Raghu came out of the kitchen and went in search of his big brother.
“You know what!” he said, “Amma’s in a swag mood tonight!”
“Izzatso?” asked Raju. “What’s up then?”
“I dunno” said Raghu. “She’s dancing in the kitchen; and there’s Imagine Dragons playing in the background and all.”
“Woah!! Swag it is!” agreed Raju.
“And we’re having a fancy dinner.” added Raghu.
“Keep the info coming li’l bro” said Raghu. “I’m lovin’ it. So what’s for dinner then?”
“I dunno” said Raghu again. “I asked and she said – ‘You ready for this dude? We’re having roasted aubergine nestling in a rich bed of scallions and tomatoes; with long grains of cereals steamed to perfection.”
“Woot woot” said Raju punching the air with his fist. “Aren’t we fancy shmancy….!!!”
“Let’s go tell Appa.” The two rushed off to break the news to The Uncle.
“Appa, Appa….. should we get out our tuxedo and bow tie, do you think?” yelled Raghu.
“Now wait a minute…..” said The Uncle fishing out his mobile. “Let me do a quick research. Aubergine = brinjal; scallions = onions….. Uh oh you poor souls you! I think we’re having Bhaingan Bhartha with rice, that’s all!”
Raju’s jaw dropped – “Bhaingan Bhartha!!!! Nooooooo,” he wailed.
“Bhaingan Bhartha!!” said Raghu. “Again?”
“Ever since Amma learnt the recipe from Lovely Aunty we’re having only that. S’not fair.” said Raju. “Appa should we just order pizza? Please!!”
“Let’s just go out for dinner” suggested Raghu.
The Aunt sailed in majestically and plonked plates and dishes on the table. “No one’s going anywhere.” she declared. “You guys are going to sit around and eat what I cook.”
She glared at her family defiantly.
“Amma…. ” wailed Raghu. “We ate it two days in a row. I’m bored !”
The Aunt turned to him and patted his head gently.
“Oh, let’s see now…… who said it wasn’t as good as Lovely Aunty’s and that I need more practice…….. ? That too in front of her!!!” she said, mimicking Raghu’s voice. The Aunt looked at two small boys and one big boy staring at her with long faces and said, “You wear tuxedo, bow-tie or boxers. I don’t care. But Bhaingan Bhartha is what you’ll are going to eat tonight and every night until I get it right!!”
“Boys,” said The Uncle dramatically, drawing out an imaginary sword. “Ours not to ask why. Ours just to do or die! So it’s Project Bhaingan Bhartha till we ….. er, whatever!”
“But” he continued, “no bow-tie or boxers for me. To suit the occasion I shall come to dinner wrapped from waist to ankle in an off-white flowing garment.”
“What’s that?” asked The Aunt suspiciously.
“My lungi of course!!”
x ——————————————- x
This is the 2nd in the series – The Adventures of The JP Family
as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge 2019
Illustrations – Sudarshan Rao