thank God, I don’t have that problem.” laughed Sendhil joined by Subbu.
Subbu slowly brought the topic again and asked, “Sir, I thought you had one happy family, but how come this situation occurred?”
“Believe me, at one stage of my life even I thought I have everything a man can ask for, an understanding wife, a cute kid and a well-wishing family. But all of it suddenly disappeared.”
“But how?” Subbu persisted.
“Well, I think it all started when she started to prioritize her life and ignored me. She was earning more than me, and I think that got into her head. Her Mother always has this habit of getting her against my family. This was continuing for some time when I lost my cool and confronted her. This was the beginning of our end in the relationship.”
“Well, it sounds logical, but why how do you say that she ignored you?” Subbu asked.
“Please Subbu, now don’t try to find fault with me. I am done with this.” Sendhil replied, trying to end the discussion.
“Please don’t mistake me, Sir. I am not here to try to find the fault, I am here to find the problem,” Subbu persisted again.
“If that’s what you want, then let me tell you that she used to spend hours together with me during our dating days. She kept waiting for me in the middle of the night to chat with her online. She skipped her classes for a coffee with me, and today she doesn’t have a second for me. She says that she hates herself for loving me. What did I do wrong, Subbu? “Sendhil asked, unable to come out of his sadness.
“Sir, please don’t mistake me when I say that I find your logic childish,” answered Subbu.
“What do you mean by that?” asked Sendhil disturbed by that statement.
“Sir, before answering that can I ask you some questions?” Subbu asked.
“Whatever” answered Sendhil with least inclination.
“Sir, Have you skipped your classes to meet Priya madam during your dating days?”
“Sure, all the time “answered Sendhil.
“Sir, have you faced problems with your friends when you were in love?”
“If you mean that if I had given less importance to my friends that time, then again yes” answered Senthil.
“Sir, have you fought with your family during your relationship with Priya Madam,” Subbu asked again.
“This happens in all love stories, and it happened with me as well.”
“Sir, did you skip your Friday parties for a silent dinner with Priya Madam?” Subbu persisted.
Sendhil remained calm, and he did not answer the question. He understood what Subbu was arriving at.
He looked at Subbu and slowly answered, “Looks, I am doing the same to her what she is doing with me.”
“This is natural Sir. When in love there is nothing more important in life than love itself, but as the life goes beyond marriage, the priorities get diluted, and the previous benchmark of love looks like a distant dream,” explained Subbu.
“So do you mean to say that there is no solution to this?” Sendhil asked keenly. “Well, to answer this I have to ask one more question to you again.”
“Go ahead,” Sendhil said calmly.
“What is that you want to become in life, Sir?” asked Subbu in a serious tone.
“In what respect you mean? Does it concern my success or money or what?”
“Well, that’s out of the context now. What I want to ask you is that in terms of a relationship.” Asked Subbu.
Sendhil remained calm for a moment and gave a deep thought.
“You wanted to know what I want to become right. Then let me tell you that I wanted to become the best husband to my wife, best father to my kid, best son to my parents, best friend to my friends, best worker for my company and the best human being to the world.”
Subbu looked at Sendhil and gave a smile.
“Did I say anything wrong? I believe that’s the best thing I have said in my entire life,” said Sendhil annoyed with Subbu’s smile.
“Sir, you are making the same mistake again. You can be good at one thing at one time. You can keep your wife happy by escaping from your job early, but this will not make you a good worker. The same is with the rest of the examples you had stated. You must prioritize your relationship at a given time in a given circumstance. There is nothing constant in life and priorities, they keep changing, and a successful person is the one who understands it and accepts it rather than fighting it.”
Sendhil got stunned. He had never received such a pearl of wisdom with so much insight. He looked at Subbu and asked, “So you mean to say trying to please all is the sure way to lose all.”
“Very true” smiled Subbu.
“But tell me one thing Subbu, why is that I get angry over Priya in almost everything she does. This was not the case before.”
“Sir, this is because when you begin to hate somebody for some reason, you will start to hate everything they do. For example, you would not have bothered to watch a boring movie with your loving wife, but you cannot bear your fighting wife watching a television serial ignoring your cricket match telecast.” smiled Subbu.
“You do have an answer for everything, don’t you? Then tell me one more thing. What does my wife want? What can bring her back to me, and how can our happy days start?” asked Subbu, believing that Subbu should have the answer for it.
“Well Sir, that an easy one. You keep her happy emotionally and physically, and things will fall in place” Subbu replied without giving a thought.
“That sounds simple enough. As far as the emotional part I think I have got the insights already, but what is the physical part you are referring to?” asked Sendhil tying to be clueless.
“You know it very well, Sir. Good Sex would be my first answer for a young couple like yours.” Subbu answered with a smile.
“It’s been ages Subbu, even I exhaust my frustration during my late-night work at home,” Sendhil said hinting at his porn addiction.
“That’s understandable, Sir. But anything against nature is never good.” smiled Subbu.
Getting his thoughts back, Sendhil asked, “So are you sure about this?”
“Well Sir, but please remember, you must never be selfish in sex.” completed Subbu and got back to his tent.
Sendhil lied back on the garden and was thinking all that he had listened tonight. He smelt the fresh fragrance of the budding roses in the garden which he had never smelt before. He said to himself, “looks I am not intoxicated anymore, I can smell the flowers now. But is it too late already?”
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