Jul 7, 2010

The so-called Gods

Middle class small town homes witness a lot of guests. The Mishras represent a generic set of hosts. The family: Housewife Mummy, Generous Papa, The 90% Chotu and the leader Pinki

It’s evening tea time at the Mishra’s and a 1989 Bajaj Chetak is feared to appear. The Maharana Pratap rides along and sitting behind on the saddle are his wife and 3 daughters. He is about to take the last turn for the Mishra Nivas. He pushes the 3 mm diameter horn and pulls the throttle simultaneously. It’s like whipping the horse while pulling the strings. This groovy mix results in a high pitch horse neigh, which signifies Chetak. The droopy buffalo around the corner moves an ear as a gesture of irrelevant recognition.

Pratap grooves it up 2 more times so Mishras shouldn’t be in for a surprise. Mummy cracks the code and adds more water for 5 extra cups of tea. She pours the water and grunts her teeth. Tired from the daily chores, she exhales and rightly predicts Pratap’s first words - “Arey bhabhiji, 5 cup aur .. ha ha ha”. Chotu throws his chess board and rushes downstairs with his latest report card. Pinki vanishes with the 3 daughters without saying a word to Pratap and wife. Papa hugs Pratap and says “aap hi ko yaad kar rahe they”. Wife delivers the fake Aishwarya laugh yet again. Mummy exhales yet again. Visitors are Gods, they say, she can’t ask them not to come.

Then begins the conversation. Pratap complements Papa for his kindness and warm heart. He praises Mummy for the excellent tea. He shows pride over smart Chotu and able Pinki. He then talks about a spectrum of personalities varying from Ram Dev Baba to Obama. Although, he always ends up talking about money. He helps Papa invest. He has been helping for years now. He is a Bank Manager, which Papa knows and he works part time as an investment agent, which is a secret.

But Mummy knows everything. She knows why Papa is being praised. She knows that the Maharana Pratap would want to come again for some reason and will compliment even better next time. She knows that Papa is unaware - It’s a duty, a part of their life to get a stamp of goodness and character from him. She knows that Mishras are emotional fools.

She knows that Manmohan Singh has a balanced head and heart. She also knows that Pranab will show a good report card and that Chidambaram will lead smart. But she just understood why Obama praises Manmohan Singh each time there’s an Indian journalist around. She has now learnt that majority of Indians are also emotional fools - that they go gaga on such praises. Not all visitors are Gods, she knows!