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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Paper Damaadji



The daughter rings up to say that she is getting a friend for lunch. Nothing new and I say "o.k" unenthusiastically while conjuring up an image of the already cooked lunch-  black dal and masala bhindi . I wonder if the ladyfinger veg will stretch to feed  one more mouth and then decide that it will just have to. The daughter is still saying something and somewhere I catch a "he". So, I ask her to repeat whatever it was that she was saying. " Mom, if you have spinach at home then just make some. He likes his greens". My back straightens and my voice quivers as I gasp out an astonished "he"? An irritated ,"I just told you I am getting S for lunch", floats back .

 The news  is music to my ears.Finally the daughter is getting a boy home !I ring up the husband and tell him the news. The excitement is palpable in his voice-" what ? she is getting a boy home? what are you going to make for him?I am coming home stat- you want anything from Haldiram or Bikanervala or Kaleva or..."? We  confabulate and settle for  Rasmalai and boondi laddoos from Bikanervala; dahi bhalla and papdi chaat from Haldiram and some chocolate pastries from Wengers. I rush to summon the maid and tell her to set the table . She moves towards the steel plates and katoris and steel tumblers. " No, no Phoolmani. No steel today. Take out  the white plates which have a blue border pattern on them. The ones we use for Very Important People".  

I look at the clock. They should be here anytime soon. I throw a glance around- flowers: check; table: check; palak paneer : check; pulao : check; husband : check. Just then the door opens and the daughter rushes in. She dumps her bag full of a week's worth of laundry and hugs me. I have eyes only for the boy who has followed her in. Pleasant, definitely pleasant. My chest begins to swell with pride. What a fine damaad the daughter has got for us. I look at her approvingly and lovingly. Used to my critical 'once overs' she is nonplussed and looks towards her father for an answer. The husband in the meantime has taken 'him' to the formal living room- the one we use just about four times a year. I am all aflutter- should I first serve him my special ginger ale or should it be raw mango panna?

Lunch is over. S has polished off everything I ladled on his plate, confessed to having never eaten such good palak paneer and regaled us with campus anecdotes involving  the daughter. All  very well but I feel that it is now time to squeeze in some business and so ask him, ever so innocently, what work papa does and who all are at home. Turns out that papa has import export ka business and S has only one sibling. I roll my eyes meaningfully at my husband and he rolls his meaningfully in reply. The daughter , happily munching her second laddoo, catches all this rolling of eyes and looks askance at us. I pull her away from her laddoo by declaring that she just has to see what I have bought for her and take her to her room.

" Mom, what's wrong with you and papa? why are you both behaving so strangely? and why did you go so over the top- there were atleast a dozen things on the table. "?  I look at her tenderly. What an intelligent girl she had turned out to be- belaying all my fears about being woolly headed and fuzzy notioned and...
" Because, S has come to our house for the first time. When papa had come home for the very first time naani had made about 2 dozen dishes."

" Mom, you are truly crazy. S and I are just friends. Besides, S is engaged to someone in Mumbai. He wanted some ghar ka khaana and so I got him over".

23 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Poetry can come only from emotions, Namrata. I generally control my emotions. Or the emotions are not strong enough for poetry.

    Do the systems today allow people to think and act freely? Rigid structures are being imposed on workers in the name of quality control, profit, productivity, or whatever.

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    1. Tomichan, always a pleasure to have you visit my blog - but unfortunately I am not Namrata. I think this comment is for her post.:)

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  3. That was such an amusing post, Anju! I could actually visualise the whole scene...You really write so well..I .have a lot to learn from you! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Shilpa. I am touched:)

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  4. Anju, I am relatively new 'here'....started writing last year...and it is from people like you that I get to learn a lot...Do visit me at the link below ....I would very much welcome some constructive criticism from a senior like you! Thanks....have a good day!

    http://shilpaview-ideas2.blogspot.com

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  5. Replies
    1. What to do- life's like that, Rajeev:)

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  6. Very nice read Anju... the wit was omnipresent!

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  7. Very well written... We thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Thanks.

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  8. Thank you so very much, Anju, for visiting me and for your comments! You made my day!!! :-)

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  9. The visual effect is great... your dialogues have this picturesque quality ... "I roll my eyes meaningfully at my husband and he rolls his meaningfully in reply. The daughter , happily munching her second laddoo, catches all this rolling of eyes and looks..."
    Loved it :)

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  10. Lovely post indeed.............. Wonderfully crafted......

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    1. Will do it very soon, Debopam. Thanks for the invite:)

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  11. Hahah...S really had an awesome spread in the name of ghar ka khaana!
    Though honestly, the end made me sad. There are many S's around. :P

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    1. Oh Ragini- if it made you sad let you can imagine how I felt:)
      and thank you for ...

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  12. Just loved it. You have captured every Indian Mom's emotions :)

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    1. Sonia, the Indian mom may have many variants- but scratch the surface and she stays the same- for ever ...

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  13. Beautiful post and so easy to relate to...:). loved the flow of thoughts.

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