Thursday, March 27, 2008

Made for each other

The smell of the bhaaji was intoxicating enough to raise the dead back to life. She had read the recipe so well that she could by heart it. She was always proud of her memory and culinary skills, but today she was going to surprise him by making the BEST paav bhaaji ever made in their 2 year old married life.

She cut the onions into as many small pieces as possible and garnished them over the bhaaji. She squeezed lemon over the bhaaji and mixed it. She made sure that the masala would not spoil her orange color salwaar. It looked so tasty that she wanted to eat it inspite of her natural hatred for paav bhaaji. Paav bhaaji was his favorite item and he ordered it every time they went to some North Indian restaurant. Although she had never liked it, today she had prepared it for him.

Especially today.

She sliced the paav, and toasted them. She put them in the hot pack and placed it on the dining table. She cleaned it thoroughly and removed every speck of dust and garbage. She stood outside the kitchen and looked at it proudly as Leonardo Da Vinci would have had looked at his Mona Lisa. He always ridiculed her that she had an obsessive compulsive disorder and she too feared the same at times. But then, she reasoned that it was unfair to label someone obsessive compulsive because she wanted things neat and in order.

She switched on the TV and looked at the Grandpa Clock in the hall. The clock chimed loudly 6 times and proved its worth for Rs. 15000. He should be home any time now. She surfed through the channels impatiently and settled on Zoom TV. Some actress was wearing kerchief sized clothes and seducing the hero. If they show this stuff on prime time, wonder what they show at late night she thought.

The sound of his bike horn brought her back to the real world. The door being open, he walked in and took off his Red Tape shoes and Nike socks. He came into the hall, kissed her on her cheeks and threw the suitcase on the sofa. "Men never grow" she thought. He freshened up and changed to more casual T Shirt and pajamas. He sat near her on the sofa and put his arms around her. They looked greedily at one another.

"So what was my cutie pie doing from the morning?" he asked fiddling with her fingers.
"The usual. Watched TV. Prepared something for my hubby. And now waiting for his review."
"Hmmm. I needn’t taste it. I know the result before hand."
"Uhumm. And may I know what it is?"
"It’s as tasty as you are." He said and kissed her on her lips.
"That’s all? Tasty as me?" She said
"Sorry" He said and bit his lips. "Less tasty than you are."

She smiled. He always had his way with words. Every time she tried to corner him, he would fend it off like a goalkeeper who doesn’t let the ball pass by.
"Lot of work darling?"
"No Honey. It was business as usual."
"Did your trip to Bahamas get confirmed?"
"Not yet dear. They will let me know the results by the next week."
"I would really miss you."
"We still have time. I can book tickets for you even now."
"Its too costly darling. Also we have to save for our home loan. So we better get down to some cost cutting measurements."
"Either way we both don’t have any relatives or parents alive to question us about our spending habits. So what are we going to do? Stay hungry, starve and repay the loan?"
"You know that you are the most sarcastic and naughty husband."
"Sarcastic now. Naughty later."

They laughed together at his silly joke. The TV ran for namesake and even the Mega serial Hero in it seemed to know that no one was watching him.
"Ok. Enough of your flirting. Go and eat it now." she said.
"What’s the hurry? We have the whole time for ourselves."
"My stupid husband. I have prepared your favorite Paav Bhaaji. If you want to eat it stone cold, it’s your wish."
"Wow. You never like it isn’t it? You don’t even have it when we go to hotel. Why did you do it then?"
"Because...." she bent over and kissed him on the corner of his lips "I love you."
He smiled. He dragged her near him and looked at her. He kissed her on her forehead and she fended him off.
"Enough. Go and eat now." She said and started to surf the channels.

He went and washed his hands. He took a plate and put the paav and bhaaji. He ate one mouthful and gave "Hmmmm" sound. She was happy to hear him go gaga over her efforts to prepare his favorite dish.

