Coffee, and make that cold.

Like all the very essential things about life, where a couple must absolutely be in consensus about and have similar likes and dislikes and so on, so forth, so as to waft happily towards a sunset-ty dotage sitting on the front porch in twin rocking chairs, sharing dentures, etc, the husband and I should have, by that logic, dismembered each other within the first year of marriage. The iron rods and the blades should have been drawn with the morning coffee. Or make that tea for him. And coffee for me. And his penchant for needing it at unearthly hours, when the birds are still flipping off on trees, with their heads beneath their wings, and the sun is still to make his presence felt in said sky, with even a single errant ray. And me, with the covers drawn over me, refusing to acknowledge that beloved spouse is awake and alert and bending in every possible direction with morning calisthenics, and pulling out his yoga mat and doing his deep breathing exercises in the same way the Britishers drilled holes in mountains to make train tunnels. Well, yes. He is of the species known as the infernal larks, and I keep firmly on the side of the fence populated by the owls. Read, I am glued to book till the wee hours of the morning, and can barely drag eyelids open at an hour that is in the near vicinity of dawn. When did we discover that we were so wonderfully compatible? After we were married. Of course. We were young at around the time the dinosaurs roamed the earth, and we had no option of testing out our morning waking up habits compatibility, and of course, I was so blinded by love and lust, that I was willing to delude myself that I would immediately convert self into being a tea drinker for the rest of my life with nary a second thought. And learn to appreciate the sea, and spend the rest of my life having vacations on the beach with the sun drilling holes into my melanin, causing them molecules to engorge rapidly and make my skin the approximate colour and consistency of burnt paper, rather than being warm and cosy and cuddly before a nice crackling fire in a mountain log cabin. Well, you get my drift. We do many crazy things for love. My craziest was marrying a man who is an early riser. And a sportsman. And a fitness freak. And a stickler for routine. All of which, kind reader you might rightly surmise, I am so not.

Before I was married, my idea of early rising was if I awoke in time for lunch on a weekend. The spouse learnt quick that he was welcome to rise and shine and take himself for his marathon morning runs to the extreme end of the suburb we lived in, without daring to even breathe while he was in the room I slept in for fear of awakening me. I am not good to deal with when awakened from deep sleep. I think the grizzlies took lessons from me in a past life. Motherhood ofcourse, changed all that. When you have a mewling parcel looking on you as a perpetual rice plate, day and night, you cease to think of time as divided into 24 hours, of which the lack of sun signifies sleep time. You just grab sleep whenever you get a chance and hope to God that you remembered to put mewling parcel into crib and did not roll over and squash said parcel in sleep deprived state. And as said parcel gets older and more active with kicks, and insists on the maternal presence when sleeping, you learn to catch up on your zzzs when travelling. The husband therefore is bright and sparkling and running the minute mile every morning before daybreak while I’m baring fangs at the mirror and jumping back in alarm catching glimpse of puffy faced horrific raccoon eyed vision of vampire victim self.

Therefore, logic would dictate I go into kitchen and fix myself a mug of nice, hot, steaming coffee, with enough caffeine to kickstart an elephant into life, but no, like the good wife I am, I go in and fix mugs of tea. Why, you ask. Very valid question, with an equally valid answer. Sheer laziness. Who has the mental bandwidth to focus on making two different things at such unearthly hours. Yes, and I end up also growling like a sleeping dog kicked by a careless foot, and am tempted to nip at passing folks in sheer anger. Had hubby been on morning cuppa duty, he would have made his chai, my coffee and served it on tray, with options of sugar, brown sugar or sugarfree. I plonk the mug in surly fashion and grunt, “Chai.” Thats how different we are.

