6 years ago
Flour & Fear of Appa
Amma had painstakingly cooked, chholey, stuffed baingan, malai koftas and cilantro rice, and rotis with chilled kheer for dessert.
II had brought ice cream with her.
Amma had scolded her the whole time she helped her make rotis in the kitchen, about how frovolously she spends
"Sh shshhh" was all II said in response
"I am not sure when Appa will explode but he will about the car, just pray your husband stays here longer so Appa is quiet out of politness" Amma worried
"Its ordered, and paid for, ippo appavala onnum panna mudiyadu" (he cant do a thing now) II sniggered
"That was wrong, unapproved and out of line" Amma said sternly
"It was needed, required and MY PLEASURE" II hissed
"If u keep going like this very soon you will be out of control, sollitten naan (I am telling u)" Amma warned
"U mean I am OK NOW?" Ii giggled
"EDUKKU DEE RS.12 LAKHS CAR?" (Why do we need) Amma was baffled
"Summa iru ma, I WANTED TO BUY IT" (Keep quiet ma)
"How much is your installment?" Amma asked
"Rupees none of your business" II giggled
Amma smacked her soundly
II yelped in pain...
"Sollu pinna" (tell me then)
"Umm Amma PLEASE let somethings be private between husband and wife" II begged
Amma looked at her oddly
II eye signalled her... Amma turned to find R&B at the door, "Is it OK if I use your ipad Mrs Iyer?"
"Ayyo, yes yes , please go right ahead, where is Mr Iyer?" Amma was irritated, Appa was not doing a good job of entertaining him
"Oh! no worries hes on the phone" R&B said
Amma dusted flour off her hands and went to get it from the bedroom
He wandered into the kitchen, a sweaty II was flipping one over the fire, while she rolled... he dipped a finger in the
flour and traced her arm, she let him do it, he dipped all fingers in the dusting flour and touched her neck, she squirmed, leaning on him,
She deftly tossed the new one on the tava, and turned the handle away from him so it wouldnt accidentally tip over on him,
she continued rolling, he continued making flour imprints on her waist, neck and arm, when his hand moved up over her rib.. he heard a purr..
"really?" "Now?" she whispered
The flour stuck to her damp belly...
"I am just putting u through a stress test" he muttered, her pallu, tucked, in a no nonsense manner exposing delectable midriff where his left hand was
"I didnt recall applying for a job" she said
"U didnt I decided to conduct random testing" he said
"Vendaam da" she begged as he bent on her shoulder "U are going to have atta all over you" she warned
He continued messing with her, she took a sheet of dough and taped it around his fingers...
She moved from the stove to the rolling area, symphonically... while continuing to ward him off she had made one more,
"Its hot and humid here, go to the living room, the exhaust is name sake only, they cant even change it since its all government owned" II explained
He didnt care... he held her waist "I can shut this off, do u want to go do this in the living room" she challenged
"No right here" he said, grabbing her curve with his left hand
"there happens to be all sorts of stereotypical humor about how violent a woman with a tucked in saree, belan and hair tied in a knot can be...
arent you afraid?" she asked huskily
"Amma is taking forever to find the ipad" she cursed
"enna melellam atta tadavitte da ne" (uve applied flour all over me) Appa will notice it" she said warningly
The mention alone made him want to smear it all over her body, he got a handful and poured it into her cleft
"Ayyyoyo" she shrieked, shutting off the gas, and balling up a half rolled dough
Frantically looking for a kitchen towel
She turned to rub herself off on him as her hands were full of flour.. "yennn da" she shrieked softly
The land line rang in the living room she hid on his chest, grabbing a towel from the sink rail, and wiped herself off,
"U are sweaty and and u ruined my clothes" she complained
He bent down and wiped his forehead off on her saree clad shoulder
"Do u want me to take it off? u can have a bigger towel then?" she asked smiling humorlessly
"Do it" he said unflinching
"RAKSHASAN" she hissed, angrily.. he washed his hands off on the sink, drained the droplets off and pulled the tucked it edge from her waist and wiped it off and walked out, as Amma came talking on the cordless
II had water running full speed at the sink, as she tried to wipe off flour from every where.
R&B got a call he took it in the balcony...
