There came a time when Ava Shinoy decided to leave her husband of nine years and return to her family home. Was there addiction, abuse, infidelity, incompatibility? No, nothing like that. It was just that cooking was not her thing. Cooking for a man who had three full meals a day, who liked his food freshly made, his dishes flavored, precisely, to his liking. God, was he fastidious! He did not like his dishes repeated for a month, and his moods could swing, depending on what she had prepared. For the first two years of the marriage she had enjoyed seeing him eat, had enjoyed drawing on her repertoire, which was limited, leaning more toward quick western dishes rather than traditional Indian. He would eat in silence, his eyes riveted to his plate. It had thrilled her to see him so engrossed. Her heart would fill with love and she would make promises to herself. In the privacy of her mind she would swear that their love would endure; it would grow into something powerful and long lasting, a bed on which she could lie a lifetime. Pretty soon – year three or year four: she could not remember now – she saw his moods and tantrums. He picked on her for untidiness, for things left strewn about. And he accused her of being lax with household items, things like crockery and vases that seemed to come apart in her hands. Then there were comparisons to his mother’s cooking and references to her laziness, which were untrue, so ...
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