She wanted this dinner to work.
Dear lord! Not because she wanted to marry, but because she desperately wanted to get out of this rat race of being-the-bride. She had lost count of the number of proposals that had fizzled out because she was short, or dark, or average looking. This was the only proposal that had come to the stage of let-the-families-and-kids-meet-over-dinner.
She had had two brief phone conversations with Prakash. She had flung the question at him during their first conversation about why he wanted to proceed where others had fled? His reply had made her hopeful.
Hence, she wanted this dinner to work.
Prakash seemed like a level-headed guy. He had liked the fact that she had done her B.Ed. and was teaching in a school. This meant that she was independent and focused. And he had guffawed that that left her with little time to pester him. Though she had not commented, she had smiled inwardly. She agreed with him. She needed to work and be occupied otherwise staying at home and playing the ‘dutiful wife’ all the time would have driven her stir crazy. For the first time in nearly three years – yup, that’s how long it had been going on – she felt excited.
So, this dinner absolutely had to work.
She had got the impression that he was an equable and pragmatic person, and he had confessed that he was pretty hands-on with household chores. He loved non-veg, thank god! she had thought as much as he enjoyed chaat. By the end of that first call, she didn’t care that she had not seen his photo. She was sure she would like him, after all she wasn’t Aishwarya Rai and it was ok if he wasn’t Hrithik Roshan. She had chuckled at the imagery.
Her mother opened the door and welcomed the guests. The prospective in-laws were dressed well, not opulently, which was a good omen. After they were seated, she walked in carrying refreshments on a tray. She slid a sideway glance at Prakash. Well, she had accepted that he wasn’t going to be a Hrithik, hadn’t she?
After the customary conversation, all of them moved to the dining table. She had out done herself. She had made both the non-veg dishes that Prakash had mentioned and made keema biryani too, which she loved. The usual accompaniments of rice, roti, raita, papad, salad, pickle waited their turn to be served.
As she opened the lids and her mother gushed on how all the food was cooked by her, Prakash remarked, ‘Err…there is no vegetarian dish?’
She was nonplussed and her breath caught in her throat. She looked from one face to the other.
Was he one of those people who had non-veg outside the house without the knowledge of his family.
Bloody hell! Why the hell hadn’t he told her?
She had so wanted this dinner to work…
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