It was originally meant to be kasuri methi thepla. I didnt have a clue what kasuri methi was all about, till my wife had asked me to get some from the shops down the road. I had heard and eaten quite a lot of methi and other leafy vegetables, but kasuri methi was something new for me altogether.
Curious to find out what this new thing was, I was down at one of the shops run by a friendly neighbourhood pakistani guy and was browsing through the shelves. Shelf browsing qualifies to be one of my hobbies due to the fact that you can pointlessly go through a lot of unwanted stuff, and spend a lot of time during the process.
After spending time on browsing through the shelves, I had located kasuri methi boxes, and there were two brands of kasuri methi on the shelf. One brand was priced less and the other had an offer. The alien miserly genes in me had started the mental calculation. (See, my miserly genes has to be alien, as in my family I am the only one with the trait – that deserves a separate post altogether).
While I was indulged in this, a middle aged woman walked in and asked the shopkeeper for kasuri methi. He guided her to the shelves where two brands of kasuri methi were kept. And then came the question from her -“which one is pakistani”. I was shaken out of my slumber and was wondering whats going on. The shopkeeper diligently pointed out the pakistani one and she took it and disappeared.
There I was, standing with two different boxes of kasuri methi in my hand, I realised, one made in India and one in Pakistan! How could I be such an unpatriotic guy! Even kasuri methi had nationalities. That moment spurred such a rush of patriotism in me that I had to act impulsively and I immediately had to find the correct one that I should buy.
The wife, expecting kasuri methi for thepla making was puzzled to see brussel sprouts in the shopping bag. As her eye-brows arched in the shape of the Arjuna’s mighty Gandeeva about to shoot some aagneyaastra, I started lecturing her on patriotism and its position in relation to kasuri methi. I narrated to her what had transpired in the shops and the importance of patriotism. When she still didnt understand the meaning of brussel sprouts, I had to explain.
After all we were now british asians and we have a moral duty of patriotism towards Great Britian as well. I explained to her that, as I couldnt find any “made in britian” Kasuri methi, I had to settle for the closest thing that britian could manage for thepla making – brussel sprouts. As any understanding wife would do, she understood the situation perfectly and the clouds of confusion left her face.
I was proud that I had taken a stand in the issue and had acted patriotically, making the right choice. To add to the joy, my wife also understood my position clearly and stood by me. Now she does the shopping herself.
I have become a supporter for prevention of cruelty to animals. No, Maneka Gandhi didnt come in my dream and threaten me with dire consequences for something that I did few years back. Rather we recently shifted houses, and that brought about the realization about the suffering animals go through.
We recently moved from a three bedroom house to a two bedroom house and my better half was managing the move. The stuff that we had to pack before the moving deadline was enormous. The things that you accumulate when you stay in a place more than a year is amazing. Yet, we had a deadline to stick to. I had given the option of creative visualisation to my better half as a way to proceed, but the presence of my parents gave her the confidence to shoot it down.
So it had to be me, who after toiling in the workplace (gathering several trivial information from the world wide web – and occasionally glaring at the only up-to-date work that I do regularly – which incidentally is keeping a list of things to do) come home and start doing work again! Injustice… Cried my soul, Gross Injustice, but the sound was lost in the instructions that came from my parents and my other half.
Day after day, the packing was progressing. It was one of those days, as I was pulling out stuff after stuff for packing into boxes, I suddenly felt this deep sympathy for Dusshasana. Yes, our beloved Duryodhana’s brother from the Mahabharata. I could feel the stress he might have gone through while pulling out Draupadi’s sarees one by one. Here I was thinking packing will be over in a jiffy and as I pulled out stuff to pack, more appeared. Just like the situation dusshasana was in. This packing seemed futile and I had a thought that this might land me in the battlefield of kurukshetra.
Once the packing was done somehow and we shifted to the new place, came the next shocker. I was supposed to unpack and arrange the stuff as well! I had always thought that parents loved their children and so does a wife love her husband. But the way things were going, I felt as if all those ideas were wrong. Once a man marries, he becomes part of a circus, where he mistakenly thinks that he is the ringmaster. Its only when the show begins that he realizes his position. I felt like an animal performing tricks in the circus, while the ringmaster(s) crack the whip. The show had to go on, and the animal did perform.
Now I am all for animal rights. You still dont agree, shift houses and let me know.