…continued from the previous posts:
…it was a set-up because Mamiji knew too well that I can not avoid EATING at the relatives’ place, whether or not I have had my LUNCH already!
And so, here I was – at Shukla uncle’s house – pleading with him in an attempt to skip EATING at his place. But how was that possible! After all, I was the ‘jamai’ of the house who has paid visit to his place for the first time! I had to have at least some SWEETS, if not the proper lunch.
And that ‘some sweets’ turned out to be a big plate full of KAJU BARFI and various other assorted sweets! Accompanying the plate was bowl full of VANILLA ICE CREAM!! No way – were the first words which came out of my mouth!!! And in spite of trying to understand my situation, they were not ready to bend their tradition – tradition of turning ‘jamai’ into a stuffed toy!
2 hours later, when I reached back to Mamaji’s house, all I wanted to do was – lie down and rest. But I was told that we were getting late to go to another relative of theirs. Oh gosh, not again! I was ready to beg and plead, but was, under no circumstances, wanted to be asked to eat. By then, my wife had realized that I was really in a bad shape. And she took my side, explaining to Mamiji that I be left alone. But Mamiji was of the opinion that it would look bad if I came to Ahmedabad and did not pay a visit to their relatives. Especially when I have been to one relative’s house and saying no to go to another one’s. Finally, I agreed only on one condition, that they are not going to force me when it comes to eating. Everyone agreed, including Mamiji.
And she kept her words when we went to Mukesh Mama’s place. Mamiji was the first one to say there is no need for food when Mukesh Mama’s mom got up to get something to EAT. I was so thankful to her for this ‘much-needed’ support. But its Ahmedabad after all! No means nothing when it comes to FOOD. But I was determined this time, no food means no food. Finally, they had to bend in front of my adamancy! And we all settled for a little ICE CREAM! Yes, it was ICE CREAM once again! And like a true life partner, my wife offered to share from the same bowl.
Finally, when the BOWL arrived, I realized that this was the biggest ICE CREAM BOWL that I have seen in my life! They had tricked me again! And I gave a pleading look to my wife, who gave me an assuring look saying I don’t have to finish it off. She will help me. And I tried to keep everyone busy with my talks while she worked on finishing all those scoops! And the most interesting information that came out of that evening’s visit was a piece of information which said that Ahmedabad alone consumes around 23% of total ICE CREAM consumption in India. Wow, that explains Gujju’s fascination with ice creams!
That night, the air in my bedroom must have gotten polluted with so much going around in my tummy. In spite of so much happening in my tummy, I was happy since it was the last night in my ‘foodie’ sasural.
I don’t need to add here that on my way back to Mumbai and for days after my return, I felt nauseous thinking about FOOD! And from that day onwards, Ahmedabad for me have become synonymous to GATHIAS, SWEETS, BHAJIAS, FAFDAS, JALEBIS and above all, ICE CREAMS.
But having said that, I must agree that they are the most loving bunch of people I have come across. And how much ever I complaint, given a chance, I would visit this city again, and again!