“Who is it from?” asked Mohini, looking quite disinterested. She was busy cleaning after having eaten another boring Sunday breakfast with her awesomely witty husband. Toast and scrambled egg, with tomato juice of course. 12 years since they had married, and the only time Girish had asked for something different was when he had a bad stomach and he wanted khichdi.
Girish was holding on to the unexpected letter, quite flummoxed. He had no idea who is was from either. No one ever wrote to him, certainly not on pink, scented paper, and most definitely never in mauve and green sparkling ink. The handwriting was beautiful, even calligraphic. The words were even more graphic.
I miss you already. Since you left me so satisfied, and yet wanting more last Saturday, I have been thinking about you all day and night, every day. Where do you get your ideas from? I am dying here, knowing that you won’t me able to make it this week. It is Saturday afternoon I live for, and you know that. I know I make you as happy as you make me. But the wait is killing me!
He could not imagine who this was, but he was sure that if Mohini got a whiff of this letter, their marriage would not survive the fall-out. He broke into a sweat. He was anxious not to let Mohini in on the contents of this letter, yet, he was strangely excited to read the rest of it.
“It’s just a fan”, he stuttered, trying hard to tear his eyes away from the alluring words.
“Since when did fans start writing to scientists? In snailmail? Did your Gmail account get hacked or something?”, she asked, sounding genuinely concerned and looking at Girish with raised eyebrows.
He made a mess of trying to hide the letter, and the bright pink was louder than the Big Bang. Had she been in the house across the street, in the night time, with the curtains drawn, wearing sunglasses, she would still have spotted it. That was just how their marriage was: if something could go even slightly wrong, it would do so, and do so with catastrophic style. And there was much more than just slightly wrong with this letter.
“Why is it pink, Girish?”, she probed cautiously.
“Oh, yeah, yeah, no, it’s just this girl, er, lady, who, um liked my paper on polar sour,” he stammered, still unable to stop reading.
Do you remember the last time you called me to be ready within fifteen minutes? You had already told me that hag of yours had a Saturday off, so you wouldn’t be able to come. But you did, because the hag wanted to go to her mother’s. You were here in ten minutes, in …
“Paper on what?”
“You wrote a paper on ‘Polar sour’?”
“Solar power, solar power, sorry…”
…that outrageous yellow Swift. I remember standing at the window as you clambered onto the porch, already beginning to take off those smart black leather shoes you always wear. You are such a classy man, but I love how you get so clumsy when you come to me, my little Einstein! I love you, you genius!
He was awkward, embarrassed in his own home. She knew his car, his shoes, his wife’s routine. This was getting scary.
“So what does it say? I love you sir, you are a genius?”, she teased in a mocking, high-pitched voice.
“Huh? What? No, no, of course she doesn’t say she loves me! She likes my work! Who said anything about loving me!”, he blurted out.
Mohini was an emotionally shrewd woman and he wasn’t very good at hiding his feelings anyway. Whatever was on his mind was broadcast big and bold on his celluloid face, and Mohini was a wiling viewer. He had failed his first and only drama audition in third grade. They had asked him to play a table, but he had been unable to pull the right expressions. Mohini, on the other hand was a star actor from her college days. She never missed a beat. She did not do so now.
Suspicions surfacing menacingly and quickly, she strutted over. Girish could do nothing as she snatched the letter from his hands and began to read. Her eyebrows shot up with the second sentence, and never came back down the entire literary performance.
I knew you would wear that red and white brief of yours. It’s my favorite, and I knew you knew that. You looked so hot wearing it with your favorite brown tie. I would have prepared for you too, if you had given me more time, but still, you made that spontaneous afternoon too good to be true. I’ll never forget that one Saturday.
Mohini had had enough.
“Don’t even bother explaining, Girish Kumar. Just don’t! I want a divorce, and I want it NOW!” she shouted, disgust spewing from her voice to match the saliva spewing from her mouth.
He stood there, stunned. He had no idea why this woman had written to him, but he had also no guts to defend himself against this onslaught. He did not even have the courage to wipe the spit off his face. He just stood there – the stunned-to-silence scientist.
Three more minutes, and Mohini had packed her clothes, stormed out of the room, and left the house, all the time shouting something to the effect of,”I knew it all along.”
She broke into a wide grin as soon as she stepped out. She knew if she made it sudden and brutal, he would have nothing to say. He was just such a brilliant mind, and his mouth could never keep up. She had anticipated his reaction to perfection. She flipped out her cell-phone and called Garima.
“Hey! Ya, he got the letter today, gosh you should have seen his face! He looked like someone gagged him an gave him a low-blow! Haha! Touche on the scent and the colours by the way! And the way you used that little underwear information I gave you. GENIUS!
“How did you know his favorite tie, though? What? He told you? When? Oh? Really? Ok never mind that, awesome work! Yeah, yeah, I told him i want a divorce. What do you mean, was he sad! Ofcourse he was! Did he say something? Hmm no he didn’t, but the look on his FACE Garima! You had to see it!
“On my way to the divorce lawyer now, yep. I’ll call you once I’ve filed the papers. I don’t know how long the divorce will take, dammit! But why does it matter? I’m going to be free!
“Thanks Garima, I couldn’t have asked for a better friend.”
Having already played it’s part tonight, his brown tie lay strewn across the bedroom floor.
“I didn’t know you had such a beautiful handwriting, my love”, said Girish, gently caressing Garima’s gorgeous black hair , as they lay cuddled in her bed.
“Anything for you and Mohini, Girish. After all, you are my best friends!” said Garima, as they both laughed at the brilliance of it all.
“You know what the best part is though? That the whole idea was Mohini’s”, he sniggered, gazing deeply into his lover’s cunning eyes. She gleefully stared back and they kissed passionately again just like every Saturday the past 3 years.