Thursday, May 17, 2012

Old Love

Hiru aunty got up form the table, and took her plate to the sink. She rinsed her plate, and washed her hands right there, looking surreptitiously at her husband still chomping away at the last piece of gulab jamun. Shaking off the water from her hands, she walked back to the dining table. " You going to take time?" she inquired, as she starting clearing out the space where she had gotten up from and stacking some books there. 

Joseph uncle looked at the clock on the wall in behind him. 12.45. "Your students dont arrive for another 15 minutes, woman" he growled without looking at her, "let me have my gulab jamun in peace"

Hiru sighed and opened one fat book from her stack. Quantifying Mathematics. 

"Are you mugging up the theorems again?" Joseph uncle asked, stealing a glance at her past his bowl of Gulab Jamuns and the smile he was hiding behind it.

"Shutup!" Hiru retorted back, "I dont need to mug up anything. I am just.. " Hiru reached out for the small box of mouth freshners she kept. She shook out a coin-sized heap of the it and plonked it in her mouth.

"Are you eating those specks of flesh again?" Joseph had not even turned to look at her.

"Dhana ni da'ad, Joseph, dhana ni da'ad" she sighed, "why do you harass me so?"

"But you should try flesh. If you stir fried it with a bit of Olive oil and some pepper, it would taste just like that Gujarati mouth freshners of yours."

"Joseph, no matter how you try it. No meat will enter this house. So stop trying."

"Damn woman" he muttered. 

"That's right. Abuse your wife of 42 years now."

"42 is it?" There was wonder in Joseph's voice now.

"Unfortunately yes. I should have listended to my papa when he told me life would be difficult with a catholic"

"Yea. And I should have listened to my drunk friends when they said during my bachelor party that that would be my last drunk revelry kind of night"

"Oh oh oh" Hiru turned to look at Joseph full faced now, "Your bachelor party. Wow. I still remember how angry I had gotten"

"You turned a shade of mauve I had never seen before."

"Baingan Mauve you called it"

"Yes. My baingan. You even resemble one now"

"Joseph!" Hiru complained.

Joseph chose to peer into his gulab jamun bowl looking for any specks of the round mound of sweet that he might have missed out. He put a finger in and licked out a few drops of the sweet syrup. Hiru had turned away from him by now. Her face had gone back into the Quantifying Mathematics book. Joseph sighed, and stacked all the empty vessels in his plate and got up. He trudged towards the sink and dropped his plate in it. He came back to the table and cleared it up, put the casserole dish of vegetables into the fridge and all the while kept looking at Hiru expecting her to lower the book slightly.

"You have dried up by the way. You look like an autumn leaf that could be sucked away by a gust of wind." Hiru said suddenly, her head still buried into the book. 

Joseph grinned.