Juliet: Oh yes. I had gone to this restaurant where they serve absolutely delicious Peking duck. I was peeking into the kitchen trying to spot the chef to congratulate him when I saw a sight that sent my pulses racing. Romeo was standing at the sink, his arms smooth and glistening with soap. As I watched, he lifted a dish and tenderly wiped it clean with a greasy rag, his slender fingers moving artistically to and fro over the saucer. So gentle and yet so firm, so manly. Those soap suds were so romantic, they oozed allure.
Heer: So you fell for him over the dishes?
Juliet: Actually, it was when he had finished the dishes and was washing the kadai — the cooking pot — that I knew he was the man for me.
Laila: Reminds me of the day I met Majnu. I had gone to his mother’s house to borrow some coffee when I saw him sweeping the floor. I tell you, he was wielding that jharu like a pro. He swept in long graceful arcs, man and jharu moving as if inspired. It was a ravishing sight.
Juliet: Was that when Cupid struck?
Laila: No, that was when I saw him sweeping under the cupboard, with his sweet little bottom sticking out. He’s a genius when it comes to sensually sweeping cobwebs, you know.
Heer: What about you, Anarkali? What attracted you to Salim?
Anarkali: Promise you won’t tell anyone, but I used to fantasise about Mr Right and how expertly he peeled a potato. Many young men came to ask for my hand in marriage, but alas, not one of them could peel a potato. When Salim came calling, guess what he brought with him — a potato peeler. And he stood by the sink and slowly and sensuously started peeling potatoes. Watching him was pure rapture. And it got better — I now know he’s not just a great peeler but a loving swabber of floors as well.
Heer: Ah, but can he grind the masala?
Cleopatra: Oh, Mark Antony can grind a mean masala. But I think his sex appeal lies in the way he mashes potatoes. In my more tender moments I call him Mark the Macho Masher.
Heer: One lazy summer afternoon, when the flowers were in full bloom and love was in the air, Ranjha winked at me playfully and started putting on a pair of gloves. Before I could react, he headed straight for the loo. As I watched ecstatically, he squirted a liquid toilet cleaner inside the bowl, scrubbed it with the toilet brush, fondly wiping out the stains. After that, when he amorously flushed the toilet, I could resist no longer, but fell into his arms with a strangled cry of “My mate”.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint
Views expressed by the author are personal