a taste of ‘Many Fish to Fry’

by  Abha Iyengar

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return to Many Fish to Fry in the Store


She wanted involvement of some kind and she could not figure out what it was.

This was followed then with some direct talk, “I miss the hot rotis you make for me. You seem to have no time to talk to me… and the dhobi just can’t iron the shirts like you do… did.” Coloured View

She could not take in the reading on the scales. That was because her stomach was in the way, blocking the numbers. The Scales

She imagined butterfly wings on this short, plump man in yellow shirt, bright blue pants and white patent leather shoes. Well, he was colourful, but she wasn’t that sure of his wing-flapping abilities. Butterfly, Dog, SS

It’s like you want a daughter and decide to name her Roshni. But you have a son. What do you do then with the dream name? You name him Roshni. And leave it to the world to figure out why. Tea, Termites and Fish

The tubby man sat down, breathed in, then breathed out. “What a triumph,” he said, “Madam, you must put some extra cardamom in the tea…” Dish without Fish

“You will nod and go away and do what he suggests. If your pain somehow goes away, you will sing his praises. If it does not, you will think you did not do something right.” Try Sharing the Bananas

“I hatched a plan. You see, Sharmila… oh, what a name, beautiful is it not, dear?” Was Harinmoy half in love with Sharmila himself? A Matter of Perspective

However, from the look of things, Prateeksha was still not happy. Harinmoy was still on her payroll, so obviously there were other things to be settled. The Return of Harinmoy

Reena knew that Harinmoy hobnobbed with the drivers, the maids, the paan-waala, the chai-waala, the istri-waala, the society guards, the labourers… He most probably smiled and said hello to the other ladies who lived in the apartment building. Where is Anirban?

Now if anyone went, “Omigod, how can anyone eat a laddoo and like that, for breakfast…!” she would definitely shut them up. They made fun of this just because it was a village thing, she thought. Scheming Gods

“Well, he is my relative, from my village, I have to. Family is very strong in the village, even the entire village is akin to family, and this is my uncle, my mother’s brother.” Family Matters

“She ensnared my Uncle with her charms, and he used to buy her a lot of things when he was not spending on alcohol. But she wanted him to marry her and provide for her. He did not agree to that.” You Get What You Will

Prateeksha sobbed, “Reena Auntie, I am coming to your house to stay. My child cannot be born among rotten, smelly things.” The Fish Arrives

“The SS is for Super Sleuth, everyone asks me, you see,” he said, his grimy finger between shirt collar and neck, then the same finger straightening his shirt across his midriff. The Coming of Harinmoy Banerjee

“I see it in your face, Madam, the loneliness,” he said, and sat down. “So I have come at the right time for tea?” The Greedy and the Innocent

Sushama always assumed that Anand was busy. Men were supposed to be, even when they put their feet up and smoked in front of the TV. A Tenacious Hold

People were gently escorted inside, through the hall blazing with lights from overhead chandeliers. There was the smell of sandalwood in the air. Wide earthen bowls filled with floating rose petals lined the walls. The Bajaj Wedding Sangeet

She passed the small kitchen and noticed how the kitchen utensils, though few, shone in the morning light. Obviously, they were house proud. Discoloured Walls

The eyes were clear and piercing despite the folds of skin around them. “What do you want to know?” he asked, looking at it. Discordant Notes

It was rumoured that Sanjay’s mother had forced Neeru to get an ultrasound at some shady clinic, where they had been informed that Sanjay and Neeru’s first-born would be a girl. The Big Jump

Though she hated to sit patiently through the beauty treatment, the end result was worth it. The Turning Point

These, expensive? She would not pick them up if they came along free and with a gift thrown in. White Shoes with Brass Buckles

He reached into his kurta pocket and took out his glasses and perched them on his nose. Reena looked at him and did the same, fishing her glasses out and placing them on her nose. They smiled at each other. The Green Monster

She hated to cook fish, but liked to eat it occasionally in restaurants and at the homes of friends. Anand had settled for lamb and chicken dishes at home once he realized that Reena did not like cooking fish. A Good Beginning

Someone had visited her website and said that merely posting pretty pictures of jewellery and giving them fancy names was not enough, customers wanted to know if they could afford the items. Wired and Stoned

The art of trying to know you at the moment, thought Reena drily, that’s what I am practising. Triple Whammy Plus One

Did he ever have to explain to her his need to work or to relax with the newspaper or go out with friends? Why did he now begrudge her this desire to express herself? Forging an Identity

It was as if by talking about things that had happened, mainly accidents, the danger of such things happening to you, in a similar situation, was warded off. Expressways and Fartiquette

“Madam, the crux of the matter remains the same. The cause of the dispute continues to be FISH. Fish is there in the house, isn’t it?” A Case to Crack

She put the comb down and lifted her hair off her neck. It was still thick and heavy though it was not as long as it used to be. Now she trimmed it to shoulder length. It made it manageable. Crowning Glory

She had almost said, “You are deserting me now, aren’t you, me the fat sinking ship, so I am in her place really…” but restrained herself. This was not how independent and feisty women thought and felt. The Exercycle

“See,” he said, “I told you about when I arrived in Delhi, 7 years ago, from my village. I took a job. I was short, thin, dressed in ordinary T shirt and grey pants, and would not get a second glance. I was a nobody.” Unforgettable Due to Formula

The girl had almost convinced her that she really wanted her husband back. But then, why was her mobile switched off? Should she not have been waiting for a call from her husband? A Village Called Chirulia

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