Lesson That Went Wrong
by Vijai Pant
While getting ready for a
social do one fine evening, my better half (better
in every sense) interrupted with, Dear, you
are not going to wear this tonight, are you?
wrong with it? I asked, somewhat peeved.
Now look darling.
Four months back when the Mehtas had that grand
celebration of the first birthday of their son,
where all the whos who of the town had come,
you had worn the same dress. You see, it would be
a needless repetition, when you have a variety to
choose from, she coaxed, while handing me
But who would
remember what I had worn four months back?
Now dont say
that. Everybody does, except you. And in this
case you had that Mrs. Arora accidentally (or was
it deliberate?) spilling her drink on you. The
incident drew as much attention as the recent
faux pas at the Oscars, she made her point.
Honestly, Ive always
lived in wonder at the way women remember who
wore what and where, at least in this part of the
subcontinent. With my wife too Ive never
been in doubt of her sartorial savviness. So, I
decided to leave matters at that, but not before
this parting shot in a vain attempt to get even
with her, I think I also saw you wearing
this same saree not very many days ago.
She looked at me
contemptuously, like a veteran of a game looks at
a novice, before setting the record straight.
There, you are
confusing this blush pink with brink
pink. (When it comes to shades men are supposed
to be colour blind). I have worn this blush
pink just twice ever since I bought it in the
Deepawali sale two years ago. The first time,
last year when the Aroras had called us to their
Housewarming party. It was a very low key affair
with just the presence of their neighbourhood and
immediate family. The Joshis had not been invited.
Incidentally, it was the
marriage anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Joshi for
which we were getting all dressed up. Her point
was that for the Joshis as well as the invitees
today, it would be a first look at blush
And second time, when
I had gone to Mrs. Sodhis place three
months back to discuss Jayatis (our
daughter) admission prospects in a Canadian
university. Shes also among the guests
today, but, when I bumped into her in the Mall
the other day she told me that shell not be
able to make it. Their sons flight is due
from Canada this evening, you see, she
informed. There was that air of supreme
confidence about her like a political party has
after sweeping away the polls.
She gave herself one last
look at the mirror and off we went for the party
at Joshis place.
The hosts warmly welcomed
us at the entrance and pleasantries were
Just when we were slipping
into the party mood, a familiar, husky voice
greeted us cheerfully with, Hello Mrs. Pant.
Isnt it wonderful to meet again so soon?
And there was Mrs. Sodhi at
her radiant best.