Look who is coming to dinner on big match night

When wives say they have said yes, it is like a holy grail and there is no debate; it is the oracle speaking.

By Bikram Vohra

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Published: Wed 26 Jun 2019, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 26 Jun 2019, 11:33 PM

Wives can be cruel. Mine said out of the blue that we were invited to dinner on Thursday to Meetu and Shubhida. "Don't argue, we are going. I have said yes," she said.
When wives say they have said yes, it is like a holy grail and there is no debate; it is the oracle speaking. 
But it is India versus the Windies, I said, it is a crunch match, why do people have dinners during the World Cup, what's wrong with them, can I not go (husbands can be so plaintive)? All I want to do is sit on the couch and eat wafers and watch the game on the 65-inch curved HD Smart TV.
We don't have a 65-inch curved HD Smart TV, she said.
That's not the point, I want to watch the game.
You have been watching the game for one month.
Yes, but this is a different game, every game is different, dammit, I am not coming to this silly dinner.
We'll see and don't raise your voice, you have become rude and boring.
Now, all husbands know that this display of independence on their part is purely token and more for our own ego because in our hearts we know we are going for that dinner, cricket be damned, no chance it's popcorn and privacy. Sorry, Virat.
So I called Meetu and said, what's wrong with you, why the heck do you have to have these dinners on a cricket night.
I had nothing to do with it, he said, you think I would have a dinner if could get out of it. Her sister is landing from New York, and Emirates has given her a two-day stopover so that is the only night we can have people over. She wants her close friends to meet her, just Raj, Freddie, Pushpa, and you guys.
We are not close friends, I said.
Yes, we are, or at least she thinks so, you can't disappoint her.
Why can't Emirates just whoosh her off directly back to Delhi? Why are they so kind, I said, and you don't even have a TV in your room!
I'll try and bring it down. You think I am enjoying this? he asked.
Why don't you take them out for dinner? I suggested. Now there's a good idea. Act like a generous brother-in-law and take her to a nice, expensive 5-star restaurant, she will love you for it.
You know what that will cost, he said sadly, are you crazy and her sister loves lobster.
She is your sister-in-law, I said, you have to do these things sometimes, your wife will be happy, she will be happy, so you will be happy, and I'll be happy. See one dinner and so much happiness all around. 
If I see the bill, I won't be happy, he said. No sorry, it is the dinner.
You cannot do this much for your loving sister-in-law? Shame on you.
Oh shame on me huh, remember when your cousins came you jumped into bed with fever and they ordered cheap and cheerful Chinese. 
I was ill.
No, you were not, you were shamming.
Heartless fellow.
So, what I did on Wednesday was give it a second shot. I said to my wife with a sniffle and a sneeze, I think I have the flu.
She looked up and said, do not even think of not going there; be ready at 7.
So, tonight my friends, when you gather in front of your sets for the final hours of the match spare a though for little, old me sitting in a room that has no TV and is listening to a stranger tell us about her adventures in the Big Apple. I could cry.

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