For me they were the epitome of love and romance. I would often berate my husband: He is so besotted by her. Such apatni daas – Learn something from him!
The party was in full swing. An intimate affair with loads of chatter and laughter. But today Mr and Mrs Love were behaving strangely – throwing dagger glances at each other. My Sherlockian antenna was up. There was trouble in paradise and I had to know what was up. Did my idols have feet of clay?
I kept my eyes peeled on the two. Mr Love’s best friend happened to be Mr Notorious. During my vigil I marked Mr Love flinching whenever the latter spoke to Mrs Love. Was it my imagination or did she look fearfully at her husband whenever this happened?
Seated next to me was a dear friend. She offered a penny for my thoughts. I accepted the metaphoric coin and told her: I think I read too much into situations. Before she could prod me further we were joined by another not-so-dear friend. For the next few minutes I got distracted.
Suddenly I realised Mr and Mrs Love were missing from our group. Where had they wondered off, I thought to myself. Excusing myself from my companions – visit to the loo pretext – I went looking for them. There were voices coming from the master bedroom. I stopped at the door.
Mrs Love asked Mr Love what her fault was. Mr Notorious was just making small talk with her and she was just being polite to him. And wasn’t he Mr Love’s best friend, she asked. How could she avoid him? There was nothing from her side, so why accuse her, she challenged. It was he was jealous – quite unjustifiably so, in her opinion – and he should get it out of his head before it ruined their marital bliss. I heard Mr Love um-ing and uh-ing, imagined him squirming with discomfort.
The sound of weeping followed and I scuttled away before I was discovered.
As you will have perhaps guessed I am prone to wool-gathering. Thoughts flew thick and fast in my own head. What will happen to them? Will their love be compromised? He may drop the matter, even forget the episode in time, but won’t she be bitter about his lack of trust in her? Mr Love seems inscecure about men complimenting his wife. But we women enjoy receiving such compliments. That’s why we dress up, don’t we, when we go out to a party or an event? Mrs Love sure was smart to make him feel guilty! Another thought popped into my head: had Mr Love forbidden her to speak with Mr Notorious? Was he trying to control his wife as many men are prone to do, particularly amongst us Indians?
They are a deeply-in-love couple. Jealousy can be just a facet of that love, albeit unpleasant. But nope, not in real, true love – no role for jealousy there. This is about control, male machismo.