Ordinarily we are living in conflict, in disharmony. The husband is living in disharmony with the wife – they call it living together. But unless this oneness arises, their togetherness is nothing but an underground conflict, erupting at any moment for any meaningless, silly reason. Both are sitting on volcanoes. Parents are feeling a generation gap between themselves and their own children. There seems to be no common ground of understanding; harmony is a faraway goal. They don’t even understand each other’s language – not that they speak different languages, but their visions are different, their attitudes are different, their approach towards life is different – and there seems to be no way to come to any conclusion. Parents and children are no longer on speaking terms because each time they speak it turns out to be a fight.
The same thing happens with husbands and wives. When they are newly wed, things are hot: they fight, the wives throw things, break plates, cups and glasses, throw pillows. The husbands behave in the same way – they beat the same woman they used to think they could not live without. They not only beat her, they even imagine many times killing her; otherwise, the wife is going to kill him. It is only a question of who takes the initiative; it is a cold war. Slowly, slowly, things get cooler: no more pillow fights, no more breaking of cups and glasses and saucers. But that does not mean that they have come to a harmony. That simply means they have understood the stupidity of it all; it is better to be silent. The husband simply goes on reading the same newspaper. On Sunday it is a little difficult; they avoid each other, they don’t want to be left alone together.
One of my friends – a very rich man – asked me when he became fifty, “I have enough money. I have only two girls, who are married. And it is very difficult because only my wife and I are left in the house.”
But I said, “You should be happy. I thought this was a love marriage.”
He said, “Now I don’t use that word love at all; it is that word that has destroyed my life. So just because of the wife, I continue with the business and the industries – just to avoid her, because otherwise there would be no need.”
I said, “Then find a beautiful hill station, and move there and live peacefully.”
He said, “But…alone with this woman on a hill station? You are suggesting a murder!”
I said, “What are you talking about? Who is going to murder whom?”
He said, “That depends on who takes the initiative first. With this woman alone – no! If you are willing to stay with us, I could be safe, I could go to any hill station. Without a friend, we don’t even go to see a movie. The friend has to sit between the two of us; otherwise, something…and anything is enough to begin a quarrel.”
I said, “I never see you fighting.”
He said, “That’s true; for years, everything has gone underground. But we are fighting. Inside myself, I am beating her; inside herself she is beating me – but not to make a show. What will people think, what will the servants think?”
They were not sleeping in the same room. I asked the wife why. She said, “No, there is not much of a problem. It is because he snores.”
I said, “I have slept in the same room with him many times. I have never heard him snoring.”
I asked my friend, “What is the matter? Your wife says you snore.”