Sunday, December 25, 2005

Num(b) Bengaluru

Seeing that my brother was indeed treated very well by the Mallus, I decided to leave him in Kerala and move on with my life. His in-laws took him around temple to temple doing ‘Thulabharam’. Practice of giving offerings that equal your weight.

My brother being a staggering 110 kgs, had forced the in-laws to rethink their strategy. They put him on a diet and went from offering sugar in one temple to bananas in the next to cow dung in the end.

Pi and I went to Madras to my in-law’s place. I was looking forward to Madras- sleeping, meeting my friends, sleeping, shopping, sleeping, getting pampered my mom-in-law and getting a nice breather from my parents and of course sleeping.

My parents surely believed in-‘Spare the bahu and torture the child’

Let me explain. I just reached Madras and I got a call from daddykins, ‘Come to Bangalore ASAP.’ Fearing the worst, I was ready to cry. My dad continues, ‘Bride and groom are arriving and you have to be here to take their Arthi.’

What the heck?! What do they do in households without a sister? What about the million aunties in Bangalore? Do you even know I will have to come back to Madras tomorrow for my visa appointment?

Hmpf! I took the next flight to Bangalore all the time thinking if this flight met with an accident, my dad will repent. It was the costliest Arthi ever and my brother gave a measly 100 rupees for this. He doesn’t get a penny from my will. Also I was thinking of suing him for the post wedding trauma (not to be confused with the mental troubles that I already had before going to his wedding).

Some background about the festivities in Bangalore and how I got tortured so far- I passed up on a weekend of fun in London with Pi and friends to be home early helping out with wedding preparations.

When I landed in Bangalore in the wee hours of the day, my mom had decided to have a ‘Sumangali Puja’ in preparation for the wedding. It’s a puja where we commemorate the women who conked off before their husbands. That’s kinda auspicious in our culture. (Pi is so encouraging that he wants to see me in that honorable list soon)

So in this Sumagali Puja, a bunch of women whose hubbies are still alive are made to do certain things… like not have breakfast till the puja is done. I was dying! Jetlagged and hungry, I wasn’t the happiest Sumangali around. To think some moms pamper their home-bound kids with yummy food when they arrive! bah! I must have snuck into my room and had a dozen of those yucky Sugar-free chocolates I bought for my dad.

The house was swarming with people, mostly related to me in some way only the holy family-tree knows. The lunch was really late to arrive. “Saar, Banerghatta traffic saar,’ was the excuse from the catering service. Some of my relatives had already fainted and were wondering how I managed to survive. I smiled a sugar-free smile.

Then they asked me to go sleep seeing my blood red eyes and droopy (but sugar-free) smile . It was 3 pm then. I walked into the obvious place to sleep, the bedroom…it was invaded by 10 random aunts discussing something animatedly. ‘Come dear, sleep here’ they said..shifting their butts a little so that I had a 2X3 area to squeeze in. I tried sleeping, but was bombarded with questions like, ‘When are you taking me to the US?’ ‘What did you get for me?’ I think it would have been ultra rude to let her know that I seriously didn’t recognize who she was.

I decided to try the other bedroom. By Jolly Jove, this place was far more noisy. All the kids were jumping around fighting and video games were being played without ‘mute’ and my other cousin was fast asleep oblivious to the sounds. Some talent, that! Even though she lives in Bangalore, she is in the same time zone as I am (at least till now). She works for a call center in Dell and whenever I get to see her, she is sleeping. At least she doesn't feel the need to screw her sleep patterns because of certain cousins who land up from far away lands. We can catch up on MSN when I get to the US.

Maybe I should try the terrace. I took the mat and a few pillows and marched upto the terrace. Found a shady location under the huge mango tree and tried to sleep. It was blissful till I realized(a few droppings later) that I was sleeping under the neighborhood crow’s bathroom.

It was 11 pm and I still hadn't found a place to lie down after having tried the storage room, bathroom, broom closet and verandah. I longed for my seat in the economy class of British Airways.

Next day at 5 am was the Nandi function when I was ready to trade my life for some sleep. THIS WASN'T EVEN MY WEDDING!!!!

‘Yaaaawwn…(might as well sleep now and compensate for my next India trip.)


m said...

having lots of fun i see.

anantha said...

OMG.. I havent even able to get past half the post...ROTFL!

anantha said...

