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Saturday blues

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My wife tells me that I’m a bad husband. Come Saturday, instead of taking her out to the malls, movies or any other places around the valley, I want to stay home and read the papers and have oranges and peanuts.

I tell her to make a plan. Do you want to go the movies? Then, you will have to book your tickets a few days earlier or else you might find yourself staring at the screen from the front seat, straining your neck in the process, or if it’s a new Bollywood movie then forget about getting a ticket. But no, she suddenly wakes up one Saturday morning and tells me that we should go watch a movie. Then, I have to call all the movie theatres in town and pray to God that we manage to get two tickets and that they better be the best seats in the house.

Most of the time, I fail but sometimes one does get lucky. You finally get two tickets but the seats are at the front. I tell my wife the truth. She tells me it’s okay but when we get to the theater, she gets mad at me, the hall owner, and even the guy who installed the seats in the first place. I tell her to calm down. Popcorn and coffee helps.

Two weeks ago, my wife suddenly woke up from her dreams and told me that we are going for a drive outside the valley at 5:27 am in the morning. I took the car for a wash, asked the guy to change the oil because it was low and filled the tank because it was almost empty. I came back home around 10:40 am but by then my wife had already cancelled the plan. I didn’t even know where she was planning to go in the first place.

Was it Kakani, Nagarkot or Dhulikhel or some place you can drive around and come back home in the evening?

It took my wife a week to calm down and last week, she woke up at 4:30 am in the morning and told me to get ready. We were going to Sindhuli. I didn’t ask her why. I had already filled up the tank the day before just to make sure that Madame President would not be pissed off again and I would be ready in case she had a plan to go somewhere.

We left home at 6 in the morning, had breakfast at Dhulikhel an hour later at a local tea shop. They had the best sel-rotis on earth but no aloo or jhol tarkari. I guess it was too early. So I had to eat some channa as well to fill my tummy. The last time I had channa was back in High School when I was in the cross-country team. The early morning diet then would be two eggs, a glass of milk, and a plate full of channa. A year of that ‘runners’ diet made me run away from channa thereafter.

I don’t know why we were going to Sindhuli. I guess she just wanted to see the Sindhuli Highway. Did she have any cousins there? Nope. It would be nice to have relatives wherever you were going. At least, you can eat fresh lunch and not stop at one of those eateries where the guy who makes the food looks like he never washes his hands. We didn’t eat anything on the road –only tea at the teashop and some cookies we had brought along. My wife seemed to enjoy the trip to nowhere. We went, hung around for half an hour and then started driving back home.

I told my wife that we should have stopped at Dhulikhel. She has cousins there. We could have enjoyed a nice Saturday afternoon eating suntala and badam at her cousins’ place instead of driving for eight hours and listening to the same songs from one of Salman Khan’s blockbuster movies.

This Saturday, I’m pretty sure that my wife will ask me to either go to the movies or go visit her sister in Hetauda. I tell her that there’s a new Shah Rukh Khan movie running on the theatres and that we can’t go to Hetauda because we have to be back home by early Sunday morning as I have my business to run too and I can’t just give the staffs a day off on a whim. Not to mention that it would be a colossal waste of time just to drive to Hetauda, meet her sister, eat dal bhat and then drive back home. And the road is nasty and our small car can’t take the potholes and bumpy rides anymore. Then she talks about my cousin from Pokhara who has a nano car and has been all around the country in his car. If a nano car can do it then why can’t our vehicle, a little bit expensive than the nano car, take on the highways of Nepal?

I tell my wife that we should skip our Saturday plans and stay home and watch YouTube videos about what to do in Malaysia and Singapore because I want to take my wife there this Dashain. And if we can skip on movies, meals and fuel for drives, we can save enough for the tickets and a week long vacation in the Far East. My wife tells me that if I quit smoking, I can at least save for the airfare for one. I tell her that if she quits buying something whenever she goes out then we can save for two.

Yes, we all do need a break and Saturday is the one-day weekend for us here in Nepal. We were at Chandragiri a few weeks ago. I met a couple of foreigners who were planning to go on a hike from there to Hattiban. I think we should do the same. Go hiking around the valley. Save fuel, save money on lunch at one of those restaurants in the city. Walk around for a day, enjoying the suntala and badam while me and my missus plan for the future. I think that’ a great idea. Let’s just hope my wife agrees to it.

By Kalu Maila