Chapter no 30

Life of Pi

He’s married. I am bent down, taking my shoes off, when I hear him say, “I would like you to meet my wife.” I look up and there beside him is … Mrs. Patel. “Hello,” she says, extending her hand and smiling. “Piscine has been telling me lots about you.” I can’t say the same of her. I had no idea. She’s on her way out, so we talk only a few minutes. She’s also Indian but has a more typically Canadian accent. She must be second generation. She’s a little younger than him, skin slightly darker, long black hair woven in a tress.

Bright dark eyes and lovely white teeth. She has in her arms a dry-cleaned white lab coat in a protective plastic film. She’s a pharmacist. When I say, “Nice meeting you, Mrs. Patel,” she replies, “Please, make it Meena.” After a quick kiss between husband and wife, she’s off on a working Saturday.

This house is more than a box full of icons. I start noticing small signs of conjugal existence. They were there all along, but I hadn’t seen them because I wasn’t looking for them.

He’s a shy man. Life has taught him not to show off what is most precious to him.

Is she the nemesis of my digestive tract ?

I’ve made a special chutney for you,” he says. He’s smiling. No, he is.

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