It would have been another uneventful Sunday morning until…
Place : A famous restaurant in Kunnamkulam
I’ve been busy, pretending to lead a happening life with training and so-called coaching classes which gave me a few days break from the ‘really happening life’ at the branch. This weekend, I couldn’t go home as planned and the paranoid Daddy came visiting.
I was venting my frustration on the half cooked pooris while the old man showed all his wisdom acquired over the years by choosing Idlies for breakfast. I remained oblivious to the surroundings and went on to enlighten him about my ‘difficulties’ as a budding banker. 1) I was frustrated. 2) I was really frustrated. 3) I almost vowed to shoot someone at point blank. All this while I was ripping apart the pooris. Somewhere in this blog I’ve mentioned kneading ‘atta’ is a good stress buster. But today I think I discovered better options. The place was soon filling up. The regular Sunday church-goers of Kunnamkulam ( Every third buidling here happens to be a church I guess) were streaming in for breakfast. The waiter started getting impatient and I was not done with tearing apart the pooris and the workplace. I had no choice and being the dutiful daughter, I followed the father on his way out.
We were walking on the street when some random person, dressed in the style statement of Mallu Achayans these days stopped us. Style statement here for the older generation is the bright shiny shirts with Mundu( Dhoti) that has a border that matches with color of the shirt. I prefer that any day to the checked shirts sported by the cool doodus here! But, I digress…The point is, this man heads to dad, shakes hands and introduces himself while I wonder, if he is another one of Dad’s long lost friends.
“I’m manager at ABC bank, I’ll be joining here soon”. I wished the earth below me would just open and swallow me. This man means T.R.O.U.B.L.E.
“I heard you talking about your bank and you seemed very disturbed’, he said in a concerned voice. The memory did a rewind and alas, seated at the table right next to us while having breakfast was this shiny shirt and family. FML. All I did was a visualization of the song ‘main pareshan main pareshan’ in terms of my mundane life and here lands the supposed solution to all my problems
“How long have you been in the bank?”, the man who has been in this profession for almost 3 decades asks.
“A year and 3 months”, I say sheepishly.
“Learn to forget what happens at the bank, when you step out”, as much as his piece of advice seemed sensible, the cynic pareshan me who loves to hate this job now can’t keep these things off my mind.
If you thought the stereotyped retired Army uncles were the ones to bore you with their stories, talk to a banker who has been in at least two branches. Even I know I bore people to death with my experiences though they aren’t thrillers like almost getting hit by a bullet. So here, 28 years is too much information overload. I stood, pretending to listen attentively while calculating how many teeth does he actually show! Preliminary exchange of pleasantries already revealed he was there to do a root canal. We were stopped by him in front of a Dentist’s clinic.
The men bonded over their grey hair and turns out he is related to someone who I was supposed to be working with, who is the daughter of the person who employed my Dad at his institute. That is how complicated it turned out to be.
20 minutes of verbal assault, some useful advice, drawing the family tree and trying to find connections and finally words of reassurance “You can contact me as your local guardian”. Wow! Here we pick random strangers we meet across the road as local guardians. But then I live in a place known for the famous lines ” Kunnamkulathu swantham Appanem Ammayeyum ozhichu enthum kittim” ( You get anything apart from your own Father & Mother here. The place is
famous for manufacturing anything in duplicate).We have a situation here.
We try to be polite and now my Dad tries to wriggle out of this ‘situation’ with the excuse of getting late for our Sunday Mass. Our miles per hour in walking increase and I’m really furious now.
“Even if he heard our conversation, couldn’t he just pretend to ignore it? Why the hell did he have to butt in? Now I’ll keep running into him and with all this extended family tree and branches and roots, I’m going to have a gala time”
Dad hides a smirk and the man of few words says “Maybe, there’s some reason to why this happened.You never know”. I fume. I really miss the oblivion I enjoyed until 12.2.2011.
Lunchtime: Another restaurant
I’m quietly digging into the chicken piece lost in thoughts. Its almost time for Dad to leave. He says,”Why are you unusually quiet”
I snap, “Maybe there’s some reason to it too”. I don’t want anymore people prodding into my life by overhearing conversations.
The wise man, smiles in understanding.
I’m still confused. Was XYZ being really nice or is he just another nosy uncle who thinks he’s here to save the world?