Monday, April 1, 2013


*There was darkness all around. As soon as her eyes adjusted themselves to the dim-lit surrounding, the unfamiliarity of the room hit her senses. Her nimble fingers, nervously searching for her bottle of water, brushed against something unwelcome; there was someone snoozing on her bed! She could hear her heart thumping aggressively against her chest. There was a stranger snoring away on her bed, but as she tried to scream, her voice ditched her. As she tip-toed to the door, she felt someone stop her. There it was…that sick feeling in her gut, that feeling, when you trip; when you know you’re going to fall flat on your face.*

“Hey, it’s ok. It’s me,” he cooed into her ears, patting her gently. It was all yet to sink in; she was married, the house was new and so was the city. Everything seemed unfamiliar, except for the man who was looking at her lovingly. A quick glance at the clock buzzed sirens in their ears. It was her first day at office – the kitchen.

It looked like a demon ready to devour her. The dishes seemed alien; the knife stared at her threateningly. Vindictive veggies, fire-spitting stove and powders of various colours greeted her into a world where she’d end up spending most of her time. She remembered how, with an air of confidence, she’d asked him the other night, “So, Sir, what would you like to have for lunch tomorrow?” The reply was instantaneous and smooth, as if rehearsed a gazillion times. “Rasam and aaloo fry.” Uh oh.

But then, convenience managed to elbow out the request, and the menu was tweaked. With a little help from her husband, the task was done and she heaved a mammoth sigh of relief. But then, she had to do this everyday. Twice. Correction, at least twice. She was terrified; she wanted to shoot her letter of resignation. Oh wait, this wasn’t a job; there was no option of resigning. “Oh good Lord, what the hell am I going to do,” she asked the lean woman with puffy, petrified eyes staring at her from the mirror. She shrugged her shoulders, snynchronised with the ‘other woman’ from that side of the shiny mirror. They agreed. Neither of them knew how the plot would unfold.

She cooked perfect recipes for disaster. She didn’t stop at ‘just’ burning dishes. She was different. She was ‘oh-so-creative’. Trying her hand at cooking something different, she ended up doing something VERY different indeed – she painted her kitchen green! Mixie’s lid let all hell ‘loose’ and with a loud and extremely aromatic splash, all the cooked palak (now in paste form) flew towards the wall, to give it an extremely eco-friendly colour! And with butter fingers to boot, her husband anticipated some kind of trouble, every time there was some untoward noise in the kitchen.

But failures (disasters in this case) they say, are the pillars of success. Pretty strong ones, she’d testify. Not just did she rise above her own expectations, she started enjoying the whole process too! She looked forward to the routine she had set: wake up-freshen up- walk into the kitchen- sort veggies-chop away- cook- taste- pack. She learnt slowly yet surely, how to take the ‘cooking’ bull by its horns.

His smile, his burp, his ‘Oh, I’ve overeaten’ remark – those were her perks, her certificates of appreciation. Clean floors, dazzling washrooms, crisp curtains, fluffed-up pillows and cushions, wrinkle-less and neatly spread out bedsheets – those were the things she wanted to tick off her task list every night.

Yes, she was a housewife. Not a perfect one, but a proud, happy one.