“Radha, I’ve heard so much about your culinary skills that I immediately accepted Paresh’s invitation. In fact, I’ve been looking forward to this evening,” said Mr. Singh, eyeing the delicacies spread out before him on the table.
Paresh answered before his wife could. “Oh, it’s our pleasure Sir.”
Radha was trying hard to focus on the conversation. She stifled a yawn and smiled politely at Mr. Singh. He was a 50 year old man with an enormous paunch, a bald head and a penchant for good food. As she watched him dig into the biryani, she felt a small pang of anxiety. Afterall, the path to her husband’s promotion went through his boss’s stomach.
“So how’s the biryani Mr. Singh?” she couldn’t help asking.
Right then another bout of drowsiness hit Radha and she missed noticing him pushing his food around the plate. She only heard his barely audible ‘Hmm’.
Buoyed by his ‘encouraging’ cue, she held a bowl of mutton curry and said eagerly, “Here. Please have some of this. It’s my special recipe.”
“Radha!” Her husband tried to warn her in hushed tone.
But it was too late. Mr. Singh, disappointed by the failure of the earlier dish now looked at the new one with renewed hope. The hope was short lived though. One spoon was enough to make his face grimace.
“Is..is something wrong?” Radha stammered while valiantly struggling to stay awake.
This time however, Paresh took matters in his hand. “Darling, has the price of salt gone down?” He tried to joke. “It seems you’ve used it freely.” And then glaring at her murmured, “In everything!”
Radha stared at him dumbfounded. How could it be?
In a desperate attempt to mend things, she reached for the dessert bowl. “Well then, why don’t you try some of my signature kheer Mr. Singh? Surely, I didn’t put salt in the sweet dish,” laughed Radha nervously. “Or…did I?”
Slowly she glanced at her husband. Paresh looked murderous while the boss started coughing uncomfortably into his napkin.
“Oh my God!” cried Radha. ”I’m so sorry. Please let me cook something fresh for you. I don’t know how..”
The rest of her sentence died in her throat as her eyes shut close and her head dropped on the table disarranging a few pieces of cutlery. The other two occupants looked on in disbelief as Radha’s loud snores reverberated through the dining room
“How could you?! Were you drunk or had you taken sleeping pills?” Paresh lashed out at her next morning.
“Uh..I had such a severe headache that I couldn’t cook,” muffled Radha into the pillow. “I took a tablet and….WAIT!”
Suddenly Radha jumped out of bed and ran to the medicine cabinet. As she flung it open, two identical shaped small white bottles stood gazing at her. She peered to read the faded labels. One was a painkiller and the other an anti allergic tablet.
Radha groaned. No wonder. How could she make such a stupid mistake?!
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