19 July 2016

Open letter to my first wife, Sharmila

Sub: Why I am worried that we are Facebook friends

I am moved to enough concern observing a pattern from my Facebook friends (whose posts are also visible to you) that I feel compelled to write to you. The aforementioned pattern relates to seemingly unending torrent of my friends congratulating their spouse(s) on their (and I assume this is meant to be their spouses’) anniversary.

Let’s start with the circular nature of the congratulations first. At the risk of exposing my naivete, I would go out on a limb and suggest that a friend and his/her spouse are almost always guaranteed to have the exact same marriage anniversary. I have come to this conclusion – after much head scratching, I must hasten to add – by sticking to my rather empirically backed observation that a friend and their spouse has had the same exact marriage. Kind of a definition thing. Therefore, I have concluded that congratulating you on your anniversary would be really congratulating you on making your choice – me!!! And that gets within a spitting distance of being Donal Trump-ish.

What however, causes me particular consternation is their declaration of “best wife/husband in the world” or some such superlative use of adjectives. Elementary grammar dictates that for anybody to declare another person to be the “best” spouse”, one has to have enjoyed a minimum of three spouses (or is the plural “spice”?) in their life. So far, most of those friends has had, to the best of my reckoning, (see, I can use “best” because I have had many reckonings about those friends) – or would at least admit to having – only one spouse. Declaring that one to be the best is like a Sierra Leone guy claiming it to be the best country in the whole wide world without seeing any other country. Some, admittedly has had two spouses, but even in those cases, I would submit that “better” would be a proper word. Not to speak of the danger of tooting one’s horns with a batting average of a meager one in two.

Then there is that small point of our relationship being nothing like the description of their relationship I read on their FB posts (and their anniversary congratulations). You fight with me, you throw tantrums at me, you insist I clean up after myself and even after I have promised to do something, you unnecessarily keep reminding me of it. Repeatedly. Every six months, in fact. Nothing like the charmed life I read about my friends on their Facebook congratulatory note.

Between us, one of us can’t even remember our anniversary date. No point taking names. We are a team. But let’s agree it is not me. Initially I thought your reaction after reading all those self-congratulatory notes from my friends would be “Oh! okay, it is not our date today. So, he did not send me a FB post”. Now I think you are going everyday “Maybe it is today. How come he did not send anything. He always forgets. You know what – that is proof that is is TODAY. Wait till he comes home. How can he do this to me?”

There is only one thing I will admit to – and even that after you have injected me with a healthy dose of truth serum (or a couple of glasses of red wine in my currency – whichever is easier to procure). I will readily admit that I always wanted somebody who is not like me – who is willing to fight, throw tantrums, box my ears to clean up stuff and remind me of my “Honey-dos”. And if I were to live life all over again in real life – not on social media – I would not want anybody other than you to be that person that would constantly nag and irritate me.

So, happy anniversary to me. Now, you go figure out the date!!

– Rajib 🙂

Note for the readers: In case there was any curiosity, I refer to Sharmila as my first wife since I am absolutely confident of that fact. I have no empirical evidence to suggest she is my last wife. Elementary logic would suggest that I cannot establish that till I die. It would be extremely difficult for me to post any blogs at that point of time though.

Posted July 19, 2016 by Rajib Roy in category "Humor", "My Family


  1. By Dibyendu Mukherjee on

    Indeed Rajib. I absolutely agree that the ONE to “nag and irritate” should better be constant. And of course I certainly don’t want anyone to be anything that I am! As it is it’s quite an effort to tolerate myself! Very well articulated

  2. By Debyani Dasan on

    Hahaha. This one definitely echoes all my irritation when I see otherwise perfectly rational people doing the best spouse routine..

  3. By Amrita Bhattacharyya on

    Hilarious! Considering that this open letter is to your “first wife”, I’m assuming that the happy anniversary you are wishing yourself is with the same “first wife”. So, happy anniversary to you and your “first wife” (Sharmila). God save the second, whatever (NOTE: “whatever”, not “whoever”) that is.

