Sunday, February 28, 2010

हम पहाड़ी लोग!

A typical meeting of Pahadi women/ families, young or old, relatives or virtually unknown to one another.

Such meetings are always pleasent, and always end up with everyone being everyone else's relative. I always enjoy them, though I am never able to participate in them much; I do not find the idea of becoming everyone else's long lost relative particularly appealing.

The meetings with known relatives is generally more relaxed, one of part of the agenda is already fulfilled (everyone is already a proved relative to everyone else). In such a scenario other things can also be discussed. Pahadi women (and often men) have this exceptional quality of discussing three to four topics at the same point of time with equal number of people in the group. A new topic invariably starts the moment you look up at someone you had not being talking to, of course your previous chat partner takes no offence to this and continues the same discussion with a new partner. Its essential in such a case to keep one's ears highly attuned to all the conversations happening in the room, you never know when you might be expected to start talking on a new discussion topic. I have a feeling that it also imrpoves one's sensory abilities.

One of the popular topics discussed today was my pony tail. It was only to cover up my scary looks that I had tied my hair. One of my paternal grandma liked it a lot and used many flattering/ unflaterring adjectives to describe it. It was also claimed with some authority that my pony was better than my neice's pony; I wanted to hide/ disappear somewhere right at that moment and was saved by a phone call and I escaped.

Of course, all the grandmas also wanted to know about my marriage plans. They are highly alarmed by my reluctance to discuss the topic in detail. My promise that I shall inform them the day I get married alarmed them further. Handling such sensitive topics with elders is a matter of great skill (and courage), and something that one can learn only with age (and sadly by that time one is already married). They are all somehow convinced that I am going to marry a Gujarati dame and thats the reason why I am so stuck with Ahmedabad also. Though the thought was alarming, it got lost in further discussion on fake khoa and fake desi ghee. I escaped.


  1. this reminds me that I have to call you (actually uncle and aunty) and ask if I can participate in the bride finding process for you! Will do it tomorrow.
    And the unknown relatives thing reminds me of some not so good memeories from weddings in childhood, especially about some 'already relative!' of opposite gender... ;)

  2. Well, well, well, look what I found… Great blog! Looks like you are finding your voice….

    I’ll cut to the chase, I’m am anthropologist and I'm currently doing a little study on the blogging subculture. Your perspective is of great of interest to me, so if you don’t mind dropping in on the blog and answering 5 questions, I’d be more that grateful.

    If for nothing else, swing by the blog just to take a look...




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