“Did you watch Tisca Chopra’s Chutney?”, asks Mrs.Kapoor.
“No, I did not. Is it good?” queries Mrs. Das.
“Just too good! The way the wife teaches the girl a lesson!! Weaving that never ending tale of how anyone – animal or human-close to her husband, gets murdered eventually….very yummy!” Mrs.Kapoor happily sips her tea. It has ginger and cardamom in it.
On the tea-poi there are plates of crisp potatoe chips and a bowl of spicy chutney.
Mrs Das , who wears a sleeveless, pink flowery top, is aghast. “What, murdered? Surely, that is a bit too much! What is it? Some sort of fantasy tale? Did the girl believe it?”
“I think so… unless she wants to become a chilly plant herself, she will keep her earrings off his hands now!” Mrs Kapoor cackles delightedly.
Mrs Das thoughtfully sips her tea. The cardamom makes the tea too sweet for her. She grimaces. Her long white earrings catch the sunlight peeping in through the window.
“So how are things otherwise?” Mrs Das asks, after a pause.”How is your back pain?”
“Oh, how did you get to hear of that? It is very bad on full moon nights. You know, poor Ravi has to spend the whole night massaging pain balm on my back. Do you think, there is some connection between moonlight and back pain?” Mrs Kapoor’s kohled eyes open wide, as she stares ingenuously at her visitor.
“May be you should check with a doctor,” says Mrs Das and then realising her stupidity, “oh, fool that I am, your husband being a doctor… of course, he must have done everything needed…”
“Actually, Ravi asked me to just relax. He says I am doing too much yoga, and over strain is causing my back pain. I am trying to lose weight. Men likes slim women, and I love my parathas!” Mrs Kapoor shakes her head slowly, and sighs loudly. “You have nothing to worry, do you? You are so fit, dear!”
“How is Mr.Das doing nowadays? Such a charming man. Always reading all these thick, thick books! So much he reads and writes, I must say! Must be wonderful – all that peace and quiet in the house, eh?” Mrs Kapoor takes a potato crispie and dips it into chutney. “And since you have no children yet, you will have all the time you need for your hobbies, right?”
Mrs Das speaks very slowly: “I need to go now.”
At the door, Mrs.Das turns. “Who told you about this movie, Chutney?”
Mrs Kapoor scratches her head for a thoughtful second.
“Mrs Nair, I believe. Met her at an office party the other day. She said a lot of stories in short films are actually based on real life episodes. And she particularly suggested that I watch it.”
Mrs Das smiles tightly, ” Did Mrs.Nair give you any more suggestions?”
Mrs.Kapoor laughs happily, “Oh yes, she said that I should get new spectacles. Apparently she did not believe I was seeing properly! Ravi was annoyed! She was just trying to be helpful. Instead of buying new glasses, why get angry, eh?”
When Mrs Das walks to her car, she is just not sure whether her ears were cheating her or not.
“Bloody Bitch!” A loud hiss…
But when she turns, she sees only Mrs Kapoor, still waving cheerfully from the portico.