top of page
  • hashtagkalakar


By Khushi Roy

A murmur of confusion was suddenly heard near the café door. From the glass cutouts of the wooden door, the outlines of a lanky man and a stout woman could be made out. The rather odd-looking couple were vividly debating.

“Ayi ayi o, where are the signs… should the right side of the door be pushed?” asked the woman puzzling over the door. Wearing a heavy red saree, the huge embroidered handbag, that was weighing down on her shoulder was evidently fattened up to its limits.

“Why? Why the right-side? I think the left side should be pulled.” The man suggested as he hurriedly juggled his briefcase in-between his hands to push back his spectacles back to its place.

“It has always been advised by the wise elders, that whenever faced with a choice between the right and the left, always select the right as then you shall be rewarded with good luck. And in my hometown, we always believed that opening the door inwards when entering, was showing respect to Ma Lakshmi who would then grant you good fortune.” Explained the woman with utmost sincerity and convince, while dabbing down the sweat smeared across her forehead with the loose end of her saree.

Suddenly impressed by the valid reasoning given by her, the man agrees without further pondering and pushes the right side of the door. As the door smoothly opens, the wife is declared the winner. A sudden gust of cold air from indoors leaves the couple astonished. A slight excitement and relief take over their worried and lost expressions motivating both to finally step indoors, away from the monsoon humidity.

The café was at its peak time and the hustle bustle inside was a startling difference from the heavy silence outside the café. Both stood frozen in their steps, overwhelmed by the chaos.

“Excuse me, Ma’am, Sir. Welcome to ‘Kadak Coffee’ Would you like a table for two?” Asked a waiter, in a monotonously rehearsed English accent, holding a stiff upright posture.

But the couple was busy gobbling down their vivid surroundings. The fresh green wall papers designed abstractly with dark outlines of maple leaves and the round tables surrounded by dark wooden chairs, left them amused. They were so lost in the ethnic ambience of the café, that the voice made both jump out of their skins.

Before either party could defend itself, the bullet had left the pistol. Instinctively, the woman had tightened her grip on the handbag swinging it off her left shoulder towards the direction of the voice and the rest, well its safe to say that the laws of motion are intact.


“ARREE!!!! MADAM!!” screamed the waiter, ducking and shielding his head with the tray he was holding, completely losing his poised demeanour revealing his Desi accent.

Now an object in motion is like a rather determined stubborn child, who wants what he wants and does not stop until he gets that. And that handbag had been swung with the determination to hit, preferably someone over something. To put a cherry on the cake or more specifically a catalyst to the action, the bag seemed to house a baby elephant, i.e. it was a disguised kettlebell in motion.

Missing the petrified waiter, it was already on to its next target, who unfortunately was so shocked by the continuous change of rather dramatic events that he remained oblivious to the bullet headed his way.

“WOOooossssshhhHH…. BANG!!”…..

Standing on the right side of his wife, unknowingly in the direct trajectory of the bullet, the handbag relished its win as it landed the blow straight on to the husband’s face. Oh and the thin framed spectacles, it landed safely on the tray above the waiter, taking its own seat to view the drama unfold.

“THUD... thud!”

Flabbergasted by the sudden blow from his own wife, he stumbles and falls backwards upon the door. In a hurry to grab hold of it, he lets go of his briefcase, but before he could get a grip, the door opens against his weight. Making him land in-between the open doors, onto the ground, with his eyes wide opened in shock and legs high up in the air.

All the eyes in the café had turned towards them, the hustle bustle converted to stone and everyone seemed to hold back their breath. The café staff was left confused looking like a stuck cassette player, unable to move forward or backward. The entire café went into a paralysis.


The kettlebell had been dropped on the ground and right beside it, the wife had also suddenly dropped down, legs folded, head in hands.

“AYI AYI OOOO!!!!” a muffled scream was heard.

Straightening up, the husband hurriedly gets back up on his feet and closing the door behind him, kneels before his wife. As she is visibly shaking, he reaches out his hand to comfort her. However, an awkward hesitance can be seen.

