Clever or nice
It took Prakash Shanbag less than an hour to find the paperwork and connect the dots
By the time his daughter work he had even put everything away neatly
And gone back to his easy chair perch
It was a gorgeous breezy morning
The air was salty and moist, almost palatable
"I dont need money. I am goingt o the university next week to reapply for TA jobs in January" she handed him the Rs.10,000
Lets get a new commercial frig"
"They are all upwards of Rs. 20,000" he mumbled rolling cotton balls into lamp wicks for his pooja
His dhoti still damp, he mumbled chants as he nodded distractedly
"Lets give this as down payment" he insisted
"We have to buy 4 for the restaurant one for home, one bottle cooler for beverages. It will cost over Rs. 1 lakh. The new owner can make such a investment"
"Dont say that" she shrieked
"If it suddenly happened one day you will be shocked. You are like Vijaya ( wife) you think not stating facts will somehow ward off difficulty"
"Haha... Amma was so caring you cannot tease her like that" she smiled
He leaned a bit and smiled slowly
His eyes glistened with pride
"Rao said I should be proud of you" "Not many girls will be even willing to throw away their future like you did"
"I didnt... I have my future back" she said emotionlessly
Who ever said future was a hopeful promising thing was clearly wrong in Trisha's case
"Then why are you not happy?" he sighed
She colored quickly, got up with the empty flower basket
"I am going to go get flowers" she promised
There was an aging coral jasmine tree in the front courtyard, much like Prakash it had aged and dried up but the flowers were most pleasant scented and rich
"The hawker that sits underneath on Thursday said he wants to cut off the lower limbs, since it tears into his tarp" Prakash murmured
"Nobody is cutting anything"
"Ha... you cannot argue with those fellows"
"Its our tree its inside our compound wall"
"He will ask first, if we dont listen he will bend and break it. Thats how the world is these days. They take what they want they dont respect rules. Everyone is insensitive"
"No" she mumbled softly
Not everyone was... people were decent and kind and generous and caring and funny and attractive
She walked down the cracked concrete steps
She brought back a basketfull of white and red glory.
"Can we go to Bangalore to look at commercial frig"
"You are always wanting to do stuff. so restless" he mumbled bending down and prostrating himself
"I want us to do everything for the restaurant without teh franchise"
"And keep my grown daughter here as a servant? No" he said and hollered "Krishnaaa"
"Daughter will go to MU" she giggled
"That boy will never talk to you" he said looking at her deeply
Strangely that line did not hurt her one bit
"Are you sad because of him?" he asked suddenly realizing thats why she must be upset
"Umm... no" she shook her head
"Then who?" he asked
"No one" she found herself lying
"Was he horrible to you?" he asked quietly saddened, rubbing his fingers dry of the chandan paste.
"NO... NOT ONE BIT" she said passionately
"He was clever then" Prakash mumbled
"He was nice" she said