Saturday, May 17, 2014

No-Nonsense Chayaisms from the 80s...Tee For Two

                                                       Tee For Two

 It all started at Puri’s dinner party. I met a rather jolly old gentleman whom I took to instantly because he kept calling me “Birdie” in the most flattering manner. Succumbing to his charm, I insisted on his meeting my husband and that turned out to be a historic meeting. As we drove home, hubby was unusually silent, almost meditative. I failed to read the sign of the gathering clouds.
For the next couple of days, my husband avidly read the ‘For Sale’ columns and one day, with a more mellow version of ‘Eureka,’ a satisfied smile on his lips, he dashed off to some unknown (to me) destination. A few hours later, he came home, triumphantly dragging a rather funny looking bag with a bunch of sticks sticking out of it. “Clubs.” He corrected me and lovingly took out each one of them. I had always imagined my rival to be a tall, slinky, svelte woman – not long, skinny, iron sticks.
Then began the flaying of arms. Suddenly he would swing his arms backwards and swing them forward with his waist contorted. I secretly feared some form of fit that strikes middle aged men. But I believe he was perfecting his swing. After dinner, between the news in Hindi and the sponsored programme, he would gaze intensely at a tiny white ball and then push it to the centre of the flower in the middle of the carpet. No one dare breathe for fear of distracting his concentration. “I’m putting,” he would announce and those moments were as sacrosanct to him as pin-drop silence is to a meditator.
“Where is my tee,” he growled one day and I promptly went to the kitchen and got him a cup of tea. Irritated with my ignorance, yet gulping down the brew, he explained that what he wanted was his ‘tee’ – a small, coloured, plastic object that would be stuck in the ‘green’ and the golf ball placed on it before ‘teeing off.” I hesitantly confessed that I had seen some objects of that description and given them to the ayah’s child to play.
“Ah! You are a golfer’s wife!,” exclaimed a white-mustached man at the club, “What is his handicap?” “He has no handicap,” I protested vehemently. “He’s fit and can walk for hours on the golf course.” He gave me a puzzled look and walked away. Later, my husband explained that in golf parlance, ‘handicap’ is one’s prowess at play.
I have now reconciled to my fate. Now, I don’t feel left out when my husband busies himself with his swings, putting, or whatever golfers are wont to do. But I draw a line when my hubby gave me a packet of woolen balls and said: “You are fond of knitting. Why don’t you knit some covers for my golf clubs?”

Knitting booties for my babies was one thing. But for golf clubs? Ha!

(30 years later…I have now started playing golf!!)