Hmmm... I am wide awake as the man of the house has switched on all the lights and decided that this is the precise moment that he needs to further perfect his body, by a series of complex exercises that involves carrying his body weight on his right elbow. He cheerfully asks me to join him. As much as I admire his zeal for self inflicted punishment, the debate to partake in his innovate routine or jab my eye three times instead is very short. The latter less painful option accomplished, I decide to get a head start on my day and jot down my personal to-do list
1. Remove brownie stains from sofa.
2. Remove stains from my new Zara dress when I sat on the brownie on the sofa.
3. Box son on the head for storing brownie behind cushion on sofa for safekeeping.
4. Delete 26 pictures of cousin Kamalnath (Sweetie) Khanna and his family that have very sweetly been emailed to me.
5. Junk 86 early morning’ inspirational ‘SMS forwards that only deranged people have the inclination to send.
6. Call lawyer to check court case regarding my tied-to-a-tree canine managing to bite nasty neighbour. Double check if I can file counter case against neighbour for violating dogs nasal passage, by stinking of methi theplas thereby provoking him into temporary insanity and biting frenzy!
Coffee in hand, I open my one and only file (tyrant business partner has 37 box files to contain her share of information, I am beginning to think her handwriting is a lot bigger than mine!) I have a 100 tasks I need completed today. File scanned, end result — will take a holiday instead. Why? Because…
1. Polish wallah who had to produce ash grey sample today can’t do so because his bua’s uncle has to move from some Campa Cola building. And of course the whole clan has to pitch in.
2. Woodcarver’s mother’s sister’s daughter’s cousin is getting married so my Gothic chairs will not start for another three weeks.
3. Head plumber is missing two days this week because of bakri Eid.
4. Site supervisor is bunking for unknown reason.
5. Not be left behind entire carpenter team has decided to abscond for Lakshmi Pooja. They are all ‘brothers’ as they live in neighbouring villages (which is apparently as close a mental-physical bond as being conjoined twins)
India thrives on two things religion and relatives!
Famous Indian saying, ‘Our religion is to adopt as many relatives as possible’. We are the only country where the term munh bola bhai or rakhi brother exists! Literal translation — I like you a little, but find you a bit creepy thus have no intention of fornicating with you, but I need another relative, as my 28 relatives are not enough to celebrate our 168 festivals. Haven’t we all been to these family gatherings where there is some man in a white kurta pajama and orange hennaed hair who is somehow a relative though no one is quite sure how.
The man of the house is back and says that there is special screening of his new movie and after allotting seats to his eight chachas, their wives, 16 cousins, three buas and pretty much the entire population of Chandigarh, I am lucky enough to get three seats for my friends.
Having stuffed myself with left over chhola bhatura I feel decidedly guilty and resolve to do my own exercise routine before I sleep. It consists of...
1. Pulling in my stomach — trying on my jeans to see if they have gotten looser.
2. Removing above mentioned jeans as they have not gotten any looser
3. Flopping down on the bed thinking tomorrow I will get everything done....
Unless my rakhi brother drops in or Shiv Sena declares a bandh!