Sunday, July 31, 2005

My marital woes

My guest house owner is an extremely sweet lady. She's plump, wears tinted glasses, has lovely gray fluffy hair with appropriately lashed black streaks and she speaks a language that I don't understand a word of :) Every morning when I go down for breakfast, she makes my day with that wonderfully salty omelette and a cup of tea I have no idea how to drink. I am being mean and cynical here but really, she's just one awesome host. Like all awesome hosts, she has a way of providing personalized service to each one of us, even if she doesn't understand what we are asking for.

Every lazy saturday morning at about ten, I am the only one who knocks her doors for breakfast and we have one of those rare, intimate, personal conversations

She: Sie sollten besseres um Ihrem Raum, es kümmern sind schrecklich schmutzig (You should take better care of your room, it's awfully dirty)
Me: (Smiling) I have no idea what you are saying.
She: Ich denke, daß alle Sie indische Männer wie das sind. Ich bin für Ihre Frauen traurig (I think all you indian men are like that. I am sorry for your wives)
Me: Yeah, india - good country. you should come sometime

and like this we talk for hours until both of us are tired of each other. The other day as she was giving me one of those salty omelettes, she pointed to the omelettes and said, "Taine mama" (or something like that. I have no idea!). I stared back at her giving her one of my trademark confused looks (while I try to multiply 123x247 in my head to make it look authentic). She repeats it four or five times and I still have no idea (Stop looking at me like I am a bozo. Even google doesn't have an idea of what she's saying). It finally strikes me that mama might mean mother and I say, "yes, mother. also makes wonderful omelettes like this". Relieved, she finally starts for the kitchen, gets a brain wave and turns back and says, "Wife?". I roll my eyes and say, "No, too early!". She asks again, "No wife?", looks at my omelette and me, looks up at the ceiling and then again at me.

And Zzziing .... everything came back to me.

Last time I was here, I was with ~P, my classmate, colleague and a great friend. I have to say that both of us complemented each other very well. I wanted good food and she wanted some "good" company while cooking. And it's not like she did all the work - we shared our responsibilities equally. She did most of the cooking and I did most of the eating. And this strategic alliance went on for three months. We typically used to cook together everyday and initially, she was staying in another hotel that was quite far. So, I requested our dear guest house lady to accomodate her in the same guest house as I was in. We then used to go for breakfast together, and in those "few" occasions she locked herself out, the knight in the shining armor (me!) would brave the cold and call upon the land lady to give me the spare keys. She put all these 2s together and made an 8 quite soon. And one fine day when ~P was sleeping, our land lady knocked on my door regarding some papers. As I was finding them for her, she looked around and asked me where is my wife? My what???? I then told her that she was my friend and that she's sleeping in her room. She pointed to the ring and gave me a questioning look. God knows what all questions ran in her mind - extra marital affair probably :))

Anyway, tortoise mosquito repellant rolled back again and we are in the future. I realize she's not looking at the omellete but at my ring. She remembers the girl, the ring but not the whole explanation I gave her on a cold, winter night. I want to tell her that it's my mother's gift to me. But I realize using mother in this context will only complicate things more and she might even throw me out of the house. So, I give one of my stupidest grins and stare into my omelette as if it's an X-ray report.

And I am asking god why in his own name, didn't he give my mom a daughter. The "sad" family truth is I don't have a sister and my mom always wanted a daughter. So, for every alternate birthday, I get a jewel as a gift. I already have two rings (one in each hand), a chain. My brother got the bracelet and both of us have categorically told her that neither of us has an intention of wearing trinklets EVER. And in sometime, I will parade in SAP's campus looking like Michael jackson or Elton john.

Before I leave, just another incident that happened in france (when I was 21). I was having lunch with this east european girl and every once in a while, she will have a question on her lips but refused to ask me. Realizing there's something that's seriously botherring her, I assured her that I wouldn't take any offence.

"So, how does it feel?", she asked, "being married so soon?"

"I don't know. I am not even 21 yet and I am definitely not married". It was then I realized the ring connection and gave her a grimace.

"How would I know! I know there's child marriage and all that in India. And I thought you were one of those victims!".

A victim - Indeed! MOM!!!!

15 Comments:

Blogger Kumari said...

:-D Marital woes indeed!
And i don't wear my wedding ring instead my ring finger sports the old aluminium ring (with 2 hearts) which says "K98" -- my farewell gift from Pilani MB hostel :)

6:16 AM  
Blogger Rash said...

ha ha good one. btw, read your iyengar maami post. hilarious!

9:31 AM  
Blogger Rathish said...

@K - .... which is ok since you are thought married and you ARE :) the two hears does indeed look romantic (inside my head). I will have to talk to ~S ;)

@Rash - thank you :)

5:34 PM  
Blogger Senthil said...

Heheheh... you sure are having fun, eh?
I remember my mum getting me to wear a ring to ward off some sort of negative planetary influence. The pearl (at least, that's what I think it is) was about the size of a mutant golf ball.
After infinite arguments, attempts to lose it, hitting birdies, etc., I finally wear the thing on a thread around my neck.

5:04 AM  
Blogger Sriram K said...

A really funny, well-written blog. Things only seem to be getting better around this place.

6:17 AM  
Blogger Praveen said...

You have created a nice character in your guest house owner. Well described, I can even picture the kinda woman she would be :).

10:29 AM  
Blogger m. said...

LOL, super post! nothing like the loving attentions of a parent to be truly devastating huh :))

6:43 PM  
Blogger RS said...

Nice post Rathish, I laughed at your expense (a much needed laugh since its still not Friday and am at work) :)

2:28 AM  
Blogger Santhosh said...

haha...dude I love your writing style...I can actually picture u in that situation...the post was hilarious...back at your blog after a looong break...and enjoyin my stay so far

8:21 AM  
Blogger Anupama Viswanathan said...

:))..Rathish, damn nice post..I was laughing my heart out..definitely needed after landing up for work early!!

10:00 AM  
Blogger Rathish said...

@Senthil - :)) a golf ball around your neck. Sometime, I will tell you how my mom left a knife under my bed to ward off bad spirits :)

@Sriram, Anu, Ramya, Praveen, Santhosh, m - thanks so much. I am glad you liked the post :)

12:12 PM  
Anonymous indro said...

123x247 .. ha ha ha! amazing!

10:58 PM  
Blogger Avinash said...

hehehe... rat !!!

i wish, i had asked such a question to u before da.. remember, the day when there were rumors all around ambattur that u were married to ur spanish gf ;-)

it was actually very tough for u to make ppl believe that u neither married her nor was she spanish..

ooops.. sorry matey, if nobody knows about such a romor... kill me da ;-)

5:27 PM  
Blogger Rathish said...

yeah, I don't know how many times I have been married off! happened in my school eGroups too!

And spanish girl friend? With friends like you .... enemies, no thank you :))

9:50 PM  
Blogger bill naka said...

Help! I am lost. I was searching for gift shop and somehow ended up here. How that happened I don't know, however I do like your Blog a lot. Would you mind if I add your Blog to my favorites page so others can visit?

3:33 PM  

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