The college where my Mom taught looked stereotypical of an old university. Large hectares of land, buildings which looked haunted , cobwebs which signified home to generations of spiders, and the names of students starting from the 60’s engraved on every wall. In between if one spots a room with a potted plant or a creeper, it is probably my Mom’s. She has a penchant for interior designing, decorative furniture, indoor plants, wall hangings and these attract her more than sarees or gold (Or so, I think ;-) ). Our home in Trivandrum and her room in college are living examples to her vast experiments. She has a creative eye to see aesthetic beauty even in the weirdest piece of wood. Over the years I too started loving wall hangings and hung a few of them in my room.
Soon after my marriage I realized that my better half doesn’t appreciate wall hangings. However I got a few oil paintings as gifts on my wedding and carried them enthusiastically to Bangalore where we rented a home. Soon our home was garnished with new furniture, carpets - well the carpets were to cover the innumerable wires of the home theatre that went helter skelter on the floor. A clock was nailed on the wall of the living room.
One Saturday when he had to be at office, I took out the oil painting which featured Shakuntala . It was a very common Ravi Varma duplicate piece, but looked quite awesome. I replaced the clock in the living room, with the painting. The painting was quite large to go unnoticed… and when he was back, he gave me a gyaan on how functional the clock was to the living room, compared to the 'useless' painting I hung in its place. I continued to hold a deaf ear to it as it wasn't a big deal anyway.
Few days later, we were informed about guests who were to arrive on a short notice and I had to rush to the kitchen to cook a meal. Planning and execution of a last minute meal wasn’t easy for an expert cook like me, who relies on cook books and long distance calls to boil eggs right…still efforts continued until every cutlery crockery and utensil was smeared with bits and parts of the ultimate lunch which was being cooked. Hubby continued to dictate the route on phone to the guests who were already on their way. ( If it was me I would have told them longest route to reach here…) but I couldn’t afford to handle more disasters than the ones which were already cooking in a pressure cooker, frying pan, microwave oven and rice cooker simultaneously. Lunch time was fast approaching, the guests had almost reached and I called out to him to know what time it was. Pat came a roar from the living room.
'Ask Shakuntala ! '