Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Hidden Treasure

   It was a chanced remark made, in the Nehru Park on 14th November that prompted me to share this with all of you. Four families were out for a picnic, so the kids could  have a free run of the green expanse. Most importantly, it kept the kids out of our hair and they in turn, were out of range of our nagging.
         After the games of badminton, football, flying discs  we were just lazing on the grass and discussing everyday stuff, dishes and snacks( recipes of 'litti' and 'thekua'- part of eastern UP and Bihar cuisine), time of the year it is made, non existence of school pressure on the kids, what the world is coming to...Now when I think of it, we must have sounded like old hags who had "seen- all -and- done- them".
         One of us, who has just started her domestic life and was juggling a career also, very excitedly related how at the fag end of the month she had sold the old newspapers and added Rs eighty to her household kitty!! And immediately, we( the seasoned ones) pounced to narrate our own stories of apparent hardship days, or you can say the initial days of household mismanagement( not that we do a great job now).
        The first dinner I hosted single handedly, after marriage was in Jullundhar in the peak of summers( someone who's been there at that time of the year, will empathise). To be on the safer side, the bachelors were my guests. Being officers and gentlemen, they would refrain from making any comments on my culinary skills! But even they could not finish the humongous amount of food . Anyway, the bright side of it was- I wasn't slogging over the stove for the next three days( if you ask my husband, he'll say seven...they have a habit of exaggerating). The flip side was- we couldn't look at 'rajma', paneer' etc for the next few months...
       Having been flung to all God-forsaken places, we were very happy when in his 17th year of service, he was posted to civilization, I mean, Delhi. We gaped at malls, like a simpleton awed by the high-rises, the affordable food joints were explored sumptuously after much hunting, the escalating school bills and other related bills were paid. Thank god for places like Sarojini market! Oh! and the movie halls were awesome with Dolby digital!!!And the guests... ( we love entertaining and having people over)!!! It was wonderful!!!!!
    ... By the 17th of the month, we were staring at Rs 800 in the account, in a place like Delhi, with two school-going kids and guests announcing their arrival... So when I find tokens of Goddess Lakshmi stashed under the clothes and long forgotten, or by selling old newspapers- its a Jackpot for me!!!!

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