Apparently, guests are the equivalent of Gods. And the one thing I have learnt over the years is that these categories of gods pay special attention to food and drink.
You have dreamt of this perfect summer with you as the perfect host. One that is going to make the Gods happy. You wake up as early as possible; high chances are that an old aunt woke up earlier. So you rush to make her morning tea. By which time other god-like guests are trickling into your kitchen.
In Love Aaj Kal the older generation lover Rishi Kapoor shares the combined wisdom he has gained over the years with the newly minted reluctant lover Saif Ali Khan. “The problem is that everything has too many choices these days”, says Rishi Kapoor.
Couldn’t be truer for this morning hour. Sugar or without sugar? “He doesn’t really like the taste of that”.. Well, what in the world are you supposed to do about that? What about Sugarfree or Splenda? And out comes a pouch from your cousin’s enormous new purse. More milk, less milk, in big mugs or small cups; there is chaos and it is not even 9:00 AM yet.
Then loiters in your modern friend, all dressed up in her fineries, anticipating the million photographs that will get taken during the day. She is obviously eager to avoid any bother. She’ll make her own tea without milk. The plan is you won’t even know she is there until she says, “Any chance of green tea?” You meekly shake your head and sneakily add that to the grocery list, in a desperate attempt to keep up with the pace of civilisation.
Five paragraphs in and we haven’t even reached breakfast yet! Should it be a heavy one because lunch might be delayed due to the complicated agenda of sightseeing or should breakfast be light to save time and head out as early as possible? How did Gods reach these decisions?
By the time this question is sorted out your bored husband has asked for some lemonade, which has reminded taiji that it is time for phuphaji’s mid morning tea. Off into the kitchen, a swarm of ladies and unfortunate teenage girls go.
It is not all bleak though. Guests mean you have a reason to buy new table mats. You take out your treasured cutlery and crockery sets. You get to preen in compliments when you successfully showcase your phenomenal culinary skills in a new experimental recipe you have been saving up for such a momentous occasion.
So all of you are back after the exciting day. Maybe, you ate out thanks to all the silent prayers of your maid who is understandably alarmed at the rate of usage of utensils that will eventually all need washing. Time to rest; which basically means another round of tea, or coffee if you have company that likes variety.
Add to this mix, mothers with toddlers. Each trying to feed the apple of her eye with her own version of baby food. Anyway, rest assured there is still lots of company in the kitchen.
Then as you settle down to start preparing for dinner (Yes, one meal still to go!) the hungry kids run in. Thank god (the non-guest god) for Maggi! Only, you realise in dismay, there are not enough packets of Maggie for the hungry horde. Plus, it never really truly takes only 2 minutes, does it? That was just a devious genius using words to secure the fortune of his company for years to come. While you muse on this, someone is sent to get Maggi and the evening snack is saved from disaster.
This post has gotten too long and I am too tired. Will skip dinner, literally and figuratively.
Happy Summer Holidays!
Pic Credit indi