Now they may look like a middle-aged couple who have been married for quite some while, but as it is said, never judge a book by its cover. As this husband-and-wife, or better known as, Mr. and Mrs. Prabhu, are only newlyweds. Shankar is a 34-year-old meticulous accountant who has given the last 10 years of his life to the same firm, where every day has been the exact copy of the one before it and the one following it. While Geeta being the 7th child in her family was married off, in the age of 23, to Shankar, a bigger city man, with the hopes of a better well-being.

Their marriage was orchestrated by the only link between the two families, the common astrologer, who had suggested rather adamantly, that the very next day was ‘the one and only’ auspicious day for the wedding to take place. So, Shankar and Geeta met each only at the Mandap on the day of their marriage. Two strangers who learnt each other’s names from the wedding board hanging behind their car, were declared husband and wife.

Today, befalls to be the very next day after their marriage, when forced by his mother’s constant nagging and softening up to Geeta’s hopeful eyes, Shankar ended up taking Geeta to the new café opened in town, entitled “Kadak Coffee”. They tagged it as their honeymoon date, since the wise astrologer had yet again, adamantly declared, that the date of their honeymoon was to be after an entire year. So now maybe the hesitance felt by Shankar to comfort Geeta is understood.

“Are you alright?” A worried Shankar asks, after gently placing his right hand on Geeta’s shoulder. He held his other hand out signalling the waiter who was coming to help her up, to stop.

“Geeta?” whispered Shankar, taking his wife’s name for the first time.

Finally in response to her name, Geeta looked up from her hands, with her eyes wet and shoulders still shaking.

“Shankar…I…I... am so so sorry! But… Ayi Ayi…oo…oo…oo... Shankar! YOU FELL SO HARD!!! But that was such a GOOD SMACK!! HEY BHAGWAN! I am so sorry, Shankar.”. Unable to stop shaking, Geeta wrapped her arms around her dancing belly and left out an uncontrollable series of laughter. This was the first time that she took her husband’s name.

Unable to process any more shocks from his wife, Shankar dropped into a cross legged posture and laughed his heart out.

It is often said that laughter is contagious, and here the café broke free from its paralysis. It came alive, watching the odd couple rolling on the floor laughing foolishly, every single person roared at the chucklesome accident. Except for that one waiter, who was still standing with the tray on his head, on which the round spectacles still sat gracefully.

However, still oblivious to their surroundings, Shankar and Geeta were busy laughing at each other. Though the handbag had smacked Shankar, it seemed that it had also smashed down the wall of formalities and awkwardness between them. They were two strangers, cherishing the first memory of each other.

As the hustle bustle yet again took over the café, the Prabhus were seen seated across two cups of Kadak hot Coffee spiced with cardamom and accompanied by conversations that had remained unspoken between them. Shankar started to notice his wife, the small maroon Bindi in-between Geeta’s eyebrows, the Kajal smudged at the corners of her wet eyes and the dimples that formed deep in her cheeks. While for Geeta, she never knew that her husband was a man with a moustache or that a small tuff of his curly hair came down onto his forehead. Their first assumptions about each other got written over by their first impressions.

So, it is safe to say, that it indeed was a honeymoon date for Mr. Shankar Prabhu and Mrs. Geeta Prabhu, who discovered each other to be equally clumsy while sharing the most, ridiculous sense of humour. And as wise elders have always said, “choose the right over the left”, whether it’s for a door or a smack, because you never know when you might walk into, or get hit by, some auspicious good luck.

By Khushi Roy

314 views12 comments

Recent Posts

See All

By Avinash Abhishek आज सुबह बालकनी में बैठा चाय की चुस्कियां लेते हुए अखबार के पन्ने पलट रहा था। मुझे चाय में शक्कर कुछ अधिक मालूम हुई लेकिन चुप रहना ही बेहतर था। चाय की जरा भी शिकायत हुई और देवी जी न

By Yashi Jalan The clock struck 10 minutes past 12 now and I stood by the small glass window with wooden frames, staring through the stillness of the dark forest. A dim yellow light was all the light

By Ananya Iyer “Hintaru, over here!” Okawa says with a vibrant voice. The day is only beginning and he and his brother have been at it outside for quite some time now. There are bamboo chutes everywhe

bottom of page