“Your roti, it looks like Tasmania.”
“All right, we agreed no more making fun of my rotis.”
“No, no it just reminded me of…”
“What the hell is this Tasmania anyway?”
“It’s an triangular shaped island, off the coast of Australia. No offense da, it just struck me that’s all.”
She continued rolling out her rotis in silence. She rolled furiously, as she wiped the sweat off her brow with her hand some of the atta stuck to her forehead but she didn’t seem to notice.
“I can’t marry you.” she finally blurted out.
“You are taking this way too seriously, I wasn’t making fun of your rotis or criticizing you, please understand and stop behaving childishly.”
“No. I don’t understand. I don’t know your physics, I’m not as well read as you, nor do I listen to your pretentious music or understand any of the billion things you do! We are a misfit and my knowledge is woefully inadequate to stay married to you. I have no fucking clue what a Tasmania is, nor do I care. I can’t differentiate a quark from a spark and a meson from moses. Just leave me alone.”
He was shocked by her vehemence. All cooking came to a standstill. They stood there for a few seconds, inhaling puffs of flour and smelling of hot rotis. Involuntarily she moved to him and burst out into sobs, hugging him.
“I love you, you know?” he said
“I love your laugh, your smile, your frown and your complete inability to drive in a straight line. I love your body, your throaty cries and your hair. I’d love you if you were a pus filled pimple, and I’d love you if that pus morphed into a golliwog. Plus youre wayyy out of my league and I supplicate myself in gratitude to you for your merest glance.”
In spite of herself, she laughed. Not one of her arousing throaty laughs but a laugh just a shade above a giggle.
“So Tasmania can go to hell, will you marry me?”
“Along with quarks, mesons, Tolkien and karaharapriya.”
“Done, but only because you are so atrociously hot. Will you marry me?”
“You are very insistent” She smiled, blew a nosy strand of hair away from her face and resumed rolling out rotis.
“You are also a great cook. The greatest. O provider of gastronomic orgasms. I will remain thy faithful pimple. Please marry me”
“Not very original are we? Put salt in that sabzi. Saat roti khaayega na tu?
“If I do end up marrying you, I will observe Karwa Chauth; even unmarried women do it these days. Kareena did it. Really you must start tweeting. Kareena does it too.”
“Sure.” he said distractedly.
“And I will fast all day thinking of my husband and in the evening when I break my fast so will you, having fasted all day. You will then curse Shahrukkhan and I will laugh muhahahaha.”
“Why is that? What does he have to do with karwa chauth?”
She looked incredulous. She was stuffed with food, washing dishes with one hand and trying to balance a heavy pan in the other but she managed the incredulousness with absurd ease.
“Haven’t you seen DDLJ? It’s like an urban legend! He fasted for Kajol! That’s why all men fast nowadays!”
This was followed by a brilliant eye-roll all the while managing the dishes, but the pan slipped from her grasp and clattered noisily into the full sink precariously settling over an upturned tumbler. Her expressions were still perfect to a tee, never mind her hands.
“No. We can watch it together and you can show me all about this fasting festival you have in mind. Is this like Alaipayuthey?”
“Only a gazillion times more romantic. This weekend. Pakka!”
He was at her doorstep, saying his goodbyes in his usual punctilious way
She closed the door and waited a few seconds. Then she hit the door with her closed fists and slowly slid to the floor sobbing.
“I can’t marry him.” she said to herself softly.
How could she live with someone who hadn’t seen DDLJ?