After tasting one piece of paav, he went to the washbasin and washed his hands. He tiptoed and went near her and stood behind her as she watched the glycerin soaked heroine in the mega serial. He took out the hand gloves from his pajama pocket and wore them. He brought the pillow from their bedroom and swiftly placed it on her face. Her shrieks were muffled beneath the pillow and all her efforts to escape were made null and void by his vice like strong grip on her.

After 2 painful and long minutes, she became silent. He checked her pulse. GONE. He had got rid off her. He could now stay happily ever after with his old flame Sheila whom he had met 2 months before in a conference meeting. Since then he had been having an illicit affair with her. He knew that his wife would never agree for a divorce and would make things complicated.

So he chose the simple way out. Eliminate her. He could now dig his dead wife very far away and move to some unknown place with Sheila. The Perfect Murder. He marched triumphantly to the table as if he was some warrior who had just annexed a kingdom and decided to finish off the rest of the paav bhaaji.

Inside the kitchen, in one of the shelves, a rat poison bottle lay innocently near her ticket to a far off place where there would be no questions asked. She had found out about his affair and decided to take matters in her own hands instead of choosing the longer path of Divorce, tears, agony and pain.

He ate relishing the delicious paav bhaaji. She had been a good cook and he was going to miss her.

As he ate the last piece of paav, his gaze transfixed on the Last Supper painting on the wall and he wondered why it appeared blurred to him.......


Anonymous said...

i am speechless right now. will comment some other time. that was just too quick for me.

Priya Iyer said...

:( did it have to end that way?

good effort though! :) btw, shouldnt it be 'she squeezed the lemon' instead of 'she squeezed the onion'? :)

Dreamzz said...

hahaha! well.... dramatic ending for one!

swat said...

Hiya! I'm a first timer at The Mask! :) "Pyaar mein twist" is what occured to me when I finished reading it. Great :)

HaRi pRaSaD said...

:D You started off very well and indeed set the momentum too wonderfully until the point when the guy took the pillow! After that it was pure comedy.

Don't mistake me. I loved the story till that point beyond which you seemed to insert a twist for the heck of it. Was reminded of "Aasai" Prakashraj. :)

The first half was too good man. Wish you had carried on in the same way.

Anonymous said...

wow.. i was caught offguard i must say. Esp because the way it was going I was sure it was one of ur cute love stories.
But great twist.:) But I thought it came a little too suddenly.
As usual loved it cause it caught me completely off guard

prithz said...

Whoa! Totally threw me off my feet. Though drastic, a fantastic unexpected twist. Would have been cool if u had posted right after ur romantic V-day post :P

Mystery said...

is that how u end a nice romantic story?...grrrrr

i must tell u that u made me crave for pav enna oru description

Karthik B.S. said...

pa... sema twist..

Hitchcock stories romba padikreengalo? Effect nalla theriyudhu! :P

Karthik B.S. said...

i don't know whether you were inspired from any thrill-kill story when you were writing this... but i have to say: AMAZING!

Fit-enough to be included into the Hitchcock anthologies.

Anu said...

oooh my god!!!

im totally totally stunned... this has got to be the best one page thriller i have ever read in my entire life...

Harish said...

Still too quick?

Thanks for pointing out the mistake. Well....what fun is it if it ends the same way everytime:P

Chumma daan nanba

Thanks yaar:-)

Harish said...

Thanks for the honest comment dude. I guess it is a point of view. I have written many mushy stuff before. Just wanted to write something radically different this time around.

Thanks yaar.I thought this was dragged actually:P

hee hee. You are surely hell bent on getting me beaten black and blue:(

Harish said...

I hope you are happy with the next one:-)

I tried my best dude:-)

Thanks yaar. I tried my best :-)

Anonymous said...


Dimplicious said...

okay nw tat was was quite unexpected re..i thot it was definitely one of the romantic n sweet story types..nt much to guess outta the title then lo good change and yeah perfect ending i must say!!!

Ganesh Ranganathan said...

This story has Archeresque touch to it...loved the twist in the last line....

Anonymous said...

Ohh God!

rampantheart said...

Ha ha! Boy, was I fooled into believing that this would fall under the romance genre when I read the first few lines.

Great work! Keep the words flowing!