Notwithstanding the sad state of affairs, I had been planning this for quite some time now. Remember those “keeping-house” games we would play as kids – where we “make” our home at a cozy corner underneath the table with the pots & pans and then invite our friends over for a tea party? We girls do start early, don’t we??!! 😀
Well, after numerous fruitless plans and false promises, I was finally successful in having a few friends over for lunch at our home. While I’d invited around six of them, I was glad that finally at-least three could make it on the day, albeit with a month’s notice! 😀 After a lot of emails and phone-calls were bandied about, with detailed directions to our place (with around 20 landmarks!), the d-day was decided. Gosh, was I excited?!
What followed was two days of Operation-House-Cleaning! While day-1 saw me attacking the living room and the bed room with vengeance and left a much-hassled & harried hubby behind, it was only job half-done. The next day had kitchen-cleaning written all over it – so much so that it occupied my sleeping and waking thoughts! Day-2 and it was four hours of continuous scrubbing and scrapping, mopping and squeezing before I was satisfied with the results. And the hubby being at work, luckily escaped being subjected to another day of nagging and nit-picking 🙂 Finally the house was in order and all that remained now was to get ready for the humongous task on the morrow – cooking for half-a-dozen-or-so people.
Now, as many of you might not know, I am not a great cook. In fact, my claim to fame in culinary skills pre-marriage would be watery rasam and a sticky upma I made on the sole occasions when my mom wasn’t around. That should give you a fair idea of how big a challenge this actually was for me. But I have improved by leaps and bounds in the past two years, even if I say so myself. I had fairly planned it out, careful in choosing the dishes that I was comfortable cooking and ensuring that the pre-preparations were all done.
The day dawned bright and sunny and I had butterflies in my stomach as I started pottering in the kitchen. I went about the tasks, mentally ticking them off my list 🙂 I wanted to get the difficult tasks out of the way first, to be able to sit down and chat with the guests when they came in. A had called ahead to say that she and R would come over early to help and true to their word they were home by mid morning. And suddenly I panicked – I thought they’re already here and the cooking is just 25% done!!…though all the other stuff required – vegetables and masala for the main course was ready, I still was nervous. A quickly did away with my qualms and soon both of us got down to wrapping up the other dishes while we chatted about old times and what-not.
We were almost done and it was lunch time, when the rest of the party turned up. There were some whoops of delight heard round the place as long time friends met-up. Soon it was only sounds of chatter, babble, giggles and non-stop banter heard from the kitchen as all of us girlies crowded in there, leaving the mens-folk to find their own means of entertainment! Sigh! For once, it felt nice not to be in the group of the bored wives, caught at trying to make small conversation with ladies, whom they are supposed to instantly befriend, at the reunion of their hubbies’ long time friends! 😀
The humble spread was sportingly well-appreciated and all of us tucked into the food amidst easy banter. Rounding off with scoops of ice-cream, the afternoon was spent with a sprinkling of “Do you know…? s” and “Have you heard…? s”. As it is wont to happen on such occasions, the hours just flew by and before long, the evening shadows were peeping in through the curtains and it was time to say ta-ta. With customary thank you-s and optimistic vows of more such frequent meetings, we bid adieu. As I went and flopped down on the sofa, I felt that every ache in my muscles and every bead of perspiration that was shed in the stuffy kitchen were completely worth their weight in gold! 🙂