Wednesday, June 8, 2011

45 years!



Today my parent-in-laws celebrated 45 years of wedded bliss, of togetherness, of tiffs and romance, of mouthing grumbles and sweet nothings, of hard times and easy ones, all in one pot.

I’m always at awe when I meet this couple.  45 years they have loved each other and also tolerated each others idiosyncrasies that, today,  they find life intolerable without those very idiosyncrasies of their spouse that had irked them.  The very quirks that had bothered them, about their better half..earlier in their marriage, are so dear to them today, that they start to recount them, with such fondness.

They have spent so many more years together, than, they were single.  Almost makes the part of life when they had not met, insignificant!

If today,  they would meet themselves that they were 45 years earlier…without their children…and grandchildren and all the struggles they have gone through raising their children, to see that they are settled well in life,  it wouldn’t be a surprise at how overwhelmed they must feel at the things they have achieved.

Love birds!  That’s what all the relatives refer to them as.  My FiL would start to talk of how proud he is, of his wife at the drop of a pin.  Even though I’ve heard those stories a 1000 times ( might not be an exaggeration!). How athletic she had been, how persevering she had been in getting a masters in spite of the obstacles she had faced, how giving she had been.  To be honest, I don’t get bored at all having to listen to all this again and again, atleast,  for the first 20mins, sometimes even for 40 mins  Smile , then I wait for some family member to come to my rescue!!

He recounts with such pleasure how they had been neighbors all their lives, living in the same lane, before marriage but, hadn’t even glanced at each other.  He does agree that its unbelievable, but,

“Those days were such!” , he says retrospectively.

He has no bitterness for today’s generation.  He merely refers to today’s generation as

“The times are different now..people are different, they are bold and confident and know what they want! A boy today wouldn’t hesitate to steal a glance of an attractive girl, how ever decent he might consider himself.”

So, today after I wished them..and they were wished by all their grandchildren…I spent some part of today…listening to

“Tales of Mr and Mrs Palle senior”

which included a few cute confessions where he teases his wife saying…that even though they didn’t know each other before their wedding, their’s is a love marriage in some technical sense that only he can comprehend and the rest of us will never be able to!

My MiL although very proud to hear all that from her husbands mouth..doesn’t forget to remind him that he should stop talking as he’s boring me to dogs…

Their eldest grandchild demanded that after five years…their grandpa would have to host a grand party.  He happily agreed to host it although he couldn’t understand the reason at first…

“That would be the golden jubliee celebrations of your wedding grandpa!”, said Yashwant, his eldest grandchild.

Most of the times..we find them..grumbling at each other but, if there was love in anger…these were the moments one could get a glimpse of it. 

That was one of the thing that Hubby dear had promised to be when we got married.  To love me like his father loves his mom!

So profuse and absolutely!

Although I do realize, it would be very juvenile at the current stage of our marriage (its like comparing apples to oranges…45 years of marriage to 14 years !)  but, to this day he does try that sincerely…how ever difficult I get!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

“I’ll be there in 5 mins!”


How much that phrase sounds familiar to you depends on how much a Hyderabadi, by heart, you are!  As a die hard Hyderabadi..this phrase had been a part of my life as I grew up here in Hyderabad and I had never given it a second thought until I travelled out of Hyderabad a few years ago and noticed that the rest of the world is a bit different from us!!

As I called the driver to pick me up from front of a store, in that absurdly crazy, dusty evening traffic, after I had finished browsing through a store in Hyderabad. I had decided to enter the store after seeing hoardings after hoardings, flashing the store with beautiful women clad in saris, that didn’t need the pallu to stay on her shoulder.  The curious cat that I am,  I had entered the store with hope in my heart only to come out disappointed.

I heard the driver on the other side say…

“Maam, I’m on the other side.. I’ll have to make a u turn…I’ll be there in 2 mins,!”.  It would just have to be a superman, batman or any such kinda guy’s feat, who wear their underwear over their pants…if this guy could be where I was, in 2 mins. Nonetheless, he said that with such unabashed boldness that it would be considered crazy..if I miind that or even took notice of that. But, I did!

Knowing pretty well, it would be really surprising  to find any Hyderabadi…who would not be a part to this crime, I still took notice of it.

This is the sweetest sin that a Hyderabadi could commit. It would be forgiven as easily as it was committed. For the Hyderabadi, is a very intelligent species among the humans…(S)he not only has this confident, blatant, audacious attitude with which he utters this sentence without even feeling a twitch in his conscience, s/he even has the skill and intel to convince the person, who is waiting, that, a deal any other way would have been impossible or bad altogether.

Remember all those tests that the sororities put the fellow students through, so they could be accepted into those clubs..?!  This is that test that one will have to clear, if (s)he wants to be accepted among the Hyderabadizens. Until, one is able to do this with would be difficult to absorb somebody into the club called the Hyderabadizens.

It is with great assurance that my SiL had  announced on the phone,

“I’ll be there in 5 mins!”,

as she was returning home from work, in that mental evening traffic. She had joined this elite club years ago.

She had been so excited to meet her parents and nieces that she used the Hyderabadi Hathiyar…(whatever magic words it would take to handle the situation, right?!). She had insisted that we stick around at her place for some more time so, she could meet us before we left for our place.  As soon as she had said that, her mom was already telling the grandchildren..”That’s your mom’s 30 mins, right?!”.

She had made it in 10 minutes!!

The rest of the world is taught  that, ”Please” and “Thank You” are the magic words. They can get any job done for you. But, for a street smart Hyderabadi…it is this phrase that holds all the enchantment!

“I’ll be there in 5 mins!”

How many of you haven’t recognized a Hyderabadi when you would’ve reached the movie theater at the decided time only to find your friend missing. When contacted, they  would fearlessly say..”I’m just a couple of turns away, I’ll be there in 5 mins!” while he would have actually gone to take a shower at that moment. 

Even things like what happened this morning is something one can expect, when in Hyderabad. 

We were supposed to be picked up by the driver at 10am. At 11am, when I call in to check where he was…the guy on the other side of the call replies,

“The driver has just left the garage…and by the way..wasn’t he supposed to be there by 10.30am?!”

“No! you had agreed to pick me up at 10am! Anyways…Its way past 10.30am ”, I reminded him a little peeved..having lost touch of how one becomes, accepts and treats a Hyderabadi peer.

“He’ll be there in 5 mins!”, comes the instant response.

At 11.30am…when I call the guy back to ask him where he was…

“Maam…here is the number..for the driver. Why don’t you call him yourself to find out his whereabouts!”, comes the chataak response.

By 12pm…Both the owner and the driver have stopped accepting calls from me because, that’s how a clever, street smart Hyderabadi displays the ease with which he is able to convince the person in waiting…

“Hey dude! Why don’t you call somebody else to chauffeur you around?!”

So, after I was woken up rudely from the vocation I had been taking of belonging to the rest of the world, I started to remind myself of how a true Hyderabadi is supposed to behave as I started to notice all these innocent…utterings of

“I’ll be there in 5 mins!”