Friday, June 2, 2017

“Perfect” Husband – A Story

“PERFECT” HUSBAND
A Fictional Spoof
Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE


Dramatis Personae

Me (The “Imperfect” Husband)

My Wife

‘Slimy’ – My Neighbour (The “Perfect” Husband)

Slimy’s Wife

‘Shutterbug’ – My Friend


The Perfect Husband – A Story by Vikram Karve 

As I had expected – I saw ‘Shutterbug’ standing at Land’s End – taking photographs of Sunset.

Sunset – on the west coast of India is a glorious sight – a breathtakingly beautiful spectacle – as the tranquil blue Arabian Sea begins to swallow the orange ball – and – the crimson rays – dancing in the sky – slowly change their colour – from red to orange to yellowish green to bluish grey – and – dissolve into twilight.

I sat on a bench – and I waited for ‘Shutterbug’ to finish taking his photographs.

‘Shutterbug’ (nicknamed because of his passion for photography) had quit the Navy to follow his first love – and – he was now an accomplished professional photographer.

He had got a prestigious assignment from an International Travel Magazine to compile a series on “Sunsets”.

For the last few days – he would come to Land’s End every evening – to take photographs of Mumbai’s resplendent sea sunsets.

“It’s good you came today – I have finished my work here – and – I am off to a new location tomorrow morning…” he said, packing his camera.

“Where to…?” I asked.

“Australia – New Zealand – Antarctica – and then – some islands in the Pacific…” he said.

“Wow…” I said, “Come – let’s have a drink…”

We walked down the seaside promenade – and – a few minutes later – we were sitting by the seaside – in the club annexe – enjoying the cool sea breeze – sipping whisky-soda.

‘Shutterbug’ looked at me and said: “Come on – get it off your chest…”

“What…?”

“I know you are upset – you want to tell me something – so – tell me…”

“It’s my next-door neighbor…”

“You mean ‘Slimy’…?”

“Yes…” I said.

(Now – in the Navy – almost everyone has a ‘nickname’ – like my friend sitting opposite me was called ‘Shutterbug’ because of his interest in photography – likewise – my next-door neighbour was nicknamed ‘Slimy’ – no prizes for guessing why – he was a really ‘slimy’ character – a ‘slick’ operator)

“Oh – ‘Slimy’ – bloody ‘poodle-faker’ – dicey bugger – he’s a sly ‘smooth’ operator…” remarked ‘Shutterbug’.

“Do you know him…?” I asked ‘Shutterbug’.

“Of course I know ‘Slimy’ – we did a training course abroad…”

“Oh…”

“So – what’s your problem with ‘Slimy’…?”

“He is such a ‘devoted husband’….”

“Ha Ha – “devoted husband” – Ha Ha…” ‘Shutterbug’ interrupted.

“Why…? What happened…?” I asked, taken aback.

“No – No – nothing. Sorry for interrupting. So – if ‘Slimy’ is such a “devoted husband” – as you say – what is your problem…?” ‘Shutterbug’ asked me.

“Well – ‘Slimy’ is such a perfect husband that he has become a “Role Model Husband” for my wife – in fact – he is so smart – so suave – so debonair – so handsome – so well-mannered – and – so physically fit with such an excellent physique – and – my wife admires him so much – that – she has started comparing me with him – and – I feel like a “loser”…”

“Your wife thinks you are a “loser”…?”

“Yes – it’s all because of that bugger ‘Slimy’…”

“I hope ‘Slimy’ is not trying to seduce your wife – “steal her affection” – so to speak…”

“No – No – not at all. He is the epitome of gentlemanly behaviour – my wife says that he is a true “officer and gentleman” – and – she feels disappointed that I am not like him…”

“Why…? What’s wrong with you…?”

“I told you. All this comparison has started after ‘Slimy’ moved in as my next-door neighbour. Before that – my wife had no problems with me…”

“And – what about Slimy’s wife…?”

“Oh – Slimy’s wife is a really elegant lady – she is besotted with her husband – she effusively praises ‘Slimy’ 24/7 – Slimy’s wife says that ‘Slimy’ is the best husband in the world - she keeps talking with admiration about all his qualities – about the exotic destinations where he takes her for holidays – about the expensive gifts he gets for her – about his “caring and sharing” nature – Slimy’s wife always says that ‘Slimy’ is the “perfect husband”…”

“Ha Ha – “caring and sharing” – “perfect husband” – Ha Ha…” ‘Shutterbug’ laughed.

“What happened…?” I asked him.

“Nothing – I was just thinking…”

“Everything was fine with my married life before ‘Slimy’ came on the scene – I am even thinking of asking for a transfer…” I said.

“Transfer…? Why the hell should you ask for a transfer…?”

