Excerpt fro the story,”Parameswaran married Rugmini to have an assistant in his catering business. His job was to serve rice and curry to the pilgrims who visited the Krishna Temple. That was his livelihood the only mode of his earning. ———–
The last of his guests finished his dinner and climbed the steps leading to the lodge. Rugmini put out the lamp, and closed the door. She sat down in her kitchen and prepared for dinner. There was some rice in the basket. She glanced at the wilted plantain leaf and hoped that no one else would come. The warm drinking water had grown cold, and was placed on the hearth which still retained some heat. There was no curry left for her. Every day it was the same story. She scraped the bottom of the jar of mango pickles. – She placed some rice on her plate and put back some in the basket. She had just begun to eat, when, outside, there was the sound of footsteps. With her free hand she lifted the kerosene lamp. The plate the edges of her sari and the brass tumbler filled him with some relief. —His gaze turned to the drinking water pot. —Before he began to eat he looked at Rug mini’s face.” Have you not eaten?’ Rugmini was flabbergasted. “Pease bring another plate.” he said, “this rice is too much for me.” He ate silently.
The pots, pans, and vessels in the kitchen were all empty. And upturned. She said softly, “the water is finished.” He was astonished. ——– Nothing. Just emptiness. A wasted shoot growing on a branch stuck in dry soil. –She tried to forget her dream and smile. The guest murmured,”I am going in search of a drop of cool
water.” He sought her eyes questioningly. She folded the mat and joined him”