Monday, August 6, 2018

Ajit's Wife

My batch has been married for about 25 years. We have been having regular get-togethers the last few years, thanks to mid-life crisis or worries about mortality. We rarely talk about the good old days when we were still eligible and quite a catch, in love or in the arranged way which is what most of us chose. Ajit’s wife is another topic we avoid. Given the non-stop gossip on our chat-lines, it is surprising there are such lines of control.
Ajit was the last one in our batch to get married. None of us were invited for his wedding and no one has seen his wife till date. From what we know of his very active social life, she is there in every function that does not involve us. It is rather amazing how he has managed to keep those two life-spaces separate in the non-virtual world.
That should not give the impression we meet the other spouses regularly. My best friend Shekhar’s wife hates and avoids us. She thinks we are ‘a bunch of right-wing egomaniacal nincompoops’ which is rather unfair, we are not all three all the time. Gopal’s wife is the group’s favourite and officially called ‘pla-tonic-mate’. My own is rather noncommittal and attends only the get-together before New Year, as if she could think of no excuse in that season of good cheer.
In the good old days that we rarely talk about, Ajit used to be the group’s go-to guy about girls. He knew the girls that: ‘went around a bit too much’; ‘his famous Casanova cousin had bedded’; ‘were just not right in our society’; ‘had something wrong somewhere’; and so on. Most of us actually used him to vet our spouses. We just had to know back then.
It is not that it really mattered. Like every microcosm of society, we fit most statistics on: happiness, depressed, suspicious, well-adjusted, divorced, sexual-preferences, sexual-orientation, pre-marital, extra-marital, children, IVF/C-section/natural, alcoholics, mentally-deranged, etc.
We are not sure what Ajit is trying to hide. Maybe, there is nothing to hide. Maybe, he thinks he/she would not meet our expectations.

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