Monday, February 22, 2010

Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge

Awareness of facts does bring about changes and when the age of innocence was taken over by interaction with outside the Bihar Bhawan world, all these wonderful people, the presence of whom brought festivity in our lives seemed like a menace to be got rid of.Suddenly we were at a loss.We had no privacy,there was chaos all the time,there was no fixed routine,our drawing rooms looked messy,unkempt and always had that annoying smell of strong mustard oil and it hardly looked like a drawing room but more of a dormitory with the sofas which needed either to be thrown away or spruced up.The worst scenario was the toilets which were always wet and abominable and the mere sight of the wash basin would induce retching.i still don't know what devilish desire insinuated these guests to soil so badly and so quickly within hours of it having been cleaned by a mehter (people who professionally cleaned toilets with acid and phenyl -now a banned profession mostly on humanitarian grounds). Now came that yearning for same kind of organised,compact,neat and methodical lives that most of my classmates/friends had.The kind in which parents helped them with their studies and where mom cooked new foreign dishes like noodles and fancy sandwiches and the family sat neatly at their table enjoying the family only meal.Where they had rooms of their own all equipped with a study table,neat beds with bright counterpanes and a bookshelf with the school timetable stuck meticulously.The kind in which their uncles and aunts would come for a brief visit and bring them wonderful board games, toys like the walkie -talkie doll,fancy stationary and the heavenly fancy chocolates the mere thought of which made our mouths water and at the same time see us lolling in self pity as we had no such visitors.
So suddenly amoth was something which couldn't be traded with Cadburys and it was always us meeting our friends in the common lawn or gardens as we were embarrassed to call them home.Of course these friends also celebrated something called BIRTHDAY when a cake lit up with candles was cut after the ritual singing and blowing off of candles.We had to take gifts for such friends which would mostly be some biscuit packet initially given unwrapped. Oh!NO! we were at such a loss.Now our home was Shekh Chillee Niwas indeed.Profanity ceased to be sounds to be laughed at uproarously but something shameful and horrifying and imagine the horror writ on our parent's faces when in the midst of a sibling rivalry we would utter some like Khacchar Kahin Ka (aren't you an ass)...and the worst.
Now definitely it takes much more than these to have a distaste or rather a kind of guest phobia.No matter how much our parents were liberal and generous with the cook and the domestic helps nobody remained stationed at Sheikh Chillee Niwas.Only the duration of stay differed when they could last.However it was not so much for their loyalty towards us but for their desire to extract a sarkari naukari(Government job) from my bureaucratic dad.So the longest these lasted was for about 2-3 yrs depending on when they got the kagaz(appointment letter) which announced their sarkari naukri as a peon.My dad was a principled man and if he promised anyone he kept his promise.While the cooks left euphoric with their fortune and good riddance ,that particular day Sheikh Chillee Niwas bore the look of doom.As if someone very important or very strong pillar of the family on whom everything rested had attained the lotus feet of the lord and now the future looks bleak for the poor family.The jovial guests became quieter and suddenly had important assignments back home which required immediate attention and happily left in the early hours of the morn after filling their stomachs nonetneless with Dahi Chura (beaten rice soaked in water and eaten with yoghurt with either jaggery, sugar or salt) for a change.Those ailing and wanting medical treatment were fit enough to travel and those having litigation would come again as matters were now at a standstill.In any case those who had come to gather some adipose onto their skinny self were the first ones to scoot citing wierd and incredible reasons for their departure.So it goes without saying that it was then that adorance gave way to abhorance.Along with all this the immense realisation of the discomforts caused to the hosts.Some of the discomforts manageable and some painful.So i think when Benjamin Franklin made this landmark sentence-"Fish and visitors smell in three days" he said it all so succinctly.


  1. Just nominated you for an award: Keep up the good work

  2. Really! then i must say you are an angel.Award or no award that you read mine...i'm already awarded.Thanks