Sunday, November 27, 2005

My Daddy can cook (well, at least he can pull off a basic omelette and he makes a very nice cup of tea).
He can also clean (this would translate to dusting his books and the surface of his study table several times a week, which is still more than the maid ever does).
He can make his own bed (this was learnt in self-defense since whenever I'm fighting with the parents I sulk and refuse to even enter their bedroom....well my sulks usually last for five minutes but by then Baba has started sulking and refuses to let me do anything for him...five minutes into his sulk, he's ready to forgive except by then I've started sulking and so it goes on...)
Basically what I'm trying to establish here is my Dad, beyond the fact that he does a commendable job at work, is also the *sensitive* male type who can lend a hand at household stuff (as opposed to some of the men I've seen who consider it a sign of manliness to leave their smelly socks lying about and wouldn't dream of lifting a duster unless paid a million pounds or so).
I mean my Daddy can even wash dishes! (Some of my relatives, male and female, have swooned on hearing this, I kid you not).
But, and this is the all important but he cannot put a cover on a pillow!!!

So the scene last night goes like this, Ma and I were sitting and watching Humtum (as you can see the level of my intellectual activities is rising by the day, but more on that later) when into the room came Baba. He had this forlorn look on his face and in his left hand he was half-hugging a pillow while from the right dangled a pillow case. He held out both to Ma, wordlessly, with that same woebegone look on his face. And she took them, equally wordlessly, fitted the pillow into its case and handed it back with the we've-been-married-for-thirty-years-and-i-don't need-to-tell-you-i-love-you-but-i-do look. And Daddy went off hugging pillow happily while Ma turned back to watch movie with what seemed like avid interest but I knew she was just mooning. And anyone who's going aww here *go away*!! The point of the story is not that my parents still behave like they're love-struck thirteen year olds but that my Daddy cannot do something as basic as stuffing a pillow into it's case!!! And when I tried telling Ma that she really hadn't trained him well in housework all she did was give me an aww-isn't-that-cute look.
Parents, I tell you!!!

The Sister in the meantime seems well on her way to marital bliss (one has always believed the phrase was an oxymoron, but one does not dare so in *this* house at least). What she doesn't realize sitting in distant Hyderabad is that she's completely wrong in thinking the Parents are preparing for *her* marriage. They're not.
Consider this, in the last week or so the menu for her wedding has been altered a minimum of thirty times. On the other hand they've decided what the menu for my wedding is going to be! In case you're wondering, there is no groom in sight (well except for the dozen or so matches my aunts keep trying to fix up every time they come to India. It being their opinion that education is all very well in it's own place but a girl does need to get married, and soon.) And all ye who disagree with this idea hold back the vitriol ok. I'm rather fond of these aunts even if they do have ideas which belong to the last century or the one before it.

Having given a general update on the family I suppose I should be talking about myself...sigh....except that's one topic I would rather not touch. Ideally last evening should have been spent studying. Instead I watched Humtum. It's a sweet movie and all but *sigh* just not pretentiously intellectual enough.
And I will always prefer When Harry Met Sally (even if Saif Ali Khan does look a *wee* bit better than Billy Crystal). With all due apologies to the lovers of the hindi version I think it was a bit, does one put this politely, *soppy*, or maybe the word I'm looking for is sappy. Romance is good, it's excellent, I can think of few things better than mushy love but I'd rather live it, thank you very much, than watch it enacted by two people who aren't exactly looking forward to a lifetime spent together as much as their paychecks. And they screwed up the most crucial line in the movie. Look at what Harry said, "men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way." In the hindi the sex part changes to pyar. Bizarre!! Why, if they can make a movie that clearly targets an urban *and presumably elite* class can't they use the word sex?!!! They can show the hero and heroine in bed the morning after, if only for two seconds but at least it's pretty clear that they have not spent the night exchanging small talk, and they shudder at the use of the three letter word. Hypocrisy dude, that's all it is. And anyone who wants to crib about this had better explain while they're at it, why it is that there should be no pyar between friends. I thought the whole point to friendship was love. It's sex which redefines boundaries. They say sex sells. They'd probably like to add, not in India. Except hehe, sex probably sells more in India, we're just a bit too politically correct (or should that be sushma-swaraj-correct?)


Blogger Bini said...

billy crystal and saif ali khan?!?!?!? KI BOLCHHO!

6:01 PM  
Blogger Dreamcatcher said...

Good lord in heaven, your parents sound exactly like mine. The menu for the reception has been altered only 30 times, it had to pass approval of Ma's commanders-in-chief(mashi's) and my dear sis has no clue. She has no idea what awaits her and neither does my poor br-in-law.
and as for my parents - after thirty years of marriage, one would hope that they would stop getting musy and moony about each other, but really they make me feel positively old sometimes.
And this whoel biye business leads me to the conclusion that my whole family is mad - i can rejoice now. Its in the genes, nothing wrong with moi :)

7:24 PM  
Blogger the One said...

