Grandpa, or Bachelor no. 3 to you dear reader, is the poster boy for the school of though which maintains that age and wisdom do not necessarily go hand in hand. And, as grandpa presently looks like he's pregnant with twins at least, we are talking of a rather large / wide poster. None the less, he trots along on the marathon of life, blissfully unawares that wisdom or something resembling it is prostrate on the side of the road about 10 years worth of distance behind.
Now, until I met grandpa, I always maintained that everyone has a 'few' idiosyncrasies up their sleeves. This man however, is the very essence of the words 'eccentricity' and 'idiosyncrasy'. Let me put it this way - these words in the dictionary are one day simply going to have his mugshot posted next to them. As a teller of tall tales, he has no equal in Birmingham. Initially, not knowing him as we do today, we guys even believed a few of his fishier ones. Eventually ofcourse, we realized that this fellow is Baron Münchhausen's father. He also has this quirk of having a personal parallel to any story or experience that someone else is narrating. His version, which never fails to begin with the words "Arrey, this is nothing... when I was in Raipur / Indore / (add place as required)...", is ofcourse crazier, funnier and, it being him, more dubious. And rather raunchy. Very.
His gastronomic philosophy is about as eccentric, changing in phases to suit his whims and fancies. When we first met him, grandpa went on a pulao-making binge that has left Batman and I having lifelong nightmares about that dish. His idea of 'pulao' being rice, peanuts, chunks of potato, turmeric and sometimes, salt. Ye Gods ! Just as we were recovering from this one, he calmly announced that he was adopting a 'Jain Dharm' attitude to food; no non-veg and, for months on end, he insisted on having dinner before sunset. This phase coincided with late fall & winter here, when the sun sets anytime between 4:30 - 5:45 pm. Sigh.....
His latest gimmick involves only making non-veg food during his turn to make dinner. Moi is vegetarian. 'Nuff said.
To be fair to him though, grandpa does have some serious culinary talent which has seen some unforgettable meals made in the kitchen we share with the roaches. He's also very friendly, generous & quite loyal, making him exasperating at times but hard to completely dislike. Grandpa's philosophy of life is simple - he will not 'take any tension' (as he puts it) no matter how messy the situation. No crisis or problem fazes him. Ofcourse, there is a parallel school of thought here which opines that his serene expression in times of disaster is because his train of thought has derailed before it has left the station.
His latest extreme act is taking sauna baths. Nothing so sinister in itself, but he takes one every day for an average of 30 minutes. Now, if any of you have been reading the papers or journals, too much steam or heat isn't exactly ideal for...umm... the family jewels. Since the stubborn bugger won't listen to reason, we lot have shrugged our shoulders and let him be. However, I couldn't help but think that if he carries on broiling himself in this fashion, his 'jewels' won't be 'taking any tension' when push comes to shove either. Hehe...
Song for the moment: Phatela jeb sil jayega - Aankhen (2002)