After being kicked around like a dog in Palayamkottai, this was an upgrade for my economy class life to First Class luxury suite comforts. I took advantage of the situation like it was nobody's business. Two years later my mom (and a decade later my wife) discovered to their respective horrors that I was permenantly rendered incapable of doing any useful chore around the house. My grandmother was very quick to explain to her daughter that it was 'their' duty to take care of me. The situation was fantastic. I thanked my forefathers up until Manu for thinking so far ahead and making life comfortable for men like me. Nowadays, of course its never "their" duty. So It is not uncommon to find garden variety men do household chores. It has been so long since I enjoyed that kind of pampering that I forgot how it felt like.
My grandma is here for a while. That means I have gulped down kesaris, rava laddus , thattais and thengozhals in sizeable proportions. My previous post on Adhirsam has sent down the right signals. My amnesia is getting cured. My grandma has clear principles, is very succinct and simple. If she decides to say something, she says it economically, quickly and clearly. She is obviously shocked that I do work (well I do some). And she completely disapproves of it. At regular intervals, she sends out pithy 2-liners to my mom and wife on the "Dharmic Shastras" surrounding 'who works the dishwasher'. A stand tall and deliver routine that no one has done since Krishna delivered the Geethai to Arjuna. She is what I call, the pronoun watcher. When my wife uses pronouns like avan, ivan, nee, and non-pronouns like vaa, poo, kadaa, looseu, beaku - my grandma waits patiently and asks my wife as to which person the pronoun indirection is pointing to. The consequent awkward silence is golden. Often there are discussions on roles and responsibilities around the house and my grandma sits as the chairman of the board of R & R assignment. She assigns me nothing. I am thrilled at the new found, albeit temporary, relief from work. As hilarious as it is, I continue to take advantage of the situation.
America is a boring place. There is no intrusion from neighbors and no gossip from the relatives circle. Days are long and time stands still. Sometimes on Saturday afternoons there is a lull around the house and conversation ceases to exist. We all sit sleepily in the couches. Bored. I try and enliven the situation by asking an innocent question. The questions is richly loaded with MCP content. All in jest of course. But one needs talent to say MCP stuff with surgical precision. If you trip a word here and mess up a phrase there the whole moment is lost. A question like "should women play tennis when they should be cooking?" means that ensuing discussion will be very interesting. My entertainment is done. After my wife's valiant feminist attempt at educating my grandma on the great empowerment of women has met with complete disaster, I nod off to sleep. Feminism withers in the face of powerful grandma proverbs that have been perfected for several centuries. All this reminded me of something. That the equation between my grandma and I is not much different from what is depicted here in the video below. This is one of the most classical comedy scenes of Thamizh cinema. A piece will probably have a permanent place in the Thamizh Movie Hall Of Fame. I won't mention the equivalent of the Hindi Vaadhiyar, though...
On a separate Note: RIP John Amrithraj - the Indhi Pundit