Ok so now that we have been in U.K for a few months, My husband is under the illusion that he is a Brit and he behaves like one, one of the annoying aspects of this new false identity he has is that he think the OLD VICTORIAN building in which we have rented a one bedroom kitchen flat, is that he feels the house is “IDEAL” .Now which self respecting married woman who wants to start a family in the near future wants to continue living in a tiny matchbox house?
Well, luckily for him I am a Bombayite which means I have spent most of my life is a tiny flat crammed floor to ceiling with “ESSENTIAL” things ,lovingly hoarded by mother who best pal for many years was the “raddiwala”( Hindi word for one who collects all recycylable material from Indian homes in return for handsome money as he’s in turn make money re-selling to god knows who , wonder if these people still do the rounds in India ).
Coming from such a life we moved to a LARGE 3 bedroom airy flat at Powai Hiranandani and my bedroom then faced a lovely garden located at a mezzanine level and used regularly by my then boyfriend to secretly communicate with me using bizarre methods like flashing the light function on his nokia phones and feeling proud that having found a “parent proof “ way of communicating with me !No wonder we didn’t last long , anyway he one day found himself being tapped on teh shoulder by my father who has smelt a rat and unfortunately for the BF found it too !
Gawd , we had quite a family drama event then ! Personally I feel Hindi movies have largely influenced such over melodramatic performances from my mother and sister. My dad, a man of few words (naturally , with 3 very vocal women in his life , had not much of a choice , unfortunately for him , the first grandchild is also a very talkative girl! Now a teenager and generally getting under EVERYONE’S skin , especially MINE !) is probably the only one who manages to remain calm but then as he is a fan of westerns and war movies he make his move only towards the high point in teh argument which by then has reached peak crescendo , the tissue box is almost ripped open and all the used tissues are getting mixed up –BLAGCH…DATS a new word for eeks only bearable !
He then makes a statement or passes a judegemnt which makes my mother stop sobbing , my sister quite and I am left wondering whether I want to run away or faint !
Anyway , the reason I have told all of you a bit about my very talented family is that it will prepare you to believe that such families exist and even manage to sustain over years and actually progress too, how astonishing isn’t it ?
Now can you imagine how embarrassing it was for me when my mother in law who by nature of being highly educated , very well read and extremely soft spoken very enthusiastically came to visit us in London and the next day our potty seat gave away. She in her rather diplomatic way stayed quite , but am sure suspected that it was because my husband and me together now weigh a massive 180 kilos ! Jesus ! Lard ,us !I mean Lord save us Lards!
And then 2 days after this the hand shower gives way too . After one week of following up I decided it was time to make my house agent have a little taste of some of my melodramatic genetically inspired fare ups which resulted in both issues being promptly solved !
Now as if to ensure that I continued to be embarrassed even further my parents are visiting and the NEW hand shower starts to leak and the start of winter is ushered in with the news that the hot water and central heating have gone KAPUT !
Anyway, this time around, after having seen me in my KAALI MA avatar , the letting agent is weary and sends for a technician to do the job , only to discover that this rapidly deteriorating flat now needs a new boiler as well ! Jesus God!
Anyway , whilst replacing the faulty pump with a brand new one , the technician huuumss so many times I almost start to run a high fever in fear of what he might have to say , luckily for him , he sees that am going to faint and informs me with a rather solemn face “ Luks ‘ike yous fellows might have a mouse in yer house ,I ‘say !”
I turn pale and need to sit down immediately!
Now that’s solves the mystery of the hurried scuffling I have been hearing past few nights as hubby n me sleep outside in the hall on make shift beds to ensure my now old but still very dramatic mum has a rested sleep and dad who isn’t much of a cribber but very old now also is comfortable .
And here I was, thinking that this house is HAUNTED! I mean anything from the late 1800’s can easily be right ??
OMG ! After he left I had to clear the mess of papers strewn here and there and throw away ,finally , all broken and useless objects left behind by the previous tenant ! All the while ensuring , praying real hard that the MOUSE was asleep or AWAY and didn’t come to scare me !
Well, all went until NIGHT befell ….I could hear my parents gently snoring in succession , dad’s heavy snores thanks to now not very functional lungs and mom’s gentler but audible ones thanks to having caught a nasty chill, why ? well, she can chat nineteen to the dozen ,and chatting while walking and sightseeing in almost winter temperatures with cold winds blowing isn’t going to help is it ?!
My husband on the other has developed a new rather scary habit of muttering inane things while sleeping and vehemently denying any of it on waking up.
It was his blabbering that woke me up and I decided to take a loo and water break till he stopped muttering and then return to bed !
As I walked out of the bathroom , I heard tiny feet scurrying here n there , it was the MOUSE !
I somehow managed to stop myself from screaming out aloud and could hear my heart beating fast and hard against my chest .What is a girl to do ? Women and Mice, not very nice!
Well, I crept out as quite as well “a mouse” and tip toed to the dining table. As i heaved a sigh of relief at not having actually come face to afce with the menacing rodent, there it was THE MOUSE , staring right at me with dark ,beady eyes , CRASHHHHHH, the water and the glass containing it dropped to the wooden flooring with a cloud noise .
Hubby and parents woke up with a shock and came rushing out only to be greeted by the MOUSE , who by now was so frightened that it was trying it’s BEST to scurry back into the dark hole that it came from !
Unfortunately thanks to so many feet in its way it was LOST and scared and my mother then threw one of her classic FITS and stood atop a chair n shrieked as loud as she could!
Urgent knocking on the door happened, meaning we had managed to wake up half the neighbourhood and all of the Queens guards were probably galloping fast as they could to our house
Such Bedlam, I’d say! And that too over a tiny furry animal which was much more frightened than all of us put together. The neighbour who knocked being a woman didn’t help much and further added to the entire confusion!
Finally after much of angry sshhhsss and “be quiet” warnings from my husband and my dad we women managed to breathe normally and after a mid night cup of Adrak Wali chai,(Ginger =Adrak, wali=with…. atleast I think so ) finally decided to retire for the night, leaving one night lamp on, hoping it would prevent any further disasters like this one !
Come morning and we managed to smile weakly at each other, still fearing that the creature might return to seek revenge at the most unexpected of times .
Thankfully nothing of the sort occurred, in my filmy mind I imagine it making a run for its life when the neighbour knocked n we opened the door . If it did, good for the Mouse as now we are armed with all possible mouse traps, old and new and so scare dis my neighbour that even she has done the same. Prevention is better than cure I’d say!
By M of P,M &S