Nina and Advik were a happy married couple . Or that’s what it seemed like to the world . They had dated each other for about 6 years and then finally tied the knot . Advik was a very pampered child . He had never done anything in his house . He was working with a reputed firm but still lived with his parents .
Nina too , was a pampered child . She was working in Pune . Advik’s parents were against Nina’s desire to work . Even Advik wished that they stayed together after marriage . Considering all the constraints , to make her marriage work , Nina gave up her job and decided to settle in Delhi . She did a cooking course to learn various cuisines and took all sorts of house tips from her mother to make her home a beautiful place . After marriage , they decided to shift to a different apartment as the newly married couple wanted to spend quality time with each other .
Life was rosy for the first six months . Nina had kept only one maid to help her as affording multiple maids in Delhi was an expensive affair . Besides , she felt that she had nothing better to do so she better keep the house like a dream place . So all the household chores were on her . However , she never complained . Whenever Advik got back home , she would welcome him with a beautiful smile , take his laptop from him , make him a delicious supper offering delicious varieties everyday and patiently listen to all the office gossip Advik shared . He too , felt very lucky to have been married to such a beautiful homemaker . He respected her for leaving her job to be with him and take care of him . Most nights were romantic as they spent time exploring each other .
Gradually , he started taking this attitude of hers for granted . She was no more his college sweetheart or his girlfriend . She was his wife . He felt it was her responsibility to take care of him , do the household chores . Besides , he felt there was already a maid and various devices to make her work easy .So there was nothing much that she did . They started turning into a typical old married couple as cricket matches and stag parties with friends took over the time he had for Nina . He felt he worked hard to run the house , fulfill Nina’s needs . It was enough .
Nina felt neglected but she never complained . She always thought that it was probably the stress of Advik’s work that was turning him into a zombie . Besides , if anything that cosmopolitans had taught her beyond fashion , it was how to live peacefully at home . She felt hurt but she never spoke up .Advik would come and engage himself in the laptop again . Nina would watch TV in the other room or read a book beside him . He would just use her presence to request her to get him water or anything that he needed .
One fine morning , their neighbor asked Nina a favor . They were going out for a vacation for a month and requested if Nina could keep their golden retriever ( dog ) . Nina was more than happy to take Bruno’s responsibility . She was an ardent fan of dogs and loved Bruno from the core of her heart . In fact , Advik and Nina had first met in a park where they had come along with their dogs for a walk .
That evening , even Advik was happy to know that Bruno had come and they both played with him . Advik’s routine didn’t change but Nina certain had an interesting company who loved her . That night she asked Advik :
Nina : Adi , I think Bruno might be scared at night . Can I sleep in the other room ? Anyway , he wakes up early . You will get disturbed if he barks .
Advik : Are you sure ? Will you be comfortable on the couch ?
Nina : Oh ya . If you need anything , just let me know .
Advik : Sure . Good Night .
Nina : Good Night .
Next morning when Advik woke up , Nina was no where to be found . Even Bruno was not there . Tea was made for him . Usually , Nina would wake him up with a gentle kiss on his cheek , make him tea and sit next to him as he read the newspaper . Not that he talked to her but seeing her around was a habit . He felt a little odd and sat in the guestroom pretending to be frivolous yet his eyes looked at the door every now and then . Half an hour later , Nina came with Bruno . They had gone out for a jog . Initially , Nina had asked Advik to accompany her many times but he always refused . Now she had company .
Nina : Oh Great ! You’re up . We went out for a jog . The weather is just so beautiful . I hope you had tea .
Advik : Hmm ..
Nina : I will make you breakfast .
Advik got ready and came to have breakfast . Nina served breakfast for him and then went to Bruno and fed him nuggets affectionately . Advik was used to Nina’s blabbering as he read his whatsapp texts and mails . He did the same but today he felt distracted as he saw Nina feed the dog with affection .
Advik ( trying to draw Nina’s attention to him ) : I am leaving .
Nina ( without looking at him ) : Sure . Bye . Have a great day ! Love you .
Advik ( muttering ) : I hope you do . Love you too .
Later in the evening when Advik came and rang the bell , he heard Nina’s voice saying it is open . As he opened the door , he saw Bruno sitting on the couch with his head on Nina’s lap as they both watched TV . Nina was gently stroking him .
Nina : Hi ! Just freshen up . We’ll have dinner .
Advik quietly left and came back . For a change , he did not bring his mobile with him . Bruno sat near Nina as they ate food .
Advik : Yaar , I don’t like this dog sitting on our couch .
Nina : Oh Please ! He is so cute ! He doesn’t do anything mischievous . And didn’t Sherly ( Advik’s dog ) sleep on the couch . You didn’t have a problem then.
