I shoved my laptop into the bag and rushed to the elevator, trying hard not to trip on the folds of the saree which now hung precariously on me. The elevator was almost closing shut, but for the laptop bag which I flung between the closing doors. But newton’s law…the elevator must now stop at every floor, I wanted to curse out aloud…I was going to be late today, again….
I rushed out of the elevator the moment it stopped at the basement and ran towards the car.
The last few weeks had been difficult, trying to find meaning in a new found relationship status. Trying to look for that elusive balance between the wife and the working woman. Berating myself for not being able to juggle everything all at once. Trying to find my space in the volley of relationships thrown at me all at once, just like my Roxane Gays and Rebecca Solnits struggled for space in the already overflowing bookshelf of superhereos.
I had to talk to the husband, I needed his HELP….
It was the tang of roasted red chilies that welcomed me home as I literally sprinted from the car park to the main door. The splattering of the oil managed to lift my sagging spirits a bit. I walked towards the kitchen and there he was, his strong back towards me, the sleeves creasing over the rippling biceps as he ground the garam masala on the grind stone; yes he was old school that way. As he scrapped the masala from the grindstone with his sinewed hands, I couldn’t help but notice how strong they were and yet so gentle, zephyr-like. He saw me from the corner of his eyes and his face lit up with the brightest of smiles. He beckoned me to come.
I tied my pallu around the waist and stepped in trying to figure what I should do…
‘Just sit, I have everything under control’ he grinned
I plopped myself up on the counter, unsure. He asked me about my day, told me about his…as he cut, peeled, mixed, stirred with the precision of a conductor, the kitchen tools his musical instruments, the simmering gravy his symphony.
He scooped up a little gravy on the edge of the spatula to taste, his eyes closed, brows furrowed, and then his lips curved into a smile, the same smile which lingers on his face whenever I am around.
‘Senorita’ he scooped up a spoonful of the crimson gravy and a juicy piece of mutton on to a bowl, handing it to me with pomp and flare.
‘Mmm’ I cooed, as I licked the bowl clean losing all semblance of gastronomic control. I had already lost my heart to the aroma of the korma; the spicy gravy tingling by taste buds now, made me fall head-over-heels-in-love with the korma and the man behind the apron, again.
But that was years back…
It’s been 8 years since that day….I have, over the years, managed to figure out my space in this relationship, and so have my Roxane Gays and Rebecca Solnits….I still get late from work, and I still feel guilty (albeit for missing out on watching our favourite series together)
Did I talk to him that day you ask? Oh yes yes, I did…and he refused to ‘help’…because isn’t the house for both of us to keep he said…so we decided to share the load instead, equally, life partners Et al…
Does he still cook? Well yes he does, just like I do….just like most women do and never get asked this question…..
But since you asked…he does cook, especially the korma!
In fact why don’t you come home for Dinner someday? Everyone says the food at our place is unlike anything they have ever tasted anywhere…
Guess some recipes have secret spices, some marriages too…the spice called equality!
I wrote on the prompt ‘How your spouse made your life spicy?’