Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My clever sister and unsuspecting dad

My sister had maths exam the next day and wanted dad to come early so he could tutor her for the exam.

My dad was busy in an office meeting.

She called him from her cell phone.
No answer.

From mine and mother’s cell phone.
No answer.

From the land line.
No answer.

 She went to my grandma’s room. She stealthily picked up her phone while she was reading a religious book and called my dad.

Seeing my grandma’s number on cell phone my dad picked it up at the first ring and said anxiously, “Yes amma?” She knew my dad would yield only to gandma.

My sister imitated my grandma’s voice and said,” Come fast son! I can't find my diabetes tablets.”

My father sensing mischief laughed heartily in the middle of the meeting. He concluded it early and arrived home.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My dad's memoirs- Episode 2

 (Chronicles of my dad down the memory lane in his own words)

I remember this incident during our stay at Ghaziabad. I was evaluating answer papers of the departmental competitive exam.

A burly Haryanvi man who took the exam tried to offer me a fat bribe to give him good marks in the exam. He was very influential and gained information from birdies of the whereabouts of all the five answer papers which were sent to be evaluated all over the country. He went to all those places, offered bribes to the evaluators and persuaded them to give him good marks. His fifth paper was sent to be evaluated at Ghaziabad, to me. He called me constantly for two days on the phone and started harassing me. I thought I would give him grace marks if he wrote something but his paper was blank. I had to fail him. He invited himself to my home. He saw two-year-old Aparna playfully running about here-and-there. He threatened me saying, “You seem to have a small happy family today. Just take care that it might not be the same tomorrow.” He was a hefty man and in no way I would have matched his strength. He threatened me saying that he would carry me and push me off the terrace. My wife got scared listening to his ultimatum. She called her brothers and everyone in the family panicked. I avoided venturing out alone on my scooter and stayed put safely inside home. He would hover under the apartment, pacing angrily and watching out for my posting of the evaluated papers.  I managed to parcel and send away the bundle of evaluated papers secretly and safely.

I even considered contacting the police. After a couple of days all our neighbours came to know about the problem. They had a nice chat with him saying that I am a man of scruples and would never fall for a bribe.  They told him to ‘fix’ some corruptible higher authority in the examination cell so that they would change his result and that there is no use trying to ‘grease my palms’ as I would not be so easily bent on principles. They told him that I am a hard working, innocent and an honest man and it would do him no good by threatening me except wasting his time. He came to know that I already parceled the papers. He finally saw to that his physical strength is nothing in front of my honesty and left us alone.

Friday, October 12, 2012

World's best dahi puri!

I used to love Dahi puri at Kadamba restaurant, Basaveshwarnagar (B’lore). Four times a week, I would go there after college and relish on this chat. I would closely watch the chatwala while he prepared this chat. The hygiene standards of Kadamba are good unlike at the road-side vendor’s.  He uses larger than mouth sized gol-gappas and I love the challenge of gorging on them without spilling the masala pani. The stuffing is made of moong dal sprouts, mashed potatoes and thick curd. The curd they use here is not sweet unlike the ones I tried elsewhere. It is spicy, sour and tangy. Then he garnishes with sev, coriander, beetroot and carrot shavings.

I know all the ingredients which goes inside this and tried to replicate a few times. But it could not match the taste of his dahi puris. May be he uses a secret ingredient. You know, kind of just like blood. We know all the components making up this essence of life, but no scientist could create it artificially. Clever analogy, isn't it?

After spending a month in my hometown during summer holidays, I eagerly went to Kadamba the earliest after coming to Bangalore. The dahi puri I had this time didn’t taste at all like the one before. The curd was sweet. As told by the waiters there, I learnt that my favourite chatwala went back to his village and would never return. My search for the perfect dahi puri continued but I was disappointed everytime. 

The center of an entrance exam was at VV puram, which is far from the place I live. On the morning of the exam, I seriously considered skipping it.  But then, I went and attempted it anyway. After the exam, I went to Dosa mane nearby, which is famous for 100 varieties of dosas. The masala dosa was not as good as  expected. I saw a man in the chat counter and I did a double-take. It was my favourite chatwala! I was thrilled at my discovery. He was happy to know that I missed his dahi-puris. We chatted for a while and he told me that he came to Dosa mane as the pay was better and it was closer to his home.  I gorged on till my stomach ached! I thought I could never eat the dahi puris made by my favourite chatwala again. If not for the exam (which went really bad) I would never have come to VV puram. I was happy to be united with the world’s best dahi-puri! And I know where exactly to head to for evening snacks!

Friday, October 5, 2012

The wedding woes

My parents could not wait to get rid of me see me settled in the name of marriage. The constant nag of my parents made me break down like the soggy-runny-dal in the pressure cooker that they prepare in my hostel mess and I finally gave them a green signal to hunt down for prospective grooms.