Advik : Sherly was different . This guy is weird .
Nina : You don’t know him . He is a sweetheart .
Advik ( frowning ) : Ya maybe .
Things changed a little from that day on . Though Nina was still his devoted wife , she would spend a lot of time playing with Bruno and taking care of him . He would often find Nina sleeping on the couch and Bruno sleeping near her feet on the couch . Suddenly his stag parties started seeming boring to him and he asked Naina if they could go out but she would refuse as she did not want to leave Bruno alone . Heart in heart Advik felt jealous . He wondered how could a dog be more important that him . But then he could not say a word . He couldn’t believe he felt jealous of a dog .
That weekend Nina fell ill . She had fever and diarrhea and the doctor advised rest . Advik asked her to relax and said that he would manage everything . He thought she barely had any work and so it won’t be tough .
The day started with an exhausting jog with Bruno . After that he tried to make breakfast but all he could manage was burnt bread and omelette . He somehow managed to boil chicken nuggets for Bruno . Unfortunately , their maid didn’t come and so had to clean the utensils as well . By this time , he was totally tired . It was just 11 am and there was loads to do . He went to the washing machine .
Advik ( in his head ) : How difficult can this be ? Just put it and wash it .
But it was more difficult than he had thought . He didn’t separate the white and the colored clothes and now all his white shirts got dyed in colors of blue and pink . Also , he realized that the process of washing was a long one – it involved cleaning , drying and then pressing . By the afternoon , he was enervated but he realized that it was time for lunch and there was yet another meal to cook .
Advik : How much do we really eat !! This is such an endless process !
He managed to make Maggi for himself and gave the same to Nina . Atta had finished but he had no energy to go out now . By the evening , he gave up and ordered food from outside . He requested a neighbor to send food for Nina . That night he called his mom .
Advik’s Mom : Hi Beta ! Kaise yaad kitta ? Sab changa hai na putar ? ( How are you soon ? Is everything fine ?
Advik : I love you Ma .
Advik’s Mom : So Nina’s ill .
Advik : How do you know ?
Advik’s Mom (laughing ) : You can call it the girl code .
Advik : Ahh..Complicated Stuff . Anyway , Ma , I love you . You are a superwoman . I always undermined your work but now I know ! It just never ends!! There is a lot of hidden work .
Advik’s Mom : And the irony is that most people don’t realize it . Your father didn’t . I hope you realize it . Nina’s has given up on a lot for your happiness .
Advik : I agree .
He hung up and felt guilty . He had changed . He was not the same lover boy . That night what all he had done to convince Nina to date him . She was the most sought after girl in college and he wore her like a victory badge during his entire college life .
Nina recovered in 2 days .
That Tuesday was an off and he asked Nina if they could go out but she told that she was going to an International Dog show with Bruno and she told that she bought just one ticket as she assumed that like always , Advik wouldn’t accompany . Advik sat around in the house lonely . That weekend and this day had been an enlightening experience for Advik . He realized how painful Nina’s side of the story was . He opened her laptop and saw a mail inviting her to join the University of Yale . Also , he saw a draft of a novel where she had written the Struggle of being a housewife in a humorous way . He saw her Quora page where a lot of people had appreciated her writing . He read all those articles which she requested him to read but he never did . His eyes welled up as he saw loads of appreciation that she had written publicly for him .
The next morning he woke up early and told Nina to relax and said that he would take Bruno out for a walk . In the park , as Bruno sat , he reached down to him and said .
Advik : Look Buddy , you might be cute but I am the adorable one of the house and she is mine . Padosi ho , padosi banke raho ! You are grabbing undue attention . I don’t know what to do .
Bruno innocently looked at him .
Advik : I so hate you and your innocent face ! Go back to your home soon .
When they came back Bruno went straight to Nina . Nina stroked him and gave him bread . Advik snorted and went back to him room .
Advik ( muttering in his room ) : I hate this dog ! I just so hate him . They are just crafty creatures wrapped in an innocent face and a furry body . Let me do something .
He gestured Bruno to come .
Advik : Come baby. Come to me .
Bruno happily came to him wagging his tail . He took Nina’s watches in his hand and asked him to eat it . He knew how much she loved her watches and so he was sure that this would piss her off . Bruno didn’t eat . Advik gave a gentle slap on his head .
Advik : You stupid creature . You keep eating all day . Can’t you just chew this now ?
Nina ( clearing her throat ) : I thought these watches were my birthday presents and you knew how much I loved them .
