Skip to main content

Cultural bows , vows or blows…blowing my nose

The past few weeks have been telling on my nerves and body. First I would like to target  the weather. Cold/winter/grey skies have never been appreciated by me except in poems/paintings. An unexpected indisposition at home set the ball rolling which apparently affected near and dear. This ‘indisposition’ silently endured by my husband (the victim) for over a month.
To begin the ordeal  of putting it in words ,one needs strong nerves to bear cultural shocks but when the year begins with  a physical shock (accident  mentioned above) the following shocks are not borne by a debilitating body. One learns from the laws of nature when one leaf falls it gives way for a new leaf. This new leaf appears after the rough weather . But that does not augur well for the other aging leaves. All will fall one by one sooner or later.

Marriage by night

The marriage of a friend’s daughter in all splendor was an honour to attend and participate. But the more amazing part of the event was to see a group of  hand-picked friends cutely dressed forming the centre piece of the venue. And surprisingly they were from ‘ Dhanbad’ , of course now re-located in different parts of India after marriage. Their multi-cultured face(t)s became effervescently evident. I wondered and swallowed hard due to a parched throat.
The surprise ‘element’ being ‘Dhanbad’ as I was mentally absorbed with Adiga’s book The White Tiger, where the protagonist too hails from Dhanbad (Laxmangarh). No offence. Just tried to fathom ’Vikas’ I mean development in India till date. But Adiga painted this character on the lower rungs of society , I felt I was hovering with a more genteel and sophisticated crowd. Some consolation.
Now like all weddings these days ,this was an inter-regional marriage—Punjabi/Tamil pair, the couple. No no do not rush to Chennai. The groom hailed from NCR and the bride from Delhi. She was (the bride) a coy, cheerful and she looked hardly ruffled about an imminent cultural exchange. But the phrase ‘cultural exchange’ affected my immune system.  All Punjabi marriages (North Indians) take place after sunset below a starry sky , Wow !  romantic only if it was not in winter. So the scope for many misgivings, mismatches or mistakes are patched with darkness. Don’t get me wrong! Oh! not again the word ‘darkness’(as in Adiga’s novel) crops up again.

Chilly Ambience

The Neem tree in the open air , an ambience best suited  for a courtyard in the foreground of a mansion. The tree sheltered a ‘mandap’ for the ‘pheras’. Though I stood witness under a thick branch, the neem tree branch could not help wrapping me with a cold hug of the winter air. Eyes , mine and those of the wedding guests kept popping out, to get a glimpse of the couple. All went well. I reached home but got laid up with a nasty cold that pursues a high temperature and pampers a blocked nose. Bounties you earn from winter outings. God bless the couple!

Mat O’Fa guest

The week that followed only permitted a rigorous cleaning schedule to welcome a relative from the US. This included cleaning bathrooms, kitchen shelves, furniture, bedroom furniture et al; because he is a cleanliness freak. To claim a roundtrip flight that was ‘ favouring’ desirable and undesirable destinations from his benevolent office, the man sets out on a lavish trip. This ‘compulsive’ visitor will dole out goodies on arrival. But when we offer some to him he calls it mollycoddling. Praise the arrogance of an American visitor/
The sockets supporting my bones  in the limbs do look healthy but feel fagged out  in earnest as never do I enjoy being in between the wheels of a hover-board ( You know wheels on the left & wheels on the right with you in the centre) .This position  demands speed and smooth sailing whereby you  must vacillate efficiently for the rider to avoid a trip up performance.

I cannot help but remember a line towards the end of the novel by Adiga for all drinkers of tea and coffee. In the north of India everyone drinks tea even the poor and in the south everyone drinks coffee even the poor.The reason for quoting these beverages--- we accept all as humans so no point discerning ,as long as the mediating force forms the fulcrum.Looking for a concoction to appease taste.

Plum in the pudding

Many may not savour the pudding at my age but I was endowed with a sweet tooth. Even though I take precautions to consume less sweets the temptations to do window shopping at a sweet shop will always be cherished. One such pudding which required no window shopping was an earnest desire to meet a schoolmate after 35 years. I did manage to travel almost 100 kms all by myself to meet Meena.
Meena is venturing gracefully into the autumn of her life with less troubles, lesser bickering and even lesser ambitions. She who tottered from one phase to another of life acquiring (academic) degrees and bringing up a family , she felt elated at every achievement. Today she is worldly wise and claims to be a sought after plum in the family pudding, much better than being a will- o’- the wisp.

I fell for her usual throaty laugh and that warm hug when we met. 


Popular posts from this blog

A.E. beats A.I

There is an inexplicable AE growing within which has come as a consequence of pessimistic outlook or a goal-less life that can explode anytime. AE is Absurd Emptiness which surrounds you or anyone when there is nothing to look forward to and even if it did, of what avail is a natural question. This has been the outcome of some experiences one has witnessed of oneself or of others around us. It has been an awfully long time to think of one fulfilling moment (has not occurred in the recent past) that can shine as a star in the fabric of fate.

{I have briefly tried to offer a personal view on the haves and have nots in the gruelling struggle of life with a nascent prediction of future. However live today, tomorrow will take care of itself.}

On the other side are the unparalleled possibilities that surround the earth and its beings if a common network would cull the universe of intelligence in one computer. The intelligence of knowing facts/situations/assets/weaknesses of people all comp…

Genes cannot elude fame and success

Should I feel defeated, inferior, jealous or elated to speak of Vidhi (name changed), a Jain by birth, born to a middle class family from Haryana. She went to a government school but fought her way through student life with just one eye. Topped her school and sailed through college life in flying colours. Her congenital defect of being in frail health was due to an auto-immune disorder which was evident from her eye defect that could not be rectified. But before substantiating more details on this person, I must add some interesting information about genes that can affect or break a person’s hopes. Fame/ success cannot elude a person for his defective genes if the person is industrious and indomitably strong-willed.
Why this genetic destiny?
The following facts are excerpts from “The Gene - An Intimate History” by Siddharta Mukherjee, these are added to clarify the importance or lack of importance for genes but a field that needs to be studied in an evolving manner, as this branch of sc…

Short and sweaty visit to a beautiful city , a passing image!

Bengaluru or Bangalore is no longer a city one longs to visit for the simple reason it can hardly qualify to be a Garden City. A ‘concrete’ city that is just booming the mortar business and also the daily wager’s fortune but drawing the Bangalorean to an unforeseen doom. Of what avail! It has squashed all the meticulous planning a city needs to preserve its past history. Even the city’s scientist who has left us, Mr C V Raman, who owns a piece of land there which is being hawked upon by the government. Electric supply, is erratic and water ‘supply’ is stolen (via tankers) and supplied, Lakes keep frothing when elections are not due, Vehicular traffic is infested with App-based taxes during peak hours. Eateries are doing good business except the menu has shifted from 'Bisi-bele bath' (rice delicacy) to Biryani .
Lost city
A ‘lost’ city where human interaction has virtually come to a halt. Is it because of the IT industry spreading its silent shadow over people, influx of migrant…