Saturday, March 10, 2007

Living Life Grand

As I stood in front of my house in Delhi, I ran through the points for the last time.
“This isn’t college anymore, which means, no watching late night TV, no long talks on the phone and especially, no more junk food. For the next few days you are going to live in the house of the people who have seen you take your first steps, have dropped you to school everyday, have fought with you for watching the news channel instead of cartoons, in other words, they have watched your every move.

Who are they? They are your grand parents.”

Let me start off with my Grand Dad, A civil engineer by profession and a Punjabi by nature, this ‘lad’ from Amritsar loves fish, long walks in the park and Rekha as Umrao Jaan! When asked about an ideal career, he says, “There are two types of people in this world, one who is an engineer and one who is not an engineer.” So you can guess how I ended up here. His day starts off with waking up at 5 o clock in the morning to go for his early morning walks. We really admire his will to stay fit at this age and would love for him to keep it up except for the fact that he takes us along with him as well! When night falls, at sharp 9 pm, he literally locks all the doors and windows of the house leaving no stone unturned. So while thieves are trying to break into my house, I’m trying to break out of it! Since thieves are unable to break into my house, they have their way of compensating. As a result, I’ve had 3 of my cars, 2 of my cycles and one flower pot stolen. Now, there are certain rules my Grand Dad has imposed that are to be followed :

Nobody is supposed to leave the room with a light, fan or TV ON or else he/she will be charged Re. 1 ( He would even turn the refrigerator off if he thought it was running for too long)
One must take a bath with only half a bucket of water. ( If he had his way, he would change it to a single mug)
No salt should be put in his food. ( It ends up not being in anybody’s food)
One cannot talk on the phone for more than 3 minutes. ( He was ready to remove the phone connection as he thought he had no need for it)

A notable feature about my Grand Dad is that he doesn’t hesitate cursing in public, be it on the carpenter, the painter, the plumber, the electrician or even the President. If it hadn’t been for him, I would never have improved my vocabulary. Arguing with him is something that I always try to avoid, because winning an argument against him is like hoping for pigs to fly. So whenever he has a point to make or a statement to state, I just nod along, pretending to understand and agree with every word he has to say. A few days back, I had taken up the task to teach him how to use a mobile phone. After a month of training and losing half of the hair on my head, I learnt that you cant teach an old man new tricks and my Grand Dad learnt that life isn’t as easy as it used to be.

Then comes my Grand Mother. When one thinks about a Grand Mother, you usually have the image of a sweet old woman, sitting on her rocking chair, knitting sweaters for God knows whom. Well get that image out of your head because it’s nothing like that. I call my Grand Mother the female version of ‘Rambo’ with a duster in one hand and a rolling pin in the other. She has a strong belief that home-cooked food is the best and everything else is garbage. So going out for dinner is a complete no-no in this house. Never comes a day when there isn’t a fight between my Grand Mother and the servant. The worst mistake one can make is interfere between her quarrels because then you end up being shouted at. I wonder how my Grand Dad lived through all this for so many years. No wonder he likes taking walks so much ! And so I follow his footsteps literally and head out into the Sun while the storm gathers at home. The only time my Grand Mother leaves the house is when she has to go for her monthly Kitty Parties. It is the happiest day of the month, while she is off having fun with her ‘janaani’ friends discussing who is going to die in the next episode of Saas Bahu serial, the servant can sit at home and watch TV all day long, Grand Dad can read the newspaper peacefully at home and I can finally order food from outside.

This is a little about my Grandparents in a nutshell. Living with them is an adventure everyday and although sometimes I wish they were a little different, but I love them the way they are. Now I know why they are called ‘Grand’ Parents. God Bless them