I’ll begin with a confession: I don’t   have a hearth. In fact, I’m not too sure   what exactly a hearth is. In my mind, it`s something that carries warmth and   fuzziness at times, and a touch of Roop tera   mastana at other times… or am I confusing   it with a blazing fireplace? 

In any case, what   I do have is an argumentative marriage. In   all (other) respects, it’s a normal, working, happy marriage — but we argue a lot. 

There   is absolutely nothing we cannot argue over, and we put our hearts into it. Through the years, we have refined the art of arguing, and have raised it to both erudite and   base levels simultaneously. After years of   nondiscriminatory wrangles, we now pick   our verbal battles, and we have established   boundaries of pertinence, courtesy and a   time-limit too. Also, we only argue inside   our house, because we are not your average   squabbling- in-public couple.

We started off on a far-from-level playing   field. One half of us was instinctively   argumentative (no disclosures here), and the   other stuck to telling silences and even more   telling “Hmmms.” However, the former has   successfully lured the other into the rumble pit, and now either half would be lost without   the daily welter of words.

Now, this probably gives you the impression   of a brawling couple, a Mr and Mrs Woolf (her   first name being Virginia) going at each other while dismayed friends and relations look on. This is far from the truth where we are   concerned. We argue like others play Scrabble. Give us a name, a concept and we immediately   fall to parsing it, one saying it’s great, the   other saying it’s bakwaas. After an intense   debate, we then shelve the topic, sometimes   achieving closure, but most times not.

Back in our past, it was all about the   personal, and the canvas was a large one. One   playing endless rubbers of bridge, neglecting  the other; one needing to sleep with the   soothing background music of Arnab’s   haranguing, the other with Carlos Santana; one trying to wean the other off red meat;   why one led the other to believe the kitchen would   look better painted a light mauve.

Then we turned it up, and matters turned   philosophical. Do we secure a safety net for the kid, or do we let her fly on her own? Do   we buy ourselves a home for the future or get   ourselves a car for next week’s road trip? Do   we carpe diem relentlessly or live prudently, with an eye for the rainy morrow? Was   boycotting Salman Khan’s films an act of high   principle or cinematic deprivation?

When it came to economic matters, we were   pretty much on the same page, so there was no   scope for argument. On the political   playing   field, though, we argued our heads off. AFSPA,   the comparative foe-potential (I just made  that phrase up) of Pakistan vs China, the role of the   Lok Ayukta — all of it was grist to   our   argumentative mill. By this time, we were   quite enjoying these arguments, though we   were pretending not to. Occasionally, we’d let   the odd jeer or juvenile crowing slip through,   though that was actually against the rules. If   arguing was an adult’s pastime, then we had   to argue like adults — and we did. Mostly.

But it all went down to the wire only up to   a certain point. The moment the arguments   looked set to cross the Rubicon, one or the   other of us stepped in. We were on a road   trip   and the anti-bhakt was mouthing off. Midspate, the other made an offer: if you promise   to not badmouth this lot for a period of six   months, I promise to underwrite the expenses   of your next trip abroad. There was a period   of fraught silence in the vehicle, as Principle   fought with Temptation. The latter won. 

But   did relative peace prevail in the homestead   and beside the aforementioned hearth? Are   you kidding? We had a host of other topics to   argue over. Like whether risotto is only cheese   pulao in Italian couture. Why Kapil Sharma? Whether Brexit was going to resurrect ye   olde   British humour. Why one of us insisted on   leaving the toilet seat up. And other such not-so- mundane matters. 

In conclusion, what can   I say? Our arguments are the very breath of   our lives together.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,