He sighed as he rang the door bell. He knew what would follow. Life was so predictable. Yet he could do nothing to change it. No one was ready to change.What else did he expect!
Just as he had expected, he heard scuffled noises and some grumbling and the door flew open.
'Hi!', he said enthusiastically, which was rather forced than out of delight...
'You know what she did'....., started both of them together-just as expected!
Sanjay looked at his beautiful wife and then at his wizened mom. He loved them both ,but they did not love each other. Let alone love, they never even liked each other. To explain it better, they could hardly look at each other and speak amiably.
Aruna was in tears and Sheela ma had a tired look on her face.She seemed to have aged a lot all of a sudden and his wife seemed to have a bucket of tears ready at all time!
Each one excepted that he pacify them and scold the other. But he was sick and tired of this routine.
It was just six months since Sanjay and Aruna were married. A few days after the wedding,Sheela Ma moved in with them.It was not a decision that she liked or expected. After Shankar Pa's sudden demise, Sheela Ma had no other choice.
Sanjay longed for some piping hot filter coffee and a plate of pakodas. And he was sure he was not even going to get any of those until he heard their woes.
Life after the wedding was supposed to be all colorful and exciting. Things were supposed to be like that for a while at least but not in his case.Each and every day, the two women complained about each other and he did not know whose side to take.
Each day started or ended like this....
'Errr....Can I get some coffee,Aruna'?
"Ask your mom.You like her better than me,right.So she will make it for you'.
or it was like this...
'I have prepared a lovely soup .Its something similar to what we had at that restaurant last weekend'.
'You went to the restaurant?I thought you said you were taking her to meet your colleagues!'
'Oh never mind.I have nothing to say here, except that the soup is thick and it will spoil your appetite.I have made your favorite Mooli Paratha and Rajma masala..Come and have that...
He really wanted that soup now and he wanted the parathas as well. Taking sides will break the other ones heart for sure.
'I had a some snacks with tea at work and I am not hungry', he said and went to bed with a growling tummy. The though of the soup and the delicious dinner made him all the more hungry. He shut his eyes and wished he could fall asleep at the earliest. He could hear the bickering outside the room yet he shut them off and tried to go to sleep.
Arguments like this happened over anything and everything and the one that was affected the most by its outcome was , obviously, Sanjay..
Life dragged on for Sanjay and he started spending more and more time at work.He was lost and was not sure if any one could advise him on what was best to be done in such a situation.He wanted to find a solution but never dared to ask anyone. Life was such a chore.He had to think and make his marriage work and at the same time keep in mom happy. The biggest question was - How!!??
One fine day, he came earlier than usual and found the two arguing over something petty and that too with the doors wide open!
'I am going on a tour for a month or two and I have to leave right now', he shouted over the commotion.
Suddenly the house fell silent and then commotion started all over again.He was questioned over this sudden trip and hurriedly suitcases and bags were packed. Both the lovely women shed tears and they looked equally frightened as Sanjay walked away
Within a few days, Aruna fell sick.She caught some virus and was down in bed. Her body ached and she longed to see Sanjay. All she could get to was his voice mail.She lay there crying and wondering if she should go to her sister's place.She was not even sure of she could withstand the travel.How she wished her mom was nearby now!She looked up at the
heavens roof and cried silently...
Seeing Aruna's plight, Sheela silently decided to make her feel better in ways she would do if she had a daughter. She tended her with utmost care and patience and nourished her with soups and other healthy foods.
Slowly Aruna recovered and finally realized what a loving and jovial person her MIL was! She now wanted to get into her good books and that too at the earliest...
As days went by,the two would been seen together and mading plans for dinners and outings. The two people who could never be in the same room at the same time were seriously discussing about politics and movies! Both felt they never missed Sanjay as much as they thought they would.
Aruna found the mother that she had lost in her childhood and Sheela got the daughter she never had!
A scared Sanjay returned after the trip wondering what the situation at home would look .He expected a war front and a severely damaged house and of course some bodily injury too!
The door opened with a wide grin from the two who he thought would have killed each other by now. The decor was redone and it looked all warm and cozy. His mom looked years younger and his wife looked radiant!
They both took his bags and was trying to make him feel at home ! There was no argument and not even a sight of misunderstanding.He was shocked and wondered what had happened.He never expected this to happen and that to within a month!
During the scrumptious lunch,the two were heaping praises on the other that neither noticed him grinning widely! After lunch they retired to their rooms to catch up with the month that went by.His wife eager told him what had happened and how she appreciated her MIL's efforts to get her back to normalcy.She ran to her Laptop and showed him something that almost startled him! She had patiently typed all traditional recipes as Sheela Ma dictated and even added notes to make a fusion of them!He hugged his wife and thanked the Heavens.
His plan had worked!!!
Creamy Vegetable Soup
And here is that lovely soup that Aruna had prepared for him a few months back and she made that again which they all relished...
Oats- 1/2 cup
Mixed vegetables- 1 cups , finely chopped
[I used-Beans, carrot,peas,baby corn,potato]
Water 1 cup or more
Salt and pepper to taste
Mint leaves and chili flakes to garnish - optional
- Roast the oats on low flame for a few minutes and powder it. Mix the powdered oats with some milk / water and whisk well .Keep aside.
- Microwave or pressure cook the vegetables.Do not drain the water in which it has been cooked. Keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and put in the garlic.Saute for a few minutes till light brown. Put in the mixed vegetables, and water and bring to boil.
- Add salt to taste and the oats mixture. [Whisk once more before adding].The soup will thicken.
- Add the milk and simmer for a few minutes.If the soup is very thick,add more water/ milk.But don't boil for too long.
- Remove from heat, add pepper powder and serve garnished with mint leaves/ chilli flakes if using...
Here are some more stories and recipes to check out under the Food and Fiction tag....
- You can add any vegetable of your choice.
- You can also add finely chopped onion along with the garlic.
- Don't forget to toast the oats before powdering. It gives a nice flavor and does not clump up stick to the pan.
- My folks like the vegetables int he soup to be on the softer side, but you can add it directly to the pan and cook it in water[before adding milk] to make vegetables on the crunchy side.
- You can add herbs of your choice like coriander/ oregano etc.
Also take a look at the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM #33
Labels: Blogging Marathon, Food Fiction, Oats, Slurpy soups