And yes, he likes bright colours, I like muted tones. He loves stocks and shares and is great with numbers. I need a calculator if I go vegetable shopping, or just pretend to do mental maths and hand over whatever the sabzi wallah tells me I owe him with a stern expression which indicates that I know he is cheating me out of my back teeth but through the goodness of my heart I will pay up because I am such a non violent human being. I have, I would say, a facility with words. He would rather go in for a rootcanal than type out a letter.  He watches Rambo and Rocky. I watch Ace Ventura. He reads Jesse Livermore. I read PG Wodehouse and Dave Barry. He barely grunts in a conversation. And the day he speaks an entire sentence in regular non essential conversation is the day I check his forehead. I, well, lets just say, in my hey day, folks have gifted me brown scotchtape rolls. And well meaning folks ask me if I havent managed to dislocate my jaw. I’m anal about scrubbing every corner of the home with a toothbrush. He could sleep on a bed with no covers and live in a pile of unwashed laundry. Opposites. We attracted. We thought it was love. Perhaps it was just nature’s way of diversifying the gene pool. Maybe it was just lust. But we’ve lasted this long. Despite nearly taking a hatchet to each other everytime it is time to decide on a vacation spot. The obvious and clear impartial and just balance in our relationship can be seen by the fact that we have been to hill stations twice in 13 years, and baked on Goa beaches long enough to get official hippy status. Yup. He drives and I dont. That too. The one who drives makes destination decisions for quick getaways. He is spontaneous, I make lists.

What about you and your spouse/partner/love of your life?


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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17 Responses to Coffee, and make that cold.

  1. Broom says:

    awww Kiran. This makes me want to list all my differences with The Girl. Maybe I’ll get her to write something for a change.


  2. Aathira says:

    Early risers, but love to sleep in on holidays: Him & her
    Sports and exercise: Her (trying to blackmail him with overweight ticket)
    Coffee: Her
    Tea: Him
    Chicken, mutton, seafood and lamb: Her
    Veggies, eggs: Him & her
    Hill stations: Him & her
    Beaches: Him & her
    Driving: Him (‘her’ started to feel guilty and hence contribute at times)
    Shopping: Her (at times drags him along)
    Patience: Him
    Movies: Him & her
    Cooking: Her (him chops veggies)


  3. SV says:

    You could have been writing abt me and my husband 🙂

    but yeah its an awww post


  4. blinkandmiss says:

    OMG just 2 times out of 12??? you could do with some lessons in blackmailing! 🙂

    Movies: he can watch anything that is not in hindi except maybe omkara. i need my hindi masala movies dose regularly. he loves rambo type movies and i can’t sit through them at all!!
    Food: he is a lean non-vegetarian. and i, a fat and happy vegetarian. he is a rice lover and i heart my fulkas.
    Money: i plan my investments. he lives for the moment. but then i am the big spender and he is the miser. its complicated.
    patience: he has lots, i have little.
    Temper: i am get really mad really quick and often. ditto about cooling down. he gets upset very very rarely. and when he does, no one knows how to handle him, including himself.
    Wake up time: he used to be an early riser. marriage changed him. ha!
    TV: he loves watching nat geo and animal planet. i love watch really trashy shows.
    Travelling: he loves unplanned trips, so do i. and reaching the train station/airport less than 5 mins before departure. i get a heart attack if i am not an hour early before departure.

    now i am wondering how we manage to stay together and sane at all!!


  5. D says:

    I did a whole post on why I think he’s from Mars and I must be from Venus!


  6. Ronnie says:

    The online version of our wedding invite bore the ‘opposites attract’ theme – listing out how different we were 🙂
    He hearts Bangalore with all the pubs and the coffee shops , I am the Mumbai chi Mulgi obsessed with tapri waale chaats and Irani cafes. I pretend to undertand numbers while he makes no show of his abhorrence for words. My five feet frame miraculously exists with minimal bones(and 90% shudh fat) ,trying in vain to match the almost 6 footer sportsmans frame.Colours,paints,words,books,pottery define my existence while aerospace design,economics,tennis,cricket define his.
    I drive like the Banglore autowalah, he is the chalta fhirta road-safety-awareness poster.
    Its 2 AM now -he snores away to glory,I am so full of energy.
    He respects our differences,I laugh and snicker at him.

    And we just completed one year of marital bliss 🙂


  7. The Girl says:

    I loved this post! Beautifully written and perfectly describes the extraordinarily simple things that make love so dramatic, hugely unbearable and totally worthwhile.



