Monday, November 8, 2010

Adventures in MIL-land

Or I could call it "My damp squib Diwali and other stories..."
Ok this post is just for laughs (seriously, wink wink). Hopefully I'll laugh at it some day.
Back from mom-in-law's where we celebrated Diwali.

It was an adventure for many reasons, starting with the fact that it's a jungle out there!

No really. It started raining real hard the day before we landed.
The courtyard in the back of the house was teeming with slimy slugs and little shiny black frogs, among other things. And of course a whole lot of slippery green moss.

The loo is on the other side of the courtyard!
So all through our vacation, we were running across the uncovered courtyard to take a leak, mostly in the rain...haha. And I had to traipse carefully, avoiding slugs and trying to keep my balance on the slippery courtyard. And if Sonny Boy wanted to pee, I had to carry his highness across with me -- he refused to step on the slimy courtyard, though he loved watching the slugs and bugs.

The main source of water for the household is a well in the courtyard. Something had happened the day before (very strategic of the well, i was thinking) and the water had gone smelly. MIL insisted nothing had fallen in it (it's an open well and i didn't dare to peep in; no one wanted to consider the possibility of getting the water checked or cleaned!). She cooly told us to add some Dettol into our bathing water and supplied us with two huge bottles! For rinsing our mouth, there was stored tap water (piped corporation water comes once in four days). In Rome, do as the Romans do....

The much-loved and revered ancestral house (over 60 years old) is crumbling. And in the rains, water seeps into the walls. There's a musty smell about the house and a dankness i can't explain. The much-loved and revered house cannot be repaired or re-built because the grandfather built it! There's no running water in the kitchen and it's stayed that way all through...even now. MIL says she doesn't need it. I squirm every time she washes vegetables/greens/coriander.

Due to a small family feud (ahem ahem), I didn't have to cook for the entire khaandaan as expected -- just for the six of us, as against the  expected 11 or 12.

Sonny Boy and I fell sick because of the rains, the wetness of it all, the cold... so MIL said "No curd!" We both sulked so much. :-(

Most of the holiday was spent ferrying wet clothes from the open courtyard into the kitchen and then running back again when even a ray of sunshine was visible, in the hope that the clothes would finally dry!

And in between all this was MIL's don't-touch-me madi phase in the mornings when she would cook for the Gods. So I would do a little dance as i made breakfast or tea, and remember not to bump into her and spoil her sanctity.

Oh and tea! I made lots and lots and pots of that. That's one thing MIL loves to give up whenever I'm there -- making tea. And the family drinks lots of it, over and over again. Fresh. Never from a flask, mind it! I get better and better at brewing tea every time i visit them.

The family also does not believe in vegetables! I mean it. After the first day when we ate sprouts and a side dish with greens, and the second day where there was brinjal/eggplant, there was just LOADS of fried food and dishes with oodles of besan flour. Result: Sonny Boy and I were constipated! And we both developed a throat infection :-(

Ok enough....I've been cribbing and bitching too much. But just to re-live the experiences over and over again, thinking and writing about it, lets me cut free from the cycle of that existence. And to move on with the grind back home.


cherries said...

ahaha.....very cool blog...keep writing.

Garima said...

You will laugh one day! I am hoping.. it sounds really surreal!