Everything passes. It has to. That's the beauty and tragedy of it.
There comes a phase in almost everyone’s life when you feel like you are more or less suspended in time. Not that the seconds and the hours don’t chart their way, they do, but its like every new day seems like the clone of the last one. The people around you seem the same, the jokes, discussions and renditions – all seem old and jaded. Its like a stale blanket of hot air on a stubborn summer afternoon when not a leaf seems to budge. The inactivity can be maddening, and the mundaneness of existence overpowering in its stillness.
It was one such Saturday morning.
There were days when everything and everyone seemed to be caught in a whirlwind. But this wasn’t such a day. There was no sound on the road outside, not even the bark of an obscure stray dog. No clanging of utensils in the kitchen to indicate the housemaid had let herself in to go about her usual chores. The soft ticking of the wall-clock was the only giveaway of movement.
She lay awake in bed, staring at the curtains through which the morning light seeped in like a guilty intruder. She tried to catch hold of a stray thought, wondering how to make the best of the day. Would it be like any other weekend where her husband and she would wake up late, cook and have some brunch in a half-hearted manner, and then stay home watching some show on the TV till late evening..? Then the day would end in a home cooked dinner or by meeting old friends in the same old haunts. It was their way of chilling out most times, and although she loved it, she had grown tired of the routine. It was like middle age had settled in prematurely, on quiet but obdurate toes.
No, she decided. Enough was enough. Not this time.
She was not a laggard and by no means a pushover to let life pass her by. She forced herself out of the tangled comforter on the bed and stretched in anticipation of a new day.
She went into the living room to find him sitting on the sofa, nose deep in the morning newspaper. He looked up as he entered and smiled his brilliant smile.
“Good morning! Sleeping beauty finally decided to rise and shine!” He teased. She pulled a face and returned his smile.
She went up to him to cuddle like a kitten and he had to put away the paper.
“Want a cup of tea?” He asked
“Yup! That’d be heavenly…” She nuzzled his neck.
“Then go make me one too!” He teased “Strong, fresh ginger tea. Just the way we like it..” He dodged a cushion that she raised to smack him with. She got up to make their customary early morning tea.
“Hey listen, I was thinking…” He called from the living room, having returned to his newspaper.
“What..?” She called back from the kitchen as she grated the inch long piece of ginger into the boiling water in the pan.
“Let’s meet Roshan and Niharika for lunch today. Its been a while since we met them. What do you say?” he asked. Roshan was an old friend of theirs. They had all been to the same school and grown up together as teenagers. They now lived in the same city. Niharika was Roshan’s wife of two years and all of them made quite a happy bunch.
She rolled her eyes in the privacy of the kitchen. What did she expect?
“Mmm..hmm..” She made a non-committal sound, not really replying.
“I was thinking why don’t we go out and watch a movie instead? Just the two of us?” She asked, knowing his answer fully well.
“No..Its a weekend, let’s go meet friends. We can watch a movie any time at home…” The beginnings of a grumble were evident in his voice
She sighed to herself as she strained the tea on to two cups.
She handed over the cup of tea but made no answer as she watched him take his first sip. He always enjoyed his morning cup of tea and hailed her tea-making abilities. It was strong and promised a punchy morning.
She took a sip of her own cup and waited for him to raise the subject again. Five seconds later, he looked up at her questioningly.
“I don’t know.” She hedged. “Its not that I am averse to meeting friends, but we always do that every other weekend. I was thinking may be we spend some quality time together today…”
“We spend everyday together, after work. Isn’t that good enough? What is this ‘Quality time’ that you want?” He grumbled. “You make it sound like we don’t find time for each other at all..!”
“Yeah, sure.” She conceded even as she felt her heart sink, not wanting to make a big deal out of it. Not wanting to waste a weekend quarreling. “Okay, let’s…whatever…”
The routine had won yet again. Routine: 1 – She: 0
Sighing she returned the used cups to the sink. He laid the paper aside and followed her into the kitchen where she was setting about her tasks, getting ready to fix brunch. Hugging her from behind, he kissed her neck conciliatory. “Okay, what does my sweetheart want to do? A movie you say? A movie it is, then…”
“No, let’s go visit our friends…” She almost had the words out of her mouth to chime in with his idea, when an idea struck her. She decided to take the chance and make the most of it. This was her window of opportunity.
She turned around in his embrace and hugged him close, running her fingers in his smooth, silky hair. “No. Let’s not. Like you said, we can watch a movie anytime. Let’s do something very different, altogether. Neither visit people nor do something regular…what do you say?” She snuggled her face in the crook of his neck, breathing in the tangy aftershave. He must have shaved in the morning, she thought.
“Hmm..You mean go back to bed?” He asked, his voice hinted pure mischief.
She laughed and kissed him. “No silly. That also we can do anytime at home.”
He raised an eyebrow. Touche!
“Let’s learn a new language instead – Spanish maybe!” She answered. “It will be like going back to school, being in class again together…kinda nostalgic, huh? How about that, for a new pastime?”
“Hmm..Not a bad idea! A new pastime is perfect. Spanish seems like a great idea..we could even go visit Spain on a trip and make do with our mongrel Spanish..sounds enticing..! He smiled “But I like my idea better for now…let’s hit the sack!” He teased as he held her close and kissed her .
She laughed him away, but knew he was in. The cycle of monotony was about to be broken…Excitement coursed through her veins, washing away months of stagnated lethargy. Love, she decided, needs to be continually renewed. New adventures beckoned. It was time to take the plunge and jump in with both feet…