"He already hates cats, you brought two from Prasad's?" Mandira quizzed a awkward Trisha
"I guess she did" Ashvin nodded obediently
"I was hoping you can go with us today you didnt" Mandira pointed
"OHMYGOSH U SHUD BE LIKE SOOO HAPPY. Mom was so boring... I mean I love Mom... her friends are like super boring" Leela made a face
"she hasnt met any of them, she may not find them boring" Mandira stiffened
"Thank God you havent... I am telling you dude"
"U are alive" Ashvin laughed breathlessly
"ashvinnn you are rude beta"
"I am sorry, but I cant stand some o those women"
Trisha was chopping onions, turning red periodically
"there is no help I have take care of work and cook" Mandira sighed
"AND WE LOVE your food the most"
"Ma trisha wud like to challenge that" Leela poked
"I dont... I am a bad... bad baddd cook" Trisha shuddered like she had just spotted that lizard on the wall
"I can teach you" Mandira said confidently
A look of "OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE ??" passed through Trisha's face
Ashvin noticed it and almost fell off the chair laughing
Mandira was busy with her stirring and sauteing
Leela was as usual on her phone
Dadu... who knew where Dadu was, his driver had deposited a suitcase, much to Ashvin's chagrin earlier
"Umm.. I have to study a lot too" Trisha reminded
"You are not studying all day.. be... beta" she said after hesitating
"I can teach you one hour every night" she said
"Yesss I am just happy its not me" Leela told Trisha
"U cook?" Trisha asked
"I have NEVAH NEVAH cooked anything... I want to sometimes but cant... luckily I am not a bad cook" she said
"sure... u havent cooked but u know u will be a good cook?" Ashvin asked logically rising Leela's shackles
Trisha smiled at him appreciatively
"I mean... think abt it" he was egged on, he wanted to make her laugh, take her around town
some night, many nights every night, make her laugh so much her somber face would always be animated like his sister's
"All your cousins know how to cook" Mandira waved a ladle
"Dont look at ME. I cook fine" Ashvin threw his hands up in the air
Pushed his glasses and started working
"Your cousin, Latika she already knows how to cook" "u are just not wanting to learn"mandira was sincerely admiring her from her tone
"Oh that tra.. gender fluid one" Leela was hurt
Trisha looked confused
"Umm.. later" Ashvin promised to educate his wife on the urban lingo
"I miss Delhi" Mandira said loudly experiencing Delhi blues
"then u shud go" her son responded within a second
"U dont like me here I know" Mandira lowered the flame and turned to him
"No... not true"
"I can see it"
Trisha felt a surge of compassion for her
"Mom" Ashvin got off walked over to her
She warded him off
"u think I have nothing better to do with my life..." Mandira's eyes were moist
Leela exchanged a look with Trisha, and shrugged
"Mommm she is watching too" Leela said LOUDLY
Trisha looked at Leela in shock
"I mean... just saying... u were all about not appearing like a fool and all that... and saying u will be guarded etc" Leela said
Mandira looked at Trisha
"She is not going to love me... maybe she wont hate me more" she said
"Umm.. I dont hate you" Trisha mumbled
"Mom.. I am sorry dont leave... stay as long as you want"
"I am tired of being lonely Ashvin... Leela is usually... umm" she stopped not saying her daughter stayed over wherever and whenever
"I get it, I get it" he stroked his Mom's arm fondly
"I have not known a life without you two" she said choking up again
To Trisha she reminded her of Prakash
"You make me happy" she said looking at Ashvin "because you are not a combination of nastiness and ambition" "U are a combination of sincerity and earnestness"
Ashvin smiled gloriously
"I want to be independent, I want to be like other women, but I love you two"
"AND ME MORE" Leela screeched
Trisha smiled at her
"Dont u agree I am the better Narang?" she asked Trisha
"dadu seems to have realized the bad... but is unable to excuse it and accept the good" she said
Mandira knew going up against senior narang was a losing proposition
trisha was done chopping, she washed her hands and cleaned her work area professionally
"Khaane Mein kya hai?" he asked cheerfully
"Its MOMMM" Leela said jumping off the tall stool and hugging him
"Kya kiya saara din?"
"I hung out with her boring friends"
"And u Ms Shanbag?"
"I studied... I went for haircut" she said feeling her hair
Ashvin noticed it
"U dont like long hair?" Sharan quizzed
Trisha shook her head
"HE HATES LONG HAIR... so I GROW IT" Leela promised with vengeance
Trisha blushed as she felt his roving eyes...
"I could always do what I did when u were 8" Ashvin cracked himself up
"MAAA" leela shouted
"Ashvin" Mandira scolded him
"Mom" he ack
"beta tok nahi unko... they are having fun" Sharanbir coaxed his DIL, his face enveloped in a content look.. a look reminiscent of good times in that family
"Looks like I actually have your support to do this?" Ashvin bantered
Sharanbir nodded and shook his head all at the same time
Ashvin reached out and fondled his wife's short hair.. Mandira tried not to look