Any Indian festival is a reason for the family (extended) to get together and rejoice. And that happens in my case too, with all the near and dear relatives dropping into the house to spend the festive occasion with us and enjoy gossiping about what went on through the whole year in the life’s of everyone around us. Things are spiced up even more during the New year/Pongal season as our distant relatives who take the time off (or is it their vacation times?) to visit the ancestral place, drop in to share the festivities with us. Its become somewhat of a tradition in our household, to everyone’s entertainment except of yours truly….why, i will explain as you read on.
My dad as is his wont, holds forth, on the days events as reported in the half-a-dozen newspapers, he reads every day, to all the male relatives who make the mistake of sitting down in the drawing room to converse with him. It is more of a monologue with the hapless relatives ruing the moment that they decided to introduce the topic of world affairs in a till then family-oriented conversation. But I guess, they hold on to the slender hopes that pretty soon my dad will run out off things to say and go back to reading his paper and they can enjoy the primary reason that they are there- my mothers cooking.
My mother spends all day in the kitchen with a whirl-wind trip around the whole house every ten minutes to update herself on what is going on in every room of the house- but always leaving something smelling divine, simmering on the stove. My aunts, her sisters, and my cousins will all be talking in some room or the other, with a busy discussion going on a heated topic and my mother will suddenly breeze in, and without a pause offer some absolutely unrelated (to the topic being discussed) comment to the discomfiture of everyone around and then suddenly, with a “Oh!! I left that on the stove” she would rush out again to the kitchen to continue her fight with the dish simmering there, without bothering to pass and see what the rest of the conversation was or the response to her comment.
And me?, I would be trying to make myself invisible with a book in some nook- preferably a relative-less nook. the reasons being – I am basically a shy type, I don’t have much to discuss with relatives who visit us rarely and wanted to be updated on all the news chronologically in bullet-pointed highlights and most importantly they get on my nerves, by expressing sympathy/inquiring about my “Still-Single” status..”Why are you still postponing marriage? you are losing so many festivals to enjoy?” “uh!as if i am doing it on purpose???” and by the way, is marriage about festivals or is it about finding compatibility” I think to myself and then “Poor guy you should be at your in-laws place right now, enjoying with them” will start Aunt-1 and Aunt-2 will respond immediately with “Yes the first festival remembrances will be unforgettable” she will say this with a sneaky look at her husband and then said uncle will give an obscenely grinning smile back at that remembrance….and the point is- at some time or other it is going to happen in my life, but I am not going to stampeded into marriage by assorted aunts and uncles just to cerebrate festivals…
Being single is such much fun right now and I guess being married is not that much different or better and a marital status is not essential to enjoy a festival. what say people???