As Shruthi tidied up the bed, her glance went to the flickering screen of Manish’s smartphone. She looked around and then picked it gingerly so as to not make any sound.
The recent message was from Manish’s college group. She read a few messages and then threw it back where it belonged. ‘men’ she muttered, ‘ it doesn’t matter if they are in their middle age….they have to share such x-rated jokes…ugh’.
As she banged and thrashed in the kitchen, Manish sighed in the other room. Something was bothering Shruthi…that much he could make out. He got dressed up and came out. As he served himself some juice, he asked Shruthi if she wanted some.
‘I have two hands, I can take some if I want’, she yelled
‘What happened now’, he asked
‘What is your age’, was her question.
‘You don’t know?’, he asked but when he saw the fury in her eyes replied ’45’.
‘Haan that is what I am saying, in some years you will be touching 50 and here you are sharing jokes on women and what not on whatsapp’, she said
‘Have you heard this word..Shruti’, he said
‘Which one’, she asked
‘Privacy’, he said
‘I have…. it was just that I was making the bed and I chanced upon your messages’, she said.
‘Hmmm, its anyways better than bitching about others’, he said while biting on his toast.
She narrowed her eyes, he averted her looks and then she threw a plate at him, ‘What’, he screamed
‘You read my messages, didn’t you’, she said and this time threw a cup at him.
Mrs. Vaidya living below heaved a sigh. Yes, the Khanna’s living above were very noisy, yes very often she got a headache on weekends because of their romping and their shouting. But she had never complained to the society.
Why… because they reminded her of herself and her husband in their hey days. When they would have a fight over who should switch off the lamp at night or which movie to see. For she liked Rajesh Khanna and he liked Saira Banu.
Oh, they were fun days. Days of fighting and making up. He would bring her some flowers, she would knit him a sweater.
Now all those were memories. All that was left were pain the joints and a photo on the wall with a garland.