Yes yes .. Hum Tum does lag unforgivably in the intellectual-pretentiousness department, plus it's only in one language (okay, one-and-a-half). Babelfish might try Gujarati cinema instead. Onethinks they've even adapted Sophocles, in a most Sushma-Swaraj-correct manner of course. Rather difficult that must have been.

7:50 PM  
Blogger vAgue said...

your parents; :)
hum tum was pretty blood lame, no? I mean there is no question of taking its name in the same breath as WHMS................:)

10:09 PM  
Blogger the still dancer said...

not having seen the masterly original, I can't comment, but somehow quite liked HT, rather surprisingly. Apart from the cloyingly stupid thing about pyar of course. Liked the title song especially. ohh... first time here.

12:38 AM  
Blogger satchisgod said...

Yea, it's lovely when you see your parents looking for each those small but relishingly adorable gestures:)

1:47 AM  
Blogger Tiny Black Cat said...

hehe... my dad knows all his chores... washing his clothes, cooking a random sunday lunch (since his cooking is actually better than mom's), all that. but he's so not the non-chauvinistic type. he'd only be seen doing his own stuff when he's sulking on mom (me doesn't count... ami ghor-er bekar bigrono bachcha... kono kaaj touch kore-o dekhi na). that begins with great enthusiasm (and melodrama) but doesn't last long enough to count ;)

2:30 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

Your parents sound adorable. My Dad frequently gets the urge to cook for us on Sundays. Although his idea of cooking and my mothers idea of cooking are very different, because the vegetables will have to be cut by my mom or me, the moshla will have to be provided by my mother since my dad is incapable to noticing things udner his nose, Ma will have to instruct him on the correct proportions of everything, and she will also have to keep running to kitchen every 5 mins as he keeps yelling "eshe dekhe jao toh ekhon obdhi theek hochche kina". End ofthe day my Dad does "khunti nada" (dont know English for that) and proudly proclaims "dekhechish aami ki rokom daarun mangsho korlam...kono help chadai,...dekhe shekh".

About marriage Dad has very firm beliefs on that topic. He sez that its a sin to feed people too much of calorie rich and heavy many people have heart trouble cholesterol problems, digetsion problems etc. Therefore he sez at my wedding he will provide good mishti, very good quality chanachur ,fancy salads, tea coffee, jucie, and pan. He promises soothing background music and its his hearts desire to have people walking around spraying ittar in the air and on guests. Please do come for the wedding..should be so much fun no :-)

11:43 AM  
Blogger Acroyali said...

charming family u got! and a lovely account..:)

2:13 PM  
Blogger Teleute said...

my dad even fills twenty litres of water from the aquaguard everyday :D

5:21 PM  
Blogger Krishanu said...

my dad is a kickass's kassa mangsho, pizza and best of all black forest gateaux...

6:38 PM  
Blogger jaded said...

Reminded me of my dad...he can wash clothes, scrub utensils and the like but something as simple as putting the lid on the tiffin-box, he cannot do! He is not a very bad cook- his omlettes are rather nice, but his fish-cooking skills are a bit doubtful. Once, instead of making rui macher jhal, he made rui macher chatni!!!

6:44 PM  
Blogger karuna said...

Screw pillow covers, theres more he can do than can't and thats commendable, my dad can't hardly make a tomato sandwitch!! My brother however cooks much better than me.
And Saif ali khan is much cuter than Billy Crystal

7:01 PM  
Blogger cass said...

what the fuck is all this about christmas trees???!

8:16 PM  
Blogger Rimi said...

no wonder you listen without complain to my tales of family woes with such a lot of sympathy (empathy???) eta was the totaal fatafatis! made checking your (un-updated!) blog twice daily worth it!

11:25 PM  
Blogger babelfish said...

b : bolchhi na toh, chhobi dekhachhi :D

dreamcatcher : rejoice child for it's not just you and your family, every family responsible for organizing a full fledged bangali biye is a leetle mad :D

the one : gujarati cinema? hmm...with subtitles perhaps? or does one require a human translator while watching gujju masterpieces to get the full impact? ;D

vague : I felt a wee bit guilty about taking the two names in the same sentence but well everyone knows nothing compares to WHMS :)

kaashyapeya : *flurry of welcomes for first timer, all smiles and oozing charm* how kind of you to comment dear sir, do keep visiting...and I hope you do watch When Harry Met Sally, which is far more realistic than Humtum. HT is sweet, WHMS is a classic; the fundamental difference I suppose between a mills and boon and *gone with the wind* :)

satchisgod : *happy sigh* I know :)

mandy : teehee...all Dad's are fun no :D

ron : erm, sad confession...the way your Dad cooks is exactly the way I cook *glubglub*
On the other hand tis so kind of you to invite the fish to what promises to be a brilliant wedding :D

acroyali : thank you, sho shweet you be :)

teleute : eeks, that's a *lot* of hard work!

krishanu : when are we invited for lunch? *flashes charming smile*

jaded : now *your* dad is a sweetheart. period. I am still *very* grateful and therefore will not pay heed to whatever aspersions you cast on his (fishy)cooking :D

karuna : s.a.k vs b.c, I agree, I was just being polite in case there was any blogger who thinks billy crystal is the world's greatest hunk :D

cassy :
jingle bells, jingle bells
jingle all the way...
oh what fun it is to read
spam on christmas day

*bleaargh...that's not even metrically correct* :p

rimi : awww so flattered I am, so swit you is :D

2:49 AM  
Blogger Lancelot said...

well sorta made me think about my skills for no particular reason... but i realised while i can put pillow covers on, i havent cleaned my room in 3 months even though i generally take precautions to make it neat so it duznt repel ppl... and i cudnt make an omelette if my life depended on it... tried it once but it got stuck to a non-stick frying pan.

