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By Ratika Kapur

Renuka Sharma is a dutiful spouse, mom, and daughter-in-law protecting the fortress in a modest apartment in Delhi whereas her husband attempts to rack up mark downs in Dubai. operating as a receptionist and devoted to discovering a spot for her kinfolk within the New Indian Dream of air-conditioned department shops and excessive paid jobs at multi-nationals, lifestyles goes as deliberate till the day she moves up a talk with an uncommonly self-possessed stranger at a Metro station. simply because whereas Mrs Sharma might espouse conventional values, India is altering throughout her, and it would not be the tip of the area if she got here out of her shell a bit, wouldn't it? With equivalent doses of humour and pathos, the non-public lifetime of Mrs Sharma is a sharp-eyed exam of the clashing of culture and modernity, from a dramatic new voice in Indian fiction.

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What am I supposed to say to the boss about my leave? he will ask me. How am I supposed to tell my roommate that it is his turn to pay the power bill? And what not. I think about his problem carefully, then I tell him what to do. Like a friend. But we were also lovers, my husband and I. There was a lot of friendship, there was a lot of fun that we had and pain that we shared, but there were times, many, many times, when we put all that away on one side, along with our clothes, and quietly got into our bed, while Bobby was sleeping peacefully on the folding cot in the corner.

Bobby is a little bit sensitive, but he is a good boy and he will understand. Still, the day ended very nicely. It was Doctor Sahib’s sixtieth birthday party and apart from all his family and friends, he invited all the clinic staff to a huge lavish dinner at a banquet hall at the Taj Palace Hotel. I asked Bobby if he wanted to accompany me and he agreed. I had to tempt him to come by telling him that there would be a huge buffet. Food, eating food, talking about it, always makes my son happy. Sometimes he tries to tease me by telling me how he wants to be a chef, but I don’t encourage this type of jokiness and I tell him in my strict voice that cooking is fine as timepass, that it would make his future wife a happy woman, but that it is still only timepass and nothing else.

If I wanted it, I could be sitting with Akshay Kumar in his car outside Chic Fish drinking beer and eating tandoori chicken. I laughed. But do you drink beer? I said. Obviously not, he said. Actually, I knew that he did not. Not that it matters to me, but I know that Vineet is not that type of man. My husband also does not drink alcohol, and he does not even smoke. He eats meat from time to time but never ever in the house. Bobby was a little bit agitated and angry that I came back home at five o’clock because I normally come back from the clinic before two o’clock to give him his lunch.

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