  8. Sonali says:


    wow i love the way u write .. especially the sentences loaded with special effects that only u can think of like “…as to waft happily towards a sunset-ty dotage sitting on the front porch in twin rocking chairs, sharing dentures…”

    I LOVE TO SLEEP … anytime of the day, i can sleep for days together if i want ( and i have done that too)..
    infact the only reason i am delaying my baby plan is the thought of how that will disrupt my sleep routine 😦

    and spouse/myself differences.. everything u listed …
    my husband is all that u said abt ur hubby plus ur cleaniness streak thrown in … he has to clean anything and everything in our house, in our frnds places when we stay with them (they don’t mind .. obviously) and restaurents too …

    the only common thing – we both love any kind of food and any kind of movie …

    everything else it is poles Apart 🙂


  9. kbpm says:

    You funny girl! Mine spouse and I are also on opposite sides in many matters. The morning routine is the worst, and which, only recently I have come to accept as part of him. It used to make smoke come out of my nostrils to see a mountain asleep in the bed at 10 am when the sun is at the zenith and i had done about 100 things since waking four hours ago. Now I look at it as a blessing that he is not up and switching on the damn TV so early in the morning!!


  10. Priyanka says:

    Oh, Kiran.. this is one of those posts that makes me awwww…
    And mostly me and my hubby are exactly like you detailed – except that your description is that of my hubby’s and your hubby’s, mine. I am a tea person but I end up making coffee when its just the two of us. But I get my revenge when his parents are visiting – they are tea ppl and he has to make do 😉
    I think, our please-God-give-me-strength moments are when we have to choose a place to eat out. We have very different notions of what eating ‘out’ means – he thinks its street food!!! Also, when choosing vacay spots!
    The man is irritating.. Can’t be helped – can’t live without him and can’t turn him into my clone 😉


  11. Mampi says:

    your way with words – to make them humorous – is simply awesome.

    THATS why i come back again and again to read you.


  12. soulmate says:

    I guess this is what makes marriage so beautiful.. These differences bring you closer and keep that fire, attraction alive… and not to forget, the humour that comes with it… Enjoy!!!


  13. chandni says:

    Boy: trains, chicken, early riser, atheletic, coffee, war movies, Amitabh Bachchan, dogs, single malts

    Chandu: planes, sea food, can’t wake up to save my life, lazy, tea, romantic comedies, SRK, no pets, vodka

    ’nuff said 🙂


  14. Just Someone says:

    Wow! I love the way you write! You have a wonderful way of building up interest and maintaining it throughout with the play of words… I love this! I am so in awe of your writing 🙂



  15. satyask says:

    Again aawesssome. I was just going to ask you whether you read PGW in the line about infernal larks., and you confessed not a dozen lines later.

    And you like Dave Barry. If you also like Douglas Adams, we must be twin souls, else .. merely.. twin sisters..

    I have to send this link to a few of my friends.. be back later…


  16. satyask says:

    I saw your other blog. I’m not your twin anything.. You are noble and all that…. Wow….


  17. Kiran Manral says:

    Broom: SOmething to be said about opposites attracting na?

    Aathira: I wish I had the point one.

    SV: 🙂

    Blinkandmiss: I think this is why we stay together and stay sane, right?

    D: Yup, thats why John Gray made a killing on them books.

    Ronnie: And many more to come!

    TG: Thank you dear.

    Sonali: Good to know there are some common factors too!

    kbpm: We’re the opposite. You know. I hate it when he starts his bathroom and brushing and yoga routine at six am, because it wakes me up and then the fellow wants his tea…but now I’m sort of used to it.

    Priyanka: You said it, we couldnt live with clones of each other could we now?

    Mampi: Keep coming back.

    Soulmate: 🙂

    Chandni: Yup. yup. I see the pattern.

    Just someone: Thankeee dear.

    satyask: Shhh. I’m not noble or anything…I’m greedy, lazy, a slob and totally vain…


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