The first half of my house is done. Now they are casting the terrace roof.
My father’s got a new condition. Every morning, around dawn, right when I have finally shoved away my dying phone and am trying to fall into a dreamy wormhole, he comes to my room wearing his Star Accu Paduka Acupressure Spring Action Massage Sandal, his breathes slightly louder than a chainsaw, and moves around making sure if I am sleeping well and if I’m covered in this nipple-hardening cold. That would still have been bearable, and even cute, had I not been sleeping naked under the blanket. So yeah, that’s how I started my day today.
Then came the big task. Since I have eight months experience in chopping salads and vegetables and since the roof-casting team comprised of 15 underfed, ever-hungry folks who could eat bricks if you peppered them with salt and chilli powder, my mother bequeathed upon me the virtuous task of chopping around 60 medium sized onions, 40 radishes, 30 chillies, half a tonne coriander and as added bonus, kneading a barrel of wheat flour. I like to chop things, let me be honest, but I like it pretending to be a French mâitre cuisiner and not some cookie cutter from Tihar.
So I sat down on our recently purchased carpet with a bathtub and began washing the onions after peeling them off while my mother video chatted with my three year old cousin who is basically a non stop gibberish uttering three foot long human being.
My father informed me that the temperature had dropped to 4 already, and I said oh, not being able to figure out the exact usefulness of this information.
The labourers came with huge machines, large enough to put Tesla to shame, and began their noisy work. My parents’ distant samdhiji dropped in with more free radishes – he is a farmer with no good kids to save for – and I could not feel the happiness I usually reserve for free stuffs. This samdhiji keeps coming with free vegetables all the time, which would have been a kind gesture had he brought something other than bottle gourd. Initially my mother showed too much gratitude to this man, but now she just distributes the gourds among the neighbours, thus cutting their grocery costs significantly. One of them even purchased a Škoda recently, which my mother swore was bought from the money saved on vegetables.
“Don’t you grow other things as well? “My mother had to ask, politely, one day.
“Ah! I used to grow cauliflowers but these neighbourhood kids are such goons, they steal everything. ”
“Get a few dogs. “I risked a suggestion. He made a face as if I had uttered something entirely stupid, and spoke to all of us,
“Akhilesh had 4 dogs in his house. He was a vegetarian but he fed them cooked meat every day. He had hired special cook just for feeding the dogs. Being an LIC agent himself, that’s way too expensive. The dogs must have meant too much to him. Then he got married. “He said, pausing to build suspense.
“Then? “We asked with eyes popped with curiosity.
“Then he died of heart attack. Now the dogs shall be abandoned. “He said, controlling his tears.
But what happened to the wife, I wanted to ask, but he was too emotionally wounded to utter another word, so I did not. I mean a weeping samdhiji is certainly worse than a samdhiji with a bottle gourd.
Anyways, after doing all that work, my father asked me if I was good for something, and I, fearing another gargantuan task, said no I was not, and he said ‘good” and awarded me the most humiliating duties ever.
I had to sit on a chair near the switch of motor pump and switch it on and off whenever a voice from above asked me to do so.
It has been two hours of me sitting here like this, and I have pressed the switch more than a dozen times. I’ve had only 6 breads fried in desi ghee till now and I’m starving. Even though healthyfyme ensures that’s good enough calorie intake for a couple of days, I don’t want to believe it. I am going to uninstall this hitler app very soon.
We are not supposed to eat till the gods have eaten.
Tradition fucks hard.