“Don’t lean on me too much, Priya my love. My legs are still a little weak after our exertions yesterday.”

“But you should be strong, Sanjay. Haven’t I been feeding you all the very best foods? My mother is recognised as a great exponent of the culinary arts, you know. Her name has been linked with some of the most successful men in the region. And I prepare the same foods in the same way.”

“That is there, but still, I lack stamina. Unaccustomed exercise still weakens me so.”

“You are more cerebral, Sanjay. I know that. Had I wanted a strong oaf, I could have married any of the labouring classes, but I wanted you. I wanted a clever man, one with prospects. You do have prospects, don’t you?”

“I wrote you a poem about the Taj Mahal, about Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. It is not historically accurate but expresses my feelings. Listen:

This building of marble and stone
Was built on the death of his wife
For she was his favourite alone
And he worshipped her during her life.

For my part, I think I have shown
That I’ll care for you while you still thrive
Place you on a high gilded throne
And worship you while you’re alive.

He courted her with silver tongue
And his deep love for her was so pure
But Mumtaz had more than twelve young
And I do think that you should have fewer.

What do you think?”

“Very nice, but you haven’t answered my question. Do you have prospects? I don’t want to marry a man without prospects.”

“What do you mean by prospects?”

“What is your goal in life, your ambition? Do you plan to be a doctor? A lawyer? To be a lawyer’s wife or a doctor’s wife would suit me very well, you know. I can be the gracious hostess, supporting you, laughing at your jokes—”

“Even the bad ones?”

“Especially the bad ones. Is that what you want? To be a doctor or a lawyer?”

“I’ll be honest with you, Priya. I don’t want to be a doctor or a lawyer. I want to be a politician.”

“You say you’ll be honest, then you say you want to be a politician? That, Sanjay, is ambition indeed.”

This was written in response to Kreative Kue 243 published on this site.

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