- At M-Block market, GK. A nondescript churan-waala sits on a cold winter day.
He's approached by a tall-but-stooping man. To his delight, the fellow proceeds to select Churan of all variety, worth over a thousand bucks. He cannot believe his luck. This is more than he sells in a day.
'I live in the U.K.' explains the unnecessarily chatty tall man. 'My sister comes to you a lot to buy churan, too.'
The fellow from the U.K tries to give him some extra money. Churan-waala cannot understand the concept of a tip, so he insists on plying him with more and more churan. This goes on for a while, and finally U.K man leaves.
- Shortly after, a tall-but-stooping girl stalks up to him. She's a regular of course. But today, to his delight, she's buying more than usual. She selects stuff worth 500 bucks.
'My brother lives in the U.K.' she explains to the fellow. 'I'm buying this for him.'
Churan waala stares and can see the resemblance.
He tells my younger sister that our common brother was here just a couple of hours back! They were both unaware of each other's plans. Therefore, in totality, a total of Rs.1500 worth of churan-sale has taken place today. No-one's complaining. (Least of all me, who ends up getting some of the extras)
Churan-waala by now expects a handsome tip, but the sister shortchanges him by 30 bucks, insisting on the discount.
That's the difference, he mutters to himself, between the Indian and British mentality.
* We discover each other's particular forms of blissful ignorance over Dinner conversation.
- (brother)You wrote on Facebook that the wine-and-butterchicken combo that we had is Ghati. What's Ghati?
- (me) You don't know Ghati? God, you're such a Ghati.
- (brother) Do you know about Plebgate?
- ( me) Nope.
- (brother) You DON'T? God, you're such a pleb.
- (brother) Don't deny it...I saw Fifty Shades of Grey on your shelf.
- (me) Hey, my FRIEND gave me that.
- (new voice pipes in) What's Fifty shades of Grey?
- (we stare at sister in disbelief) You DON'T know Fifty Shades?
- (sister) Nope.
- (mother pipes in) Is it a bad book?
- (no one knows how to explain)
- (mother continues) Has Chetan Bhagat written it?
- (me, sarcastic) Of course.
- (mother) I knew it.
- (sister) Really?
- (me, horrified) NO! How do you NOT know Fifty shades?
- (sister, undisturbed) I live in a bubble.
- (me) but is bubble not TRANSPARENT?
- (me, randomly) I wonder, what Aflatoon means.
- (sister) mother, what does Aflatoon mean?
- (me, scoffing) why are you asking Mama about Hindi?
- (sister) Her grammar may suck, but her vocabulary isn't bad.
- (mother, annoyed). Thanks.
- (me, challenging) So mother. What does Aflatoon mean?
- (mother, thinks). Philosopher, I think. Plato.
- (me, bursting out laughing) So Akshay Kumar was singing all those years back in fluroscent green pajamas 'Main hoon Plato?' I don't think so.
- (sister, consulting Google) She's right. It's the persian name for Plato.
- (mother basks, I'm still blubbering in shock)
- (sister continues) also means, Explorer.
- (me) THAT's it. He was singing he is an Explorer...not that he is Plato!
- (mother and sister gang up on me) But she DID know that it was Plato's name...
....And that's a sneak peek into the wonderful world of the Lals. Thank you.
Bonus scene: when our young cousin comes to visit.
- (cousin) How old are you, brother A ? And V? (referring to his wife)
- (brother) I'm 36, she's 35.
- (cousin) Oh, she's a year younger than you?
- (brother) Er, yes.
- (cousin) And she's always been a year younger? Even in college?
- (brother, after long pause) Yyyyeesss....
Cousin's cheeks redden as she sheepishly explains what she really meant was to ask if the wife was from a junior batch. Her explanations are ignored.
I love, love, love my family.