Saturday, March 4, 2017

Breakup Proceedings

Short Fiction  Story of a Modern Marital Relationship

From my Creative Writing Archives: 

One of my early stories  I wrote this story 14 years ago  in the year 2003.

It is a Story of Modern Marital Relationships  and I think it is relevant even today.

This story features in my collection of Short Fiction Stories about Relationships  “COCKTAIL

Here is an abridged and updated version of the story for you to read.

Do tell me if you like it.

BREAKUP PROCEEDINGS – A Story by Vikram Karve

It’s a warm Sunday morning in Pune.

Let’s go to the apartment of a young Double Income No Kids (DINK) couple  in a posh residential complex in Aundh.

The man and the woman  both in their late 20’s – sit across a table in the drawing room.

Let’s eavesdrop and hear what they are talking...! 

“Let’s start with the house,” the man says. 

“Okay,” the woman says. 

“We bought it for 25. It’s worth more than 50 today.” 

“You keep the house,” the woman says. 

“Thanks. I knew you would let me keep it,” the man says with a sigh of relief.

He opens a folder on the table between them and says, “I have worked it out exactly. Here’s a cheque for 15 Lakhs. I’ll take over all your EMIs and your part of the loan. Have a look at the papers and sign.” 

The woman signs the papers without reading.

Then she picks up the cheque without even looking at it and puts it in her purse. 

“The car. You want to keep it...?” the man asks.

“Of course. It’s on my name. I got the loan, remember...!” 

“Please. Let’s not start yours and mine again. We agreed that the breakup would be as amicable as possible.” 

“I’m sorry,” the woman says a bit contrite. 

“It’s just that I thought you’d like to buy a new car.” 

“No. I like the Santro.” 

“Okay. I’ll make do with my old bike for a few days. Then I’ll go in for the SUV that I have always wanted to own.” 

The woman looks at the wall-clock and says: “Oh my God...! It’s ten thirty already. The packers and movers will be here any moment. Let’s hurry and finish it off once and for all...!” 

“Okay. Let’s go room by room,” the man says.

He gives the woman a notepad and a pen, “You better write it down, so you can tell the packers.” 

“You write,” the woman says. 

“Okay. Let’s start with the living room.” 

“The TV, DVD, Music System – you can keep everything. I only want all the beautiful wrought iron furniture I especially got made for the house.” 

“At least leave me a couple of chairs and a table...!” the man pleads. 

“Oh, come on...! When will you understand...? It’s a whole set...! You can always buy the cheap molded furniture you always liked.” 

“Okay. Let’s go to the kitchen.” 

“I’ll take the microwave and dishwasher; and some good crockery and cutlery. You keep the stainless steel stuff which you love for its utilitarian value.” 

“Don’t be sarcastic...!” the man snaps. 

“I’m not being sarcastic...!” the woman answers, “I’m sick and tired of your ‘Value For Money’ obsession. You never like anything elegant and refined.” 

“I prefer to drink the best scotch in a stainless steel tumbler rather than a third rate whisky served in fancy cut-glass...!” 

“Oh yeah...So go ahead Cheapie...! Once I leave, you can eat out of earthenware bowls and sit on straw mats for all I care...! But I like classy stuff. Oh, yes... I’m taking the new carpet you have kept packed inside, those new lace curtains and all the curios.” 

“Sure. Take anything you want. Except my books...Please let me have all my books...!” 

“Books...! I don’t want any of your books,” the woman says, “That’s all you have done. Buy books and wallow in them. With the money you have squandered on your books you could have bought me a diamond, the solitaire I wanted for my last birthday.” 

“Please Anju...! Let’s not start again.” 

“Okay Abhi. I’m sorry. Let’s get all this over with as quickly as possible and part happily as good friends.” 

And so they go about it, without a trace of acrimony, scrupulously and systematically, room by room, cupboard by cupboard, item by item – clothes, air conditioner, computer, washing machine, furniture, beds, linen, everything.

