The Open Dosa

Consuming the Ordinary Differently

One NimiT–Tiptoeing around scandals

Ask me about the scandals in my family, and I could go on and on, but could you listen to it all? I bet,
No. You cannot be that jobless to listen to the numerous rants I make about the Techi family.

It usually starts with a sigh and a minute of whining. I’d be nervous at first, thinking of the judgments
you’d make about me because they’re family and I’m a part of them, no matter how much I complain.
But after uttering three non-judge able careful sentences, I am like Damn it! As if I care if you care.
I love and hate each one of them equally, excluding my younger brothers T and T. Both my T’s are
sibling goals. They are love. They could do nothing wrong.

Wish I could say that about my older brother. K knows that he’s judgmental. He likes to think of himself
as an anti-feminist. The truth is he hasn’t held a dictionary in a long time. Medical colleges don’t need
one.

Mom is an example of a modern independent working lady. Wish she could use some of that
independence in her personal life.

Dad is a recent pro-Modi Bhakt. Well, what can anyone say anything more? You don’t want to get your
tongue censored.

I’m sitting before the television with a full glass. A woman with full-clad makeup and jewelry is
trying to get up from her bed while trying not to wake her husband. I wonder how the husband manages
to still sleep amidst the something-nasty-is-going-to-happen music playing in the background and the jingle
that her green glass bangles are making which I can hear from outside the TV. She manages to finally
get up and then talks to herself in a tone audible to an audience of hundred. The husband is still asleep.
I envy her uncurled sari and winged liner, which is still on fleek after hours of fake sleeping.

Also known as April Fuel

Also known as April Fuel

I love Hindi crime serials. Mainly because they’re so clichéd that one can predict who’s the culprit, who’s
going to die and who’s going to cry. My predictions are correct most of the time. It makes me feel like
the Asian version of Sherlock Holmes. On days that I feel more ambitious, I pretend to not have a clue
about who the culprit is until the second half. Solely for the purpose of making myself think that I’m
thinking. Thinking very hard, which I hardly do these days. Five minutes before the verdict, I say the
name aloud. Standing ovations and drum-rolls are imagined. I skip the rest of the three minutes where
the host in the most provocative manner tells you the moral of the story.

I wish my family life could be clichéd as well. Then I would know what to expect. I hate surprises that
bring a scandal as its company. I’m mostly not ready for it. We are mostly not ready for it. Can’t say that
about mom though. Although scandals have taken many plural forms in my house, her expressions
remain the same as when she is happy. Totally unchanged. I like to call her “Steel-face”. Heated and
beaten over and over so that it doesn’t lose its shape.

But I’m not her. I unwelcome scandals. Except if they came in Ekta Kapoor style.

In this silence of nineteen years since I was born, some background ‘Tabla’ music would be nice.
Actually, HILARIOUS. Depression would feel amazing if it came along with makeup and designer
clothes. I would forever be in search for scandals if it meant my eyebrows would be on fleek. All day.
Every day.

Wish life was more like “Savdhaan India” and “Crime Patrol”, then the culprit would be caught and the
ending would be peaceful, if not happy. I would then love to take the places of these hosts and tell the
moral of the story but with a smile.

My dad blabbers to himself at the dinner table, while my mom has her eyes on the TV with her usual
steel-face. The irony here is that the TV is switched off. Which means it is blank. I can feel her blood
pressure playing Ping-Pong inside her. Ask me how do I know that? The answer is – “I know. Daughters
know best, sometimes”.

Our helper of twenty-six years has finally decided to get married. She’s fallen in
love with our tractor driver and he’s asked for a Bajaj motorcycle in dowry. Dowry is something that
stands in favour of girls in my state. How could a guy dare to ask for one when he should be the “giver”
instead?

Dad then stops with the muttering, raises his eyebrows, squeezes them together and slants his eyes,
more than it already is. He does this when nothing in his vocabulary matches to express how he feels.
My helper tries to act as normal as possible. Mom is not happy either. You know it because she just
popped a Baba Ramdev pill and went to bed.

But this is not the reason behind the nineteen years of silence. It is something else. Something that
keeps striking from time to time, bringing with it different varieties of muteness between my parents.
Unlike my periods, this “something” makes sure that it is frequent. Frequent enough to remind me of the
scandal that occurred before my existence and of which I know nothing about. It irks the feminist in me
even more when I feel that she’s gathered enough courage to tell me about it and then backs out. She
hesitates every-time and tries convincing me into believing that it’s not that important.

I think to myself more often than sometimes. If it weren’t that important, then she wouldn’t be reaching
out for Baba Ramdev pills out of all the miseries in today’s time. Dad would have something better to do
other than Modi-fying people. Visiting home would feel like less of a chore. Living in it for more than a
week would be considerable. This would be that and that would be this and what not?

If it weren’t that important, then I wouldn’t be missing the back-to-back episode of “Savdhaan India” just
to write about this “not that important” thing.

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