War and Peace

As soon as he entered the house he sensed an alarming signal- the air was electric, charge. The unusual silence was loud with war syndromes, of gathering storm clouds prior to a hurricane.

For some time now he noticed an antagonistic attitude in his wife. He could not fathom her distant, aloof mood, something new for her. He had never seen her like this.

By nature she was chirpy and chatty. She loved fun and entertainment. But she had suddenly become quiet and pensive.

Besides an unfriendly attitude towards him she was casting frequent ugly looks in his direction too. He guessed something ominous was brewing. But he was clueless about the origin of this change.

He recalled with nostalgia her fondness for him during their long courtship and its sweet consummation. He always loved to dwell on the sweet nothings they exchanged and all the silly things they did together.

He pampered her like a queen and she worshipped him as her hero. Their life together was a picture of perfect bliss. Ideal compatibility and understanding existed in their marriage making them enjoy the harmony of two souls to the fullest.

But all of a sudden everything seemed to have become a dream and the present harsh reality was unbearable. He tried his best to understand what could have gone wrong between them. His little efforts to patch up were in vain. Her stubborn silence was killing.

he had a premonition that something terrible was going to happen. So tense was the atmosphere. careful of not tripping on any time bomb wire he approached his dear wife and warily accosted her.

Instantly she sprang to her feet. Her body writhed in uncontrollable anger. He was shocked when she started shrieking hysterically:

"Enough is enough. I shall take no more of this. This is the end. I walk out."

"Honey, please..."

She pounced on him:"Stop that 'honeying'! I annoys me. I am no more the little girl who swooned for you! Bloody cheat! What an immature, naive girl I was then to be carried away by your charms and honeyed words!"

"What have I done to deserve these words, sweetheart?"

She didn't seem to listen.. "You came wooing me like a prince and swept me off my feet with thousand wretched lies in the name of promise..."

"I still adore you, my darling...."

She didn't allow him to finish. she continued to lash him:"You are the most despicable MCP!"

Had she been rehearsing all this, he inwardly wondered with tremor.

"MCP? What does that mean?" he asked pathetically.

"Don't you know? Male Chauvinist Pig, you arrogant, ignoramus idiot!"

"Oh, my darling! I am your most willing slave!"he started to protest.

"You, liar! You expect me to be your slave, you dictate to me, you treat me like dirt, you want to control my every move..."

"I don't quite understand..." he started in utter bewilderment.

She ranted on. "You do not, you cannot understand me! You, despot! In this twenty first century you try to lock me in, to shackle me, to deny me my space and freedom!"

Accusations hurled at him with venom rattled him. He stood in speechless horror.

"You think we ladies can't live our lives peacefully, comfortably, happily on our own terms without your assistance! The world is wide and the opportunities are unlimited. In this age of advancement and technology, an age of women's emancipation, equality and empowerment we can wield the world to your desire!"

"Oh! I know that and I agree to all those facts,"he replied very submissively.

"No! You don't! You, conceited ass! You believe that without your support and protection we women will starve, will die! You are the bread winners and you rovide us food and shelter! Isn't that what you think?"

"What happened to you, my darling wife? Why are you in such a rage?" he pleaded.

"I admire your histrionics, sir! You don't know why I'm angry? Don't pretend to be so innocent! You behave like a brute and speak like a saint!"

"Will you please explain what exactly you mean instead of calling me names?" His words showed how distressed and hurt he was.

"A babe you are! Innocence incarnate! I shall recommend an Oscar awrd for your acting skills!" Her lips curled in scorn and sarcasm.

"Darling, still I refuse to be offended. But please tell me in what way I have ill treated you!"

"Are you not behaving like an emperor treating me like a slave in your domain? Why do you draw boundaries for my movement? Don't you know that in Ramayana even Sita didn't respect the line Lakshman drew for her?"

"And woe befell her.." Words fell out of his mouth spontaneously.

"Shut up! Will you? Enough of that crap!"

"All right! But I'm not Lakshman!" He was till bemused.

"Aha! You are worse. You are my jailor. You treat me like a prisoner. You want to keep me behind bars."

"Ask your conscience and it will tell you how much I love you, how I worship you as my dearest soul mate!"

" 'soul mate'? My foot!" She pooh-poohed.

"How can you forget our sweet courtship and divine honeymoon?" he asked desperately.

"But the honeymoon ended and we landed on terra firma long ago when you started taking your commanding post!"she retorted.

"We made everyone envious. We are couple made for each other," he persisted.

"Huh! Made for each other! I was a fool once to believe so. Not now, sir. Not after you showed your true colours as a tyrant tying me to a peg," she shot back relentlessly.

"I really don't remember ever standing your way! I showered you with love and gifts. Didn't I?"

"Yes, like feeding a caged parrot with fruits and nuts!" she added with vengeance.

"Was I ever displeased with you? Ever been angry with you?", his argument, not willing to give up.

"Not so long as I stayed within your eyesight and earshot! I must remain within your radar!" Her spiteful words.

"Do you interpret my extreme concern for you as distrust?" he asked in shock.

"What? Extreme concern for me? Sounds so loverly, dear sir! I am neither a damsel in distress nor you a gallant knight! What blah-blah!" she sniffed.

"Why do you refuse to believe what I say?" he in an agonised tone.

"Why? Because in my eyes you are an arrogant despot unwilling to release the reins!"

"But you won't desert me like you threatened?" He was horrified.

"I'm leaving you. Do you think I can't survive alone?" she asked throwing her head back nonchalantly.

He was clearly confused now and really could not understand what her problem was. wishing to know what the issue was he timidly asked "Are we not beating around the bush all along?"

With a show of forced patience she replied:"Listen! This is my decision: I shall spread my wings and fly where I want to. You shall not control me with your tall orders and admonitions about where I shall I go where not!"

The finality of her words was stunning. She spoke with with determination and urgency.

"Are you seriously thinking of breaking the wedding vows we took together?" he asks in utter disbelief.

"Damn those wedding vows! Until death doth part us! Huh! Death shall part us if our paths do not part now, I swear!"

"Do you realise the meaning of what you are saying?" He could not believe his ears.

"Yes, I do. Your unjust restrictions suffocate me! The stifling slavery gives me sleepless nights and suicidal thoughts!"

"You have not specified what sparked off this explosion!" still groping in the dark.

"Ah! Now you ask me! Why do you keep insisting on the area of my movement? Why? Why? Why don't you allow me too go freely to where I want? I hate your orders,'don't go to that room, that hall, that shop, that corner ...'and so on. Why do you monitor my whereabouts?" The caged bird's agony she felt. The prison conditions she suffered.

"Oh, My darling!" burst out the male impatiently at last,"How scared I am about the consistent warfare mankind wages against us! I dread to think of you fainting fatally in the fumes they create, the coils they burn, the electric, electronic traps they use! They are armed with lethal weapons like electrically charged bats to deal deathly blows on us! Their war strategies are advancing with alarming alacrity! How can I remain undaunted by their deadly intent and cunning snares? How relentlessly I watch and survey areas of potential threat and hasten to warn you! My darling wife, why did you fail to understand my intention? My heart throbs for you and for you alone! How can you be unaware of my deepest concern for you? How wretched I feel to be so grossly misunderstood! A fool I have been in not having been more explicit! Will you forgive me, my sweetheart?"

"Oh. my God! How blind I have been to my darling hubby's boundless love! Sorry, my dearest, for not understanding your good intentions. Blessed am I to be locked in your choking embrace!" she cooed coyly.


More by :  Pavalamani Pragasam

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