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"No man is a Hero to his own wife" -Anonymous
But beware:

"Husband and wife are like a pair of scissors..., often moving in opposite directions
yet punishing whoever comes between them!.."

"i can be a Hero..."

-by gasper crasto (20.12.2003)

I was dancing with my friend's wife. It was at a wedding we attended. The band in presence played the ever popular 'Hero' of Enrique Iglesias. I was enjoying the song more than the dance. My friend's wife seemed interested in both.  


 "That's my favorite song..." She said.


"That's one of my favorite too..." I said


She was murmuring the words of the song as we danced. At first I thought she was trying to sing the Spanish version of this hit. Then she almost screamed the chorus in my ear. "I can be your hero baby....You... can.... take.... my heart away....!


"You can take my breath away !"  I tried to correct her each time she yelled but she was not interested in what I said.


Many of my married friends from our social clique were in attendance. I was doing my best to keep a low profile.


"You're singing well..!" I said between the verses just to get her to talk and avoid people looking at us. In fact, I was afraid her 'howls' would attract us unwarranted attention. 


"Oh ! Really?...Thanks...thanks...!...Look at the bride...Isn't she cute?" She said and continued with words I've grown too familiar with: "Too bad you haven't found your match yet...!"


The way she said 'too bad' made it sound like I only had six months to live.


I just smiled and said "Not all men are stupid, some stay......" But she wasn't listening. She was in the song mania. My, she really enjoyed the lyrics. She seemed the happiest as she sang. I was happy for her and relieved to let her remark fade. She seemed to be a perfect match for my friend whom I have known for years. Back home in Goa, drinking just a glass of beer would magically convert him into a singing sensation. And here was his wife - a natural singer. Weren't they perfectly made for each other?


Friends are very dear to us. They cheer us up when we are down. They can be the very light that keeps us going in our darkest hour. But, of the many people who cross our paths, only a few remain dear to us throughout our lives. I have friends, the ones of the type who would remember the most obscure detail of your less than terrific moments in life and never let you forget about it such as the time you wore one dark blue sock and one black sock. Anyway, they are all special and dear.


I cherish any advice given by friends even though it is unasked for sometimes. In a way I have become accustomed to their inevitable advice most of which I find a little contradictory. Like the recent one I received through a mail from a friend who stays in Delhi. I have a pleasure reproducing excerpts from it - unedited:


"Kar le yaar.. i won't say shaadi is a good thing - saala bahut tension bhi hoti hai, 'coz all said and done, girls are basically nuts, but still, it is ESSENTIAL !  Not for anything else, but for kids. Kids give a meaning to life.. and for kids you have to have their mother as your wife !"


Another close buddy who works in Saudi wrote (unedited excerpts): "u got to start a married life if u want to have one. it's nice to have somebody to yell at when things are bad. i do it all the time and i get it in return too. so it's ok. end of the day we get along fine."


Others say I should settle down with someone who matches even quarter of the qualities I am seeking. Still others think that "not doing anything and letting it happen" is the solution. I personally feel they are all in serious need of a good beating!..


Some weeks later, I got a call from my friend's wife asking me if I was busy at the weekend. "Well, you have to join us for dinner...we are going out." She said.


It was no surprise. I knew how much they enjoyed eating out in restaurants. The best thing is that they never failed to invite me whenever they went out to dine and I never declined either.


"What happened...!...Hope you'll come..." She growled.


"Of course I will..." I said.


"Hey! You can't miss this time....The girl I've told you about will be there....She is mind blowing...!" She said and hung up.


Okay, if I won't go, I would miss the chance to meet Ms. Mind-blowing. If I did go, she probably won't show up because if she is that mind-blowing, she probably has a life and isn't waiting for someone to meet her at a dinner table. Or she'll show up with parents who'd behave as if their daughter is the latest Miss World; or perhaps with some boyfriend.


Nevertheless, I decided to go, not in the slightest desire of seeing the girl but to make sure I didn't miss out on the invitation to have a good dinner. I never miss out on these chances. Also, I felt a lot home in the company of my friend and his chatty wife. I loved to hear the Prince Jacob and Churchill type of talks and jokes for which my friend is so established. His tales are as tasty even after a jubilee of repeats.


