Tuesday, 12 August 2014
Fresh out of Rakhi celebrations we are, aren't we? I can see on Facebook that almost everyone spent it with their extended family. There is always that one kind soul in all our families who volunteers to host these get togethers, so all tying of Rakhi and exchanging of gifts can happen under one roof- all so conveniently.
This is my tenth (Yeah!10th!) year of celebrating festivals with Saurabh's extended family. It is now that I am qualified to write the typical 5 clichés that happen at every, almost every family gathering. I am sure everyone reading this will say 'Oh yes' to at least three :)
1) Comment on weight: The minute guests start arriving in, they almost look as if the following words were sitting on their lips for the longest time and must be heard:
"Why have you lost so much weight?" OR "Why has ABC (host's husband or wife) lost so much weight?"
We must all understand that they are not asking this because they are worried. They just see the 'fit' you and wonder why!
2) Tea: So everyone has arrived and sitting in a huge family circle. Initial warm up has lapsed and the host will ask, "Chai Banaye?". This question in itself is wrong. Why ask? Just make it! But you have to hear the guests' reactions (they never change):
First everyone will say: "Arre rehne do" ; "Nahi nahi" ; "Not for me. I am fine"
Just when everyone realises that to ease the host's burden everyone has refused tea and 'Oh my god I needed it' someone will say:
"Agar ban rahi hai then ill take." 5 more people will join in, as sympathetically as they can,
"Only if you are making it, I will take"
All those who said 'No' vehemently in the first lot will now be saying in their heads- 'Thank God'
The host then comes to everyone's rescue,
"Ok then. Will make for everyone."
3) Food is always awesome: Typical lines: "Ye kisne banaya?" followed by "Jisne bhi banaya, kamaal hai." Now whoever is saying this, has a wife somewhere in the same room sulking and taking mental notes.
But don't we all do this out of sheer compulsion. The host will invariably shove one more poori in our plate and ask: "Acha nahi bana kya?". Now what is the correct answer to this question? Obviously the guest will say: "Awesome hai!"
4) One person/family will always be stuck in a jam: Why is there always that one person who is late? Everyone who has arrived on time will mass-blame that one person (or family) by digging into their past perfiormance.
"Hamesha late aate hain!"
"Time se kyun nahi chalte?"
"Jam to nahi hai raaste main?"
And then after all the speculation that teenager of the family who has acquired the smart phone very recently and is seen playing candy crush is asked:
"Arre XYZ, phone laga ABC ko and check."
5) Testing children in academics- Children enjoy these gatherings the most. Especially the children of the host as they are not being watched. Also they are somehow the centre of attention. How? They have to recite poems, show some dance moves, get their General Knowledge checked, let everyone who they love more- Papa or Mummy and also let everyone know if their Mum gives them enough food or not (duh!)! If there are more than one kid then guests like to play 'Comparison Games' with them. 'Who can say the alphabets the fastest' types. I don't know if kids enjoy this but their parents definitely get a complex!