Monday, January 11, 2016

Those pitfalls of piling on people

The festive seasons are the special slots in one's lifetime that stay memorable because they beckon people to mix with their loved ones and the habit grows with you. It should be nipped in the bud. Some call it socializing or 'we still think of you'....on festive occasions.... though you are 'khadoos' (horrible).

One such person I can think of is Rama Lakshmi,  a devoted daughter of a bureaucrat who longed to stay away from her parents on weekends was a festive occasion for her. What a frightful suggestion from a young lady and spinster. That's ok. She was sprightly, witty, could dance and sing like all youngsters. Promptly on Mondays she will tell you what she did or how revelling the weekend was, no revealing. Begins with no blushing..." Oh you know Bharat ?" the names of her male friends - their eating  and drinking habits will make you admire a walking encyclopaedia. Nothing comes out of it but she is munching your grilled sandwich...piling on you.

This can extend to a family too.My nature is to yell at people...Hey... calling me dear,darling but you are nowhere near when I need you. The familial affection is savoured when you are in need, not when you are about to enjoy a festive moment soon your roof is sheltering a horde of relatives, without notice.Then you get a list from the menu that your unwelcome guests would like to gobble. Hands full, minds full coupled with bones aching for a balm...Those piling on you should at least present a jar of any pain relieving balm.Not that I am allergic to guests but recently when my sister voiced the same opinion I felt, mine should be endorsed.A close cousin came calling-in at my sister's place but refused to get rid of a banana peel after breakfast , I mean the one eaten by him. Huh! What lethargy. I would have raised a hue and cry but my sister spoke of it after a couple of weeks. Now see, these are the piling on people..............leaving eaten plates or cups in the same angle as they were when served. Grrrrrrr ! What audacity!

Not long ago, I spoke to an uncle in a 'devilish' mood that I was fed up of cooking and serving for 365 days at a stretch and  that I needed a break. He (a widower) the uncle, called me over as he had a cook  and I reached  his place in an hour. Gleefully he received me and said, 'Today, ' I'm giving a day off to my cook'- then studied my expression. 'Don't worry dear we are going to Mrs N's place for lunch. Mrs N ? A Mallu-cum-Bong (Malayali & Bengali) household. My heart sank but the uncle assured me ' You will find vegetarian stuff, come on'.

'Lunch ready' , announced an oil-smeared cook-cum-butler wearing the filthiest jacket (winter wear).

The Menu:
* Two kinds of rice (pulao & boiled) both looking delectable but I chose the former, then came dal and potato subzi made in mustard oil, could feel my nostrils showing displeasure.Then some fried fish in the poorly shaped frying pan, at least respect the 'fish' after its death. Thank God I could avoid the fish.Then some queerly shaped fries 'from Calcutta', again fried in mustard oil. Not to forget a quaint blue container with 'kheer'.........a sweet dish to drain down food .The pulao and kheer kept rejoicing in my tummy till asked 'What's the matter?'. I was told we (they) were free from captivity, chilling in the fridge for three days.

 I stood up and took leave much to the dismay of my uncle. He was to read a chapter from Mrs N's new book that day and felt I was insulting her. I apologized and told my hostess that I would  be cheating on my students (as exams were nearing) if I did not leave at once. They would miss the evening class. So I left and vowed never to pile on anybody hereafter for lunch or dinner. And if I do, Wish me luck. And God bless Writers!

Fifty odd summers is no mean time to recollect your past experiences, however faltering or reforming the gaps may be but life is woven with many kinds of  stitches . One must feel grateful for the opportunities given to tune up one's personality without being rude or crafty .  
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