Appa spoke about his work at dinner, about the possibility of getting another extension
"These two will be here, so what is the point in goingt o Madurai or Tanjore" Appa muttered
"Bala can get a transfer" Amma said normally
"Ya but these two will never move to Chennai" Appa said accusingly
"I dont want to work in Chennai pa, they dont have aloo tikki there" II giggled
"She has made her life in Delhi" Appa said, still in disbelief
"She doenst listen to anybody" Appa informed R&B, he acted suitably worried
As if he listened
"She has gone ahead and booked a car, do u know?" Appa demanded
"I do... Sir" he said
"Did she talk with you and not with US? Naanga avlav mattama ayitoma? (are we so worthless?) Appa asked
"Appa its called a SURPRISE. And NO ivan kitta pesala (I didnt tell him)" II defensive
"IVAN? How can u say Ivan?" Appa demanded
"Umm.. I dont know" II mumbled
R&B "Thats fine Sir"
Amma:these days youngsters talk like that only, he doesnt seem to mind"
"there is a point we have culture and traditions for Madhavi" Appa said
Amma nodded "Ishita kanna please dont address like that"
"OK Ma" she said mock politely
It was startling to R&B that Appa was attempting to get him respect from his own wife. He would have expected the contrary though
"She booked an expensive car, and she wont tell us how she paid for it" Appa said angrily
"Welcome to my world" R&B thought
"Appa its OKKK" "I am not going to tell you" II was firm
"Shes right, its done now" R&B said
Appa noticed a unspoken harmony, it frustrated him intensely
"She would always follow rules, she was very disciplined and always obeyed authority" Appa told him
"Now she does her own thing
Amma served more for everyone
"Is it too spicy for you?"
"Not at all Mrs Iyer, quite delicious..." he said softly
He ate like he was polite, soft and unpretentious, he tore the roti very cleanly and his hand was untarnished...
He drank her water, stole her spoon... made room for things around her plate... she chuckled when he did that...
Amma was very happy, Appa? Appa was beginning to see what he did to her
Amma noticed specks flour all over her..
"I like the neighborhood" R&B said
"This area of Delhi is its pride" Appa nodded proudly
"when they say Lutyen's Delhi they talk about Central and South, it began in 1950s" Appa continued
"do u have anyone that works for the government?" Appa asked
"None... Sir, umm... just yourself I mean" he corrected
Appa and him held the gaze for the longest time
Did he mean he was part of Iyers?
Or was II part of Bhallas
Both were unsettling facts for Appa...
"i was hoping she will work for the government, I will pass the baton on to her" Appa said fondly "she is so brilliant, always topped her class"
II blushed shy... Thanks Pa" "See" she whispered poking his thigh, he held that hand
"Topped in acandemics, topped in singing, topped in work, never had to say anything to her... naughty and energetic" Appa spoke fondly. "Always will open the door when I come from office"
"Appa bag la enna irukku" she will ask (what have u brought for me)
Appa teared up... II did too
Amma: she is very affectionate (Amma struggled to label the father daughter love) they fight a lot and they love each other a lot
Appa nodded, bending down to wipe his tears off with his veshti edge
Appa: She is the life of this house... Madhavi and I wander aimlessly..
II ate quietly, red, with embarrassment
Appa: NOT ONE QUIET day, friends coming over, Shravu and her, or reading to my brother, or singing
R&B: he seems very fond of her too (R&B made that stunning observation in watching that challenged man interact with his five less than 5 times)
Appa stared dumbfounded like "So u know that already?"
R&B looked at him like "I am quiet, but not an IDIOT"
Appa: I wish it was 1950s, and i wish she was a boy, she could have stayed with us
Amma laughed at Appa's thoughts
II: thats why I am saying dont go to Tanjore or Madurai
Appa:How can we go when you two are here? (impossible!)
R&B realized Mr Iyer was going to be around his wife for a long time... she seemed happy...
He lay in bed with her Amma's ipad.. she helped Amma clean up the kitchen, Appa had convinced them to stay,
he had gotten a bag of clothes Sam had thrown in the car, his clothes from staying over at her place a while ago
Changed into cotton draw string pants and a tee...
she went off to chat with her parents and returned only after midnight... shutting the door gently... he lay face down... " Toongiyacha kozhanda" (she giggled "Baby's asleep?)
He grabbed her and swung her over the bed, over him and lay her down climbing over her "Wont that be nice" (u can go back to bonding)
he said nipping her earlobe punishingly with unconcealed jealousy...