Tuesday, March 18, 2008

mind of the m(h)arried man

I have a nightmare…
I’m at the sink, washing dishes. In the oven something’s cooking. It’s an east meets west kind of recipe concocted by His Holiness our mystic Baba, I’ve been told. The second batch is in the oven now. Four of them, gooseberries steeped in honey and cooked in wine, sit cute in sauce. The recipe is meant for the monsoon, and confidential. It’s raining outside and I’m in the kitchen, doing a bit of cooking as ususal.
I wait for Babli, my partner now.
She works in some BPO, KPO or LPO God knows what….I feel hungry, the rain motivating the metabolism, I’m not alone. A chilly wind is blowing. It doesn’t feel great to be outdoors, waiting.
I’m back at the sink, washing the dishes. How many times have I asked Babli to buy me a dish washer. If these walls had ears, they might have heard me, but not she. One day when she finally took me to the showroom demo, the models were all too expensive. I really liked the big machine which sang `My friend stole my sweetheart, as we played the Tennessee waltz’ as it cleaned and warmed the plates.’
I wait for Babli.
She’s always busy in her cubicle; tap, tap, tapping away. I even tried going there once. But the security wallah (he is only a glorified chowkidar, with his wireless and all. They’ll be giving laptops to sweepers next) told me to wait outside and then brought me this dal vada and tea. The snack was good. These new age chowkidars can cook!
I put on a raincoat and take the dishes outside, one by one, to wash them in the rain. The rain strikes up a fragile rhythm on the china. A pool of muck forms on the ground below, which I skirt each time, going inside. The plates are stacked up by the sink. The tap is still running. The kitchen floor is dank and I will have to mop it now.
I take the Babaji’s recipe, scribbled on an A4 sheet, fold it in four, half fold the sides, cup it, flatten it and then draw it slightly apart to make a boat, which I float in the rain. The muck is blue now, a sort of ocean. She’ll love it if she comes in now. It’s getting dark.
I wait for Babli.
I feel like a hot bath. In the bath, a thunderbolt starts me. The water is hot and scented. I drink a bit of it. I like it. Then a spider, spinning its thread falls inside my bathtub. I don’t like spiders. Babli calls it phobia or labia or something. I step outside and carefully drain the water. Babli has pasted this big poster of a spider’s web over our bed. She calls it our matrimonial web. I personally don’t like matrimonials at all. Fair Telugu girl, MNC job, alliances invited. If she is so fair and has this job, then why should they advertise. Boys will be queuing up outside the
I too feel like a spider, awaiting its mate …I wait for Babli.
I try to read the Sidney Sheldon novel Babli bought me yesterday. I ask her for a dish washer and she buys me this. What am I going to be, reading all this stupid stuff? A professor? She says it’ll improve my English. I’ve seen Basic Instinct 20 times. Really liked that Sharon Rock.
In the kitchen, I find Babli. She is sniffing the dish. I’ve a rare spark. I’m Adam, and out of my rib is she made. There she is, Eve, offering me the fruit, the kitchen our Eden. But she won’t play.
I sorely miss the snake.
Babli is not amused. She doesn’t like it at all. And she is not in need of any mystic Baba food, she tells me. `Sorry, had a party in office boyo. Rahul’s daughter’s birthday.’ My dreams of a deluxe dishwasher go down the drain.
Now she’ll go and start tap, tapping on her laptop
I must join some gymnasium. There is a good one in Munirka, Babu who lives next door told me. They give you nice injections too, to build muscle. My bottom is itching.
Or shall I ask our Baba for a new recipe?
I fall asleep, and my nightmare melts away.

©Umar trivandrum

2 comments:

quick said...

it sounds interesting mate. keep writing. i like this stuff. read laurence stern's tristram shandy.

mousumi said...

hey this is a real good work...i liked it the most...buddy keep goin...doin a good job...mou