I realise the value of my father’s advice
“Never ever argue with an obstinate person,” was the wise counsel (or dying declaration?) of my father. As was Rama to Dasaratha, a loyal son, I imbibed my dad’s sermon, and would never argue with any one — especially at home. (Now, there are only two at home. I need not mention who the other is.)
Destiny spares none. One day, on my way home from office, I bought bright, violet-coloured brinjals. One stare at them and my wife declared, “Violet ones? Even cattle won’t sniff at them. Apple-green coloured varieties taste great. They are organic also.” I didn’t reply. How come the same violet ones her brother brought from her native place last month were praised by her to the hilt? Were we not then quadrupeds when we consumed them?
This summer, I brought home golden-hued, mouth-watering “Bangenapalli” mangoes. Shrinking her face like a coiling millipede when provoked, she screamed, “Who said these are Bangenapalli? These are a moth-bored inferior variety. Even a kid would distinguish them intelligently. My father did not seem to have made proper inquiries before my marriage about the street-smartness of the groom.” I kept mum. Was mango-picking the ultimate test of merit for selection of a son-in-law?
Last month, I visited Tirumala, quite unexpectedly as my car had to take diversion, on my return journey while on office work, due to the Telangana agitation. I brought home the famous “Tirupati laddu, the holy “prasad” that landed in my hands after Sheeghra Darshan (quick darshan) at Lord Balaji’s temple.” Putting a little of the laddu into her mouth half-suspiciously, she queried, “Did you buy them from the bona fide counter?” I asserted, “There is only one Tirupati on our planet and they sell only one variety of original laddus across the counter.” She quipped: “I too know it. But the TTD cautions against fake laddus being marketed by fraudsters, tricking the ignorant and the gullible.” (Am I a muff to be duped into buying the fake laddus?)
I did not take it lying down. I retorted: “Look! I am an ex-banker with over three decades of unblemished service. No bank would promote a stuff-less clown as a responsible executive, vesting him with wide administrative powers.” She was quick to reply: “Any one with such a length of “donkey’s service” would obviously be promoted. My uncle who never went beyond the secondary school level retired as the seniormost GM in a government-owned bank two decades ago. What is gained through wisdom is different from what comes to us anyway after spending event-less years.” Burning inside, yet, I remembered my dad’s advice (Never argue ...) and I remained tightlipped.
Finally, one Sunday, I asked her, upon my putting on a new T-shirt, “Does the shirt sit a bit loose on me?” “Looks like a “loose,” she punned. I cut her down to size: “How about my choice when I married you?” Pat came the reply: “My choice was average and yours brilliant.”
(The writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org)