Wednesday, February 08, 2012
These days even a tiny thing can set up a flood of Memories---and these are both a Solace for my Soul and a Pain too--for these accentuate my loss very clearly to me once again!!Sudhir had a very dry sense of Humour---and at times was a very childish prankster too---in that one aspect he never really grew up!!
We used to travel by Train for we both loved Train journeys.After our marriage mostly we'd buy the tickets for a Coupe and with a very young Lotta we'd sit back and enjoy the Train journey as it travelled over the colourful Indian landscape.Every Indian Station has it's specialities---specially Foodwise.For instance the Ice Apples or "Taad Golaas" of Palghar,the "Naan Khataee" and "Khaaree" biscuits of Surat,the Masala Milk at Baroda---there was a long list of haves on the way to New Delhi or Ambala.Sudhir was in the habit of getting down to buy these at every Station and just to irritate me he wouldn't climb back on the Train till it started moving---something that panicked me a lot---and amused him immensely!!Once he didn't realise that the Train had started till a few minutes had passed.He climbed on in another Compartment and because these Compartments were all interlinked, he managed to come back to our Coupe in 7-10 minutes.By now the Train had picked up speed and I was hyper ventillating with panic and helplessness---almost about to pull the Chain to stop the Train!!!The state I was in brought home to him the stress I went through each time he did that---and these Platform Pranks stopped.
In 1979 we took the girls to Delhi for the Christmas Vacation and decided to do a Sightseeing Tour there with them.We booked a Taxi from the Hotel we stayed in the previous day and set forth as planned on the next.The weather that day was typically North Indian Plains weather----grey Skies and chilly Wind blowing in fits and starts.I'd dressed the Girls up warmly and both Sudhir and I had layered up too---all of us with warm headgear and gloves for it was extremely cold.As we moved around the Sights I kept giving the three of them a quick sketch about the History of each place and so we moved on from the Qutub Minaar,the Red Fort to Humayun's Tomb----a beautiful Red Sandstone Monument built as a Memorial to the second Moghul Emperor.While giving the three of them a short update of this place I mentioned that this also had been the Site of a gruesome murder in 1857 by the British troops----members of the Moghul Royal family had tried to hide here after the fall of Delhi and had been massacred there in the Ante Rooms below the raised platform of the Tomb.
This was like waving a Red Flag to a Bull--Sudhir--- perhaps bored with this process and my narratives of History decided to give all three of us a jolt.He began by telling us that someone was calling out to him piteously for help and that the urge to rush to help that person was overwhelming him---till finally he started calling out "I'm coming--I'm coming" and began running towards the edge of the Platform!!Initially we treated this action of his as a Joke---but he continued to rush forward towards the edge and that scared me tremendously.We were the only people up there and the Girls both started whimpering in fear while I tried to pull him back from the edge---an effort he kept resisting!!!Finally some other Tourists climbed up and we had company----as I had turned towards them to call for help, Sudhir burst out laughing---gleefully enjoying our predicament!! That's when we realised that he'd played a Prank on us---I can tell you we were all three hopping mad at him!!!
Everybody in the Family knew that he loved teasing me---he could get a rise out of me anytime he wanted---till the very end I never learnt to keep my cool!!My daughters could never understand why I could never see through his Pranks but he caught me every time.There are many such Videos that Sayali has taken of us bickering---and me getting the worst of it for I could never fight logically!!!It kept us occupied and needless to say that it provided plenty of Fodder to feed our constant arguments!!!Maybe it was this constant sparring that kept the spark alive in our marriage---but I do know that I miss it badly!!!