Those were the days when lot of changes were happening in my life. I moved to Bangalore for work, got married and was setting up a home. In that hectic schedule, Malvi’s presence was like a breath of fresh air. She was my first cook in Bangalore.
Malvi told me about her marriage. She told me about her husband, who made guest appearances at home, inaccessible most of the time. Malvi’s was a love marriage, which became unpleasant over the years. She eloped with her fiancé, when she was in 10th standard. He was an auto driver then. He threatened her to marry him and given the innocence of her age, she did marry him. Her family did not approve of the marriage and she had to severe her relationship with most of her family, save her brother.
One fine day, she told me, ‘Madam, I will not be coming.’
I thought it was temporary break. I asked her, ‘Will you be coming after two or three days?’
She replied, ‘No Madam. I am quitting the job. I am moving to Mysore with my family.’
I scolded her, ‘You should have told me earlier. Where will I get a cook now at such a short notice? Why are you moving to Mysore?’
I can live on my own. I have been doing so for the past three months. But my brother wants me to get back with him for the sake of the kids’. My husband wants me to stay home and not go for work anywhere. Where will I get the money to run the house and to pay for kids’ schools then? He doesn’t earn any money and neither does he want me to.”
I waited for Malvi for almost a month, hoping that she would return. After the initial excitement of helping me in the kitchen fizzled away, my husband entreated me to appoint another cook. A few months later, her son showed up at my doorstep and asked for her mother’s last month’s salary. He told me that they moved to Mysore. I gave him the salary, without any complaints. Malvi deserved it.
I had several culinary relationships after Malvi, but none of them lasted long enough.