And those who want something other than tea, there is always beer , chilled to perfection..
Usually I am given advance notice before my friends come over..and in the event it was a spontaneous decision, I cook something while we drink and talk.. It has always been a fun, stress free time and I enjoy having friends over.. ( even when my friends have dropped in without any advance notice, they would bring something to eat like chips and dips or cake etc and my friends are used to my quirkiness….)
Day before I had surprise visitors..”Indian kind”, ..My relatives. It really shouldn’t have been a big surprise and I should have expected them, now that it is school holidays..But I didn’t.
When I saw them at the door, I had to run to my room and wear a skirt over my shorts..and then open the door.. ( oh the trouble one goes through!)
So they came inside..and I like a traditional Indian hostess asked what would they like to drink. They said “coffee”
I opened my kitchen cupboard and found that the last time I bought coffee was when my mother was here..
I couldn’t bring myself to tell my relatives that ” Sorry, there is no coffee” for you see the Indian hospitality doesn’t work that way. There is so much of expectations..and one can’t fail when it comes to offering something as simple as a cup of coffee..
There was bit of hard stuff at the bottom of the bottle that in its previous life was instant coffee..and I scraped the coffee progressively with a spoon, knife,ice pick and a chop stick.., while looking over my shoulder every few seconds and hoping my visitors wouldn’t leave the living room and find me doing the unthinkable..( I did consider adding hot water in to the bottle, but wasn’t sure of how much water to add..I couldn’t afford to make a mistake)
And Indian hospitality also involves serving something to nibble..I found a packet of murukku..yup, a packet..Before I could scream Eureka, I saw that it is an almost empty packet..with few ‘tiny’ bits of murukku in it, but the packet was safely secured with one of those secure clips. Whoever ( ie one of my monsters) ate the murukku didn’t want to be bothered with throwing the empty packet in the bin, so they left a few bits in it and closed the cover securely..
There were 2 cans of Pringles..but how to serve Pringles in a bowl?
I could have cooked something..like onion bhaji.. again Indian hospitality doesn’t let you cook anything while the visitors are already in your house..for they would feel burdened that you have to cook something for them.. ( it is never a burden to drop in unannounced)
So I served coffee.. ( keeping my fingers crossed that, old coffee won’t kill/maim them).. and as I carried the coffee in to the living room, I found my relatives snickering..
For you see this is what they found in my living room
I did have a TV table and that became a fish tank stand..and I hate the standard type of furniture..I wanted something unique and have been thinking of making a TV stand myself and never got around to it. My plan is to buy a plank of camphor wood, do some (wood)planing and make a unique tv table.. so while I get around to it, the tv sits on a foot stool..
I am sure, by now the news of the ‘unique’ tv stand reached Kerala..and what a terrible hostess I am !