A client of mine had been inviting me for dinner for a long time. One day I decided to oblige and I told him that I'd drop in on the following Saturday. Accordingly, I reached his house on the appointed day and it was my first visit to his house. He introduced me to his wife, a rather timid looking woman and his two daughters who wore a kind of haunted look. I infact, I had never had the opportunity of meeting them before even though I was quite close to this client for a few years now. His drawing room had two familiar Plaques, one reading "We are sorry that our house is in such a mess. It's not always like this. Sometimes it's worse" and the other, "I am the boss in this house and I have my wife's permission to say so." As far as the first plaque was concerned, I knew that he kept it probably because he liked the humour and not because it was truly reflective of the state of his house. He had a compact flat which, I should say, was very well kept. He didn't crowd his house with too many things and whatever he had was arranged with taste. I really wished my house was like that. Immaculately clean like a 5 star hotel. He made me feel very guilty with that stupid plaque. If he wanted to keep it, he should really keep his house in a mess, I thought. He had no right to keep it otherwise. The much awaited dinner started. What I liked best about it was that the menu didn't have too many items and whatever was served was well prepared. It was quite a homely meal. But the sad part was I did not have any appetite for food. You might ask why. The moment the lady started serving the food, my friend started grumbling about something or the other. The grumble slowly grew in volume and he literally started shouting at her for everything. I could see the poor lady's hands trembling while serving and I felt sorry for her. His two daughters sat hunched over the table like stricken rabbits. I lost my appetite completely and I couldn't eat anything. This made him angrier as he thought that the food was not upto my taste. His wife got further banging on account of me. I regretted having accepted his invitation. I hastily finished my dinner and got up. As I crossed the drawing room to reach the door the plaque stared at me. "I am the boss in this house and I have my wife's permission to say so." I wanted to grab it and fling it out of the window but resisted my temptation. I walked out of the house seething with fury.