Heavy rains, power outages, so my friend Deeps came over to my house a couple days to login to her work. We hung out mostly in the living room. My DH, "Kums", popped in both days to say "bye" (day one) and "bye, will be late, am having dinner out" (day two). On day one Deeps gave me a puzzled look. On day two she couldn’t hold it in any more, "Rags never says bye, he just leaves." Rags is obviously Mr. Deeps. I tried to make her feel better, "Well, Kums says bye only when leaving for the whole day, not if he is going out nearby." Deeps took that as an invitation to elaborate on their bye’s. "I’ve told Rags many times to say bye before leaving, he won’t. He says if I want a bye, I should run around fetching him his cell phone, keys, sunglasses when he is leaving and be the attentive wife. If I am occupied in the kitchen, too bad." My patience was beginning to wear thin. Kums had just said a general bye to us both in the living room. He did not give me a peck or say "bye honey" or anything. Anyway, being the good host, I tried, "Hmm.. we may still say bye, but I no longer get a 'Love you' or 'I love you' etc." Bad move on my part. Bad path to take in the memory lane maze. I continued, "You know what.. I don’t get a thank you any more. It’s been a while since Kums found a reason or a need to say thank you to me." I was now on a roll and suddenly remembered an afternoon walk with Kums in the early days of the pandemic. We were in a very white neighborhood, parked our car near a trailhead, and had just started walking. A local resident came along walking her dog. I was saying something to Kums, but he turned and called out a cheery "Good Morning" to the lady. His friendly gaze encompassed her dog too. They both got a Good Morning, so to say and they went on their way. Kums and I started walking toward the trailhead and took a couple of turns, bumped into her again. I was still talking non-stop. That’s what women do when walking. So, I could continue to talk, he could continue to listen, we could just smile at her and continue? No. Kums had to pause listening to me and say to her, “Good Morning again.” Yes, that is exactly what he said to them: Good.Morning.Again. Bad move on Kums’ part. Very bad move. I switched to full Hindi so I could be more frank in the mostly silent neighborhood, "Ek baat batao. Tum mujhe kabhi Good Morning nahin bolte ho. Usko aur uskey kuttey ko itna dil se Good Morning? Do do baar?" "How come you never say Good Morning to me and say it twice so warmly to her and her kutta too?” Bechara Kums. He is too shocked to even try a lame, "But you are my life’s Good Morning. How can I say Good Morning to my Good Morning?" Then the other day I went to Kums’ office-at-home-room door to say lunch was heated. He was wrapping up a call to some customer service, not a work call. I was struck by the bhaavukta, the sheer emotion and gratitude, with which he ended the call, "Thank you so much, Mark. I really appreciate you being online while I …" Lucky guy that Mark. I’ve never received such a heart-felt thank you ever from Kums. Never. I can give that as a notarized statement. I didn’t get such a thanks ever, not even after I remained "online" and awake waiting for the epidural to kick in and they eventually presented our beautiful first-born to Kums. Not five days after my second C-section, when I said yes he could go to work and I would drive to pick up our older one from preschool. Why is it so? Why are we kinder to others but take our own for granted? In the house, at the restaurant, in the car, on the phone and outdoors? .