Thursday, November 5, 2009
Drawing room talk
This is a highly personal post :P.. should have been password protected I think. But er, I'm allergic to password protected posts. They annoy me :S. So here goes.
It comes as no surprise that when a girl (esp in the subcontinent) turns above 20, there are a barrage of "talks" and "sight-seeing" that begins in the immediate family. Mostly it begins even before this age, but this is around the average time, this process begins. Now I have no big experiences in this regard. But I do have not very pleasant ones in my bag.
Now I can laugh (and write a post) about one particular incident that happened not that long ago
So basically, a drawing room is the room in the house which is the most decorated. Usually you will find a glass showcase in which delicate ornaments, decoration pieces, and trophies are displayed. This showcase is one important piece of furniture in the house. It is cleaned (dusted) regularly, and is gleaming whenever guests come over in the house. Especially "important guests."
In some houses, the drawing room is even locked, only to be opened when there are guests in the house. Small children are not really allowed in this room -- it is that sacred.
Now our drawing room is a little different. It is by no means spotless and gleaming. But spotless, I mean the table usually has a few magazines, and the blood pressure apparatus strewn around, which we hastily stack up neatly when guests are expected. The best part of the room/furniture layout is such that the main sofa, faces a huge bookcase, that covers the entire width of the room. It's like an explosion of neatly shelved (not so neat to be honest) books.. and books.. and more books. From text books, to reference ones, to my own personal collection of non fiction and a lot smaller set (thank the Lord) of fiction titles. It's my prized possession.. :D
So immediately, anybody who is seated on that main sofa, would view the big bookcase, and on the left, there is a big cupboard, on the top of which, are all my model airplanes, and warplanes, helicopters etc etc etc.
As I said, a little different.
So the drawing room incident. This happened a while back, and left me feeling quite disgruntled. This lady (LD) and her daughter in law (DIL) was coming over for some sight-seeing business and I was supposed to sit and get myself interviewed .. (should have been mutual waisay..). The conversation started quite normally, with me getting myself acquainted with the two kids (who came with the daughter in law). They were cute ones, and I realised only too late that I wasn't supposed to babble away with them -- asking their classes and schools and what not. I was supposed to keep my mouth the heck shut and open it when spoken to. Sigh.
[no regrets there]
DIL: So are you fond of cooking wegaira?
Me: *wondering what comes in wegaira* .. Er, yeah I do. Sometimes. Help out mum mostly.
DIL: *giving me a strange look* Okay so what do you do in your free time?
Me: *all enthusiastic* .. Well I read books.. and I really like to do that...and..
DIL: *interrupts* .. No. I mean... your FREE time..
Me: *a little confused*.. Er, yeah. In my free time, I read books. I have many, as you can see...
DIL: *interrupts again*.. No, I'm not talking about parhai (academics). I mean, what do you do as a hobby!!?
Me: *extremely confused* ... Yeah I was telling you my hobby. It's reading books. I also use the PC a lot. Do stuff online. I have a blo...
DIL: But don't you have any other interests?
Me: *loss for words*.. Er, these two are my main ones. Other than that I don't get any time because I have my studies too.
DIL: So what's your star?
Me: *astonished by the question, and the sincerity with which it was asked* .. Er, Cancer.
Me: *in all courtesy*... Ap ka kia hay? (whats yours?)
Me: *the nitwit!* ...which month is that?
She: *giving me another strange look*....August!!
Me: Oh okay.
The conversation (no surprise) then comprised mostly of silence. LD had just been watching this whole scenario. She didn't speak a word, other than asking me again what I did in my spare time, and I was like lamely trying to twist the reading of books into something interesting, and desperately searching for something interesting I do as a hobby..:S.
I had somehow (why, I dunno) thought that they might ask me "which books?" and "what do you do on the PC?"".. er, that's what you would expect from a software engineer's family. But apparently not.
I have realised one thing at least. There is a huge huge difference (or a gap) between the parents today and their children. The traditional thinking and the traditional way of finding spouses seems to be the only way parents think is the right way. I kinda question that. It's so totally shallow the way this sight-seeing business goes about. Nobody can gain anything really deep about a person by just a drawing room sitting. And me the idiot, since this depth factor holds such importance for me, tried to bring that up in the conversation. Not to be so. I believe I would have been much more interesting, had I struck up a topic on the different masalay (spices) that can be added to make ... er, bihari kebab I think.
There should be some other foolproof way of going about this process. And no, I don't mean dates and stuff. The worst bit is, that any other way devised by the generation of today, seems to be totally wrong to the parent generation.
I will keep up my hunt for answers to this particular dilemma. May Allah Have Mercy on all the girls who have to undergo the drawing room sight-seeing. Ameen.
PS: If I were a guy, I would surely not subject any female on the planet to such idiocy... and probably ban my mum and sisters to do such a thing. Khair, easier said than done.