Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tale of two more couples

"The tale of two couples" has received a lot of appreciation and made many friends remember the stories they grew up with.  That reminds me of a story of two more couples. 

This time it is the tale of two city couples. Educated and relatively better off than the poor uneducated village farmers. to live in harmony is somewhat simple for rural folks as their means and needs are both limited.  Being educated and economically better off bring their own complex problems. City people have to find out their own ways and struggle harder to maintain domestic peace.

In a city, there were a couple who were always quarreling on some thing or the other. They were a perfect example of a married pair with perfect misunderstanding.  In a democracy, they say Opposition should have their say and the Treasury Benches should have their way.  Problems arise when either Opposition does not have its say or Treasury benches do not have their way.  Or when both want to have their say and way as well.  These couple were in that category where both wanted their own way in everything.  No wonder, almost even non-issues ended up in quarrel. 

The couple owned a twin house and lived in one part of the building. The other part of the building was rented out and the rent received was one of the sources of income. The tenant couple also quarreled often but came nowhere the standards set by the owner couple. For their own reasons they had to move out and the rented part of the building became vacant.  A good friend of the owners approached them for renting out the house for his sister and brother-in-law who were moving into the city.  Other issues like rent and rental advance were settled to mutual satisfaction and  the owner couple handed over the keys to the friend as they were going out of the city for a few days. They had no contact with the incoming tenants till they returned to the city.

The atmosphere in the tenanted portion was now so calm that the owner couple felt very uncomfortable.  There was not even the occasional quarrel or fight between the tenanted couple.  Owner couple came to the conclusion that the tenant couple were deaf and dumb and hence there was no shouting and fighting.  Even there the owner wife differed from her husband.  If  they are deaf and dumb there may not be any exchange of words.  But there should be at least throwing of utensils and other objects.  They agreed on one thing. things were not normal in the tenant house and the matter required further probing.  One of their rare agreement on any issue.

One day the owner husband saw the tenant husband buying vegetables from the road side vendor and talking to him. He realised that at least the tenant husband is not deaf and dumb. He engaged him in some conversation and probed the matter further. He was keen to know why there was no quarrel in the tenant house.

"Oh, that is a simple matter. Me and my wife have a perfect understanding",  tenant husband said.  "How is it possible?  We seem to have a perfect misunderstanding between us", owner husband asked.  "We have an understanding.  We accept what the other says on alternative issues. As soon as we get up in the morning, I accept the first thing my wife says. Next, my wife accepts whatever I say. This continues the whole day,  Hence we have no quarrels", the tenant husband replied.

Owner husband was not convinced. Such a simple formula would not work, he was sure. "Give me an example of how it works", he asked.

"That is very simple again.  When we get up in the morning, my wife asks me to make coffee. I comply and prepare coffee.  As soon as the coffee is ready I ask her to drink it.  She complies and we both have our morning coffee.  Then she asks me to prepare breakfast. I comply and prepare it. Then it is her turn to agree to what I say. I tell her to eat breakfast and she unhesitatingly compiles with. Then comes my turn to agree to what she says. She asks me to prepare lunch and I comply.  Then I ask her to eat lunch which she does........She asks me to do the laundry............I ask her to get dressed to go out...........and so on. We have no problems at all. We have peace at home and  we are happy".

The owner husband now understood the secret of peace in the tenanted home.

The story I heard ended there. What the owner husband did thereafter was not told and left to the listeners imagination.

There can be two alternatives. Either he told his wife or did not. Or three. He waited till she herself found out. Or four - he made every effort to prevent his wife from finding out. Or more,  if you can make it out.  It is left entirely to your imagination and versatility.


  1. Another version of
    I always have the last word in my house
    "YES, DEAR"

  2. The secret of a happy or unhappy marriage remains a secret!!

  3. Each life (urban vs.rural) comes with its own challenges, does it not? When either party is less willing to offer respect and treat bygones as bygones, its far from being a happy(and equal - since I am not from the "Pati=Parameshwar" school of thought) relationship.

  4. This is why it is called "taaratamya" two
    words coined together.

  5. The owner might have told the reverse story to his wife and as usual wife might have not agreed and quarreled on this score. A continuation of existing relationship and practice.