Friday, January 28, 2005

Bombay Life

Life in Bombay! That’s all that I’ve been dreaming of since I was in school in sleepy old Hyderabad. So when at last I got to pursue my post graduation in clinical psychology in Bombay, I jumped at the chance! I was full of dreams of having the time of my life, with no mom to keep on repeating, “study! Study! ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Roswell’ are not gonna be there on your test!”, or listening to dad crack his painful pjs!! Here’s an example: Me: “Dad! Where’s mom?” Dad, looking into the pocket of his shirtfront: “not in my pocket!!” Aaaaaaargh!!
Anyway, back to Bombay. I was to stay with my maternal grandma in Bombay. My elder brother was already staying with her. So I thought my life was set! No nagging and no pjs. But I forgot about my brother, whose sense of humor is only slightly better than my dad’s. And then there’s my grandma, very sweet, helpless looking. She’s nearly ninety, but still has a tongue that could cut through glass! I guess they just don’t want me to miss my parents back home! But I don’t really mind missing them now and then!! I really don’t, am sure that would be much more easier to bear than my grandma’s nagging! I thought my mom was bad (actually she gets like that only during examinations), but Grans is miles ahead of her daughter!
Here’s an example of what a typical day in my life is like: I’m woken up at least half an hour early, almost every morning, by my ‘doting’ Grans. After I’ve had my bath she asks, “are you going to have breakfast?” I reply in the affirmative. Ten minutes later she again asks me if I am going to eat or not. I again reply in the affirmative. And she asks, “Then why aren’t you?” and she goes on repeating again and again and again, till I’m driven out of the room! It’s not even like she has a bad memory or something and that’s why she keeps on repeating herself. I’ve a feeling she gets some sort of sadistic pleasure out of driving me crazy!! Naaah! Am just kidding.
Anyway, after I come back from college sometime in the afternoon, at once Grans pounces on me, and demands to know why I’m 5 minutes late. In the beginning I’d give detailed explanations, all which she would brush aside, and tell me that she doesn’t care if the local train I travel by was 15 minutes late, or that our professor didn’t leave us on time, I have to be on time, even if an earthquake rocks Bombay, or if aliens invade the city. I can just imagine what a confrontation between extra terrestrials and Grans would be like!
Alien Subordinate: “we are here to take over your puny planet. You are to come with us.”
Grans: “why are you so gray? Didn’t you have a bath? And why are you wearing a fish bowel over your head? Nowadays, youngsters sport such ridiculous stuff in the name of ‘fashion’!!”
The poor alien subordinate runs off to get the chief.
Alien Chief: “old woman, you are to come with us and I’ll brook…”
Grans: “how dare you talk to me in this manner? Didn’t your parents ever teach you any manners? You young people just don’t know how to respect your elders! Is this the way you talk to your elders? In our times, let alone talk in a loud voice before our elders, we didn’t even dare look them in their eyes…. blah blah and some more blah….!”
Lets return to earth now and to my very feisty grandmother!
So after the speech about always being on time is done with, she starts on another pet topic of hers: “why don’t you go for a walk around Five Gardens (it’s right behind our home)? You used to go everyday. Why not anymore?” It’s another matter that the “everyday” event occurred about three years back, when I was very motivated to lose weight. Anyway, I always protest saying that I’ve just come back from college, and am too tired to go and get myself a drink of water, let alone walk around Five Gardens! My commute to and from college is for about 35-45 minutes, one way; so by the time I get home, I’m dead tired, especially if I’d gone out somewhere after college hours. But Grans is always on her own trip: “you’ve grown so big! Your mother was so slim and lovely when she was your age, and just look at you!”
Then there’s this other thing: Each time I wash my hair; I wash my brush and combs too, because, what’s the use of washing your hair, if you are going to use your dirty brush and comb on your clean hair? I digress once more. So anyway, each time I soak my brush and comb Grans comes thundering down on me and says, “You washed your hair just the other day. Why do you want to wash your hair again? If you wash your hair too often all your hair will fall out!” I do think that all my hair will fall out, but not from shampooing too frequently, but by tearing out my hair in frustration and exasperation!
And the questions don’t just stop there. I soak my brush and combs in detergent. She comes to inspect how much detergent I’ve used, and then states, “you are using too much! No wonder my detergent gets over so fast nowadays!” And then she cackles loudly, indicating that this was a joke.
Grans is most of the time on my case, but sometimes she can be especially sweet and loving. Like embroidering a pretty scarf for me; or ordering some food that I like. She’s always very generous with her money, urging us to order Domino’s pizza as often as we like. And she does have a silly sense of humor, and she cracks silly-funny jokes quite often. Sometimes when she’s in a very good mood, she talks in a baby-like voice, which keeps me in splits for a long the time!
So, on the whole, life in Bombay isn’t exactly as I’d expected, but it’s not bad either. And another good thing is that my brother’s sense of humor has improved drastically, and he too keeps me in splits most of the time. So home life isn’t bad at all!
Oh no! Maybe I spoke too soon! I can hear Grans chastising my brother on the bad effects of having the phone glued to his ear for four hours (am not exaggerating). And now starts a never-ending diatribe on the evil effects of the humble telephone. But, more of that some other time! :)


annie said...

hey buddy!! this is your pal annie!! loved readin ur blog! i cud picture you actually sayin all that! so its just a written format of your diatribes and rantings!! hee hee! keep'em coming gal!!

Anonymous said...

Hey it's me Paul ...
Firstly welcome to the world of blogging ! :)
And gurl , you write very well !
I loved the post .. it' hillarious ... esp the Alien interaction part ! :D
Keep em comin ... !!

Phoenix Rises said...

Annie, Paul, thanx a lot for your encouragement!