Friday, August 31, 2012

30 day challenge. Day # 1

You move into a new flat. Everything is perfect. Except this horrible thing you didn't count on first...

Wonda moves into a new apartment. On the surface, the place seemed ideal, but her first night there, Wonda discovers a terrible problem with the place that she didn't take into account.

It is only after Wonda had changed into her white and blue striped shorts that she smells it. This smell - which can't be described as a stench, nor as a perfume. It is just a smell. Something she has smelled before. But she just can't put her finger on it.

She checks the kitchen. Behind the fridge her landlord has provided with the flat. Under the sink to see if some erst-while spilled gravy had dried up there. Nothing. Everything looks clean.

Wonda thinks of what she has to do in office tomorrow. One meeting post lunch, three reports to be finished and maybe one or two diagrams to be made sense of. Tuesdays aren't so bad. Except she has to see Vikram again. Vikram sits on her right. And he cracks awful jokes and gets offended if she doesn't laugh at those. And no matter how she tries she can't ignore Vikram. He is a nice person underneath his I-am-too-cool-to-care look. And to top it all off, he lives somewhere in Bhakti Park too, she has heard. Oh well. One must face their enemies sooner or later. And in cases like this, everyday.

She must call her sister in Delhi before she goes off to sleep. Everyone at home has been worries about her shifting to a new house. But then she couldn't keep living with her uncle and aunt for ever, could she? What worries her most was the food. She has very limited knowledge of cooking. At best she can fry an egg, boil some potatoes and whip up a spicy variety of rice with pickle. Wonda makes a mental note to learn new things.

"Hello, di"

"Wen! Why didn't you call earlier? I kept thinking you haven't even reached home. You know how all these cabbies are."

Wonda sighs. She can never make her sister realise that Bombay is not like Delhi. Yes. It might not be like home. Kerala had been quiet. But Bombay was always on the move. And hardly anyone had the time to pass comments. It probably also helped that the government doesn't let rich Punjabi lads in Bombay run around with guns.

"Oh di. You worry for nothing. It's ok. I was just busy cleaning up."

"Did you eat?"



Oh damn. She always caught her fibs. "I had snacks in the evening. Not hungry any more."

Truth was Wonda was craving her mom's tamarind rice. With so much going on in her life, she just needed a known thing to make it seem alright. But she didn't quite have the energy to soak the tamarind and then cook it with rice this late.

"As you wish. You must take care of yourself"

"Yes di. Listen. I have to go to sleep. Got work early next morning. And I still have some reports to finish"

"Ok. I'll call tomorrow"

She hangs up and walks to her cupboard. Out comes her crisp white shirt and the navy blue skirt. She feels the fabric in her hand and smiles. Sitting down to iron her shirt, she starts humming an old Dev Anand song 'Hai apna dil toh awara na jane kis pe ayega'.

Once done she brings out her handbag. Those two files must be dealt with today. She fumbles inside the bag, pulls out a file. Its greasy.

Her brow furrows. She is positive she didn't put anything in this handbag. And her tiffin case was safely soaked in the sink. Then.. Oh!! And there is the smell again.

She peers into her bag. There is a small green Tupperware jar. Tilted, gravy had come out of it.

She opens it. Inside is a mixture of rice, some tamarind paste and a egg!! Whoever makes an egg with tamarind rice.

There is a note on the underside of the container. Wonda opens it tentatively.

"Welcome to the neighbourhood, Wonda!!! Ainda zaroorat pare toh bula lena. Get it? 'Ainda'- 'Anda'. Har har har"

Oh man! That Vikram!!!!

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