They sat as if they were ducks in a row, waiting to be shot and no one had come to greet or meet them. The old Auntyji came and gave water and scanned them once again as she was the auditor. He half expected his mom to walk off as they were kept waiting and they had not been met by a family member. Imagine the clash of the titans between the formidable Sandhus and the Brar’s who both thought they were crème de la crème!
He imagined himself in a parallel universe wondering who was Thor and who was Loki. A smart aunty walked in rivalling his own mother’s in the pastel-coloured Chikankari suit which was in their cupboards hidden for just these very type of occasions, and they were always just brought out for these very subtle but power play occasions. The Punjabi society had its own rules that weren’t t written anywhere but just were there. One wore the subtlest salwar suit that spoke of old money, some careless diamond trinket that was old money and just was an indicator of the status and wasn’t nouveau riche.
Everything meant something, it wasn’t written anywhere and you had rules to behave, things which could be said and some which couldn’t and an age-old deference to the elders; which meant bowing down to touch their feet and seeking blessings. The matha tekoing as it was called could be divided into four categories could be said verbally to show respect or just in the air or a dive was made in the air beneath the said person knees or the last which was favoured by youngsters , they looked ahead but went down by a fraction and just said matha tekda’an. Nowhere was the back compromised or the style quotient reduced?
He just waited drifting, idly over the knock knacks kept and what attracted him to a corner was the collection of frogs! Cute little frogs popped out of fat pots of ferns, some were idling away near the window, relaxing and watching the world go by, one was doing yoga and a set of triplets had smug smiles and fat bellies reminiscing of good Italian meal they ha dead.
He liked the oddity of the things and quirkiness that was set amongst the polished silver and the beautiful objects that were gleaming.It was as if the fat lady burnt all her all calories by rubbing the silver. His mom, he saw was noticing the things and the display of subtle power and she was approving of the fresh flowers.
Suddenly commotion happened.
They all stood up. He knew something had fallen or there had been a crash and he could hear a woman using cuss words. He smiled and he was happy that normalcy reigned in this house. A lot of shushing sounds like his Mom’s and he looked at his mom. Her knowing smile and shaking of the head and his Chachi said this seems like our house minus Simba.