Kindly allow me to air my grievances in your esteemed newspaper. Where else will a flustered Bengali gentleman turn to, if not his haven for the last forty-five years?
By the grace of Maa Kali, I have everything I need. A decent pension. Own house in Shyambazar. Then what’s my problem, you might ask. Well, I was content with my snail-paced life until my wife decided to learn German from some lingo bingo app.
Mornings began with Sulekha’s Guten Morgen in her croaky voice as she served me ginger tea. But my cup of woes brimmed over that fateful April afternoon when she stormed into the verandah, suggesting I embrace wanderlust.
I thought it was one of those DC or Marvel movies starring Gal Gadot until Sulekha muttered an Uff and explained the meaning of that word.
I was dumbfounded for a second. Which Bengali worth his fish hasn’t done this at least once in his lifetime? I reminded her about our countless holidays. Summers meant packing in a couple of monkey caps and heading to Darjeeling. Winters were incomplete without the mandatory trip to Puri, frolicking on the beach, and praying before Lord Jagannath.
Sulekha scoffed at my dull life, calling me an old man. As if she were Deepika Padukone! But I said nothing.
That day passed without a glitch until Sulekha rang our son in Hyderabad. After a lengthy chat with him, she flashed two e-tickets to Chennai triumphantly, adding in an excited tone that we would be spending a week in Pondicherry, soaking in its atmosphere. Like an obedient Bengali husband, I remained silent, praying I do not get soaked to the bone in the sweltering heat.
Sulekha had her way, and we found ourselves in Pondicherry, feeling like rosogollas dipped in extra syrup. I took evening strolls with her on the beach, cursing my arthritic knees. Sulekha made me read aloud the road names – all in unpronounceable French, mind you. As if German was not enough to wreck my life!
At this age, should I prance around like Hrithik Roshan? I spent a fortune roaming the roads in a place around 1800 km from Kolkata. I could have taken Sulekha to any alley in North Kolkata. That’s real wanderlust, I tell you.
I returned home with aching joints. Sulekha, on the other hand, mighty pleased with her wanderlust, began to plan our next trip to Rajasthan. I contemplated feigning ill health, but knowing I was up against a woman who could put Byomkesh Bakshi to shame with her sleuthing skills, it was a futile idea.
Now I have gathered enough courage to pen my anguish-ridden experiences in the everlasting hope that they see the light of day. I’m sure every word will resonate with your readers.
PS – Do you want to know more about Sulekha’s never-ending ideas about wanderlust? I would be happy to share them in a weekly column. How does ‘Letters from a perturbed Pundari Babu’ sound?
Wanderlust – [German] – A strong desire to travel.
Wandern – to hike, Lust – desire
Guten Morgen – Good Morning