As any good wife would, she takes a keen interest in her husband's reputation. "What did they write?" "It was nothing much, just two or three lines. They likened his prose to drifting clouds and flowing water." The wife floats a smile. "That was it?" "There was more -- almost within grasp, it suddenly disappears, and once having gone, forgets to ever return." The wife looks puzzled. "Would that be complimentary?" she asks with an air of concern. "I suppose one could see it so." Meitei, unconcerned, is dangling his handkerchief in front of my eyes. "I get that books are tools of the trade, but he's still quite eccentric." Meitei sees her coming at it from a new angle and reacts. "Granted he may be eccentric, but show me a scholar who isn't." It's unclear if he's agreeing with the wife or defending the master. "A while back he returned from the school with plans to go out again shortly, and couldn't be bothered to change his clothes. If you can imagine it, he sat at his desk and took dinner in his overcoat. He propped his tray on the kotatsu frame. I was seated at his side with the rice warmer, but the scene was almost surreal ..." "Like a warrior general tallying heads. But each man's entitled to his quirks -- At any rate, at least he's not mundane." Meitei twists critique into praise. "Far be it for a woman to say what's mundane or not mundane, but he's reckless to a fault." "Better reckless than mundane." Meitei's unbridled defense of the master only invites the wife's displeasure. "You all talk of mundane this or mundane that, but what on earth do you really mean?" She pushes back and demands that the term be explained. "Mundane? What one means by mundane is -- is not so easy to say." "If you can't even say what it is, then how can you knock it so?" The wife pins him down with top-notch feminine logic. "It's not that it's unclear. We know what it means. It's just that it's hard to explain." "What you probably mean is it's anything not to your liking." Decorum aside, she cuts to the chase. Meitei has no choice but to address the subject head on.