Rathi, a delicate looking pretty lady in her mid-thirties, was hard at work in her kitchen. Chopping vegetables to make his favoutite panner masala. She hated panner. But he loved it. She sometimes suspected, he loved panner more than he loved her. She was already making the dish in her mind, mentally preparing the amount of salt and the garam masala that she had to add.
She suddenly paused for a second. She was forgetting something. She knew she had forgotten it. But What?
She brushed the thought aside and continued chopping. Suddenly it stuck her. It was his clothes! She had forgotten to bring them from the laundry. She quickly calculated the time that he would be home. She still had three hours. She freshened up, quickly braided her long lovely hair, grabbed her purse and ran to the road across. She paid for the laundry and rushed home. After keeping the onion tomato mix on the gas for boiling, she took out his clothes to keep them back in the clothes shelf. That is when her eyes caught the white paper. It was a gym bill worth nine thousand. He had not told her about joining any gym. Her mind raced and she thought of his behavior of the last few months.
He suddenly seemed more energetic. He looked younger and had complained that his trousers were becoming loose for him. He dressed well and even used a hair gel these days, something he had never done in the past.
Her head spinned and she held the bed post for support. Was he cheating on her? Was it one of her friends? Or was it some co-worker who had weaved a web of magic on him? She had to know. She needed answers. She could not bear the thought of him with someone else. Numbed, she just sat down wondering what to do, whom to ask and how to ask.
Suddenly an odour hit her nostrils. It was her masala that was burning on the stove. She ran to the kitchen to switch off the gas. Went back to the room, closed the curtains and just sat on the bed hugging her knees.