Amrita wasn’t really feeling like socializing at the party today. It was short call from her mother-in-law to get ready for a family get-together in the honor of …. ahh forget it! With a family gathering almost every week, it had stopped mattering to Amrita what the occasion was. She had set a code with her mother in law, Radhaji to figure how pompously or soberly she should get dressed for the occasion.
“Get ready for a normal gathering dear. Raghav will pick you up by eight and I’ll stay back home to be with the kids.” a brief call by Radhaji was enough.
On another occasion, she would say, “We need to go to a large family gathering dear.” an indication enough for Amrita to up her dressing quotient a little for the occasion. She would gather the details of the gathering on her way in the car.
It’s not that Amrita did not enjoy going out. Infact she really liked meeting most of her husband’s cousins and had come to be friends with quite a few of them over the years. It’s just that the frequency sometimes got on to her. Nevertheless, Amrita did look forward to meet people especially after she had left her job. These gatherings gave her the necessary oxygen to keep going through the motions of her otherwise monotonous life.
As Amrita entered the banquet hall at a newly inaugurated restaurant, she saw that around 50 people had already graced the occasion of annotation of one of her husband’s cousins as a Doctor.
Amrita shared warm pleasantries with most of the people present already. And then got into a her comfort zone with some of her husband’s first cousins and their spouses.
“So Amrita, what are you upto these days.”
“Nothing much. Just waiting for Nik’s vacations to begin and start packing for our trip to my sister’s place.” Amrita said with a glint in her eyes.
“Oh! I happened to see your sister’s wedding picks on the social media. You two look so similar. Almost like twins.” exclaimed a cousin, as Raghav joined them at the table offering a mocktail made to order for his wife.
“Yeah! They are twins. Didn’t you know.” Raghav took a dig at his cousin as well as his wife, who he knew was tired of people calling her and her 5 years younger sister as twins.
“Yes! We do look similar. But twins? Please give me a break. They mean to say that either my girl looks beyond her age or I do not look my age. I chose to take offence on both.” Amrita often quipped whenever someone compared her and Smita as twins.
“But you two do look like ditto!” Raghav would then reply as a matter of fact and Amrita would sigh admittedly.
“I know. God it must be some very strong DNAs at work.” she grinned as she gave her husband a sharp look.
“Yeah in our case DNAs havn’t done their job too well.”, an eves dropping aunt pitched in.
“Hi there, Massi! How have you been?” Raghav turned towards his aunt and gave her a side hug. The short and stout lady ruffled Raghav’s hair fondly and asked him about her sister’s where abouts.
“Oh! Somebody had to stay back to look on the sleeping kids. Ma insisted that we go and she stay.”
“Oh! But talking about the DNA thing, you know what the similarities are not just about the looks.” Everyone looked on amusingly at the 50 something lady. They knew she would have something interesting to share with the group.
“Oh Mom! Please, we do not need your woven stories today. Just not in the mood.” said Mohan, the elder son, whom she dismissed with a slap on his arm.
“So when we were young we four sisters shared the room and our two brothers shared one room and the parents and grandparents shared one bedroom each. So that left no separate room for the guests whenever there were any.” Radhaji’s elder sister had everyone hooked with her stupefying story telling skills.
“So once my maternal cousin came stay with us and decided to take turns to sleep in each bedroom so as not to cause too much continuous discomfort to anyone in particular. After four days of his stay, he walked upto to my mother and asked her, Bua are you trying to save money? Is there a problem?. My Ma was almost bewildered at this question, so she asked her nephew the reason as to why he thought so.” It was evident to everyone that the older lady was going to come up with some thing really funny, because she was already grinning thinking about what was to follow.
“So what had happened?”
“Ahh! My cousin had spent four nights sleeping in four different rooms of the house with different occupants and he had not been able to have a sound sleep because even during the month of June, our fans were running at low speed. When he mentioned this to my mom, she said that in her room they preferred slow speed of fan because that’s how her husband liked it and she had gotten used to it. Later that evening, when she mentioned the same to my Dadi, she got a similar reply. Betaji, your Dadaji likes the fan slow and so I too got used to it. In our times who would object to the husband’s will. It was revealed at dinner that all six of the siblings also like the fan to be slow. I find the loud noise of a fast running fan to be very distracting, said the younger one of your uncles.” Listening to this everyone in the group broke into laughter. That is, except for Amrita and Raghav. Amrita was startled, while Raghav was grinning.
“Maasiji, you mean to say, it’s a DNA thing. Your habit of liking the fan slow!” exclaimed Amrita. To this she got a long faced nod from Raghav’s aunt. And she herself slapped her forehead in response as everyone looked on in confusion. So Amrita decided to explain,
“So every since we’ve been married, I have had this basic difference with Raghav where he would want the fan slow even when I would be sweating. He just wouldn’t give in. And his explanation always is, I find the loud noise of a fast running fan to be very distracting. Thank god we have air conditioners, otherwise I would never be able to sleep in the same room with your nephew.” Amrita blushed at her last sentence and everyone in the group broke into a loud roar.
Well that’s some complex percolation of DNA across generations creating Xerox habits.