Guests are pests- at least so I thought when I saw unexpectedly a large number of guests in our house. Some were known, but some were quite unknown to all of us. We had never seen them, never thought of them. Have you ever heard or experienced so many guests at your house without any notice.
It was on last Diwali when it happened. We were all invited for food to our friend’s house. My mummy was really sick and she was not inclined to go out for food. She could not eat anything. But she came with us just for company’s sake. The men folk had finished their meals and the ladies were about to begin when our servant came running. He brought the information that a large company of guests have arrived. I was happy because I had no friends to play with but when I looked at my mother, I found her upset. She was not well and she was not informed of the arrival of the guests. We had only one servant. As we, children had finished our meals, we returned home with our father. Our so called uncle and his guests were very homely. I only knew one adopted uncle and his wife and children. But the other elderly and gentle men were new to me.
I managed to prepare nearly 20 cups of tea with the help of our servant. My mummy was particular that there should be something to eat with tea. So I gave some dishes also which were prepared by my sick mummy for Diwali. The guests finished those things in no time.
I was surprised at this. How could they eat so much in such a short time? But I had no time for thinking because 1 could hear somebody calling me. “Kukee, your mummy has made very nice chura and the chakly is so crisp! Please bring us some more”. This was praise for my mummy, which I did not like. But what to do? I took the things they wanted and they devoured them like demons. Then another order came from outside: “Kukee, the driver is sitting outside. Don’t forget to give him tea and something to eat!” After the tea they all became fresh.
In the meantime I went to mummy and told her the actual number of guests at our house. She was all furious but she had to come home to face the job.
When we came, some guests were relaxing with their legs on
the table and heads on the embroidered cushions. Children were playing with the TV. The empty cups and saucers were all lying here and there near the chairs. Red with anger but putting a very sweet ‘ smile on her lips, she welcomed the guests. I was wondering at her double role.
After resting a while the guests went out for shopping. And my poor father had to face a tremendous situation. My father used to say: “Kukee, when your mother is in mood, she is Indian and when she is out of mood, she is Red Indian.”
I thought she must be Red Indian now. She was shouting “What is this? Does your friend think that our house is a lodging and boarding house? Why should he bring so big a battalion without any notice?” and so on. I pitied my father because he had to bear so much with no fault of his.
Anyhow mummy prepared the meals. The guests came by 9.p.m. and ate to their heart’s content though they said at first that they were not hungry.
They were in our house only for half a day, from 1 o’clock in the afternoon till 11 o’clock at night. But I was completely tired of them. And my sick mummy! She had to do such a lot of work, you will not believe. But I helped my mummy in cooking. What more a boy of my age can do?
Now my greatest desire is that those guests should read my essay so that they may know the inconvenience they caused us by coming with so many people without any prior intimation.