Monday, June 14, 2010
The woman walked into the huge waiting area, her movements tentative and uncertain, her eyes searching for that one familiar face in the multitude of strange ones in front of her, all the time wondering whether he would still be waiting. After all, she had been late - very late - in reaching. Suddenly she spotted him and her eyes lit up with joy.
"Just where have you been all this while? I've been waiting for so long," he said to her petulantly.
"Uff my dear.... we are meeting after such a long time. No 'hi' or 'hello'. Won't you even give me a hug?"
"I should have known better, I should've known that you would come later than you promised.....I've known you for so many years, but your habit of never coming on time hasn't changed. From the time we met, I've been the one waiting for you. You remember, don't you, how I used to wait for you outside your college, while you would take your own sweet time coming out?"
"Oh, why are you digging up the past?"
"That is because you've never understood how painful it is to keep waiting for someone."
"Oh please, don't imply that you used to suffer whilst you waited for me. I still remember you perched on your bike, puffing away to glory and chatting with the cigarette shop wallah and the chai wallah and the chaat wallah"
"Thanks to that waiting, I started smoking which ultimately led me......"
"Typically you - always thinking of the negative side of things. Thanks to the waiting, you learnt to make awesome chaats - the only food you ever managed to make for me," she teased. "But I must admit, I really have been craving your chaats . Everytime I missed you, I 'd make some. But none of the chaats I made tasted as good as yours. Least of all the fruit chaat. God alone knows what you put into it.....you never shared your culinary secrets with me," she complained.
"And I must repeat, there were no secrets. I just added a little extra bit of love. Plus, I always chose the fruits with care. The freshest possible, the best money could buy. After all, nothing but the best for you," he smiled.
"But my dear," he continued, "if you missed me so much, why didn't you come here sooner?"
"As if you don't know.....so many things happened after you went. Our twin grandchildren.... Varsha needed my help in raising them. I couldn't have just left her alone and come up here to be with you!"
"Yes, you are right. You couldn't have come any sooner," he concurred.
"Anyway, now we are together,"she said happily, linking her arm into his, "so stop complaining. But tell me something, you came here 2 years before me, so didn't they decide where to send you? I didn't expect to see you here at the reception. I was under the impression that I'd have to look for you."
"Sweetheart, how could I not have waited for you? How could I have wandered off anywhere," he said tenderly, "and left you searching for me? Be it here at the gates of Heaven - I hope they do send us to Heaven, not hell - or when we were on earth, when we were alive or after dying, you will always find me waiting for you. After all, people die but old habits...old habits die hard!"
A story about tardiness (and waiting) that is being sent to an event way past its deadline? Just what do you call that - cheeky or mere coincidence?
Much like the man in the story, the husband makes whips up a fantastic fruit chaat.
It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!