Sunday, February 21, 2010

Atithi Devobhava

When we were kids i remember my dad being staunch about certain principles and back then we just considered it tyranny/dictatorship but today it's a different story altogether.Had to be as we are in his shoes now and now we know exactly where the shoe pinches.So he was very particular that we never lodge at our relatives and friends.Visiting was permitted but it was time-bound and much to our chagrin we never had that fun of staying with relatives.How much we fretted and yearned to have these night outs at our mausi's and mama"s i can still recall.i definitely vowed that when i have kids of my own i am never going to deny them this kind of fun.
Well as it turned out i am in the hot heat now and it's history repeats itself.i have found it extermely difficult to lodge at a friend's or a relative's but if and when i have gone against my own self i have been hurt by subtle hints given by the hosts and thus that aversion to lodging at anyone's has grown stronger and call it one of my own idiosyncrasy but i am like that.
What triggers peculiarities of our own has got a lot to do with the past and some of it is also inherited.Of course all experiences has it's pros and cons and with each we grow but it is also responsible in making us what we are.
My home in Bihar was nicknamed as Sheikh Chillee Niwas by sceptics and Bihar Bhawan by admirers.Some ridiculed and had fun but there were others who spoke volumes in favour of my parents bon homie. Nevertheless it was one unique home always alive and kicking with guests sine die. There were some who would be there with their spouses and kids and others on their own. Chachas, mamas ,buas, dad's collegues from outstation, friends from college and oh yes not to miss if not them then their relatives.Some had agendas which ranged from a holiday in the capital town and a dig into city life, medical treatment,admissions to colleges and also schools,litigation and something which can be beautifully summed up in this apt urdu word called Pairvee. Now it's beyond my comprehension to explain this in a single word because a mere reccomendation as a word will not suffice because pairvee encompassed all-begging,bribing,sychophancy and also exploiting and scheming to get the work done.i must also remember to stress that many simpletons from the villages arrived only to have bread butter jam and all the food items they couldn't afford to have and as they said "deh thik ho jata hai yahan... maans machli poora khane ko milta hai" (our body gets healthy here as we get good amount of mutton and fish to eat).We would as kids land up being confused because in school we learned that it was the other way around as it was in the village were everything was fresh/pure and the environment was non-polluted.Wasn't it that all essays and hindi texts said Gaon ka vatavaran sehat ke liye labhdayee hota hai (The village environment is beneficial for good health) So coming to what i had been narrating before, these guests would be scattered all over the house.And we kids would be propped up with all sorts of people as we had no rooms left to call our own.Even the porch would have idlers sitting and animated conversations ranging from politics to family fueds were the familiar sounds mixed with the calling out of names.Someone or the other was always calling out for some one.We were not spared too as we also had to run errands along with all the other domestic helps.Spread out everywhere and scattered around these guests presented the scene very akin to pre wedding ceremony.i can't forget how these guests would be lurking in the kitchen too trying to humour and befriend the cook to look after their interests well.It was much later that we realised why some of these cooks went that extra mile to grind Bhaang or to prepare special strong tobacco laced pan or to starch the dhotis with the rice kanji...They were bribed both ways.Mostly the stuff was shared amongst both parties and some times money lessened their tiredness and fatigue.Our first encounter with corruption actually started at home......


  1. Nice description and look forward to reading the rest of it.

  2. oh thanx and coming from you i'm inspired...hope the rest of it brings out all that i have to say .:)