Ambarish was busy making preparations for parathas. Ayisha had given him specific instructions, and it seems they would suffice. She had covered all the basics over the phone. Boil, peel and mash the potatoes; remember to leave lumps. Add to the mash finely chopped up onions and coriander; and a blend of spices. Knead the dough and make medium-sized balls of both the dough and mashed potato. Now shape a dough ball into a hollow pocket and seal the potato ball inside it. The last step was to roll out the pocket into a round appreciable sized paratha and then roast it in the Tawa with butter.
It seemed easy, but for a beginner, it was a nightmare. The job messy; all his fingers were completely coated with soft dough. His fingers worked furiously; arms throbbing. Despite all the setbacks, his ultimate art piece turned out to be marvellous; as to the otherwise obvious shabby look. The counter watch read 7:30 in the morning; another half an hour more before she announces herself in the kitchen.
Malvika loved parathas; they were meant as a surprise. She had grown up in a Punjabi household; eat, drink and live large. An eternity away from her family did not diminish her Punjabi tastes to the minimum. When the duo had eloped, few hands reached out for help. Malvika was around six weeks pregnant and they got married in court. Immediately after, the newly married couple moved to Mumbai, leaving behind their pasts and starting anew. Ambarish had his job intact and Malvika settled to become a passionate, supportive housewife and mother. But Ambarish knew Malvika silently gulped down her disappointments. She was disappointed with herself. A stock market genius, her background in finance prompted her to invest in stocks; the bountiful returns of which they had reaped several times. Yet, she could hardly dedicate time to her passion. She failed to dictate life in terms of building a career as an analyst.
Ambarish's career span of 28 years had earned lavishness for the family of four. He decided it was time to retire. With both Ayisha and Ayush grown and settled with good jobs, Ayisha being married; they had enough to live their retirement lives peacefully. It was the perfect time to put his plan into action. He had been cautious, but it worked out fine with a little help from the kids.
Half an hour later, Malvika walked in fresh out of the bath straight into the kitchen to prep up for breakfast. She was surprised to see her husband in the kitchen. She sniffed in the tantalising smell of butter and aloo parathas. Ambarish smiled at her and continued with his cleaning and scrubbing. Finally done, he took her hand and pulled her into the dining room. There on the table sat a MacBook Air tied with a red ribbon and a 'Thank You' card placed on top. She smiled at her husband and picked up the card.
My Dearest Wife
Let me start with saying, thank you for everything. Thank you for your dedication, integrity and love. Thank you for the days you held a sinking me afloat. Thank you for shading my life with all the colours that exist. Thank you for being the perfect medicine for the times I needed patching. Thank you for being the perfect wife and mother to our babies.
As a token of appreciation, your absolutely freaking gorgeous hunk of a husband got you (who is equally gorgeous) a gift you deserve. Use this wisely and let me help you reinvent your forever dream. Let me be your pillar of support.
P.S. I even made your favourite Aloo Parathas. I hope they taste better than they look.
With loads of love
Your Dearest Husband
Ambarish saw Malvika's face light up with joy. Her beautiful smile has always been a sense of reality they have both worked hard to build. Her embrace, his haven. She had dedicated herself to him and his children in entirety. Now it was his turn. He would take his time pampering and peppering her with love and attention, which was long due and deserving. Today, he could truly say he appreciates his wife and would continue to do so throughout the rest of their lives. Life is like preparing an aloo paratha; it takes effort, time, dedication, love and appreciation.
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