Rabri was worried.
Lallu did not seem to be in his element.
He had not shaved for the past three days, and she found him scratching his cheek once too often.
She asked him whether he had developed some itching.
Lallu looked up tearily at her and exclaimed, ‘Waisa Nahin Hai biwi…(It is not so wife).
Later, Rabri had the shock of her life when she turned to Lallu when they were in bed. Lallu seemed to be crying!
She quickly switched on the lights and found tears flowing down Lallu’s eyes.
She summoned all the energy she could muster and sat on the bed.
Lallu was indeed crying!
With the maternal instincts of a mother of nine, she embraced Lallu, exclaiming…’Kya Ho Gaya Hai Tujko’ …”Whatever has happened to you!”
Lallu had not expected to be found out thus. A clever man who hid his scheming mind behind bluff, bluster and buffoonery, how was he going to explain his tears, especially when they were flowing so copiously on the connubial bed!
All this beat anything Rabri had seen in her fifty odd years, and she called out for help. Tannu, a widowed cousin of her’s had been her woman Friday all these years.
Not wanting to be caught crying, Lallu suddenly jumped up on the bed…and then dived towards a window and subsequently started to thump his chest in the manner of Tarzan, before jumping into a nearby chair and holding yesterday’s newspaper near his shortsighted eyes.
So Tannu saw little of the tears or the eyes from which they flowed, but peering past the paper Lallu saw her posterior retreating.
Man and wife returned to the bed, with Rabri wondering at the peculiar behaviour of her husband in recent times.
Ever since his arch rival Nitish had earned the compliments of the country for finally pulling out Bihar from the dark Dhanbad coal mines milieu that was its fate for half a century, Lallu had lost sleep and was even speaking to himself all the time.
She even found him spanking himself on the back. When he came to know that she had seen the act, he made it seem as if he had a back ache or something and was trying to pat himself into fitness.
But the last straw had been the political entry of Swami Ramdev.
Lallu had learnt asans and the famous guru’s Kapalbhati – though he feared doing it in full fettle as he thought it was too energetic an exercise for his good — and had found his BP coming down after yogic practice.
Lallu was proud that a fellow Yadav, albeit a swamiji, had helped him regain fitness. But when Ramdev began to dabble in politics Lallu’s anger was aroused. Why was this sadhu trespassing into his area? Wasn’t politics the art of doing Shirshasana, the topsy turvy pose, with the feet on the ground! Good the baba ever do that pose?
But when the guru formally plunged into politics, Lallu’s BP shot up so erratically that the asans of Ramdev were of no help.
Lallu could feel cows dancing inside his head like a bunch of butterflies..’Fodder laoo’…bring the cowfeed he cried out…’Ramdev Baba Bauwra Gaye Hain’ (Ramdev Baba has gone berserk..or gone mad)
When Rabri turned over and looked at him with concern, he turned the other way.
Consternation writ all over her face, Rabri called out to Tannu.
When Tannu came in, she found Lallu doing one of the more difficult asans Ramdev had taught him.