I had just come back from an auction sale and proudly displayed my acquisitions to my husband Suresh. “What on earth possessed you to bring all this junk?” he groaned and collapsed into his favourite chair.
“Be reasonable,” I said, “you men are so shortsighted, you only look at things from the money angle.”
“Oh really.” Hissed Suresh sarcastically, “from what angle pray should I look at this pair of garden shears?”
“W..e..ll..” I hesitated, “you may look at this from the money angle.. it was only fifteen rupees and no one else outbid me,” I finished triumphantly.
‘But my dear, we don’t have a garden and will never have one – for the simple reason that we have bought this third floor flat and will be living here till our cortege is carried down” shouted Suresh. “Hush… don’t talk of such morbid things all because of a pair of garden shears. We can always gift it to your boss who loves gardening – he may give you a raise…. Now look at this lovely Wedgewood style vase… isn’t it lovely. I bid a hundred rupees and no one else had the guts to go higher – of course it’s slightly cracked – but that adds to its value when it becomes an antique piece and won’t our grand children love us for this?” I gushed enthusiastically, Suresh gave me a glassy stare and transferred his gaze to the drums “why this?” he asked.
“Oh that has a curious story behind it – the auctioneer was bellowing the amount bid by someone – another bidder not coming up, he was about to slam down the hammer – just then I spotted Mrs.Kapoor and waved to her – the auctioneer thought I was raising the bid and before I knew what was happening the drum was in my lap and I had to pay out fifty rupees – anyway that’s not much – we can give it to our neighbour’s son for his birthday – here look at these lovely cups and saucers – they are genuine Bavarian.”
“But there are only two cups and six saucers.”
“Oh that’s alright, we can use the two cups when we both have tea together and the saucers can be used as snack plates – imagine I got all this for only eighty five rupees.”
Suresh looked at me like a dying duck, “What’s this contraption?” he asked.
“That’s a hair curler,” I didn’t want it but was quite amused by the sales talk of the auctioneer – he said that it would curl the hair so well that one would get seasick looking at the waves in the hair – “I thought I’d bid the highest price in appreciation of his humour – ha .. ha,” I finished.
“Ha..ha,”Suresh joined in but I felt there was some ‘jole devivre’ missing in his laugh…men do have a peculiar sense of humour – guffawing when it’s their own joke and gouty when it’s another’s.
“What’s this?” said Suresh, showing absolutely no originality in his query.
“That’s a fan-belt for a Flat – I got it for just twelve rupees – imagine a good five-rupee – saving – outside it costs seventeen.”
“But my dear” said Suresh in what I felt was a menacing tone, “we have an Ambassador.”
“So what, you are anyway planning to sell the car and buy another – you can then buy a Flat minus the fan-belt,” I said, with a ‘never-say-die’ air.