12:24 PM  
Blogger m. said...

hey! was roaming and came here. lively blog!
btw, you have a "history of sexuality" on your favourite books list... could you please tell me whom it is by?

2:08 PM  
Blogger Prerona said...

ur parents sound so cute! :)
lol at preparation for ur didi's wedding!

6:59 PM  
Blogger Unjustified Insanity~~ said...

"He had this forlorn look on his face and in his left hand he was half-hugging a pillow while from the right dangled a pillow case. He held out both to Ma, wordlessly, with that same woebegone look on his face. And she took them, equally wordlessly, fitted the pillow into its case and handed it back with the we've-been-married-for-thirty-years-and-i-don't need-to-tell-you-i-love-you-but-i-do look. And Daddy went off hugging pillow happily while Ma turned back to watch movie with what seemed like avid interest but I knew she was just mooning."

if only you video-taped this
if only

7:35 PM  
Blogger Rimi said...

if you must mention it amongst your favourite books, as m above says you have, you'd better add that History of Sexuality isn't exactly what it sounds like...

oh look, still checking your blog twice a day.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your dad and the pillow cover remind me of lord emsworth

10:31 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

My parents like to fight. I prefer yours.

By the way, don't ask me why but I always thought you were a boy :)

6:40 PM  
Blogger the Monk said...

u know abt the new law in spain (or was it argenina?), rite, wherein the husbands have to help with the dishes or somethin like that....they have a very strong sense of machismo over's slightly better here, i guess...haven't seen hum tum yet, but now i think i will....nice post,btw...

12:50 AM  
Blogger babelfish said...

lance : an omelette stuck to a non-stick pan...skillful!!! :D

m : It's by Michel Foucault. Utterly brilliant reading of our changing perceptions of sexuality starting from the classical era. It's a three volume tome, but well worth the read.
Thanks for dropping keep coming :)

preronadi : they are cute..neurovores but cute!! teehee :D

ui : if only...*sigh*

rimi : eeks, now she's turning on the pressure and the charm so I put up a new post! :D

bhooter raja : lol! except my mom ain't Lady Keeble :)

jay : My parents fight too. Well no, my mom throws ashtrays at my dad, but that's her unusual way of expressing love. is fish of female persuasion but I suppose it's hard to tell with a fish :D

the monk : they had to make a law for that?!! umm, my mom just stands and looks beguiling at dad till he trots off to do the dishes after dinner :D
*and thanks for dropping by, do come back again* :)

1:18 AM  
Blogger Soumik said...

i havent ever and dont plan to try m&bs (since i have a fair idea bout them), and i thoroughly and completely disliked gone with the wind. i hvnt seen humtum, and i did like when harry met sally. but not because it was more realistic, which is not necessarily a good thing. so does that make any sense? ;)

11:35 PM  
Blogger herenow said...

aww.. such a cute post* is that allowed?????
ok moi going away!:))

2:54 PM  
Blogger babelfish said...

soumik : erm, you liked when harry met sally toh? That's all that's required to make sense :D

herenow : aww, you is so sweet no..and don't go away for good plis, my comments section needs you!!! :D

9:13 PM  
Blogger panu said...

Not sappy darlin' the word more appropriate might be SLOPPY...


P.S. Babelfish might have caught the right fish... but then again, she might just check out the semi-virgin's blog once to confirm...

1:38 AM  
Blogger Lancelot said...

not much actually, apparently all it takes to get an omelette stuck is not putting oil while frying it!!! Who would have thought??

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just for listing a book by Foucault I like you/your blog very much!


I liked HT for its sappiness even though sap isn't my usual cup of chai.

Not every bollywood concoction canbe intellectual now can it? Heck it wasn't the typical *sap* [bakwaas] is a big deal !

3:19 AM  
Blogger babelfish said...

panu : ROFL :D

lance : who indeed? :)

dee : yay! And just for liking my blog I now like you *very* much.
Do keep visiting and commenting :)

3:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

eet ij sho eejee to plish gurrrls.

I to be not knowing why these men make fuss- gurrrls not hard to plish. i to be just liked berry much.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and err i don't know what sparked the above [its my alternate identity im telling u! champa-chameli go die!]

8:41 AM  
Blogger babelfish said...

dee darling, you and your alternate identity are both most welcome here :D

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greets to the webmaster of this wonderful site! Keep up the good work. Thanks.

11:28 AM  

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