Friday, June 11, 2010

Tea and biscuits, anyone?

Whatever happened to the ritual of friends coming over home to an evening of tea, biscuits, farsan and good conversation? Our daddies and mommies do it, but when we become them, we probably won't.

It is a strange time to be me.

After about six-seven months of smooth sailing, I'm suddenly jobless.

Without a doubt, joblessness is a difficult state to be in, especially if you're living in Bombay. Your friends will ask you to explain your situation and say, 'Let's meet over coffee and discuss'.

'Catching up' over a cup of coffee costs you at least Rs 50, an amount which isn't too difficult for you to shell out at this moment, but it could be a coffee that would go down as a regressive one, in a few weeks from now if you don't land a job which pays at least as much as the last one did, if not more.

Friends, dependents in your family, the whole fucking society - they all make joblessness even more uncomfortable. Facebook albums do the most damage. Status updates from friends going on a holiday. Europe. South Africa. Australia. Singapore shopping binge. Photographs uploaded by people you know, probably showing them holding their bottle of beer as a trophy, chilling at the coolest lounge bar in town. Your guy friends posing with semi-naked women (who it turns out, are colleagues, much to your mom's horror, making her comment, ''Draupadi's vastraharan would be so pointless in today's times. You won't be able to spoof it either.'').

Your friends wonder why you won't join them over the weekend spending binge. Rs 250 - daylight robbery at the multiplex to watch a movie. Request denied. Long island Iced Tea at Hard Rock? Rs 300. Request denied. ''Let's go to Blue Frog!'' Entry Rs 500. Assured: A place to stand. Want to sit? Book a table. Enjoy your meal. Estimated expenses per head? Rs 500 at least. Request denied.

You feel that the world has suddenly become rich.

And it is true. There are some things money can't buy. Provided you have the willpower and better sense to tell yourself - this is not worth the price. And in Mumbai, depending on your social circle, you might get the opportunity to tell that often. After a point of time, you're an outcast. Which is exactly the state I'm in.

Does that mean I would have indulged in the above mentioned activities with a regular job? Yes and No. (More on that, later.)

It's at times like these I wonder whatever happened to the simple pleasures of life.

When was the last time you invited someone home for tea? Tea, biscuits, chaat, conversation?

My cousins in Kolkata would be surprised to read this, but I've come to realize that the social circle I've come to mingle with over the last three years in Mumbai, has almost NEVER done a tea/coffee evening get-together at their house. Whatever happened to VISITING friends over the weekend for an evening of simple, good conversation?

I've tried. And unless there's alcohol or a party to go along with it, the request has been more often than not, declined.

''What's the occasion?'' I've been asked. ''Who all are coming?'' ''Why suddenly?''

I'm amused. As a kid, I was witness to frequent visits by family friends who would hop over home - unannounced - and on most occasions, we'd be delighted to host them for the evening. Provided they went back home for dinner ;)

You may argue that on weekdays, one can't pull this off. But its on the weekends I realize, that there's a dramatic difference in the way people behave. On weekend, home is just not where the heart is. And even if it is, you don't want to share it with anyone.

Does this change after marriage? Does this change after you buy a house and you feel okay not only to have impulsive guests, but also planned dinners?

15 comments:

krunalc said...

Tough Time for you. Sympathies!!

Remember "Tough time doesn't survive for ever but tough man do".

Also, take this as an opportunity to interospect n decide the course of life now on.

Good luck n best wishes!!!

The Survivor said...

Interesting post.

I guess one does learn the importance of money the hard way.

I would differ with friends not visiting homes (unless the family is out). If they are not interested in that. Then I guess something is not right.

Just hang in there, the society can be quite cruel to people out of work.

| Balu | said...

Interesting point of view. Friends do come over to my house even without daaru, but that's mostly for gaming. =D Honestly speaking, 'simply dropping by' might not be part of our generation anymore. I used to do it till I was in school.

Tamanna Mishra said...

The world has changed a great deal since we were kids I guess. After staying away from home for college, I stayed with my parents for a few years and then got married. My parents would have at least neighbours come home for a Sunday morning tea or Saturday evening chai samosa. But my husband and I are deserted on most weekends if we stay home, so no, things don't change after you get married. Unless there is alcohol or a party to go along, guests don't come home. And you don't get invited anywhere. I have wondered very often about this change, and I really can't pin point the reason. It's funny, what's the point meeting friends over a movie if you have to meet. Just sit at home, have chai instead of beer for a change. And just talk! Hmmmm.

Oh and good luck! You are a journalist, and you write well. I am sure you have a brilliant job just waiting for you. Keep us posted on the blog. Let me know if you want me to forward any resumes. My email id is in my profile.

Chandni said...

Came across your blog from Nivedita's. And enjoyed it :) I remember how much we'd 'call on' our neighbours when I was a kid. I looked forward to the silly chatter, biscuits and chai. Strange we don't do it anymore. Joblessness of course puts a lot of stuff into perspective.

Hope to drop by again!

歐英傑 said...

不勞而獲的事情,並沒有價值........................................

雲亨 said...

I guess I will need a lot..................................................

劉彥皓 said...

nice to know you, and glad to find such a good artical!......................................................................

婷珊 said...

在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」......................................................................

江婷 said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。.................................................................

育財育財 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

sf信dg豪d王d佳d玲gdw謝 said...

安安!剛開始玩這個,來這裡逛一下^^............................................................

柏強 said...

來拜訪你囉~期待你的下次文章~加油^^..................................................................

JasonBirk佳琪 said...

唯有學習不已的老師,才能認真的教,唯有燃燒自己,才能點亮他人的燈............................................................

Meher....all out to explore..!! said...

thats so true.My mum keeps pointing out that too.Catching up with friends burns a hole in the pocket. :(