My brother being a staggering 110 kgs, had forced the in-laws to rethink their strategy. They put him on a diet and went from offering sugar in one temple to bananas in the next to cow dung in the end.
Do you know how much the damn bovines would have to eat to provide 110 kgs of whatever they convert all that food into? Well, I don't know. but it would be certainly more than 110 kgs of whatever they eat and that would have cost a LOT...
And your story about sleeping under a crow's "facilities" reminded me of this fine joke about another crow that laid an egg while sitting on a high voltage power cable. But thats another story, for another day...

alpha said...

m; yeah, i sure did.

anti: if the cows ate iron tablets with their punnaku, their dung would have been fortified with iron making it heavier. so there!

never knew birds laid eggs just by sitting on a power cable..

In context, I know a crow PJ. A Mallu and a Tamilian sitting under the tree. Crow shits on Mallu's head. He goes 'Endha?'
Tam says,'Unndhu illai, kakadu.'

VC said...

Kick-ass post & PJ!!
You obviously haven't perfected the art of kicking the ass of everyone else in your immediate neighborhood - while sleeping!!! Works best when you are just feigning to be asleep.

AmitL said...

LOL..Twin,I've been a mite busy lately,and,good heavens,look what I missed..u're totally back in ur element.Had a great laugh reading about the Puja where u 'commemorate the women who conked off before their husbands',ur endeavour to find some sleeping space,.......LOLOL...May I invite u to the next wedding in our family?I'm sure u'd guarantee that it would not be the drab affair I usually find our weddings to be.Hehehehee.:)

shub said...

yay!! welcome to bangalore alpha! :D

Ash said...

So how much sleep did you get at your own wedding, Alpha ? :)

anantha said...

Ash: LMAO!
Alpha: Looks like you gotta learn that sleep is a state of mind that you get to regardless of whether your eyelids are closed or not.

anumita said...

tried sleeping at the neighbour's house? (not with the neighbour of course, just use the bed and room). a lot of cousins are found at different neighbours houses at our family weddings.

B o o said...

Chocolates! Now, why did nt I think of that??? I am sure that if an autopsy has been done on those sumangalis, the cause of death will definitely be "starvation due to Sumangali Puja"! Great Post! :)

?! said...

==> has slept while standing in a corner of class cos of nodding off ...

It just takes the will to tune out!
( or in my case, the unwillingness to tune in!)

pallavi said...

LOL thats how weddings usually are :)

Hardu said...

Mallu marriages are a lot less torturous. Aren't they?

Parna said...

weddings are such crazy affairs. but its all fun in the end, specially since it leaves you with many funny anecdotes. yes?

m said...

happy new year.......heres to a 2006 that lets you laugh while ranting- and allow others to enjoy with you.

Mustang said...

stop complaining alphu :p u've become one spoilt brat i'll tell ya... its not often tht you get to go home, eat sugar-free chocolates, meet relatives (however evil they always are)!

alpha said...

vc: thanks da..whats is this with kicking asses of the lost me there..normally you are very profound.

amit;:twin ji, missed you all these days...gujju wedding..sure..never tried creating havoc in one of these.

shub: thanks sweets..

ash: my wedding, I was like the goat taken to the alughterhouse...goats don't need sleep.

anti: I'm a light sleeper and you have no clue what a curse that is! An ant shagging in the next room can wake me up.

anumita: It might help to know the neighbors even if I plan not to sleep with them..not much time for that.


?!: Shud have practiced when I was young.

Pallavi: :)
Hardu: They are.

Parna: As much as I complain, I am happy it gives me so much fodder.

musty: chup be...wait till I make you eat sugar-free chocs when you come here.

alpha said...

m and everyone: HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU! 2006 will be great for all of you!

VC said...

kicking the ass of everyone in your immediate neighborhood - as in pretending to stretch in your sleep and giving a swift kick to random junta who plop themselves on the bed at the same time when you are trying to catch some sleep, as is bound to happen during random pujas.

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Anonymous said...

I believe the entire set of these blogs belong to a lunatic.Its only one who is mentally oppressed/depressed/traumatized who could post this way!

Rationale said...

Aww poor Akka. Sorry you were bothered so much. Next time you see, we shall all spend a week in Kerala with atleast 3 days of that at the back waters! :) My treat!

PS: Stumbled across your blog from a link on someone else' page. Also have sent it out to some of my colleagues (was too lazy to relate about the marriage and you seem to have got EVERY little detail here!) :D Thanks for the wonderful details...

(Am thinking of taking printouts of these and preserving them in an album! haha!)

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