“What’s for breakfast?” he asked. He strode into the kitchen fully dressed, briefcase in hand. The boys were at the counter eating what they always ate – cereal. Which he’d know if he ever paid the least bit of attention to anyone but himself.
“Belgian waffles with strawberries,” I answered.
“Ah, good,” he said. He grabbed the coffee I’d set out for him, gave me a peck on the cheek. “Have a good one,” he said, and he was gone.
Maybe I should increase the amount of slow acting poison I’m putting in his coffee. Faster is better.
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There was a long queue outside the dining hall . It was Sunday . Holiday . People with long tresses had washed their hairs , left it open , and the tied a perfunctory rubber band at the end , giving their hairs a funny tied down balloon look . This way they would dodge the rule police , which said ” no open hair at the dining table ” .
There were church goers and movie show enthusiasts , who were grumbling for the slow making of dosas.
There was a large griddle in the mess , enough to make four dosas simultaneously . But the crepes were served hot . Off the griddle . They were crisp , paper thin , delicious and a weekly treat . No one wanted to miss . Hence the serpentine queues . Air redolent with the aroma of all the shampoos available in the CSD. Sunsilk , ponds, lux and tresemme . We were a walking ad for all these MNCs . And all the perfume brands , cheaply available in the local shop.
There was only one . Stella french parfum . These competed with the more appetising aromas of hot dosas and coconut chutney , asafoetida laden sambhar emanating from the kitchen . It was a battle of smells.
Even the bus conductors could tell us apart . From the coconut oil in our hairs , our looks , and our odours . Clumps of feminine
giggliness . We would dissolve into laughter at the slightest and silliest provocation . So , that Sunday , despite delays , and rumbling tummies , and delays in church and movie halls , there was lot of laughter in the air . Good natured ribbing too .
Then came the seniors . A breed apart . Licensed bullies . Having survived four years of this life , they were authorised to bully any junior into submission . Any junior they took a fancy to . Their noses in the air , they sallied in , and we parted , like the red sea . Giving them access to the first hottest dosa . First , precious , long awaited dosa . It was a moment of truth . A junior, confirmed movie fanatic , counted the number of seniors on her fingertips , made some quick mental calculation and softly let out a curse . Trying to be as inconspicuous as possible , she broke off the line , quietly slinking away .
It was not to be .
A booming voice arrested her progress . “Hey you ! What is for breakfast ?”