Friday, September 5, 2008

The cultured pearl set

Rajan is a loving husband and an affectionate father to his two children. He invariably spent quality time with his wife Sheela and children whenever he was in Kolkata, his head quarters. He enjoyed taking them to top class eating places, cultural programmes, picnic spots, watching TV with them or playing board games on holidays.
Being a vice president of marketing his job took him on tour of a day or two for more than twenty days a month. A jovial and handsome personality with a gift of the gab, he was given to amoral tendencies when away from home. He had kept this weakness of his unknown to his wife or colleagues. He had come to Mumbai from Delhi around noon on a Tuesday and had a meeting only the next day. One even suspected whether he arranged his flights in such a manner to have the long day available to him. After a discreet call from his mobile, Leela promptly arrived at his room for the lunch. This is not the first time he had met her. She had come three or four times earlier. Rajan took a special liking for her who was in early thirties but maintained a trim figure. A very passionate lover she too gave him pleasure more than the money’s worth. They spent the whole day in bed enjoying each other’s company. When it was nearing five she readied herself to leave.
She saw on the table a box containing an attractive Freshwater cultured pearl strand and Bracelet set and let out a cry ‘wow’. Pretty, a heart-shaped clasp in sterling silver accent, each piece is an ideal gift for a young woman. Rajan was in such a satisfied and happy frame of mind that he readily offered it to her without a second thought as his memento for the company given. She was so overwhelmed with this unexpected gift she smothered him with kisses and hugs and reluctantly left. He had bought this set to surprise his wife but decided to buy something else in lieu.
He made a call to his old buddy Srivastava whom he had not met for almost five years after his marriage. Rajan agreed to meet him at his office around three PM on his way to airport. He expected his official meeting to be over by 1-30pm.Srivastava had put on lot of flab and was very obese for his age. After the initial pleasantries, Srivastava sighed and said “I envy you. You still maintain a handsome figure and look a lot younger than your age. I could see you are enjoying your life to the brim.” Rajan nodded his head in affirmative.
Srivastava continued,” You are already in a senior management position at this young age. You have a pretty and loving wife and two children .What more does one want in life than a loving wife who can give her time and company to her husband when he returns home after a heavy day."
“Why, what is the matter with you? You have told me that you have an attractive and talented wife though I haven’t met her.”Rajan knew they had no children but felt this does not in any way affect the bonds of love between the couple.
Srivastava said “True, she is beautiful. How does it help? We lead a humdrum life devoid of love and affection. We respect each other and appear happily married. She is frigid and gets stiff whenever I approach her that even our occasional physical relations are mechanical that we are inclined to avoid. I am no doubt fat and clumsy for the slim and energetic woman that she is. I get out of breath even on slightest exertion. I come home tired most of the days after hard day’s work in a famished condition and after a heavy dinner doze off to sleep. She watches serials or keep chatting with her friends on mobile or on internet."
“What does she do in the afternoons” Rajan asked. He replied “No idea may be she is visiting her friends or attending kitty parties. I think she also helps blind students reading lessons. But she makes it a point to be back by 6pm when I return from office. She is otherwise very loving and ensures that I am well fed. She does not bother me with petty household problems. Perhaps she is missing children.”
Rajan sympathised with him and suggested he consulted a doctor to reduce his weight and increase his zest for life. He took leave of him promising to visit him at his house next time. When Srivastava reached home at 6-15 he found his wife listening to music and in a happy mood. She came rushing towards him and hugged him. The maid brought tea and snacks. As he settled his heavy body on the easy chair, she came close to him and snuggled.
“How was the day? Could you read the lessons to the students at the blind home? How was the baby shower at your friend’s place?” he asked. “I had a very enjoyable day after a long time at my friend’s place. In the evening I got this for a steal at the jewellers. Do you think this set will give me a lift?” she replied producing the open box containing the cultured pearl set.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This well-written post, 'The Cultured Pearl Set',shows in a subtle manner how some uncultured people like Rajan and Leela make a mockery of relationships.

    The writer also cleverly leaves it up to the imagination of his readers to think up consequences for Rajan's and Leela's acts of cheating their spouses.