They even divide the playthings and investments they had diligently accumulated for the unconceived and unborn baby they had planned to have after they both were well established in their careers.

Each and every asset in the house is meticulously divided between the two and the woman’s items are segregated, packed and loaded in the truck by the packers.

The split-up is precise and the break-up of their relationship is now fully completed, emotionally and materially, and they are properly separated from each other. 

Now they will await the formal divorce. 

It is just a matter of time and their marriage will be officially over.

“Thanks for making it so easy,” the woman says. 

“You too...!” the man says. 

“No hard feelings...?” 

“No hard feelings...! It’s best for both of us.” 

“I know. We were mismatched, just not compatible, that’s all.” 

"There were good times too...!” 


“It had to happen. I’m so happy it’s happened so amicably.” 

“Me too. Bye Abhi. Take care,” the woman says and calls out, “Dolly...! Dolly...!” 

A cute and fluffy little snow-white Lhasa Apso dog, who till now was sitting quietly in the balcony, runs up to the woman, excitedly wagging its tail. The woman lovingly picks up the adorable little dog in her arms and begins to walk towards the door. 

“Hey...? Where are you taking Dolly...?” asks the man apprehensively. 

“With me, of course,” the woman says holding the adorable dog in her arms. 

“No, you’re not...! Dolly stays with me...!” the man says firmly. 

“How can she stay with you...?” 

“What do you mean ‘how can she stay with me’...? This is her house. She will stay here like she has stayed all these days. I’ll look after her...” the man says emphatically. 

“No. I’m taking Dolly with me. Look how she’s cuddling in my arms...” the woman says. 

“She cuddles in my arms too...! Dolly stays with me.You can’t take her...” the man says firmly. 

“I’m taking her. Try stopping me...!” the woman says defiantly and moves towards the door. 

In a flash, the man rushes to the door and menacingly blocks her way.

The dog senses the tension and stiffens. 

“Look, you’re scaring her,” the woman says. 

“Give her to me,” the man says in a firm no-nonsense voice and he takes Dolly in his arms and begins baby-talking to her, petting her and gently fondling her neck lovingly with his hand. The dog relaxes, snuggles and begins to lovingly lick his hands. 

“Be reasonable, Abhi,” the woman says. “I always assumed Dolly would be coming with me. That’s why I’ve found a ground floor flat with a small garden where she can play. She feels cooped up here and you’ll find it difficult to look after her.” 

“How can you assume such things...? Dolly is staying with me. I’ll look after her. You don’t worry.” 

“Don’t be stubborn, Abhi...! Give her to me please...” the woman pleads. 

“No. Dolly stays right here with me.” 

“I’m not going without her.” 

“Don’t go...” the man says. 

“What do you mean ‘Don’t go’...! We had agreed to the separation and that we would work out things amicably. That there would be no acrimony or rancor and we would always remain good friends. Then why this bitterness at the last moment...? Please give Dolly to me...” the woman says. 

“No. Dolly stays with me right here. I can’t live without her.” 

“I too can’t live without her.” 

“Then stay here...!” the man says. 

“Okay. I’ll stay put right here,” the woman says defiantly. “I’m not moving an inch from here till you don’t let me take Dolly with me.” 



In the evening, the man and the woman, the DINK couple, are playing with their cute little dog, Dolly, on the lush green lawns of their residential complex. 


Three years ago  when our protagonists  the man and the woman  newly married  were in Shillong for their honeymoon  their jolly dog-loving uncle  a retired Colonel  presented them with a beautiful month old baby female Lhasa Apso puppy dog as a wedding gift. 

The Colonel had already named the cute little puppy dog “Dolly

The Colonel’s wife scolded him – saying that the pet dog would encumber the young newly-married couple’s married life.

In fact  their darling pet dog Dolly saved the DINK marriage. 

She  the pet dog Dolly  turned out to be their bundle of joy  the “Kid in the Double Income No Kids family.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story 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.

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