(Continued from here and here)
Just before we got hitched, and around the time I was getting a massive attack of frozen feet about marriage – the responsibilities, the new people, the new location and even grocery/vegetable shopping, I had this conversation with the very-reassuring-and-considerate fiancé.
"Do not worry" he proclaimed "Main hoon na (actually, the English equivalent – but Main hoon na sounds so much more heroic no). I used to shop for vegetables and groceries all the time when I was in the US."
"Do not waste a moment worrying about it" he empathically added.
Thus, after uttering a brief prayer thanking the powers-that-be, for inadvertently acquiring a Domestic God, I blithely traipsed into the marriage.
Let's forward a bit, to a scene a few days after the ceremony.
A foray into the kitchen stores and refrigerator had elicited nothing but 2 inches of accumulated dust and a sneezing fit.
"Aha - Time to see the master in action" I thought to myself.
The Domestic God (henceforth to be known as DG) rose with alacrity to the occasion and thus we found ourselves browsing the aisles of Tru-Mart for the very first time as a couple-setting-up-a-house.
The dimming of the stars in my eyes started in about twenty minutes. For twenty minutes I saw the DG stand with rapt attention in front of the frozen meats section, intensely debating on the relative merits of Chicken salami versus sausages. (A sidebar here, DG’s genes seem to have revolted against generations of brahmanical abstention. They like their chicken. They like the chicken very much. In fact, I am pretty sure that if there was a race between say, a Biryani versus wife, the wife would be so far behind in the race, that it would have been significantly better for the wife's ego not to have started running in the race at all).
Anyways after gently hinting (remember this is very soon after marriage, where one hadn't yet graduated to shrewishly prodding) for about ten minutes, he moved on. – to the snacks and juices counter and carefully and lovingly selected some more staple-foodstuff– viz. custard powder, salted peanuts, Haldiram's snacks, papads and pickes. Then he led me very confidently to the toiletries and cleaning supplies section where he added some ear buds and dental floss to our shopping cart.
And it so happens that I found myself in the slightly atypical situation of having olive oil and salami in the house, but with no daal or atta.
And this highly individualistic shopping pattern continues till today. On the rare day that S goes grocery shopping – specifically on the days he has a craving for corn and realizes that its available in Big Bazaar AND I manage to catch him in time to shove a grocery list in his hand, he comes back cheerily carrying whatever it is that he finds interesting in the aisles (whether or not it is on the list).
The selection process is all very mysterious. Yesterday for instance, he had chilli-powder and turmeric on the list. He brought the turmeric but very snootily passed over the unfortunate chilli-powder.
And rummaging through the shopping bag is always fraught with interesting possibilities – one never knows WHAT one may find inside. Although, probability is high, that one won't find any Harpic or Lizol.
Ah well. Who needs Harpic and Lizol anyways?
To be continued: The Domestic God in the Kitchen.