My friends Arun and Nirmala live in a farm house outside the city with three dogs for company and only day time help. Since it is summer and the temperature is quite high and dry, they use a huge desert cooler which is more effective than air conditioning.
Their home is a kind of circle with three bed rooms and a studio on one half of the circle, all in a line and sharing a common corridor and the other half of the circular building consisting of a kitchen, dining area, drawing room and a central court yard.
I heard this story the first thing in the morning today to give me an idea of the kind of problems living in farm houses can produce.
At about 3.30 am in the morning, Arun woke up because the cooler had really made the room chilly. He went to the toilet and on his return found the largest of the three dogs, a huge labrador called Rascal had occupied his sleeping area and would not budge from it. So, Arun decided on a tit for tat maneuver, took out a sheet and spread it over Rascal’s sleeping mat on the floor of the bed room and went to sleep there after covering himself. After a while, Nirmala in turn went to the toilet and on return found that Arun was missing on his side of the bed and went all over the house and kept searching for him with increasing panic. All kinds of stories fed by too much television kept popping up including extra terrestrials in UFOs. By the time she returned to the bed room the second time around, Arun had moved back to his side of the bed with Rascal coming to reclaim his place on the floor. When she found Arun on the bed Nirmala got a shock of her life and almost had a stroke.
As the story unfolded, I kept laughing and could not quite get the panic part and therefore my multiple entry visa to their home has been cancelled and I have been declared persona non grata by the lady of the house.
She still finds it difficult to believe Arun’s story and thinks that Arun was up to some mischief or the other at that hour and at an age of 70! The only witness who can corroborate Arun’s version of the story is blissfully enjoying the desert cooled comfort of their lovely home.
Have you had any missing spouse incidents like this in your life?