Advik ( looking behind startled ) : Uhm.. I was… Just…Uhm.. He was…
Nina : I have big eyes and a brain to see what you were doing . Now leave him . I have to bathe him .
Advik : I will help you .
Nina : That’s okay . I’ll manage .
Advik : Oh na na . I would love to help you out .
They both bathed him . Nina gently rubbed shampoo on his fur . Both Nina and Advik rubbed his back . Advik looked at her . She was wearing a pink kurta . Her hair were tied up which made her peacock like neck look all the more beautiful . There were pearls of sweat on her forehead , yet when she looked at him , there was a calm smile . There was something so extraordinary about this girl in an ordinary outfit . The bubbles that floated around made him feel as if he was in a dream . He moved his hand towards Nina and held her hand .
Nina ( distracted and looking at him ) : What are you doing ? We’re almost done ! I am sorry . i told you not to come . It is so messy .
Advik : I love you .
Nina blushed .
Advik : I really do ! You are looking pretty .
Nina ( laughing and blushing ) : So I need to look exhausted to get such compliments from you now ( winks )
Advik ( laughing ) : Arey Madame , aapki toh jitni tareef karein kam hai . Kabhi humare dil mein jhaank ke dekho ( Whatever I say is going to be less .. Look into my heart sometime ).
Nina just smiled as they finished drying him up . Bruno was sitting on a chair far away from the couch . After Nina and Advik took a bath , Nina went to the guestroom and sat on the couch expecting Advik to immerse in this laptop again . But Advik came and put his head on her lap .She was surprised . She gently and affectionately stroke his hair .
Nina : Somebody’s finally free from the shackles of his laptop .
Advik ( turning his head towards her face ) : Somebody’s finally free from all the doggy love .
Nina ( laughing ) : Somebody is jealous .
Advik : He is stealing all your attention and time ! What do you expect ?
Nina : I can’t believe you’re jealous of such an innocent creature .
Advik ( looking away and holding her hand with his head sit on her lap) : I don’t know if I am jealous or not but I want your love and attention . Complete and undivided . Your mine and these are the most precious things I have . I can’t share it .
He kissed her on her arm .
Nina ( laughing ) : And what if we have kids ? Will you be jealous of them too ?
Advik : If this is how it is going to be if we have kids, then we won’t have kids . I’ll be your kid . Pamper me , scold me but don’t leave me .
Nina put her head on his head .
Nina : I love you . Always have . Always will . And you’ll always be the youngest kid of the house . So even if we have kids , you will be the most pampered one of the house .
Advik turned his head towards her and they kissed each other . He got up and sat and locked her in his arms .
Advik : What is the one gift that you want from me ? Anything precious and I will give it to you .
Nina : I want your time . I have missed you .
He hugged her tightly .
Advik : I am so sorry . Please don’t leave me and go . I know , off lately , I have been a jerk but I will set things right ! I promise .
Nina : I will never leave you .
Advik : Even if University of YALE calls you and even if I ask you to do as you please ?
Nina : Yes ! I made my choice long back . I am proud of it and I love it . I don’t want to grow old even a single day without you . 2 years seems like a decade to me !
Advik : I love you . I am so sorry .Anyway , I have a surprise for you . I read your draft . It is brilliant . I finished the unfinished part and sent to a publisher who is a friend of mine . If things work out , your first novel should be out soon .
Nina gasped in disbelief !
Nina : I wrote it just to pass my time .
Advik : Not anymore . You won’t do all the household chores anymore . We will keep 2 servants to help you out . And we will get a new maid . This lady never comes on time .
Nina ( laughing ) : How come did you notice ?
Advik : One weekend and I know it all !! Also , you won’t work on weekends at all . It’ll be your day off to do everything that you like . I’ll be the head chef and maid . You can be my assistant if the brunt of burned vegetables is too hard to bear ! ( winks ) .
Nina( laughing ) : We’ll not do anything of that sort . I am happy . All I need is your love .
Advik : You’ll have all of it .We’ll go out every weekend .You will be joining a formal class on writing to improve your writing skills . I help you every way I can .
Nina : I love you .
Advik : I love you too . Always have . Always will .
He kissed her on her forehead .
Advik : And when is my enemy intending to leave ?
Nina ( giggling ) : They are coming next week to take him . And now I know every time , I need your attention , I need to get him back in our house .( winks )
Advik : Not Anymore ! I won’t risk fighting for my love from this cute little terror again .
He took Nina in his arms to their bedroom and enjoyed a cozy night together . His attitude towards Nina changed . Her first novel was out and was a bestseller . Advik helped in the promotions . He promised not to touch the laptop once he was back at home . Their love prospered and so did their careers and they lived happily ever after .