Thursday, April 5, 2018

Restitution of Conjugal Rights


RESTITUTION OF CONJUGAL RIGHTS
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

“Your name really suits you…” I said.

“Really…?” she exclaimed.

“Yes. “Smita” means “Smile” – a girl who smiles a lot – a forever smiling lady – like you…” I said to her.

“Thank you so much…” she said – giving me a sweet smile – her lovely smile really enhanced her beauty.

We sat opposite each other.

She was a “well-endowed” beautiful woman – and I looked at her with undisguised admiration.

She blushed – and she said to me:

“You’ve come quite a bit early. Your friend has gone for his Sunday Morning Golf. He should be back by 11:30…”

“I know. I wanted to speak to you. Alone…” I said to her.

“You want to speak to me…? Alone…?”

“Yes – I want to hear your side of the story…”

“Oh – so you’ve heard the wife’s version – you’ve heard the husband’s version – and now – you want to hear what the “other woman” has to say…”

“Please don’t say that…”

“That’s what all his Navy friends call me – even worse things…”

“Not me…”

“Yes – I know. You are his only Navy friend who hasn’t “ostracized” him. Everyone else – even their wives – they treat us like “outcasts” – they have socially “boycotted” us…”

“He is a good man – very helpful – he was very kind to me during my Navy days…”

“I know. He has been good to me too – especially when I was in trouble – he gave me shelter when I was homeless – I will never forget that gesture…”

“Tell me – how did it happen…? How did you move in with him…?”

“I came to Pune around 2 years ago – I rented the flat next to his – we were next door neighbours…”

“Was his wife living with him then…?”

“No – she had already gone to the New Zealand – to live with her daughter…”

“So – he was living all alone…”

“Yes…”

“Then – what happened…?”

“Nothing happened. We were just neighbours – that’s all. Well – since he was a retired man – he was home all day – so – he would collect my couriers, online-shopping stuff – that’s all…”

“That’s all…?”

“Yes – we had a purely neighbourly relationship. Of course – as we got to know each other better – we would go out once in a while – for shopping, for a movie, or he would take me to his club…”

“Oh – so – you were friends…”

“Yes – you can say that. Tell me – can’t a 60 year old man and a 35 year old woman be friends…?”

“Of course…”

“Well – he was a “forced bachelor” – and I was a “single woman” – with no friends in Mumbai…”

“Single…?”

“I never married…” she said.

“Oh…” I said.

“He was quite upset that his wife was not coming back from the New Zealand…”

“I know. He told me. First – his wife went to the New Zealand for their daughter’s first delivery – and she stayed for 6 months. Then – she went again for their daughter’s second delivery – and she stayed for 6 months again. And then – 3 years ago – she went again to look after their daughter’s children – and she hasn’t come back ever since – she is away continuously for more than 3 years now…”

“Yes. Their daughter got divorced. So she wanted her mother to come over to look after the kids…”

“Nanny Duties…?”

“Yes. Meanwhile their daughter managed to get her mother a “Parent Resident Visa” – so that mother could live in New Zealand indefinitely…”

“Indefinitely…?”

“Yes. Their daughter already had permanent residency of New Zealand – and she got the same for her mother…”

“So – his wife has become a permanent resident of New Zealand…?”

“Yes. And that’s what made your friend very upset. He thought that the daughter was emotionally blackmailing her mother. So – he asked me for help…”

“You…?”

“Well – I am a lawyer – and – I specialize in “Family Law”…” she said.

I smiled.

She smiled back at me and said:

“You must be thinking – I am a single woman who has never been married – who has no family – how can I practice “Family” Law…?”

“No. No…”

“I agree – I have no personal experience of marriage and divorce. Maybe that helps me look at things is a pure legal and unbiased way…”

“Yes. You have a point…”

“Anyway – your friend came to me – he told me his story – and he said that he wanted his wife to come back to him – so – I suggested the “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” approach. He agreed. So – I drafted a “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” notice – and we sent it to his wife…”

“Yes. She showed me the “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” Notice…”

“Did she…? But – apparently – the notice had no effect on her…”

“No. No. She was very upset. She told me that she wanted to come back to live with her husband…”

“Then – why didn’t she…?”

“Her divorced daughter emotionally blackmailed her. Her daughter told her that she was a “single mother” who had to work to earn a living – and there was no one else to look after the children…”

“Do all women in New Zealand have their mothers with them for “nanny duties” and to look after their children…? Surely – there must be “babysitters”, “daycare”, “kindergarten schools” etc…”

“My friend’s wife – she is very close to her daughter…”

“What about her husband…? Doesn’t she care for him…?”

“Of course she loves him…”

“If she loved her husband – she wouldn’t leave him to fend for himself all alone – for such a long time – it’s more than 3 years now since she has gone to New Zealand…”

“Poor thing – on one side is her husband – and – on the other side is her daughter – and – she is trapped in-between…”

“But – isn’t a husband more important than a daughter..?”

“I don’t know. But let me tell you that she is most upset that you have moved in with her husband…”

“She should be upset – and – if she is so upset – why doesn’t she come back…? Let me assure you that the day she comes back – I will move out. You convey that to her…”

“I will…”

“Tell her one more thing – that we – her husband and me – we have a “clean” relationship…”

“Clean Relationship…?”

