Hours later, I would laugh at the situation, but in moment, I failed to see the humor. I kept glaring at my father who seemed to be oblivious to me. When his food arrived, a grin appeared on his face.
I had to laugh! He’d ordered a thali and got exactly what he had wanted to eat. The dal, sabzi etc. complete with the dessert.
Of course, I kept a close eye on the bill and we seemed to have just about enough. Ninety bucks for the food and ten bucks for the tip.
Forgot about VAT.. Oh well, no tip!
Dad and I walked back home slowly.
“So how was it?” My dad asked awkwardly.
“What?” I asked surprised.
“College, first day?” He asked, glancing at me with a look that said what else could it be!
“Oh. It was okay.” I replied.
That was the thing with my dad, he never wanted the details. A simple, good, bad, okay would suffice.
He nodded slowly. A long silence followed, “Aur? What else is going on?”
“Oh nothing much. This and that.” I replied, wondering what was going on. Dad and I didn’t generally have long chats. All lecturing business was mom’s forte.
He nodded again, “Good good. And what are you reading now?”
“Some novel..” I said, getting mildly annoyed now, hoping we reached quickly.
Secretly, I had always thought that dad felt a little left out when Sona and I ran to mom with all our problems. I don’t know why we did that, maybe it was just a girl thing. I think dad realised how futile it was getting me to talk, so he gave up all effort and we walked the rest of the way in silence.
Once home, we put on the television. Seriously, I cannot imagine what families did before television was invented. What did they talk about?
After a while my mum and sister came in, laughing.
“Did you eat?” My mum came over and asked me.
“Where were you people!?” Sona questioned. I didn’t say anything. Looking at my sullen face my mum turned towards my dad, “What did you do?”
My dad laughed, “It was funny actually, wasn’t it Pinku?” he nudged me a little. I made a face at him and moved an inch. I was still mad at him!
“We didn’t find that stupid Hwang ho! And your husband only had hundred bucks on him!” I complained to my mum.
“Hwang ho????” My mum asked, “Isn’t that the name of that chinese river?”
“Ummmm.. the name of the restaurant also?” I offered sarcastically.
My mum raised her eyebrow for a moment and then both Sona and mum started laughing.
“What’s so funny?” I asked, confused.
Sona, in midst of her laughter spree managed to utter, “The restaurant was called Chung Wah!”
Now that I think about it, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier. Anyway, I learnt two important lessons that way.
1. Never trust daddy with names
2. Always check the amount of money dad is carrying.
Of course, I got lax one day and forgot about lesson number 2, but I’ll save that for now.