Picture this –
The drawing room – around six men relaxing on the sofas, the television on – obviously tuned to the cricket match being played – discussing all the usual possible topics that men invariably discuss when they get together – politics, global recession and the slow down – how it has affected the software sector and how this in turn is affecting everything else; cricket – the rain delay, the team composition, Dhoni and his men; more politics, some more sports… one gets the idea, right?
Switch to the kitchen and dining area – six women going about the ensuing tasks after a late, heavy ceremonial-lunch, cleaning vessels, transferring remnants into smaller containers, piling up the soiled ones for a wash, distribution and packing of the eatables to cater to every participating family-household’s dinner, packing specific items/ ceremony prasadam into separate packets for the other visitors – all talking at once – nineteen to the dozen. Two young, carefree ladies and one elderly relative – lolling on the dining table chairs after a scrumptious, heavy lunch. Two kids – running around like headless chickens, one screaming for the mother-hen, the other trying on cooling-glasses on every unsuspecting soul at hand, screaming, bringing the roof down.
Yours truly – also lounging about at the dining table, lazy, too full to even attempt any activity – sudden sense of deja vu and zoning out of the scene at hand to marvel at how perilously close the scene resembled a fish market – not bothering to reason that she hasn’t been in one to warrant passing a judgment!
A couple of hours earlier, the scene wasn’t any less chaotic, just the locations were different – a set of the aforesaid people still in the drawing room – still watching television occasionally, in the midst of their heated discussions about cricket, politics and the like. Another lot – in the cellar – participating and carrying out the ceremony duties – thankfully away and insulated from the din getting created by the third lot – in the study room – indulged in a boisterous and exciting, nit-picking, back-slapping game of carrom.
Well, I was in the midst of all this action yesterday, attending and partaking in a yearly ceremony being conducted at the uncle’s house. As I said, it was sense of deja vu – most occasions when we’ve all gotten together under one roof for such events – the memories are gratifyingly similar. Whether it is rounds after rounds of noisy carrom games or loud discussions and leg-pulling; never is there a dull moment and never is anyone at a loss for words. Lest one gets ideas, no – we’re not a big-mouthed, loud-speaking, unruly family. There have been equally quiet and soothing occasions – mainly during the functions and festivals which are marked by the other favourite family pastime – singing. Melody and music takes precedence as the ladies take turns singing classical and light music pieces – right from the elderly family friend to the youngest cousin – and within no time the audience is treated to a delightful mini-kacheri of sorts!
Needless to say, it was wonderful being at another of these family get-togethers – left me wishing for more and eagerly looking forward to the next one.