A few years back I remember gifting my good friend Navin a cutout of a naked man with a huge nail stuck up his butt with the captions below, ‘For all that I do to my fellow beings see what I get in return’. Those were the days when the two of us were still bachelors and had a good time pulling the legs of our mates who were at the beck and call of their wives.
Navin got married a few years back and I had my share of fun at his expense and a few of our mates who had already been there and done that joining in tightening the nail every time Navin would run home leaving the gang when his wife Gayle would call more so when his kid Nia was born. All Navin would say with a sorry face in chaste Hindi was, ‘Har kutte ka din atta hai.’ (Every Dog has its day) this would make us laugh all the more.
I got married at the beginning of this year and the baby of our group Galvin will be married next week that leaves only our eternal youth and bachelor Mr. Sobers D’souza the old taka master and now a ‘manager of PROCESSES’ (He was a welder by profession till he hopped on the BPO brandwagon and has since been taking about some process which we are yet to make sense of) the only man left in the league of bachelors an exclusive club of which I was a part of convinced that I would be the last man standing.
Henpecked was the word we used a bit too often to describe our friends who had graduated to the married league and each of us had our own style of uttering that prohibited word much to the dislike of our friends on the other side of the fence. According to some meanings that I found on the net the glorified word Henpecked is defined as Harassed by persistent nagging another description I found was inclined or willing to submit to orders or wishes of one's spouse.
The first month of I being married was the most difficult one having to adjust with my newly lost independence and by the time I was getting the hang of married life I was back at work in Doha-Qatar. I did return for a few days when my wifey dearest Sarah had complications with her pregnancy and I got my first experience of staying at home away from friends and my regular dose of evening cuppa being at her beck and call.
The graduation to a full fledged henpecked husband was completed when I was made to go hunting for a watermellon late in the night and when I had got that was told to go back and get Rasgollas and I for one dutifully obeyed and ran out to fullfill my wife's desires with my head bowed down in service to her wishes and commands.
At the back of my mind while on the run i was hoping against hope that none of my friends get to hear of this and see me in action being a devout henpecked husband. I could feel them rolling in laughter and me being the butt of their jokes now. Sad to say and feel I was seen buying watermellons at 11.45 pm to be exact by a few of my mates who had chosen to venture out that very moment and before i would reach home i had already a few calls on my cell congruglating me on my transition to a henpecked husband. For someone who had never taken a glass of water for himself or ever gone shopping for groceries here I was late in the night fetching watermellons.
The stork visited us on the 8th of October this year and left baby Kiara in our care. It was the day I hit mother earth with a great thud and finally brokered a peace with Common Sense who has never been my good friend.
I refusing to stay out late with friends was something that was expected of me by everyone other than myself and the worse was abstaining myself from a few drinks on the day of the christening and being a perfect host something which surprised everyone in the group. The last straw was broken when I turned up to ask my wife if i could take a peg or two the followng day without realising that my pals were around.
Now before anyone would start pulling my legs and I being the butt of everyone’s jokes I was the first one to justify my actions by admitting that I am a, ‘Dedicated, Loving, Henpecked Husband.’ Although a few may say that Henpecked is a word that should precede dedicated and loving but I for one console myself by saying it a bit too softly at the end.
I tell my friends over a few laughs coupled over a few beers and my first girlfriend's constant screaming of,’ Anil you are a Henpecked, Henpecked and A Henpecked Husband’ (no matter how old Vanessa is she will remain a baby to us) that it is the word Henpecked that matters and whether the taboo word is said at the beginning or the end all that matters is that we are all Henpecked husbands who do not have the guts to look up into our wives eyes least they may step on to our toes and make us sing a different melody. We also take heart from the fact that our wives are all shorter than us so we have to look down whilst we talk to them.
People change as per the situation and in most cases for the better although some may not agree and although I care a damn I respect their views. The very person who once told me much before I got married that one’s wife should be kept suppressed under the thumb was the one to advise me on the day of my wedding that, ‘the success to a successful marriage is to be a dedicated Henpecked husband and to be a bit scared of ones spouse’ this advise was given under duress after he was tonked on the head by his better half and made to sleep in another room for a few days before he packed his bags off to Bombay for my wedding.
All said and done I prefer now to live a settled life and keep Sarah informed of my whereabouts something that I hardly ever did while a bachelor and frankly speaking I am for one enjoying this married life and the fatherhood which has come a bit too early but the joy of holding my flesh and blood and the late nights are worth every henpecked moment.