“I told you – ‘Slimy’ has created such a powerful impression on my wife – that – she literally worships him – in fact – she has put him on a pedestal – and – she wants me to ‘emulate’ him in all aspects – and – that is impossible for me – because – ‘Slimy’ is everything that I am not…”

“So…?”

“Just imagine – the whole day and night – I have to hear my wife’s nagging – ‘Slimy’ is this – ‘Slimy’ is that – ‘Slimy’ does this – ‘Slimy’ does that… – let me tell you that I am totally fed up with my wife comparing me with ‘Slimy’ all the time. You won’t understand – since – you are not married…”

“I can understand. Don’t worry – I’ll do something about it…” ‘Shutterbug’ said.

“You’ll do something about it…? How…? When…? You are flying off going to Australia and New Zealand tomorrow morning…”

“You don’t worry – you just leave it to me. Now – let’s forget ‘Slimy’ – and – let’s enjoy our drinks…” ‘Shutterbug’ said.

After sometime – ‘Shutterbug’ left – saying that he had to catch the early morning flight.

I continued drinking till closing time.

I reached home at midnight – totally drunk – and – even in my drunken state – I could hear my wife’s nagging:

“You don’t even know how to drink – look at him (referring to ‘Slimy’) – he drinks like a refined gentleman – and you – you are an uncouth lout – you drink like a pig…”

Next morning – I woke up late – with a terrible hangover.

Luckily – it was a Sunday.

I expected to hear my wife’s harangue – her nagging – but – I was surprised by the silence in the house.

I looked around the house.

My wife was missing.

Had my wife left me...? 

Had she gone away to her parents place in Pune…?

As it is – she was fed up living with a “loser” like me.

And – my last evening’s drunkenness may have been the last straw.

I opened the door.

I saw the maid.

“Memsahib is next door…” the maid said to me.

What…?

My wife was in Slimy’s house…?

Was she complaining to him about me…?

Confused – I walked out of my house – and – I rang the doorbell outside Slimy’s flat.

A man opened the door – I recognized him – he was my coursemate who lived opposite our house.

Slimy’s wife was crying – and – a group of ladies was trying to console her.

My wife was among the group of ladies consoling Slimy’s wife.

‘Slimy’ was sitting at the dining table with his head in his hands – looking distraught. 

Some officers were hanging around.

“What’s going on…?” I asked my coursemate who had opened the door – “Is someone dead or something...?”

“Don’t you know…?” my coursemate whispered.

“No…” I said.

My coursemate took me aside.

Then – he took out his ‘smartphone’ – and – he showed me the screen.

Bloody Hell…!!!

There were intimate pictures of ‘Slimy’ and a sexy woman frolicking on a beach – in the skimpiest of clothing – kissing, necking, making out – doing all sorts of “lovey-dovey” antics – in a variety of “compromising positions”…

As I looked at the “erotic” pictures of ‘Slimy’ and the sexy woman – my coursemate said:

“Bloody hell – that bugger ‘Shutterbug’ – he has uploaded these steamy photos of ‘Slimy’ and this “Firangi” woman on Facebook – and – he has tagged everyone. By now – the whole world must have seen these indecent pictures…”

“Indecent…? Why do you say these pictures are “indecent”…? A bit “passionate” – yes – “amorous” – yes – but – certainly not “indecent” – look at the pictures – ‘Slimy’ and this woman seem to be passionately in love with each other…” I said, tongue-in-cheek.

I looked at the complete album of “lewd” photos of ‘Slimy’ and the sexy woman on the screen of the smartphone.

By now – the “hot” pictures of ‘Slimy’ and the sexy woman would have surely gone viral on our online groups – and these sensational photos must have been seen by all “friends” who mattered.

Shutterbug’s “status update” said: 

“Memories of Our Wonderful Navy Days” 

The status update post mentioned the date – and  the name of the place – where the photos had been clicked – and – ‘Slimy’ and the sexy woman had been duly “tagged” with their names.

It was a deft “slam-dunk”

Yes – ‘Shutterbug’ had slam-dunked ‘Slimy’ nice and proper

Of course – my good friend ‘Shutterbug’ had done it for my sake. 


EPILOGUE

Three things happened after this episode:

1. That very evening – Slimy’s wife left for her parents’ place.

2. My dashing and debonair Neighbour – the “Perfect Husband” – Slimy – he was transferred to a “non-family” station on a remote island in the back-of-beyond.

3. My darling wife never mentioned the name of ‘Slimy’ again – and – after this episode – my wife stopped comparing me with other husbands.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)
 

This is a revised repost of my story THE PERFECT HUSBAND posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on July 31, 2016 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/the-perfect-husband-story.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/my-neighbour-perfect-husband.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/my-dashing-and-debonair-neighbour.html
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