‘Bitter-sweet’, he thought as he began eating, mixing the piping hot dal as his wife served him and proceeded to pour it into the plates of his brother and younger sisters.He seems to be in hurry , she thought , and a burst of anger came over her.Entirely oblivious, he worked on his meal with a restless haste.Still , the taste of her lingered on his mind; he had had to go sit by the sea on the band-Stand for about an hour after they made love. Jabbar, the friend who he was with kept trying to get him to talk egging him on with the latest gossip from the office.’The slut’, he thought, but he couldn’t get her out of his mind, as he watched the waves crash against the rocky coves.

At the office, Arthi was impatiently waiting for the boss the finish his meeting and let her go home.She wanted to be let off early, she was tired, not just because of what Jai and she had been doing but also because she other errands to run.She had a Accent Training class at Andheri near the station, and it would take her a good half hour to make it there on time.The mornings incident lingered on her mind, but she decided to ponder over it slowly, to savour it over time.She had had sex before , and had had just some time left to gather her stuff after finishing him off in the bath-room, she kept smiling through the day, even as he left to have lunch at home,to his wife.

Just as she was leaving, he called.

‘Aaj class mat ja’ (‘Dont go to class today’)

‘to phir kya karoon?'( what should I do then?)

‘pata nahin’

‘Aur, tumhari biwi kaisi hai?’

‘Theek thi, tum apni sunao’

‘Hamara kya hai, usi ko dekh kar jete hain jis kafir pe dam nikle’

‘Kya? Tumhari jaisi ladkiyon ko zyaada sar pe chaadhana nahin chaahiye.Tum jaisi to yahan se aye din dar bees guzarti rehti hain.’

‘ mera bhi number batado’

They carried on like this.He hated the power that she had over him and she was in it a little because she was a little in love with him, the bastard, and because she had no where else to go, this was just somewhere she had to be.

Sujata , waited for him to come home that night. And when he did, she wouldn’t look at him. He didn’t notice for some time, she was coaching his younger brother and sister for their exams. This was her usual schedule in the evenings, tuitions, then making dinner for them , and serving them…