Chef, Coach and Courageous

Daily Prompt: Three-Tenths

Scribble down the first ten words that come to mind. Pick three of them. There’s your post title. Now write!

“Alankrita, that is the third boy you have rejected in a fortnight. How can you be so indiscreet about your marriage?” utters a flustered Mrs Narang.

“Mom, just because he earns 50 lac a year does not mean he is a suitable boy. He was cocky and from what I recall, one of my childhood lessons said, ‘being cocky is unbecoming’.” said Alankrita who paces into her room leaving her mother behind.

Alankrita has three variants of a Suitable Boy in her mind, namely, Chef, Coach and Courageous (Army). At the age of 18, Alankrita had seen Lakshya, which had two implications on her, ‘coming of age’ became her favorite genre in movies and that she wanted to absolutely marry a fellow who is in the Indian Army. Because there cannot be a true embodiment of courage, other than a person who puts his life on stake to protect thousands of others.

Three years later, she saw Chak De India which revived her dying affection for Shahrukh Khan. Not because it is one of those movies where Shahrukh Khan shines as an actor but primarily because of the character he played. The exhausting conditioning that a coach subjects his protege to, touched her heart, simply because the coach is the brains behind the performer.  After this movie, she Googled a set of other similar movies, ordered their DVDs and watched them. Her favorite coach being Herman Boone (Remember the Titans), followed by Sasha Belov (Make it or Break it) and then Chanakya. And thus she knew she has to marry a Coach/Teacher.

In 2011, she saw Vikas Khanna in Masterchef India and she fell head over heels in love with him. Immensely humble, tied close with family, hot and a Michelin Star winner Chef, what else can one want in their husband. Hence, she resolved, “I have to marry a fellow like Vikas Khanna.”

When the talks of her marriage began, she swore by the three C’s but irrespective of her insistence her mother was being whimsical in the groom hunt. The first guy she met, Ankit, born into a business family, alumna of Wharton Business School and to put it politely, a Patriarch. During their buffet at the Taj, seldom did he miss an opportunity to make it clear that he needs a be at home wife who can take care of his family and raise beautiful children for him. If only money could buy sanity, she thought to herself at the dinner table.

The second guy, Akshat, was a journalist with NDTV and she had almost foregone her check list but then his mother proposed some voodoo rituals to be performed before the talks materialize into a relationship. Apparently, their family astrologer had suggested that her stars are laid in a bad position which may bring great misfortunes for Akshat’s family. Now, whenever she sees Akshat on the TV sounding so intellectual, she can’t help but call him a hypocrite.

The third fellow, Nitin, an IIT Delhi graduate, and post graduate from IIM Ahmadabad quite rubbed it on her face that how his current salary is double than her’s. He did not mince his words while implying that people who opt for Maths-Science are sharper than those who opt for Commerce like Alankrita.  Now, you see why she called him cocky.

Mrs Narang followed Alankrita into her room and angrily says, “What do you want me to do, find a guy on the moon. Boys are egoists just like women are emotional, you can’t change that. And since you can’t, you will have to marry one of the menfolk on this planet and learn to adjust.”

“Adjust, how do you expect me to adjust to a guy who thinks there is no better use of my life than to raise children or the guy who values some superstitious mumbo-jumbo over his sense of judgment or the guy who thinks he has an upper hand over me simply because he did science and I did commerce. Let me spell this out very clearly to you, I want to marry a teacher, a chef or a soldier.”, responded Alankrita.

“Stop being a kid, will you? Do you want to spend your life being called a Bawarchi’s wife? And a soldier, do you know how many men die in the military? I am sorry but I cannot live with the looming fear of seeing you as a widow. As far as a teacher is concerned, I wonder how do you expect to support your prodigal life style with dwindling salaries of a teacher? I am struggling day and night finding you prospects from decent and well-settled families while you simply go and reject each one of them.”, replies Mrs Narang. ”

Oh I know, what well settled and decent means, it means rich, that’s it. But haven’t you heard, ‘Somethings money can’t buy’.”, says Alankrita.

“Let me complete that for you, ‘Somethings in life, money can’t buy. For everything else there is a Master Card.’ So while I am at it, I can at least make sure that I find you guy who has a master card.”, Mrs Narang wittily retaliates.

“Thank you, for doing me this huge favor. You know what, I will find myself a better half on my own.” says Alankrita bringing the argument to an end.

“Fine, suit yourself. I hope you are aware that you can’t walk into a store and place an order for a custom made husband.”, replied Mrs Narang and closes the door as she walks out.

Mr Narang, who has all this while been sitting on the couch pretending to be engrossed in the newspaper, lowers the newspaper a little to see Mrs Narang walking out. He thinks, “This is the third time in the fortnight when the two of them have had a similar argument with the exact same conclusion. But neither has Mrs Narang stopped playing the cupid nor has Alankrita has tried finding herself a chef/soldier/coach.” As a young man, Mr Narang had only wished for a peaceful life but living with two women at constant logger heads doesn’t beseem a peaceful life. If only wishful thinking were an assurance for the future.

P.S. My ten words were, Interview, Apple, Chef, Coach, Blade, Hair,Courageous, Floor, Time and Dark. I was watching Chak De India before checking the prompt and it was the night of Vikas Khanna’s return to television, so that is how I came up with the two of them and went ahead to use them.

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13 thoughts on “Chef, Coach and Courageous

  1. alienorajt says:

    I love the quirky energy of this piece – and also the insight I have gained into your culture. Fascinating. It is funny, wise and well-written, but also, I feel, makes some serious points. Impressed! Alienora

    • Palak says:

      Thanks 🙂 Marriage in India is perhaps the most important decision of one’s life and other than the bride/groom there are various other interest groups. Right from matchmaking to the final affair, it can all make a hilarious write up.

  2. Siddharth Muzumdar says:

    Wow that is so vivid… just based on three words, you’ve managed to spring out such a beautiful post !!!
    Not that it is any of my business, but is the character of Alankrita based entirely on fiction or does it have an inkling of reality-based personal touch?

    • Palak says:

      Thank you!
      Coming of age is my favorite genre in movies. Remember the Titans is one of my all time favorite movies. And I like Vikas Khanna. Apart from that, everything else is fictional.

      • Siddharth Muzumdar says:

        Haha that’s alright. We all have our favourites.

        What I loved is the way you’ve sprung up a story around it. Coming of age is indeed very evolutionary and necessary if we are to survive the “big bad world”

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