Harry sat on his comfortable armchair watching the cricket match with interest. His favourite team stood a good chance of winning today. He was rooting for them. Tina his wife, had given him popcorn and chips to munch on while he watched the game in the living room. Harry was having a delightful Sunday. He felt relaxed and happy. “I need this kind of a day more often. This is the life, I want.” he mused.
“The television is really old. The colors and brightness, are not as they should be. It’s lived its life. We need to change it, before it breaks down completely. Buying a TV during the next sale makes sense. Will tell the Mrs. to look out for a good one, at a good price.” thought Harry.
Getting Tina to agree, wasn’t going to be easy.
Tina wasn’t a fan of technology. It would take her a long time getting used to an electronic device. Once she learnt to use it she dint want to change it – Ever. Harry had spent two years, convincing Tina, that they needed a new music system. The one they had bought a decade ago, was a basic model; good enough to play the occasional CD. After years of use, it dint even catch the radio frequency properly anymore! Tina refused to part ways with it.
She was kind of emotional about it.
Harry had got tired of waiting for Tina to select a music system with him; he decided to go ahead and buy it on his own, when Tina was away at her friend’s wedding in Thailand. Harry got an earful from her when she returned, but now that the purchase was made, she HAD to learn how to use it. At least some of its features! Harry had placed the new speakers artistically, complementing the decor of the house. The music system was set up in the living room and looked beautiful. Tina couldn’t help fall in love with it. She played her favorite songs or radio station on it while she cooked, read a book or invited her friends for wine or an afternoon tea.
She still kept the old music player. On top of the microwave, as a reminder of the years gone by.
“What a shot. Six Runs!” shouted Harry. His team was inching closer and closer to a win and he was elated. “A few more runs in quick succession is all that we need. I hope we don’t lose a Wicket! The batsman is in superb form. He had a fantastic innings this season.” Harrys best friend was supporting the opposing team and they had waged a friendly bet. Harry hoped his teams victory today, would make him the winner of the drinks and dinner at his favorite Sports Bar.
Harry wasn’t really a social animal but he did like the company of few friends, with whom he enjoyed an occasional outing. In his younger days, Harry had been a real party guy. Out each night and the life of every party. With the passage of time, he felt less inclined to it. His mind and body couldn’t cope with the lifestyle anymore. One late night would ruin the next two days for Harry. He would feel like a zombie with red, sleep deprived eyes and a massive headache. It wasn’t pleasant and Harry avoided it at all costs. He liked a feeling of wellness and was slowly changing his lifestyle; moving towards regular exercise, Yoga and healthy eating habits. Weekends were precious to Harry. Enjoying a good movie, an appetizing meal, a non-exhausting outing or simply being lazy watching sports or news, was Harrys definition of weekend fun!
Tina walked into the room with a bowl of salad in her hand. “I know it’s your cheat day, but you might as well eat something healthy now that you have eaten all the chips and popcorn. Lunch is still a few hours away.” She handed Harry a bowl of cold cucumber and beetroot salad sprinkled with a fresh herbs. He dint like beetroot but this looked good. He tasted a spoonful. It was indeed delicious. “Tina, why don’t you and the girls enjoy watching sports with me? You like to watch the Olympics or the finals of the FIFA World Cup. Our daughters change the sports channel whenever they can. Cinema seems to excite you, Netflix entertains them but not sports. Why is that?” asked Harry. Tina looked at her husband and smiled. The kind of smile one gives a petulant child before answering a question he has posed. Harry felt annoyed. “Why are you smiling like that? What is so funny?” Ignoring the second set of questions and still smiling, Tina said “It’s not that we dislike sports Harry, we don’t. However, we enjoy watching movies and some good Netflix series more than sports. The way you prefer sports over theater for instance!
“People simply tend to do more of what they enjoy and less of what they don’t but that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like something at all.” explained Tina. Harry nodded, “True. Makes sense.”
Tina and Harry often brainstormed together and looked at situations from alternate perspectives. It helped them to see the other side of the coin based on each other’s views. They were very different in nature, yet they complimented each other beautifully.