His wife is one up better than him. I am sure she can beat even Shaker Suman or Navjot Siddhu when it comes to narration. But women are women. For one thing, women don't mind retelling the same stories over and over. In fact, they insist on it. The reason isn't because the story is interesting or exciting. Quite the opposite (as many have confided to me later). It's because they want to see how the last telling differs from the first time they told it. There is always an extra nugget of detail that was purposely excluded the first time.


As predicted, Ms. Mind-blowing had an escort - her fiancÚe. They were in time and said they also had a late party to attend and so, had to rush. My problem is that, I can't enjoy eating in a hurry that too when I am being 'harassed' by smiling, skinny women, who look as if they never eat. It's humiliating. Plus, every time I eat in any restaurant, I have noted that the restaurant manager or an attendant waits until my mouth is totally full and then walks up to find out if we are enjoying our food. Why ask? Doesn't the fact that my mouth is full and I am covered in sauce tell that we are enjoying the food?


After dinner, we accompanied Ms. Mind-blowing and her shepherd to their car. I wished they had left soon so we could proceed to our usual drive to the sea-front. But for some reason, women can't simply say good bye and depart. Word of advice: if you have to be somewhere any time this millennium and you are waiting for two women to finish saying good-bye, you either have to help them end the conversation or miss your appointment. I think this is one of the God-given duties of men, apart from carrying shopping bags, opening jars and killing cockroaches... 


On the way back, we went across to the famous Kuwait Towers. The weather was pleasant and thus far, I was enjoying every bit of the evening. Just when I thought it couldn't get better, the worst happened. 


As we were strolling toward the beach, we came across one of my colleague, an Arabic girl with her parents. We just stopped to say hello. During the introduction, in my excitement, I inadvertently introduced my friend by his name, and his wife by his ex-girlfriend's name. (The ex is more popular than the wife). The minute the words were out, I knew I had stuck my foot in my mouth letting loose a monster. But the words just hanged in the air, waiting for a retraction. By then, the face of my friend's wife had turned as black as coal.


Before I could wave 'goodnight' to my Arabic friends, I was thinking of a way out which could totally eclipse my little slip. "I dare not apologize to my friend's wife", I thought. It would only mean rubbing insult to injury as I knew how much she hated the ex-girlfriend and even her name.


"Yaar, we've our football practice tomorrow..." I said to my friend trying to be explicit. "Be in time...Our game is coming up next Friday...!"


"Well, I don't think we need to practice all week just for a 1~2 hour game.....and in any case, tomorrow, we're going out shopping !" My friend retorted and looked away. It was rather sarcastic to hear this from a guy who seldom missed practices. Maybe he was trying to impress his wife with a promise of 'shopping' and hoping to escape a barrage of questions later about his past girlfriend. I could understand the change in his behavior but once back home, I was sure he would have to face some music.


All throughout the day, I was in a frame of mind to sing the favorite song of my friend's wife, and let her know how well I could really sing...but the present environment was too revolting to be a 'Hero'. Moreover, in much of my thinking, my talking was half murdered (let alone singing)... 


On the way back home, the ever talkative husband and wife sat in the car as dumb as dead ducks. I took the shortest route to drop them home. 


Needless to say, I was never invited for dinner again.


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by Enrique Iglesias

(Background song... Put 'on' speakers)


would you dance

if i asked you to dance !

would you run

and never look back

would you cry

if you saw me cry

and would you save my soul, tonight


would you tremble

if i touched your lips

would you laugh

oh please tell me this.

now would you die

for the one you loved

hold me in your arms, tonight.


i can be your hero, baby.

i can kiss away the pain.

i will stand by you forever.

you can take my breath away.


would you swear

that you'll always be mine

or would you lie

would you run and hide

am i in too deep

have i lost my mind

i don't care...

you're here tonight.


i can be your hero, baby.

i can kiss away the pain.

i will stand by you forever.

you can take my breath away.


oh, i just want to hold you.

i just want to hold you.

am i in too deep

have i lost my mind

i don't care...

you're here tonight.


i can be your hero, baby.

i can kiss away the pain.

i will stand by your forever.

you can take my breath away.


i can be your hero.

i can kiss away the pain.

and i will stand by you forever.

you can take my breath away.

you can take my breath away.


i can be your hero.