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Learning to celebrate the idiosyncrasies – the key to wellness

Just like every other family, our family too  has its own idiosyncrasies which once in a while end up becoming a topic for a good laugh during our get togethers. My parents are true foodies; they love to experiment with different cuisines not only when they step out but even when at home. My mom, to pamper my dad, is ever willing to try her hand at international or fusion cuisines. When it comes to food at home, my father invariably makes a “farmaish” to “customise” any dish with his unique “creative” suggestions to make it a signature dish. This keeps my mom nervously on her toes. He has this unique ability to come up with an innocent last minute request to garnish a dish with something quaint that the lady of the house does not have on the table or sometimes even in the kitchen. Just the other day, we invited my parents over for a Sunday brunch. Since my wife is well aware of my dad’s ability to come up with surprise requests at the table, she ensured to cover all her bases. Since the plan was Kerala Appam with egg curry masala as a side dish, she ensured to keep garnishing dishes such as crispy fried onions and grated coconut readily available. Lo and behold, my dad, true to his form, came up with a “farmaish” for something that was not kept at the table.

When it comes to food, at our place, routine is almost boring. We are used to having variety for almost every meal be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. As against this for my wife’s side of the family, routine is normal. Every morning when my wife sits to decide the menu for the day, while everyone tries to get his/her suggestion across, my mother in law has anxiety written all over her face as she gets prepared for something that she will have to deal with on her plate.

My mom is a complete antithesis of my mother in law (to know more about this read my blog- The story of two grandmothers!). Even though she had both her knee replacement surgeries done, she is the hyperactive type who has wheels attached to her feet. She loves to travel and experiment with all sorts of cuisine not only outside but also at home. When she had her knee replacement surgery done and was at home for the recovery, she would be the first person to spring onto her feet to welcome guests coming to check on her and wish her a speedy recovery.

My late father-in- law was an ardent cricket fan. He would follow the Indian team and loved watching them play. However, he couldn’t stand India losing. So watching a game with him in which India wasn’t doing too well, meant having to give up mid way as he would involuntarily end up switching channels.

One thing common between me and my wife is that we both have played sports at a fairly competitive level – basketball was her game and cricket was mine. Just like her father, she too passionately cheers for the Indian team – be it any sport. When it comes to cricket, she loves watching cricket matches live at the stadium. She’s a great Tendulkar fan. Whenever he would be at the crease, she would turn superstitious, believe in jinx, as everything else could wait . She refused to even budge from her seat, lest it turned out to be unlucky for Tendlya. She even claims credit for most of Tendlya’s match winning performances which according to her wouldn’t have been possible without her support.

Some years ago, while cheering during the live telecast of the Indian hockey team’s crucial game at one of the qualifiers at an Olympic, my son ended up being at the receiving end. He was given an earful for disturbing her concentration which, according to her, led to the rival team scoring two goals in quick succession in the dying moments of the match to beat India. 

It is our common passion for sports that probably has been instrumental in helping us beat Bill and Melinda Gates, at being together. When it comes to home habits, we are poles apart. For example, when it comes to holidays, spontaneity is a big no no for my better half. She prefers everything to be planned ahead and that too to the last detail. She, being a doctor, is very particular about getting everything right, be it the perfect blend of milk and tea, cooking of the rice, making of bed, table manners or  toilet etiquettes. When it comes to housekeeping or toilet etiquettes, I’m her worst nightmare. Net result, our kids have been cursing me as they have to follow a rigorous discipline lest they too end up with their father’s habits. If only our bathroom could accommodate, she would have liked to have a Him & Her basin in our bathroom.

Toilet etiquettes

My sense is that if divorce was possible on toilet etiquettes, table manners or even housekeeping, I’m sure India would have been a country of singles.  Had the law allowed, I’m not sure if our marriage would have survived beyond even it’s 1st anniversary. 

In my side of the family, whenever guests come visiting,  we have this tradition to parade kids to showcase talent or sit them down and bore them to death with family wedding albums, videos or photo albums from one of our recent foreign trips. Similarly, we love to take our house guests for a guided tour around our flat which gets covered even before one can say Jack Robins!

As I come towards the end of my piece, you might want to know about what’s the joke when it comes to me. Well, the meme alongside says it all !
As I look around, I find many people have a lot of money in the bank but terrible personal lives, as they don’t open up and end up holding a grudge due to some idiosyncrasy. I find loosening up and learning to laugh a bit at yourself can come handy. Instead of getting obsessed with or angry at people for their idiosyncrasies, try to look for humour in the day to day happenings. If you share your observations with a dash of humour, everyone will not only learn to take your feedback in their stride but it might also help brighten up everyone else’s day as well. So let’s learn to celebrate idiosyncrasies. Cheers !

Acknowledgements- My friend Sheetal Nagle and Ashish Parulekar for being a solid member of my blog support team.
P.S: To read my Musings on Cricketing / Corporate Tales, Start up stories, Covid Times, Friends, Family and Marriages, Travel, Movie reviews go to the Home Page

Published by Salil Datar

Eager beaver , enthusiastic but amateur blogger !!

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