  4. By Alan Chenkin on

    Rajib (and Sharmila), Please accept my congratulations on your respective anniversaries to your FIRST spouses. Special Kudos to Rajib for artful skating on thin ice! Sharmila, you are an exceptional First Lady to this man – His charmingly crafted words show tremendous love and respect. You are both blessed, and I envision you two laughing so hard it will pause the celebration while you recover your composure!

  5. By Amrita Mukherjee on

    Nobody really had to marry 34 times….to figure out the first and the only one is the best……samples are all spread out..with fair.good.avg.horrific with their own glory in close acquiantances…unless acutely blinded by the solar energy of the first…..which is understandable and commendable……just accept it….without doubt or testing 3 or 34….and bravo to those who already did…sheepishly at fb..chalta hai..:-) no rotten egg or bad apple to common feelings….

  6. By Tracy Fitzpatrick on

    Rajib Roy you are still as crazy as ever. You are very lucky you have such a wonderful woman as your “first wife”. Now my question is did she “like” your post? Congratulations and many more.

  7. By Uday Shetgeri on

    Great piece Rajib. My “better half” has a different modus operandi…. starts early in the month of the anniversary [and the anniversary is on the last day of the month that has 31 full days] and the tempo increases building up to the day before.. as subtle as a poke in the eye.. and yet I have to wake on D day and surprise her with “Happy Anniversary darling”

  8. By Rajib Roy on

    Amitesh, let me know when you have picked yourself up. There is a glass of wine waiting for you at my place…

  9. By Rajib Roy on

    Baishali, surprisingly, she has been quiet. I am wondering if it is one of those “Fine” moments. When she says that, I know it is anything but.

    1. By Sri Ganesh on

      Some nonsense that goes around which says UNESCO selects… Indian national anthem chosen as best or the Indian PM is the best and the latest.. Pakistan is the best Muslim nation.

  10. By Rajib Roy on

    Dipu, all that time I save not complaining about American Airlines …. 🙂 Next time, use Delta 🙂

  11. By Rajib Roy on

    Tracy – “as crazy as ever”…. now that is a real compliment. I am trying to be crazier though….

  12. By Rajib Roy on

    Amrita Mukherjee, I re-read your message multiple times. I even jumbled up the words. Things improved only slightly. I still can’t figure out your core message. Can you help me? Are you saying that marrying once is enough to declare the spouse than any other spouse in the whole world?

    1. By Amrita Mukherjee on

      I am sorry that I was not so completely mesmerized by your analytical talent of dissecting regular anniversary messages….common ppl do in fb.
      Really ….leave ppl alone if they they think their huby or wife is the best…..tk it easy ….nothing so stupid abt it…let them be….if that mks them happy. I dont think its fair to rain on other ppls parade …showing your intellectual autopsy skill to prove imaginary superiority…..than common fb ppl.
      That is a very easy way ….to grab compliments….but may be at the end those common fb ppl are happier than us who bluntly consider their better half…..as best…just by one marriage. At the end ….should i feel honored that you read my reply many times…ok…so it be then…just keep it simple. 🙂

    2. By Rajib Roy on

      Amrita, You think I should have liberally put more smileys so people understand that the underlying theme was meant to be humor and not criticizing people?

      I understand your exhorting me to let my friends’ posts just be but I can assure you that I fully intend to make all sorts of funny, bitter, caustic comments about my friends and their posts. And I encourage them to make the same of me. That is why we are friends. Else we should just be strangers.

      In fact, looke what you did. You commented on my post. And then commented further – with some sarcasm I might add (“should I feel honored that you read my reply many times” … “easy way to grab compliments”….etc etc). Again, that is a good thing.

      You should be able to make all those comments and free expression of opinions to your friends. And of course, let them too! Else that is not a friendship.

  13. By Rajib Roy on

    Everybody…. including Roger, Uday, Tracy. thank you very much. But it is not our anniversary. I have been meaning to write this for some time. But every time I get ready, some friend would post yet another of those congratulatory messages. I had a rule of keeping a 3-day clear gap so that they did not feel I was writing particularly against them. As you can see, I finally got some space. Our anniversary – for those who care is Apr 28. I know that, because, as every married man will vouch for me – the best way to remember your anniversary is to forget it just once!!! 🙂


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