It’s been a busy last few days. One in which I have had to let go of a number of strong and well entrenched beliefs of mine.
After years of resisting, I finally got a cell-phone. I don’t need one and I don’t want one. But people around me, have felt the need that I have one. I already find it stifling. I am not sure, why I need one? I neither have boys to talk to or an important job and amma is anyway the most efficient alarm clock one can have. My fear is, I will get too attached to it.
Anyway, I chose the Tata Indicom service – as it is cheap, it works even inside the elevator and has Trisha as their brand ambassador. I don’t like Trisha, but at least, she is Tamizh and a Penn.
We harnessed the mobility aspect of the phone splendidly this weekend when T Anna as always made his once a week call on Sunday.
Usually the conversation goes on for a little over half an hour, with all of us trying to out-shout the other into the speaker phone. S and I are completely forbidden to go anywhere when T Anna calls. Amma holds fort and does most of the talking. Appa grunts in the background. S and I usually oscillate between a desire to violently shake up T Anna to a surge of sisterly affection.
Our conversations are very boring. And they always leave a lot of ends hanging that the family must discuss once the call is over. Amma and appa survive the week on the bits and pieces that they catch over that thirty minutes.
The conversations are very VERY predictable. For the first ten minutes, T Anna will tell us, how sad his life is. How he is struggling. How it is so tough to cope. How he needs to cook, clean, work, be stuck with his married friends and so forth.
When amma gets a little anxious, and is ready to volunteer to come and cook for him (it is her fear that I and S will turn completely wild in her absence that stops her. Sometimes amma gives us way too much credit), he will quickly change tracks. Suddenly he is talking about the good life that the land of opportunity gives him. Where people do fun activities like go of on road trips, attend a Ganesh and Kumaresh concert, travel to another state to meet the visiting parents of a batch-mate with whom one had barely interacted with, just to eat some real sambhar for a change and so forth. I am very happy here, he will gush. You must all come here, especially you and S, he adds cheerily.
I am not sure, what is more tedious? His whiney, I am suffering bachelorhood in alien country or the look at my shiny-sparkly life?
I feel a little sad for amma and appa, he does not seem very enthused to invite them over to the US. While appa is very loyal to T Nagar, he would like to go there just like his brothers and friends have done. He also wants to go there and spend time in a nice library. Amma would love to go too. So that she can network with other maamis around and find T Anna a bride there itself.
Of course, he loves us. How can he not? He even sends gifts for amma and appa very often. Things like a plastic box that has many compartments. The many compartments are coded as Monday through Sunday and also have the different day parts written on the cover. This so that one can keep all the medicines inside them. He also sent a Blood Pressure monitoring machine. One that amma conveniently chooses to take at face value or ignore depending on the reading. He also sends the strips to monitor blood glucose levels.
So of course, he loves amma and appa. He is concerned about the fact that they are ageing and their health is becoming frail. It is slightly macabre, but we don’t know how to show our love any other way.
Anyway this weekend, T Anna called me on my new phone. We had gone to see a sample flat of the property that he wishes to invest in. He wanted me to describe everything about the house. With amma, appa and S prompting me in the background it was tiresome. T Anna had a number of requirements that the house managed to fulfill:
- At least one squat style Indian toilet
- A separate pujai area
- The study needed to be West facing, just like in our T Nagar house, as it would help the children to concentrate better (huh!)
- A separate service area so that the plates can be put there
Many more such obviously ridiculous requirements followed and after the house was declared ‘perfect’ by me on all accounts. We have booked it.
Amma thinks it is the cell-phone and my ability to talk into one which is the sole reason why T Anna will have a house in Madras now. And his promise to amma, that he shall return back to India in 2009 seems very real. It makes her very happy. I am happy too. As always, basking in the warmth of parental approval.
I just wish that T Anna will come back sooner than 2009. Because I don’t want him to tell amma and appa to move to his house as it is modern, so vaastu friendly and also because he can’t trust tenants who might indulge in non Tamizh activities.
The only choice is to find T Anna a bride. Who is in Madras. Preferably works with Hyundai. Is insanely happy with her job. Is pretty. Is bright in a non threatening way. Is non Bharadwaja Gothram.
What are the chances?