“Are you sure you want me to come? Does your father know about me?” asked Neel to Sheela.
“Yes, kind of! Don’t worry, my love! A lot can happen over dinner. My family will get to know you in steps. But remember not to talk unless you’re questioned. And look for signals from me before you say something,” said Sheela and hung up the phone.
Neel was very excited to meet everyone in Sheela’s family. Her mom, dad, sister, and their dog.
Nothing can go wrong. I will win everyone’s hearts. Neel assured himself.
Neel’s friends called him a biryani expert as his secret recipe was drool-worthy. Neel cooked and filled a casserole with his signature biryani.
“I’m sure my biryani will be a great hit. ‘Bonding over biriyani’. Wow! Great tagline,” exclaimed Neel with a grin.
Neel reached Sheela’s home on time.
He was welcomed by Sheela’s mom.
“You can get refreshed and join us for dinner. Everyone will be at the table, waiting for you,” she said.
Neel felt a little anxious. He smiled at everyone and placed his casserole on the table.
“Welcome, Neel! Have a seat,” said Sheela’s father and introduced everyone in the family.
“What have you brought Neel?” asked Sheela.
“Biryani,” replied Neel.
“Awesome! Let me serve it to everyone,” said Neel’s mom.
Soon everyone began eating. The whole room was filled with the wafting aroma of the biryani.
Neel had a feeling his biryani was already spreading its magic.
But suddenly, Sheela’s sister began gasping for breath.
Her mom gave her water to drink but it only made it worse.
“Somebody help!” yelled her mom. Everyone began to panic.
Neel knew what to do and rose to action immediately.
He stood behind Sheela’s sister with his arms wrapped around her waist and started performing the Heimlich maneuver.
In the next few moments, she coughed up a bay leaf that had obstructed her airway.
“She had choked. Thankfully, she’s fine now,” said Neel.
“It’s all because she ate the biryani. Anyway, thanks! After all, you are a doctor. You would know,” said Sheela’s dad.
“Not a doctor. Nurse, Sir!” corrected Neel. Neel had failed to comprehend why Sheela was shaking her head vigorously before he spoke.
“SHEELA! YOU LIED. You said he was a doctor. I’M NOT HAPPY.” Sheela’s dad screamed at her.
Hearing the word ‘happy’, their dog Happy, who had been sleeping until then came running and tugged at the tablecloth. Soon all the contents on the table came crashing down to the floor. Unfortunately, a crystal jug fell on her dad’s foot and he yelped in pain.
What started as a perfect family dinner turned out to be a complete disaster in many ways.
“Sorry, Neel! I have a lot of things to fix. I’ll call you later,” said Sheela apologetically.
Neel returned home feeling disheartened. His biryani had failed him, and so had Sheela with her lies.
Connect with Penmancy:
Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!
- Sundari Rocks on Career Day - 24 Mar 2023
- Dear Sister - 21 Mar 2023
- Sundari’s New Avatar - 21 Feb 2023