Thursday, April 12, 2007

socializing of a different kind

Lata, our maid, had been insisting Suvi & me to come and visit her home sometime. Her father-in-law who happens to be the watchman of our building and who we fondly call as kaka treats Suvi more like her daughter - at times greeting us at his night shifts with some chow that he brings along with him. Lata tells us that Suvi resembles his daughter who is married and living in Mumbai - so the extra affection. But more than that, we also have socially never distinguished them as 'watchman' or 'bai' types. On Lata's son's 3rd b'day, we sent across a gift for him and she again extended the invitation to visit her home. We had always been avoiding visiting her not because of any 'class' or 'status' difference but mainly bcoz we knew if we go, she would go out of her way to extend hospitality to us - which financially or time committed wise might look trifle to us, but for her and her family it might make a difference. So this time when she again said come over and we said 'some other time', she felt bad and wondered if we were not coming over coz her house was small. So to set her thoughts to rest, we told her we would come over in evening but don't make any arrangements - we would just spend some time and come back. That made her really happy but she scrapped our point of staying for a while and didn't let us go without having dinner - which again was something I really relished.

Her house was 10 mins walking distance from our apartment in bavdhan. A 2 roomed small house (nearly half the size of my massive Delhi house drawing room ) - shared by 2 families. The inside room had a small 'mori' (open bath area), kitchen & fridge. It housed lata's bro-in-law and his family. The other room was half covered by a desktop system, TV set and 2 almirahs. Tin covered, but kept very neat & clean by Lata & her family.

For dinner we had a spread of chicken - kolapuri style, jeera rice and bhakari. And yes, a few starters also (spicy chicken chops, onion, tomato, cucumber & kaccha mango).

Had a nice time playing with lata's kid and I tried my hands at being a good tutor and teach him some basic English. His parents are stretching hard so that they can enroll him in a decent English medium school.

While walking back home I thought how often we create this web and also get entangled in it of so called 'problems & tensions' around us which takes toll on if nothing else - but mental health. 2 hrs at lata's house and I realized we are far more lucky to be where we are. Seeing her & environment that she lives in, the challenges that life throws at them daily, and yet greeting us with a smile and a scrumptious dinner, I realized our problems are nothing but figment of our imagination. I know the argument would be that every strata has different Lifestyle and its own share of problem types but I think what I learnt was of being thankful to god of where I am today. Compared to the problems & challanges faced by them, some of the 'so called' problems now don't look problem to me at all.

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