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Word Count: 432
The first story of the collection A Temporary Matter focuses mainly on marital alienation but food emerges as a metaphor in the story Shobas disinterest in cooking comes about when the sense of alienation sets in after a miscarriage As long as marital bliss was much present the kitchen had also been well stocked Shobas inclination to cook good food and to keep her kitchen in good shape is proportionate to and concomitant with her pleasure in marital life The authors description of the happy days includes a detailed inventory of food items 1 The pantry was always stocked with extra bottles of olive and corn oil depending on whether they were cooking Italian or Indian There were endless boxes of pasta in all shapes and colors zippered sacks of basmati rice whole sides of lambs and goats from the muslim butchers at Haymarket chopped up and frozen in endless plastic bags 1998 6 All subsequent references to different stories are from this book Shoba had been quite a meticulous cook and revelled in entertaining guests But those were golden days of the yore After a miscarriage things change and so does the kitchen The couples sense of alienation and lack of communication is conveyed by their food habit For months now theyd served themselves from the stove and hed taken his plate into the study letting the meal grow cold on his desk before shoving it into his mouth without pause while Shoba took her plate to the living room and watched game shows 8 The electricity repairs comes as a bridge for Shukumar to reach to Shoba For five consecutive days electricity was to be cut off paralysing all normal activities hence the pretext of their busy work schedule that the couple used to put up was not affordable at the time This one hour provides the couple with the much needed intimacy
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