“Don’t slurp your food”
“Eat with your mouth shut”
"Remember, you're not the only one at this table"
“Don’t make a noise while chewing your food. Eat quietly”
The man she had married had all kinds of instructions for her. In the early days of her marriage, her eyes would well up. She was bitterly lonely in this new country with its short days and moonless nights and she hankered for a kind word, a smile, a shared joke. But all that was forthcoming from the husband was instructions on how to eat.
She tried changing the way she ate. She really did. Sitting in front of a mirror, she would scoop spoonfuls of rice from the plate and put it in her mouth. She would chew the food with her lips pursed. But it never worked. Halfway through the exercise, her lower jaw would drop involuntarily and she would find herself eating with her mouth open.
So she stopped eating dinner with her man, always finding some excuse not to. She would serve him food and watch him eat noiselessly with his mouth moving like a well-oiled machine. But after he went to bed, she would slip out to the kitchen, take the rice pot from the fridge, dig out a mound of rice, pour a generous helping of curd, mix it with her fingers, roll it into a ball and swallow it. The food would dribble down her elbow and she would lick her fingers as she ate. She didn’t care if it made a noise. His snores were sure to drown it.