In my heart of hearts, I knew this embarrassing moment would come sooner or later…

I do not remember how and when it started. Twenty-five years of marital bliss suddenly appeared to be on the rocks. Our well-knit family of five — my mother, wife and two daughters, besides myself — which took pride in playing high five at the drop of a hat — now seemed to be on the verge of disintegrating for an embarrassing reason and I was at the epicentre of the problem. Our house though big, with a room for every member still had all of us spending much of our prime time together in the drawing room which doubled up as our bedroom. My children though initially hesitant led the revolt and soon even my docile wife was up in arms against me.

At the coffee table my eldest daughter firmly declared she would like to move into a bedroom of her own. She did not say why and her younger sibling soon followed suit with a diplomatic reply, that of late my presence was a big disturbance to them. Loss of sleep affected her performance in school.

In my heart of hearts, I knew this embarrassing moment would come sooner or later but only the timing and form of manifestation remained a mystery to me. I searched the Net for a time-tested solution but just failed to get one that was convincing and practicable. I could understand their predicament and uneasiness that prevailed during the heart-to-heart talk. With my wife squirming in her seat, I came up with an alternative.

I offered to move to my study room, which was spacious enough. True to Hindu customs and traditions, my better-half decided to join me, which I unsuccessfully tried to thwart, fearing a repeat of the embarrassment caused by my daughters. But she insisted and had her way. However, her patience and tenacity lasted just a week, before she too issued a covert ultimatum, that I had better see a good doctor, as her life too was becoming miserable and the nights were a nightmare.

She graciously showed me the way to my sofa-cum-bed that soon was to become my room permanently. The last few months had seen a radical change in my behaviour that was inexplicable and increasingly becoming unbearable for all. What could I do if the eerie midnight silence was broken every day — pardon the slip, every night by my loud snoring that reached dizzy decibels, manifesting itself in different sounds and ruining the peaceful sleep of the hapless members of my family?

(The writer’s email: maharajapuram.s.

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