OPN 190720 sneakers-1563625803559
For some people, even the colour of their sneakers matters a great deal. Image Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

“She wants that same, that very same ‘orange’ coloured sneakers, or else she’s going to sulk, the weekend’s going to end on a weak note and the worst part is you know what, she is going to lock the remote control of the TV so that I can’t watch the cricket World Cup matches!” My cousin ranted, screamed, screeched helplessly into the phone, he needed a solution badly.

His wife wanted the same ‘orange’ shade (but sneakers) like the T-shirt (with ‘Vacay Mode’ printed on it) that was worn by the much ‘papped’ bundle of cuddliness, the son of a Bollywood actress, when she carried him all the way to the polling booth!

I blurted out, “But wait, why did he wear orange and go to the booth, did she vote for….?”

My cousin impatiently cut me out, “This isn’t the time to make political conjectures, where do I get those ditto coloured sneakers, help me!”

I wasn’t surprised at this demand, there were many such requests being hurled at the universe and they just figured as symbols of “cute-indulgence” that many sturdy men were brave enough to fulfil with gusto! So, were these finicky and clear-minded women the new feminine mascots of uber attractiveness?

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My neighbour who has just moved in from Delhi is so vexed because his wife, who has to drink ‘saffron’ milk thrice a day throws a tantrum saying that she cannot live here at all as the milk does not taste anywhere close to the ‘Mother Dairy’ brand that she has been drinking since aeons (yes, she’s actually that old)! I give him the idea that he should either pray with all his might that she should soon turn lactose-intolerant or head back to his country. Well, isn’t she lucky, our neighbour manages to somehow occasionally ship in the brand of milk that the wife craves for with a piece of platinum jewellery thrown in here and there, every month, because obviously he has to make up for the unfulfilled volumes of the white liquid with white metal! I guess he would have been as industrious if she had even asked for the Milky Way!

At a party that I recently attended, the suave host gushes with overflowing charm, as he stares lovingly into his wife’s eyes, “Her wishes, her demands, her longings are my vehicles of success, the quirkier her yearnings the higher I go up on the ladder of success!” On hearing this I desperately tried to hold my husband’s gaze but of course he had eyes only for the kebabs that lay mesmerisingly on the skewers! So, I transferred my gaze onto the hostess, she dazzled as if a million bulbs flashed on her and as she wiped away those non-existent tears, we all saw that huge, newly purchased ostrich-egg sized solitaire on her finger! I gasped … I now had a clue as to how to make my husband more successful!

Well, Maribel my hairdresser looked stressed, a client seemed to spew venom at her and the manager of the salon had to intervene. After trying to pacify the angry customer, Maribel came to me looking hurt and angry. “Ma’am, I gave her the exact ‘Jennifer Anniston-from Friends’ haircut, just the way she wanted, but she was still so unhappy! Can I change her face? That’s how God made her.” I really felt bad for the lady, “So did you tell her that?” Maribel now giggled as she quipped, “Yes. Guess what she tells me, she says her husband is like God he can ‘buy’ that face for her from a plastic surgeon and then she threw the money on my manager’s face and walked out!” I wondered how stressed ‘gods’ must be these days!

One evening, I went to eat chaat, a spicy and delicious Indian street food and there was Meghna, an acquaintance, standing in queue to put in her order for the “chaat” that turned out to be one long, endless ‘chat’ slapped at the chef- the proportion of salt, chilli, spices, yoghurt and all the paraphernalia took ages. My legs began to pain. The chef looked peeved and harassed. After many trials, he got the ratio of all ingredients accurately correct! Meghna had a victorious look on her face, “I never settle for anything less than perfect!” I looked on with a semblance of something called a smile and I just caught her husband beam with pride!

The ad-agency I worked for relentlessly repeated — ‘Customer is king’. But when the customer turns out to be a ‘queen’ and she’s your wife, you better turn into a lord of patience and perseverance!

Navanita Varadpande is a writer based in Dubai. Twitter: @navanitavp