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A guide to weekend fun for couples

Our marriage has a 48-hour life span every week, kicking in on Friday evening and shutting down by Sunday night. On weekdays, conversation is cursory, eye contact optional. We draw comfort from the predictable rhythms and low-key indifference until the weekend arrives and throws a spanner in the works. Weekends mean plans and expectations. Weekends demand dialogue and consensus. Weekends mean we must ‘do’ something.

Fri 5.45 pm: I have been counting down the minutes since 4 pm impatient to put an end to another working week.  I assume that Ranjith shares the same level of anticipation. Maybe he will surprise me by turning up at my office. Maybe he has booked tickets to a movie. I am dreaming of slamming my laptop shut and rushing out for an exciting start to the weekend. I only wish that I was better dressed for the evening.

Fri 7.30 pm: I slump down on the sofa after a one hour 45-minute drive back home. Traffic has clearly popped my balloon of Friday enthusiasm. Ranjith is still at work, and I am dying from the thought of spending this evening alone but I am not one to give up easy. A late-night movie can still halt this Friday’s downward descent.

Me (on the phone): Hey…Can we go for a movie?

Ranjith: I have a call at 8 pm.

Me: We can catch the 10 o’clock show.

Ranjith: Hmm…but are tickets available?

Me: Yes, I checked online. I will book them right away.

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Ranjith: But I don’t want to drive.

Me: I will drive. Please…

Ranjith: Hmm..

Me: I will buy you Fanta and popcorn. Please can you just come?

Even though it feels a bit like dragging a child to the doctor’s for a shot, I feel the effort is worth it. Once he gets to the movie hall and the screen lights up and the popcorn starts popping in his mouth, I am sure he will enjoy the experience. It’s a hesitant start but we can make this weekend work.

Sat 8 am: We are up after a late night.  I sleepwalk to the kitchen to make some tea. We are sitting in the balcony enjoying the cool, tender morning. The wheels of my brain start turning. Maybe we should go out for lunch to the new Thai restaurant in downtown. Then go mall-hopping.  Then visit that flea market in palace grounds.  And in the evening…

Ranjith: Hey listen…I have an idea.  Let’s go to Hogannekkal.

Me: Hogannekkal? What’s that? And what for?

Ranjith: It’s a waterfall in Tamil Nadu. It will be fun.

Me: Yeah…but it’s too far. It’s too hot. And we haven’t planned this.

Ranjith: It’s only 200 kms from here. What’s there to plan? We are leaving in 10 minutes.

Me: I haven’t even brushed my teeth. Besides Manju will be here now. I don’t want to miss her today. Sunday is her day-off.

Ranjith: What is more important to you? Spending time with me or with the help? Besides one day if you don’t brush your teeth, nothing will happen…

I don’t know why this man alternates between extreme inertia and super adventurousness both often coming at the wrong time. Some kind of dual personality syndrome. But this is not the occasion for psychoanalysis. The argument is delicately poised. If I say one word more, he will cancel the trip but sulk for the next 36 hours and 55 minutes. On the other hand, if I don’t stand up for myself, I may never brush my teeth again. I am missing Monday already.

Sat 10 am: We left an hour ago but haven’t crossed the traffic signal 150 metres from our house. I am peering out of the window watching the world and my youth go by at 15 kms/hr. An uneasy silence sits between us. Ranjith is not saying anything, but I know what is going on in his head. He thinks I lack spontaneity. I take too long to plan and get caught up in all sorts of mundanities such as brushing teeth, wearing clothes, locking the house and God knows what other minutiae!

Sat 2 pm: Hogannekkal is in Tamil Nadu technically but it’s not too far from Karnataka either which means it attracts tourists from both states. By the time we reach, we notice busses and vans from schools and colleges already stationed in the parking lot. Hawkers have set up make-shift stoves on both sides of the road. Fish freshly caught from the river and sliced and marinated in deep red masala is being fried. The smoke from the cooking, the smell of frying fish and the heat is making me queasy. I refuse lunch. I don’t even want to step out of the car. Where is the fun? And how many more hours before it’s Monday?

Sat 2.30 pm: The river is dotted with coracles ferrying tourists. It seems pointless to come this far and miss out on the one enjoyable thing to do. I step gingerly into the vessel reaching out to the boatman in front of me with one hand, while holding onto Ranjith with the other. The coracle is a rickety piece of equipment, a large-sized bamboo bowl floating on water. There are no life jackets, and I don’t know how to swim. Ranjith has made it clear that in the event of a boat capsize he will be able to save only himself.

But once we sit cross-legged on the coracle-floor, our arms stretched out on the boat rim, the thoughts of drowning in the Kaveri melt away.  The heat and resentment too melt. We laugh and splash water. The boatman swirls the tiny vessel round and round as we approach the waterfall.  Who can resist a giddy merry-go-round on water?

Sat 7 pm: We are driving back home. I admit to Ranjith it was not a bad plan at all. If anything, it was just the right dose of impromptu we needed, a release from the prosaic working week. I realise this weekend and (my life!) work better when I step out of my comfort zone and let others take the lead once in a while. When I stop orchestrating ‘fun’ and just let things flow.

Sun 8 am: I hobble to the kitchen to make tea. But something is not right. The sink is missing. Where could it go? Who would break into our house and steal only the kitchen sink? What about the microwave and fridge? Oh wait. The sink is still there. It is just buried under a mountain of dirty dishes. My short-lived joy at finding the sink is replaced by wretched despair. Why can’t someone break into our house and steal the kitchen sink?

Sun 10 am: How is every plate, spoon and kadai in the sink when all I ever make is cups of tea? I slather vim liquid soap diligently and start making my way through the pile, but it is a losing battle. At this rate, the sink will swallow my Sunday. Time for action.  I call out to Ranjith who is hanging clothes to dry in the balcony.

Me: Hey…listen. I have an idea.

Ranjith: What?

Me: Let’s go to Lepakshi.

Ranjith: Lepakhsi? What’s that and what for?

Me: It’s an ancient temple complex in Andhra Pradesh. The architecture is breathtaking.

Ranjith: But it’s too far…and we haven’t planned this.

Me: It’s only 150 kms from Bangalore. What’s there to plan?

Ranjith: But there is a meeting of the apartment owners’ association. I can’t miss that.

Me: Do you want to spend time with me or with the owners association?


About the Author

Rohini Rajagopal

Rohini S Rajagopal is the author of 'What's a lemon squeezer doing in my vagina? A memoir of infertility' (Penguin Random House, 2021) read more...

1 Posts | 441 Views

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