Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Home Alone

"Will you not go to your maitighar (parental home) ?" is a question that everyone I know asks me during the Teej (a Hindu festival). I do not have a particular answer, as it is not easy to go to Dhankuta from Kathmandu  just to celebrate Teej. In the mean time I listen to other people who supply answers for not leaving their home for the dear maitighar even if it is at an accessible place.

The parents of a close friend of mine live just a few kilometers away from her house. One day I asked her the reason for not going to her parents' place at Teej. She responded happily. The reason: She cannot trust her husband, even for three days. Last year she had gone to the maitighar but when she came back she found him in a sickly condition with a haggard face, unshaven and lousy. "Oh...that means he was lovesick? I asked amusingly.

"No! He was playing cards and drinking round the clock during my absence," I heard my dear friend's  sad voice. Of late, even if she goes somewhere she keeps ringing him and returns home by evening.

The conversation made me curious enough to learn about my husband's opinion, so I asked him, " Hey, honey! Tell me honestly, how do you feel in my absence when I go to Dhankuta for few days? Will you be able to manage everything?" He sighed as if I was leaving immediately for never to come back, and said yeah, he would manage, though it would be difficult.

"You'd better go and stay there for some more days because you may feel bad seeing others going to their parents for Teej. If you like I'll manage plane tickets," he showed his generosity and love - all at once!

Sharing her experience, one of my relatives stated that last year  her husband insisted her to go to her parents' place for Teej despite her unwillingness. He convinced her that the in-laws would be disappointed if she did not go, and would blame him for that. So she went there but left her little son with her husband. "The lad reports to me everything about his dad, because, you know, no one knows my man better than I do," she said suspiciously.

Even though my case was different, I began to analyze my husband. I pondered over the nature of men. Are they really that much unfaithful? Do they need to be put under surveillance all the time? I threw a question to my hubby, " What do your friends do during the absence of their wives and children at home? Don't they feel lonely?"

As if he was waiting for that moment, he answered excitedly that the married men enjoy Teej more than women. During their wives' and children's absence, they feel so much exulted that they become like a free spirit. No demands, no arguments, no responsibilities, nothing; peace everywhere . They can go back home any time they like. "No phone calls at your office asking you to fetch vegetables for the evening. Drink, enjoy and be happy, at least for three days," he said in a breath.

"So, you want to be free like your friends during Teej this year?" I tried to test him. "No. Not really. Because I'm not that kind of guy," he replied with a grin. Yet, I could not help feeling through his lost voice that he was also tempted to be himself like his friends.

Watch out, ladies. The Teej is at your doorstep! Would love to hear your experience too.

(Published in an English Daily The Kathmandu Post on Monday, September 27, 2004)


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