I always thought my Clients would kill me one day. Yesterday they almost did.
I have this Parsi client, who is trying to battle encroachers on to his humble ancestral property at Malabar Hill. The Parsi has been living with a Gujarati for the last 40 years, ever since they studied together at undergrad. Thereafter, they roamed about all over the world and now stay together at Malabar Hill. Neither of them are or have been married, and they are now pushing 70. They have never discussed their sexual orientation with me, and I have never asked. Of course, they've never given me any time to bring up the subject because the Parsi is, as all Parsis are, obsessive, and he is compulsively obsessive about his case.
Coming back to the incident at hand, after completing a Court hearing, the Parsi pulled out his Maruti 800 while the Gujju and I waited at the curb across from the Court. When the car pulled up, the Gujju insisted I sit in the front, and I complied while the Parsi sat and muttered a check list of things to be done. The Gujju took his time moving the stuff at the back, so that he could sit. The Parsi, having finished his update, pressed the accelerator to move.
Only, the Gujju had only one foot in the car.
Initially I thought that only the door remained to be closed. Then I stuck my head out of the window, and saw the Gujju running to catch up with the car. He screamed the Parsi's name, and the Parsi seemed to take this as an indication to go faster, and to my utter horror I saw the Gujju fall and tumble several times, I heard glass break and the screams of other mortified onlookers. This entire scene just took a split second, in case you are wondering how long it took me to react.
"ABC!" I screamed, "STOP the FUCKING CAR!! XYZ has FALLEN!"
The Parsi slammed the break. And my head went right onto the dashboard.
Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to put my hands on the dashboard so that they cushioned my headbang. Still, there was some impact. I sat there, with my head resting on my fingers, dreading to look up to see that the Parsi had made a Gujarati Chutney out of his boyfriend.
The Gujarati was intact, but hopping mad.
"ABC, what the hell are you doing, huh? What the hell?" He fumed, throwing the backseat clutter with an energy which can only be channelized fury.
"Arre bhai, sorry na, ho jaata hai baba..."
"What sorry, huh? Every time same thing same thing and then sorry sorry. What is this? You don't care about anyone else, you are not bothered..." and some abuses in Gujarati later: "What sorry?"
I was right in the middle of a gay domestic squabble.
I excused myself on the ground that there was some work in court that I needed to do, picked up some ice and a 10 rupee cotton napkin, and flagged a cab as I pressed the icepack to my forehead.
On a seemingly unrelated note, on our way to work A and I were discussing the "thin line" between the end of the "honeymoon period" of a relationship and just not caring. We all know that relationships do not enjoy the same feverish level of involvement as they do in the beginning, but does that mean that we should allow them to settle into a world where everything is taken for granted? Do you think the Parsi also never called the Gujju when he should have, that he forgot birthdays and anniversaries, never noticed a new haircut, and then finally, running over the Gujju was just another "ho jaata hai baba" in their relationship, 40 years down the line?
I agree with A when she says that there never is a perfect relationship and there will always be problems. I guess, in time, people should stop being naive about being taken for granted. Isn't the entire point of a relationship the fact that you can take someone for granted? You don't need to call on that one day you're swamped with work, you don't need to shave your legs every day, you don't need to go to the most expensive places to get a drink and still, you won't get dumped, and you can still have a person to call your own. But is there a line which shouldn't be crossed? Or is the secret to a successful relationship not running over each other?
Anyway, this has given me at least one day off from work - so what if I can't move!