Tuesday, April 29, 2008

People and Places

After a week away in the sizzling Metropolis, its heavenly to come back to still silence. Not so still with a lot of birds chirping, the occasional vehicle honking and all the sounds of household living around.
But still removed from the madding crowd.

Enroute to Chennai, Coimbatore was baking away. I thought firmly I mustn't mention the weather. It happens every year and people do live though it. And I grew up in the heat. What's new?
Suddenly I felt sympathetic to poor NRIs who transplant themselves every holiday into all sorts of conditions they've grown unaccustomed to. And when they do complain, we give them beady glares which say ' so where did you come from'?
I do feel like giving a left hook to someone who says 'oh you have buffaloes on the road!' after having been away for a year or two. Maybe with time I will be able to forgive this too.

But, everywhere we went, people did talk about the weather. In a very British way, it seems to bind us together and form a very good topic of conversation. And we needed it. We were going around inviting lots of people to the wedding in between lots of shopping. Many were people we've never visited.

People do think its mad in this day and age to go around personally inviting people. But it seems a good occasion to connect. Otherwise, we hardly take the time and trouble to cultivate people whom we're just acquainted with. Even if they are relatives.

And since, its absolutely a gross mistake to ring up and find out if people are available (I learnt it the hard way ), one can gatecrash and see how people actually live. Its interesting . And easier on them too. They know you are there to visit for only 5 minutes so everyone is happier and warmer. Even if you've broken their slumber or favorite tv program.

Since in my family its considered uncivilized to do anything in a sedate sanitized manner, as many people as possible will fit into any car going anywhere. Which meant that 7 of us were traveling around the city on a hot day in a small car including one very small hyperactive child. So it took time for people to unload and load at each stop, lots of spilling of kumkum, loosing cellphones and other paraphernalia at different houses, counter instructions to the driver, arguments about where next,family gossip in full spate and generally what is considered a boring chore was never that.

The city does unwind one in its own way.


Malathi said...

Sounds absolutely divine--all this driving around with people and visiting more people. I will have to settle for experiencing my dream life through your eyes (and writing).


A very sweet post, it captures the hustle and bustle of the inviting-in-person that precedes our weddings, and all the accompanying fun of catching up with family and friends you haven't seen in a while.

Did you find those misplaced glasses?

kallu said...

Malathi, it isn't so divine when its actually happening. And everyone is snarling 'getoff my leg'.
You are absolutely welcome to share this family - we have a branch in Canada who live open house. The more, the merrier.

kallu said...

Raji, the glasses were found yday in the banana bowl.And my sister maintains that her 3 year old son has nothing to do with it.
Meanwhile everyone had a great time insisting that i must have taken them off and left them in some shop. Inspite of me protesting feebly why would i take them off? And getting me to call each one!
Now Im just glad Im getting them back.
Still think I could be termed 'organised'?:-)

Happy Kitten said...

LOL.. thanks for remembering us the poor NRI's.. but now we come during the monsoon and hence avoid the sweltering heat.. but it still takes a while to adjust.. but time flies so quickly and we never want to board the plane back.. but the bread has to be earned..

a nice post and lovely way to keep in touch with ur relatives...

Gardenia said...

What fun! How well you've re-created the experience!

kallu said...

Thanks, Happy kitten. Good you enjoy coming back.

Gardenia, thank you for that nice comment.

Indrani said...

"They know you are there to visit for only 5 minutes so everyone is happier and warmer." Couldn't help suppressing a giggle reading this. So true.

Maddy said...

well, the NRI's are bearing the brunt of it these days..with the crashing dollar, it will be definitely 'poor' NRI..we are the much cursed lot...and will always be...

Happy Kitten said...

Where r u?