Bigger and deeper
"How can I trust you and send my daughter?" Prakash asked haltingly in English
Ashvin opened his mouth or attempted to
"A man that plots an event in his mind for 10 years and carries it through stealthily. How can I ever trust such a man to keep my child safe?" Prakash whimpered
Slowly, haltingly she translated that sentence for Ashvin
"You may not know, Vijaya is dead now, Sanchet is gone, Paresh doesnt come much. And here you are promising a pie in the sky for Trishu"
Trisha translated that looking at Ashvin directly
"I worry for her safety. I am not even thinking about the love and happiness portion of your request. She will never get both. I just want her safe. I cannot willingly send her with you. A man who has the capability to plot such cruel deeds"
Prakash slowly staggered to the chef's stool in the corner.
"I called the cops because the young man's wife was afraid of what you all did.
This is a small town. Honor and respect are everything. If my daughter was a waiter's wife and her hand was grabbed like that, I would hope the son in law's employer would help to protect her"
Ashvin cringed, as Trisha translated that complex troubling thought
"I will never hurt Trisha" he looked at Prakash but spoke in English
"I have heard that so many times son.." Prakash checked himself in shock, at the use of the word "son"
Prakash opened the back door and let himself out in the twilight
Ashvin was not in the mood to leave, Rao Anna came back and asked him politely if he would have coffee
"He only likes chai" Trisha said quietly finishing up her chopping
The OPEN sign was turned on a steady stream of diners flowed in
Ashvin drank his chai and waited for Prakash to return, Manjunath was the host, and the other waiters bussed the food in and out
Prakash returned around 9
Ashvin watched in astonishment as she worked quietly taking orders and instructions, screwing up quite a bit, causing spills, hurting herself as she touched hot plates, or reacting to spills
She didnt look at him, to him it felt like her father's words were taking effect
He could not imagine working or being in the kitchen day after day
The strong food odor, the sounds of stir frying the loud barking in konkani were all alien to him
The songs playing in the dining area loud with rhythmic beats too noisy and cacophonic for him.
Prakash was visibly surprised to see him, also surprised to see his daughter working away without looking at the young man
He was confused over what the young man wanted at this point
Trisha brought him water
She explained what was the most popular thing on the menu to him
Her father pointed to Ashvin and said something
She walked over to her sweaty, grimy hottie and asked him
"You want to eat?" she asked
"Will you eat with me?" he demanded
She blushed gloriously
"I eat at home only, we put in tiffin carrier and walk home" she explained
"I can drive you home" he insisted
"And eat from tiffin carrier?" she asked her lip twitching for the first time ever that evening
"I could" he said with child like eagerness
She lowered her gaze self consciously
"Aanu is sad" she defended her father's mood
"You can eat and go" she said
She turned to peek if her father had heard the "Trish"
"I am happy you are OK now."
Manjunath brought a giant steel plate with sunken partitions with a lil of everything made that evening
He took the plate politely
She didnt know if he liked sea food and or coconut or the hodge podge of "Asian" and "Punjabi" mixture in the flavoring
Prakash didnt talk to him anymore that evening.
Mandira called Ashvin around 10 wondering where he was
When he said "Ullal" she flipped
He ate and left for the night, as he let himself out through the backdoor talking to his Mom he looked at Trisha
Father & daughter wound up for the night, packed everything in the tiffin carrier after Rao Anna and the new guy ate
They walked along the beach, the crowd was thinning, the sand squishy and crunchy
"Walk on the side of the shore" her father switched places with her going over to the sea side
"I am a big girl now. I can dodge the waves" she smiled softly
"In my mind you will always be that little girl that was afraid of the roaring wave" he smiled softly
They walked quietly as cotton candy vendors and balloon vendors nodded and waved at him
Most faces were familiar to the locals
The peanut vendor lowered the lantern's brightness, to save fuel, she bend down and picked up a sparkly bright shell before the vendor walked away darkening their path
"Anna, ko shem aasa?" (how are you?) he asked
Prakash walked slowly, his feet sinking more into the wet sand, she showed him what she picked up, Prakash patted her head fondly
"We will soon have to move out of the house and keep all your shells in it" he laughed
She realized she had left some at Ashvin's too
"We should take the road side from tomorrow at night" she mumbled
"We are hungry, if we eat then we can even run in the sand" he promised
they walked quietly, the wet briny breeze kissing her glowing cheeks
Fishing boats' distant lights twinkled and bobbed against the night sky.
"Do you love that boy?" he asked as loud gurgling frothy wave hit his feet, drenching his legs as high up as his knees
She nodded instantly, hiding her tears behind the ocean spray.
What Trisha was feeling for this boy was bigger and deeper than what he had assumed... much like the ocean