Saturday, July 5, 2014

A candle light dinner?

Tavishi is having heart to heart chat with her little friend, Bhawna, daughter of her previous neighbor who is visiting her in summer vacation. Shekhar enters the room and announces something unexpected. “Vishal wants to meet you. He wanted to come over and…and I invited him tomorrow for dinner.” He says rather sheepishly.

Vishal is Shekhar’s closest friend. He could not come for the wedding as he was abroad.

Tavishi smiles. “It’s okay.”

“Are you sure? I couldn’t refuse…”

“Oho, I’m pregnant, not ill. Don’t worry. I’ll manage.” Tavishi says with mock annoyance though she likes Shekhar’s concern.

Tavishi got married eleven months back, and now she is three months pregnant. She remembers how everyone was delighted to hear this news. But, at the same time, expectations of having a male child from her in-laws bothers her a little. Just a little, because Shekhar has no such expectations. He, just like Tavishi, wants a healthy baby irrespective of gender.

“I’ll help chachi!” Bhawna puts in immediately and assuredly.

That night weather changes drastically, and a violent storm hits the city. By the next morning, dust has spread like thick mats in the entire house. Slightly irritated, Tavishi asks her house help to clean the house thoroughly.

Tavishi hands a list to Shekhar. Vishal, though very down-to-earth, comes from a very wealthy background. Tavishi wants everything perfect.

She is finishing little household chores, and Bhawna is moving like her shadow, talking about numerous things. Tavishi is replying with patience and smile. Main problem is that the electricity is gone for long hours. Tavishi takes out her new Borosil Dinner Set. This is perfect time to use this elegant set. She thinks. Right then doorbell chimes.

“Must be Shekhar. How thoughtful of him to come early.” Tavishi thinks, smiling. Indeed, it is Shekhar, but who’s this tall handsome man smiling beside him. “Oh, no! Is it Vishal? Why so early? I am not prepared!” Tavishi shrieks inwardly, but flashes a broad smile instead.

Tavishi opens the door, and Vishal greets her pleasantly and chivalrously. He presents her a gift pack. It’s getting dark, and a dying emergency light is blinking in the house. She feels odd, and immediately switches on the light and fan in the drawing room. She wanted to save the battery of inverter for the comfort of the special guest.

She lights a candle in the kitchen and Bhawna joins her. After serving light refreshments, Tavishi thinks to quickly fix a starter, as she has not prepared the dinner yet. Not her fault. Vishal is an early bird.

Recently, Tavishi has seen some quick fix recipe on Khana Khazana, and she decides to make a soup. Weather has turned cool and it would be a smart choice. Bhawna squeals at this idea, and she asks how she can help. Tavishi is touched at the thoughtfulness of this little girl. After serving a steaming soup in a lovely bowl, she gets back to the kitchen. She spots praise in Shekhar’s eyes.

“How boring!” Tavishi mutters to herself, and curses the electricity as she opens the kitchen window. The greenery outside is blanketed in darkness. A gush of cool breeze hits her, and soothes her mind a little. Suddenly, she hears a lovely song. Bhawna has started the FM on the mobile phone. She places it on the fridge. Bhawna is just twelve but sometimes this little girl amazes Tavishi with her wisdom. 

The ambience was different now. Cool breeze, lovely songs and Bhawna as a nice helping hand and companion. Bhawna also wears apron, just like Tavishi, and beats yogurt for raita. Peels cucumber for salad, dices paneer for shahi paneer, and says, “It feels so good na, chachi, even though there's no electricity!” Tavishi didn't realize when she finished preparing dinner. Meanwhile, she even managed to talk to her husband’s friend.

But Tavishi is not sure about the taste and look of the food. Preparing dinner for a guest in a candle light, huh? At least she has nice dinner set. She thinks as she sets the dinner table. She switches on the light and fan in the dining space but whoa! The inverter battery has no life now. The house is plunged in the darkness. There will be a forced candle light dinner. It is so embarrassing!

Tavishi lights three large candles on the table, and cordially (And sheepishly) invites her guest to the dining hall. After dinner, Tavishi offers coffee. As she enters with the tray, Vishal smiles and says, “You took a lot of trouble for me.”

“Oh no. It’s nothing. I’m glad you came.” Tavishi says with a smile.

Vishal sips the coffee and says, “I must tell you Shekhar, bhabhiji has great culinary skills! The presentation, food, and everything. You’re lucky, man! Thank you so much for a lovely dinner bhabhiji.”

Tavishi could see a proud gleam in her husband’s eyes, and feels gladly relieved. “You’re most welcome.” She says.

“Who’s this girl?” Vishal asks, looking at Bhawna.

“She is a dear friend.” Tavishi squeezes Bhawna’s hand tenderly.

After Vishal left, Shekhar comes to the kitchen. “Thank you Tavishi for managing everything wonderfully! Now girls, you have your dinner, and I’ll clean the kitchen.” He says.

Bhawna laughs, and Tavishi smiles at his thoughtfulness. “Honestly, I felt no strain having Bhawna with me in the kitchen. She was a great help and entertainment.”

“Really Tavishi! We should have a daughter, just like Bhawna. Girls are lovely, and make home beautiful.” Shekhar says, and Tavishi cannot help admiring her husband’s thought. She inexplicably feels happy and light.

Written for Indiblogger My Beautiful Food Contest in association with Borosil

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