S's three words: Maida, Surya, bucket
The overturned bucket was pushed up as close to the wall as possible. She stood on it, picking up and shaking each identical dabba that sat in a row like shiny, stainless steel sentinels until she found what she was looking for.
Squatting down on the living room floor she measured out three cups of maida. The news competed with her mother-in-law’s gaseous emissions and her own day’s headlines for attention. She sprinkled salt over the flour. Twenty men dead from drinking illicit country liquor. She slowly added water and began kneading. Her daughter had failed in maths again. Centre refuses to interfere in State’s water shortage. Her kneading fell in to beat with the news readers staccato delivery. Her mother-in-law wanted to know what Deepavali bakshanam they were making. Teachers go on strike in Machilipattinam. A month in advance. Her hands were pummelling the dough now. Her husband had said they couldn’t afford a new colour television this year either. She whacked the ball of dough viciously. Actor Surya marries Jyotika in a star studded ceremony. She froze holding the basin in her hands. As images of the beatific couple flashed across the screen a lone tear travelled down her cheek.
“Paithyam paithyam. If you wanted a new television that badly you should have said something - not throw things at it. Che! What’s come over you?”