When you are in a relationship, what is the one thing that’s constantly hovering around you, like an annoying buzzing bee?


Way back when I had just started going around, I was always on tenterhooks, waiting for that one phone call. And since I was in a girl’s hostel where half the in-mates were dating (the boys from the next hostel of course, it wasn’t called MBA- Marriage by Attendance- for nothing!), the tension of each individual girl got compounded into a 10,000-volt live-wire atmosphere with each call like an electric shock. And when that bloody hostel phone rang, we all jumped in unison… and then ho-hummed and leisurely perused some meaningless textbook in front of us, with supreme disdain. Of course, some random girl’s name would be called and we went back to our nail-biting competition again.

When he became my long-distance fiance, the question became how many times does he call? Do you talk enough?

Of course, there was an always-on-the-phone example that made you feel bad.  And she was unfairly tall, unnaturally thin and unprofessionally attractive…HOT colleague, always mouthing sweet nothings and giggling obliviously while all of us pretended to be super interested in Aaker’s Brand Identity Model. I knew it! I knew it! All my problems would be solved if I could just lose 5 kgs. A month of cabbage soup induced  gastronomic disasters later, I discovered that hot colleague had been dumped and there were no more phone calls (and a lot less Aaker too-to everyone’s relief).

Disillusioned and food-deprived, I tentatively broached the topic in office, “how often do you talk?”, I asked in a low voice. Several smug women shot ‘how despo is she?’ looks at each other. Eventually a snobbish, almost-married senior purred haughtily, “Ooof, like, all the time! I mean, I’m like, c’mon! I just got up! And he’s like but sweetheart I love to hear your voice! And then he goes on and on the whole day, I had this for lunch and my boss said this… and I’m like oh my god! I need a break!” she finished with a false irritated shrug. By now all the smug women were looking daggers at her.

Here’s the catch. Snobbish senior was actually overweight, boisterous and very unlady-like, kinda like the female version of Falguni Pathak. Very slightly female version.

The reason was the attitude of course. The aloof-I-am-the-best-F***- the-world attitude.

Okay, am going to be snobbish and superior from now on, I vowed. After three snobbish-superior phone calls, he muttered, “I’m not wasting any more STD money when you’re not in a mood to talk. Call me when you want to!”


“Why dont you just call him when you feel like talking?’ my arty friend asked.

Yeah right, common-sense questions like these were the reason she couldn’t sustain a relationship for more than two weeks. Everybody knows the dance of the phone call is the oldest power game of the sexes. You bait, tempt, side-step but you don’t give in. He has to go for the kill. Its in our genetic code, dammit!

But I did call and did not watch my STD meter.

And he was so surprised and happy.

And we talked for a long long time.

Did I feel better?

Only till the next phone call!