“It is “pure” friendship, companionship – that’s all. Yes – we live in the same house – but we have our separate bedrooms…”

“Oh…”

“You don’t believe me – do you – that a man and woman can live in the same house and yet have a “clean” relationship…?”

“To be frank – I thought you two were “friends with benefits”. Well – you are very attractive – and he – …”

“Your imagination must be running wild – but let me assure you that there is nothing of that sort between us – we are good friends and companions – that’s all…”

“So – it is just a “mutually beneficial arrangement” – that’s all…?”

“Yes – you can say that – but it’s more than a mere “arrangement” – maybe you can call it a mutually beneficial “relationship” – but a “clean” one – a “pure” friendship…”

“How did you move in with him…? I mean – you were his neighbour – and suddenly – you move into his house and start living with him…”

“Yes – it happened quite suddenly. My NRI “landlord” decided to come back to India – so he wanted the house for himself – of course – he gave me one month’s notice as per the lease contract…”

“Oh…”

“I started looking for a house. He – your friend – he was helping me find a house. I wanted a house in this neighbourhood – or nearby – since it is convenient for my work – but –nothing was working out – there were just no houses for rent in this area – and I was on the verge of becoming homeless. One day – he suggested that I could stay as a “Paying Guest” in his house…”

“And you accepted…?”

“At first – I was reluctant. But – he insisted…”

“You should have thought of his wife. Did you ever wonder what she would feel if you moved in with her husband…?”

“I did. I told him. But he said that his wife hadn’t even bothered to reply to his “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” Notice. He was sure that his wife was never going to come back. He pleaded with me to stay with him…”

“Thank you for being so candid…” I said to Smita.

“So – are you going to tell his wife my side of the story…?” she asked me.

“Yes – I will call her tonight – and I will tell her about your “clean” relationship…”

“Please assure her that the day she comes back – I will move out…”

“Yes – I will tell her – but it seems that her daughter won’t allow her to come back…”

“Oh. Now that you have heard my story – I hope you won’t “blacklist” me – like all his Navy friends and their wives have done – since they consider me the “other woman” who has ruined his marriage. In fact – they have even “ostracized” him – and I feel guilty that I am the reason for this…” she said.

“Come on – I am his true friend – and now – I am your friend too. I will always be with you…” I said to her.

“Thank you so much…” she said.

“There is one more thing I wanted to ask you – I want your help as a lawyer…” I said to her.

“Sure – I will be most happy to help you…”

“I want to send my wife a “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” notice…”

“What…?”

“My wife has gone to America for my daughter’s delivery…”

“Oh. When did she go to the US…?

“Three months ago – I went along with her to San Francisco to drop her – our daughter delivered a girl – I flew back after a month – but my wife wanted to stay a bit longer to help out our daughter…”

“Oh. And when did you visit New Zealand…?”

“I stopped over in New Zealand on the way back. A classmate of mine lives in Auckland – he has been calling me to visit New Zealand – so – I flew from San Francisco to Auckland – I enjoyed a week touring New Zealand – and then I flew back to India via Singapore…”

“Oh…”

“It was on my last day in Auckland that I ran into her – I mean my friend’s wife – and she took me home and poured out her heart to me. I told you that she showed me the “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” Notice – and she was very upset about you moving in with her husband…”

“Was her daughter there…?”

“No. Her daughter had gone to work. She was alone in the house waiting for the kids to come back from their primary school…”

“Okay. So – she is not going to come back…?”

“Yes – it seems that she is not going to come back – at least not in the near future…”

I could detect a “sense of relief” in Smita on hearing this.

Then – Smita looked at me and said:

“Hey – please tell me – why do you want to send your wife a “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” Notice…? In any case – she can’t stay in the US for more than 6 months – unless she gets a “Green Card”…”

“I want her to come back immediately. It’s already been 3 months. I am fed up of living alone. I can’t wait any longer. My wife had promised me that she would come back in 2-3 months…”

Suddenly – the doorbell rang.

“Oh – he has come back from his Golf…” Smita exclaimed.

She looked at me and said:

“You come to my office tomorrow. We will discuss your case in detail over there. I’ll give you my card before you go. Now – you can enjoy talking about your “Good Old Navy Days” with your friend over beer while I make some delicious “small eats” and food for you…” 

Then – she went to open the door.


EPILOGUE

My Friend’s Wife did not come back.

She continued to live with her divorced daughter in Auckland.

In due course – she and her daughter – both became New Zealand Citizens.

10 years passed.

The daughter got re-married.

Her daughter’s new husband did not want the daughter’s mother hanging around.

The children had grown up too – and they did not require a “nanny”.   

So – my Friend’s Wife has “relocated” to an “Old Age Home” near Auckland.

I wonder why she didn’t come back to her husband…?

Is it because of her “pride”…?

Or – is it because being a New Zealand Citizen – she get generous “old age” benefits…?  

My Friend and his “Live-In Partner” Smita – they are still living together – quite happily.

By the way – I did send the “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” Notice to my wife.

And – the moment she got my email – my wife came rushing back to me.

Maybe – my darling wife did not want some beautiful lady moving in with me – à la Smita. 

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

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)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

A Part of this story was published in my blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2018/04/smita-means-smile.html



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