“Harry, we need to go to the shopping mall today. You are in dire need of new shirts and we also have to buy the weekly groceries.” Harry dint like the sound of that. His wonderful Sunday was on the verge of disappearing into thin air. He couldn’t let that happen. “I’m most definitely NOT going to the mall. I hate shopping. It’s a boring and exhausting experience. I don’t enjoy it one bit. There is no need for shirts too, I have plenty!” Having answered Tina in one breath, Harry turned his attention to the screen.
It was almost certain that Harrys favorite team would win the match today. The last five overs were left. The excitement being felt by the audience, watching the match live had reached Harry in his armchair. He was looking forward to gloat over his win amongst his buddies. Sometime later, Harry jumped out of his chair and screamed with delight, “We won!” He reached for his cellphone and dialed his friend. “I told you we would win. What a match! Fantastically played.” Harry gushed. “I won the bet too buddy. See you Saturday night to watch the FIFA World Cup match.”
Harry felt good. Sports had that effect on people. It spreads an infectious excitement. With the T20 cricket matches getting over soon, Harry was looking forward to watch the FIFA World Cup 2018. This time it was being hosted in Russia. “The land of beautiful ladies and great vodka. I have never visited Russia. I wish I could have gone to watch a few matches. See the Kremlin and St.Petersburg. The weather would be cold there.” Harrys Blanket would be the first thing packed in the suitcase to keep him snug. The thought made Harry smile.
“Day dreaming Harry?” asked Tina. “Now that the match is over AND your team has won, why don’t you get dressed and we head to the mall and finish the shopping we need to get done.” Harry stared at Tina, “You are still thinking about shopping! I just told you I don’t want to go.” Tina gave Harry a stern look and said, “If you want to be left alone to enjoy what interests you, then you too need to help me get things done at home. I can’t buy YOUR clothes without YOU trying them. You are wearing shirts with worn out collars. They look terrible! Harry knew Tina was right. She seemed to ALWAYS be right. Yet, he dint want to head out of the house. He wanted to be lazy.
Every holiday, Harry wanted to stay at home, surrounded by his family. It was an attempt to cut off from the worldly noise. Harry wanted to feel at peace. He wanted a sense of calmness. Going to a busy shopping mall wasn’t the best way to do that!
Tina understood and empathized with Harrys feeling. At times she felt the same and their friends did too! The pressure of work, increasing bills, tiresome commute, high prices and poor health had a draining effect on everybody in this busy city. Most people they knew, were in a constant state of exhaustion. The quality of life was deteriorating with time instead of improving. The weekly days off seemed to vanish; before the mind and body had a chance to recover from the tough week gone by. Despite that, household tasks couldn’t be avoided.
Harry had a feeling, that there was no way, he could get himself out from going to the mall today. He knew Tina had set her mind on getting him the shirts he needed. Mustering uphis optimism, Harry made one last-ditch attempt to convince Tina. “I think I am coming down with the Flu. Probably going to be sick. I better take a nap, if I want to feel better foroffice tomorrow. You take the girls and finish the groceries if you like. Enjoy a nice lunch at the mall too!” Tina was quiet. She stood up and smiled. “That sounds like a nice plan Harry. We can’t have you fall sick, can we? To feel well, you must sleep and rest every chance you can. I’m going to let your friends know, that they can cancel your reservation to watch the FIFA match at the Sports Bar next weekend. We can’t have you exert yourself with a late night. Absolutely not!”
Harry sprang out of his chair and gave Tina his brightest smile, “On second thoughts why don’t I come with you and get everything done. You are right! I need to try the shirts myself and I also want to select the flavor of the ice cream tub when we buy groceries. It will be nice to walk too. Sitting in the chair, watching the match for long has made my back stiff. He walked up to Tina and gave her a hug. “Did I tell you about this new restaurant? I plan to take you there soon AFTER my boys night out at the Sports Bar!”
Harry can’t risk annoying his wife. Who can!
Urvashi Kumar Trikha
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