This was one day when i should not have been so tensed up, was the afterthought that i got looking back at the chain of events now. Gadgets always amazed me and it did right from my childhood days, when both gadgets and the purchasing power for it was scarily low. Today i boast having almost all the electronic gadgetry that is available, yet the desire to have more cease to stop.
A mobile handset company recently created a flutter by announcing its flagship mobile, it curiously did not declare the specifications or price and started taking pre-bookings. I was on verge of buying that mobile, knowing fully well that i already had one and the need for the newer one was not there. Yet, ironically, the other handset at home, gave up and all of a suddenly arose, i now had a justification to purchase a new phone, i knew that the justification was as meek as my need to purchase a new handset was, but the desire to buy a new phone was overwhelming all oppositions, from within and from my better half.
The company finally came up with the technical specifications of the phone and it were not that appealing for the cost it offered, i was nearly sad, but, the desire to have a new phone now would not relent till i bought one, so i decided to opt for a branded phone in the price bracket of 20k. The matter was settled, atleast, from my end.
One fine day my wife finally relented to my wish and told me that i could get one new phone, i provided her silver lining that she could use my existing handset as it was hardly six months old. Peace at last on all frontiers.
The very next day i went to a supermarket and purchased the phone. How happy i was, the phone had nothing special to offer apart from some stupid apps and a little better camera and a popular international brand name and a model that is currently toast of the town.
Now, for the technical side, my wife is not as crazy as me, she is never in loop with the happenings in the field of gizmos and so i told her that the phone was priced at around 12k. She was happy, because, i was happy.
I got used to the phone, i was satisfied that everything ran down smoothly, everything including the bluff of the price tag that i told my wife. Until that day..
She was on medical leave and was off from office as doctor had advised her rest. Now, Indian housewives get more time to relax at their offices than at home, so was the case of my wife too, she created all kind of work, one such work she invented was to go to the bank to update all the bank passbooks. I was in office and i did not know what she was up to. I normally use e-banking route and have not visited the local branch for years now, so the passbook remained static without being updated.
At around 2 pm i got a call from my home, i thought that it was a normal call to inquire whether i had my lunch etc. But, my wife began directly about inquiring about the entry of Rs.20k and where it was expended, back in her mind she understood the real cost of the phone. Caught unawares, i fumbled for words. She calmly said come home in the evening, we will talk.
I was a worried man, it was not that i felt scared of my wife, but, somewhere it hurt that my cheat was caught. Unknowingly, sometimes, instead of feeling guilty, we feel pride that we were able to cheat on someone, which i feel is wrong. I felt very embarrassed and was worried to imagine how she would react.
In the evening i called my wife to the station so that we could walk back home and do some household shopping. She reached station and her anger was gone. Her anger is like an ice in the open, it melts away too soon. She did object for buying the phone unnecessarily, but it was toned in a manner of approval.
While the incident was a minor one, but, looking back, i sometimes feel that the family system that we traditionally follow here in the eastern part of the world is very good for the simple reason that each one is answerable to himself and to other. It was my money, i spent on requirement that i thought was essential for me, but still i had to consider the views of my better half. Here in India in joint families the entire family wines, dines together, their finances are jointly and individually managed. There is nothing like personal space here. There should not be anything like personal space between relations like parents, spouses etc. The roots of family holds together even faster when we feel that we are responsible and answerable for others. These checks and balances that we find in our part of the world gives us inert strength to overcome the difficulties that we face in our outer world surrounded by corruption, accidents, catastrophes etc.