Friendly gestures !

My friend came visiting yesterday. We were roomies for many years at college and afterward. He was notorious even those days for his cleanliness and discipline. He used to get up early morning on weekends, wash all his clothes, and hang them up neatly on the balcony for drying. The rest of us used to get up much later in the day to the sight of these clean white shirts dancing in the wind. Without doubt this used to be one of the most frustrating moments those days, the thought that you have to get up and go to 'Wash'ington on a beautiful Sunday morning wasn't very encouraging. He used to sit there in the balcony sipping tea, or reading the news paper, with a smile on his face, as the rest of us dragged our holy asses in and out of the washroom.

He was on a day's visit to the city and decided to stay at my place. Considering the nature of the beast, I did spend a couple of hours the night before, burying the dead bodies, cleaning the floor and folding all decent looking clothes while dumping the visibly unpleasant ones into a small basket. I temporarily designated this basket as the 'keeper of dirty clothes', all of which are due for a trip to Washington the coming weekend. Though the real story would most likely be much
different, the arrangement looked credible for the time being. Like the magicians do, I even used 'distraction'- in the form of a large collage near this basket- to drag the eyeballs away from the basket. Then there was the ultimate deception tool - alcohol. Nothing works better than a bottle of wine in keeping your expectations and needs grounded. It did work well and we spent the night talking about good old days. He didn't even notice the cockroach that took a nibble from the peanut plate.

But it was a different story in the morning. The sunlight and coffee brought sense back to our heads and immediately he noticed that the kitchen is not well lit. I wanted to tell him that it was purposeful to avoid stray glances landing on the vegetable cuttings strewn on the floor. But before I could structure the sentence in some meaningful way, he yelled from the bathroom that there is only one tap there. I pretended to be deaf and concentrated on the coffee. It did help temporarily, but only till he discovered that I use the same sink in the kitchen to wash plates, brush and to shave. He also found that the mirror kept just above the sink is so awkwardly positioned that you have to stretch and flex your body like a ballet dancer to get a good look at your face.

I tried to change the subject and started talking about the chick at college whom both of us admired. As I told him the story of meeting her with her husband sometime back, I noticed the prolonged silence from his side. I thought for a moment that he got lost in memories, but realized that he was busy cleaning the mirror. I had never noticed white patches all over it, in fact they looked to give a matte finish to the images. I secretly wished he come visiting every couple of months. Once he finished the morning chores and took a bath, the comments suddenly stopped. He looked like a well fed kid who got nothing more to cry about, though he casually mentioned that he will come a day early next time to fix things in advance. what a nice gesture!

I think one of the side effects of marriage is this unrealistic and unnecessary set of expectations you seem to develop about life. As we were about to walk out of the house, he asked me whether I use deodorant roll-ons. Without waiting for my answer, he took out one from his bag and kept on the side shelf.

He had not even once mentioned the stink. Now, that is what I call friendship!

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