By Robert Clements
“…Calling your husband ‘bhondu, pagal, bewakoof and making fun of his educational qualifications does not amount to cruelty and is not a ground for divorce…” Bombay High Court.
There was dancing on the streets below, I peeped out and saw hundreds of women swaying rhythmically to a lady drummer’s beat. “What’s the celebration for?
Are you all practicing for tonight’s Navratri?” I asked the wife. “Pagal!” said the wife, “Can’t you see we are rejoicing not practicing?” “Rejoicing about what? And when did you start calling me pagal?” “That’s what we are dancing about, that now the court has given us the right to call a pagal a pagal, and a fool a fool!”
“I don’t think that’s what the honourable judges meant,” I said, looking at the paper which had been thrust in my face, “What they meant was I can’t divorce you for calling me such names! But there are many other things I can do!”I heard the dancing stop, and found the women outside looking up at the window, they seemed to have heard my argument, “What are the other things you can do mister?” asked their leader, “Are you threatening body harm to your wife?” “No, no,” I said hastily shutting the window, “I am not like that!” “He says he is not like that!” shouted the wife opening the window and shouting to the now laughing women. “He doesn’t look like that type!” agreed the leader of the group staring at me. “Thank you,” I said bowing to the leader. “Do you know why?” she continued. “I guess I look too polite and well mannered to hammer my wife,” I said. “No you don’t have the muscle!” said the leader and I went red as I heard the women in the group guffaw loudly.
“Pagal!” shouted the leader downstairs. “Bhondu!” shouted another. “High school pass!” shouted another. “High school pass?” I asked puzzled.
“Yes now we can even make fun of your educational qualifications!” shouted the gleeful women beginning another dance without the drummer who was threatening to throw her drumstick at me. “Don’t!” I shouted at the drummer as the stick traveled the air and hit me on the head. “I warned you!” I said as I pulled out my phone and started dialing a number. “The police can’t do anything!” said the leader.
“The courts won’t do anything!” said the wife. “So who can you call?” asked the leader mockingly.
“Hello!” I said into the phone, “Is that Muthalik? Yes, yes the Rame Sena leader? Sir, I have a problem here, no, no it’s not indecent dressing, nor is it women in a pub. It’s worse, this is against Indian culture; my wife called me pagal! Ah you’ll be here in a minute?”
I looked down and saw the women running for their lives as the wife quickly changed into a sari and rushed to the kitchen, “Would you like a cup of tea dear?” she asked sweetly.
Courtesy: Pakistan Observer