(In continuation of my lazy streak, extract from unpublished work 'Still Married, Thank You')
I found myself feeling a little nervous as I started to get ready for work. It wasn’t to do with going back to work after a long gap, or worry about how Kajal would manage Peanut and vice versa. It was to do with the fact that I didn’t actually have anything decent to wear. Luckily, I had this one fairly nice and formal back skirt – a smart little thing really, with a zipper at the back. To my immense relief, I found that it fit rather well, despite my extra roundness. I only had to hold my breath a little bit while zipping up. Most people, I realized, would have tried on their clothes for their first day at work after almost a year. However, I wasn’t most people, and I just rummaged around in my cupboard to find a reasonably nice top.
Vijay came into the room just as I was trying on my sixth top. He glanced at the growing pile of clothes on the floor and philosophically stepped around it to head into the bathroom to get ready.
‘Honey.’ I wailed ‘Tell me, how does this one look?’
He quickened his step and his back disappeared through the door. I pleaded. ‘Vijay. Please. You have to help me. It’s my First Day.’
The door to the bathroom slammed shut. Swallowing my irritation, I went and stood near the door and called to him ‘Okay fine. Just tells me if it looks okay. I won’t say anything – I promise.’
The door opened and he poked his head out. ‘What?’ His expression was all innocence. ‘Were you calling me?’
‘Does this look okay.’ I gestured at my outfit. I had found a green sleeveless top to go with the black skirt – it was a little tight, but I thought that perhaps I could carry it off.
‘The skirt is nice.’ He said and then after a pause, added ‘But the top is too tight.’
‘Really?’ I looked down. I thought it looked nice. ‘You’re sure?’
‘Yes.’ He said, gaining confidence ‘You look like you’re holding your breath.’
‘I am NOT holding my breath.’ I was indignant ‘I’m breathing normally. How can I be holding my breath if I’m talking to you?’
‘Okay, you’re just not looking too comfortable in it.’
‘I don’t feel uncomfortable.’ I was getting obstinate now. ‘I’m perfectly comfortable in this.’
‘Well, I think you’re looking so uncomfortable that anyone who looks at you will also feel uncomfortable.’
I was displeased, and briefly wondered if I should trust the fashion sense of a guy who had worn the same pair of jeans for the five years that I’d known him.
He added thoughtfully ‘You know, if you just proactively tell everyone you meet today that you’re really feeling just fine in this top, then maybe…’
‘Never mind.’ I snapped, and tugged at the top, trying to take it off ‘For you, it’s a big joke na. Instead of building my confidence a little bit on this day, you…’
The door slammed shut just as I pulled the top over my head. Too late, I realized that it had been a tactical error to antagonize Vijay – the top was too tight and I found myself unable to get it off over my head - my arms were trapped at an awkward angle and I was stuck.
‘Vijay…Vijay…’ I called, but this time the bathroom door stayed firmly shut.
If you like hearing about Vijay, you'll love my first book 'Just Married, Please Excuse' and my upcoming 'How I became a Farmer's Wife' ( slated for Jan 2018, HarperCollins)