About 13 minutes and 13 seconds into a Zoom call with Sima Taparia, more affectionately known as Sima Aunty from Indian Matchmaking, she asks to take a break. And for a short while I’m staring at an empty black leather office chair, still swinging left, still swinging right from the velocity at which she spun off it. Behind the chair, the thin strip of a gathered lace curtain filters the light in ways that can only be described in soft words: things that feel like tenderness, like early morning loving that turns into “oh well, we’re already running late”.
Because of the light, because of the lace; a spectrum peacocks itself on the walls in pastels, colouring one part a powderish blue, another – something just to the left of white, and another part of the wall, bending at angles to support the staircase, the pink of something newborn and fragile.
But the chair doesn’t stay empty for long. Soon a man appears on my screen. First his stomach. And then his chest and shoulders clad in yellow. And then a smiling, kind bespectacled face. “Hello,” he says. “This Anup Taparia. I am husband of Sima,” he announces.