But they are having a hard time in the matrimonial search as I set my preferences sky-high, that they are impossible to be possessed by any one ordinary man. Only a vampire like Edward or a Greek God like Hercules might fit the bill. The longer I delay, the longer I can enjoy my single-hood and freedom.

My father pesters me to learn devotional songs and cook culinary dishes and be ready to showcase my prowess of complete home management plus entertainment package, to the groom’s family on the day of 'match-seeing'. Seriously, if the groom wants to listen to music, why can’t he buy a damn I-pod like I did? My dad is asking me to watch my weight and skip sweets till marriage. Even after having an account for six months in Bharathmatrimony.com I couldn't finalize on a match. My dad was cross at me saying registering there is nothing but a waste of money if I won’t relax my criteria and paid cash again to renew the account for another six months.

My mother spread the word like fire in our apartment, among her friends and our relatives. So all of them, milkman and watchman included, constantly ask her when they will be able to hear the wedding bells. She told the milkman to be ready with extra supply of milk as any day I might get married. Aunties who come to our home don’t leave without suggesting suitable boys they know, like of their sister’s brother-in-law’s cousin’s neighbour’s friend’s son. The hot topic of conversation for my mother to talk on phone is my marriage. She doesn't end the call without asking to suggest well-educated boys from good background and the person at the other end comes up with two or three boys about whom she jots down in her special ‘prospective matches book’. Oh yes! She is specially maintaining a book for noting down the bio-data of grooms.  Near and dear ones enquire my mom about good news if any and my mom looks at me and sighs with a long face. I am sure all our relatives are beginning to wonder if I am a cursed spinster whose horoscope has doshas  and shanis as they call us to offer suggestions to perform graha-shanthi -poojas  and sympathetically offer advice that groom-hunt is a pious mission and that it will take atleast an year to finalize the match. I have begun to avoid relatives like plague.

Even the priest in the temple near-by knows that I have reached a marriageable age and he advised my mother to do Swarna Gauri Vratam which is supposed to confer heaven’s blessings to marry me off sooner without any obstacles.

Once or twice some nice guys did come my way.

Education, job, salary-Check.  Looks,height,complexion-Check.

Caste, sub-caste-Check.  Gothra, Nakshatra, Rasi- Check.

Family background- Check.  Computer horoscope compatibility-Check.

The profile of one guy did manage to successfully cross all these filters. But then, there was another mega filter. My mother took the horoscope of that boy to an astrologer and he contemplated it with utmost seriousness and pronounced that we are not compatible according to some distant stars and planets and that troubles and hardships will constantly crop up claiming peace in our relationship. So that put an end to that prospective profile then-and-there.

Everything in our home is being linked up to my wedding even though it is atleast a year away.  If the tailor is late to deliver my mother’s stitched clothes, she scolds her saying, ‘My daughter’s marriage will be fixed soon. What will she wear on the mandap if you won’t deliver stitched blouses on time like how you did now?’ Or if the servant-maid doesn't dust the ceiling properly she goes, ‘My daughter will be married soon. How can I trust you with decorating the aangan with mango leaves at the time of marriage? Will you clean the house in this same manner when the guests turn up for wedding?’ A couple of tiles of the marble flooring in our dining-hall broke open and so she urges dad everyday to get it repaired immediately, as according to her,at any time the groom's family might turn up for lunch to eat the dishes I made and assess my cooking skills. She got a huge discount in the jewellery shop after she said – ‘ If you be conjoos in reducing the price even by a few hundred rupees, how can you expect me to give you the order of designing wedding jewellery for my daughter. She will be married in a few weeks. You know, you have been our jewellers for years and I will trust no one else for such an auspicious purpose. So be considerate and give me a discount now’.

Once we went to a discount mela of saris in Kalanjali showroom to purchase saris for the wedding (which we already knew was a long time away). Seeing one expensive sari my mother exclaimed loudly, ‘This Kanjeevaram sari is so grand! This so will be the sari I will wear during your wedding!’ This the shopkeeper heard and guessed that my mom would be a promising customer and upturned his whole showroom patiently and painstakingly unfolded 100+ saris in front of us. My mom after a very long debate to choose what-and-what, finally decided upon two saris for her and one for me despite the shopkeeper constantly urging her to take more- what aunty ji? Your daughter’s wedding and you settle on only this! You both should deck in a new sari for every two hours for such an once-in-a-lifetime occasion!’

Later on, my mom already wore all those saris for parties and festivals ( Varalaxmi vratam, Gauri vratam, Ganesh chaturthi …..) without saving them for the wedding. Time and again she asked funds from my dad to buy expensive saris on the pretext of my wedding. But then, she kept them for herself and could not resist beyond a couple of days without wearing them! My mom and her fad for new saris!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...