Brief Summary of Part 1:- Dinesh found out that his friend started avoiding him because his friend’s wife expected her husband to keep up with Dinesh on household projects. Dinesh thought of a plan to rescue his friend. If you have not read the part 1, you can read the full story at Dinesh Builds a Shed (Full Story)
I accepted Dinesh’s next dinner invitation. As usual very quickly, the conversation focused on Dinesh’s projects and this time it was his tile work at kitchen.
“Dinesh really did a great job with tiles. My kitchen looks awesome now,” Dinesh’s wife Geeta started.
“Who picked up the colors?” Common friend Seema asked.
“Dinesh did. He has good sense of colors too. He also picked up the style and the size of tiles,” Geeta proudly replied.
“The back splash looks beautiful,” Rajesh joined.
“Of course, it looks beautiful. Dinesh spent several days matching the back splash with the kitchen cabinets,” Geeta continued.
“Back splash was not easy. I had to move the gas stove,” Dinesh clarified.
“The color combination is great and the finish is professional,” Kavita admired Dinesh’s work genuinely.
“He especially went to Wake Forest to get the right filling material for a smooth finish,” Geeta added, moving her hand on the back splash feeling the smoothness.
This discussion was worrisome but I could not do anything to stop it. Hiding my annoyance, different thoughts came to my mind “Is Dinesh helping or hurting me? Is he setting up my divorce to completely remove projects from my life?”
Suddenly I had a sigh of relief.
“How long did it take you to finish it?” Rajesh asked.
“Three weeks. But I may have to redo the sink area,” Dinesh replied.
“Town of Cary did not pass the building code as I missed the plumbing inspection. Plumbing pipe is not set right,” Dinesh stated matter-of-factly.
“So what are doing to do? Rajesh asked.
“Well. I have to remove all the tiles from the sink area. Change the direction of plumbing pipe. Call for the inspection and put the tiles back after approval,” Dinesh replied.
“Can you remove the tiles easily?” Kavita asked.
“Usually tiles break when you remove them,” Dinesh replied.
“But that is a very small area. You can handle it,” Seema said.
“It is a small area but matching the color can be a problem. If the supplier has the same batch, the color will match. If the batch is sold out, I will have to use a slightly different color,” Dinesh became too technical.
“How much it is going to cost you?” Rajesh asked.
“It will probably cost me additional 3000$. Sometimes it happens but I love working around the house,” Dinesh said without any emotions in his voice like relaying his address to an Interactive Voice Response machine.
“Dinesh does not care about money. It gives him sense of achievement and he is good at it,” Geeta continued “But my kitchen will be a mess again for another six weeks.”
I looked at Kavita’s face. Dinesh’s plan was working. She looked puzzled and lost in her own thoughts. Inspections, mess for six weeks and additional 3000$ seemed to concern her.
Driving back home, Kavita was unusually silent.
“Sometimes it is best to hire a professional. Dinesh is good but how could Geeta stand the mess in the kitchen for six weeks,” Kavita’s silence broke after sometime.
“Yes. I agree,” I replied without any emotions.
Dinesh’s plan worked. No more nagging to work around the house. Life was good but overlooked inspection did not seem right and I had to speak with Dinesh about it.
I called Dinesh and began with thanking, “Thanks dude. It is peace at home. I am glad you shared your negative experience. We are not really trained to do this kind of work.”
“Yes. I knew it was going to work,” Dinesh said.
“But one thing is bothering me. How can you miss inspection? How can you make such a blunder?”
Dinesh burst into laughter. People around me also could hear his loud laughter from the tiny speaker of my Blackberry. I had to move my Blackberry away from ear to keep my eardrum.
“Why are you laughing?” I asked
“Are you the only one who can write fiction?” I could imagine glee on his face.
“Oh man! So you fabricated a story to bring peace in my house,” I started laughing with him.
“And at Rajesh’s house,” Dinesh replied.
“What if Geeta tells Kavita?” I asked.
“Geeta thinks I have to redo,” Dinesh replied with confidence.
“Yes,” He confirmed.
“Geeta and Kavita will find out one day,” I pointed out a flaw in his plan.
“They might. But that is not important,” Dinesh replied
“Why do you think it is not important?” I was confused.
“The thought of mess and losing money has profound impact,” Dinesh continued, “As long as they keep thinking about losses, you are good. We have done enough to engrave the notion of committing serious errors if we perform the work ourselves.”
Dinesh kept laughing.
Convinced with his reasoning, I thought about logistics, “What are you going to say next time we meet?”
“I will say I hired a professional,” Dinesh had thought about that possibility.
“Smart but what if it does not work,” It was a statement without any substance.
“We will make up something new then. We are good at it,” Dinesh concluded.
I agreed with Dinesh but expressed my fears, “Kavita will be furious if she finds out that I lied.”
Dinesh had perfect answer, “Saying sorry always works with soft hearted wives.”
Simply speaking Dinesh’s sneaky scheme outsmarted me and I kept thinking, “With friends like Dinesh, I don’t need…” I will let reader fill in the blanks.
Author’s note: -
At one stage in my life, I tried to view human character in black or white. With experience in life, now I know that our makeup is complex with different shades and this story attempts to depict the same. We compete, compare and make excuses in several aspects of our lives. On the same time, the family and friends always look beyond trivial aspects and come together at difficult times to support and help each other. See my earlier story, ‘The Best Medicine’ that shows our actions at a difficult time.
Some of my readers guessed possible outcomes that appeared ideal, but I remained honest and published the initially conceived idea.