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Deepavali Musings

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Balajee, Nov 14, 2020.

  1. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    It occurs after every Deepavali day. Throughout the year you would have forgotten the existence of one particular subspecies of homo sapiens, and even almost convinced that it has become extinct, you are rudely awakened from your delusion a day after the fest.

    The calling bell rings, you open the door and you are greeted with “Diwali Mubarak ho sir” and before you start wondering who these guys are you get enlightened: “Postman sir” they chorus, scratching their heads in unison.


    To show they are alive, kicking, and working, they will hand over a letter to you posted in Jurassic on paleolithic age, which informs you some relative is about to kick the bucket.. By the time you get the letter, the relative would have had seven rebirths. The postmen keep the letter reserved to hand it over to you after Diwali to make you open your purse strings and bid farewell to some money in the form of “baksheesh”. . Better cough up or even the one letter posted in the Jurassic or paleolithic won’t reach you.

    You pay up and they accept with a look of dissatisfaction, . Obviously it is not enough. It is never enough. Then comes the next request: Mithai?

    I tell them we are all diabetic LIE) and we don’t buy sweets. This elicits angry looks that say “Well we are not diabetics are we” and they leave shaking their heads.

    They obviously must be thinking: What if this guy is a diabetic, he must be getting gift hampers. Can’t he give us a share from it?” Sorry, guys my gift hamper days are over. I am on the top of the unpopularity charts of so many people that any gift hamper I get will have a time bomb ora live, angry poisonous snake.

    Poor mail deliverers. Can’t blame them for their rare appearances. The courier boys have taken over their jobs and postmen I fear is a subspecies on the road to extinction.

    Even if gift hampers don’t contain snakes or time bombs. they mostly tend to be sweets from your neighborhood halwais which are so bad that time bombs and snakes are way better.

    But some gift hampers are great. I used to work as the associate editor of a magazine run by an oil baron (cooking oil not petrol), The boss man was so generous that every Diwali he used to send hampers loaded with dry fruits, that lasted for the whole year. I now regret quitting the job. I have to pay from my pocket and through my nose for walnuts, pistachios, and almonds.


    But some gift hampers almost tempt you to bang your head against the wall. A friend of mine had an abiding hatred for tomato ketchup. That was obviously bad karma for which he was punished by a public sector food processing firm,, which he covered as a journalist. Just before the fest, the firm’s PR guys used to land up at his doorstep with a gift hamper which contained a jar of mixed fruit jam and A DOZEN BOTTLES OF THE WORST TOMATO KETCHUP in town

    A gourmet buddy to whom he passed on a couple of bottles of it commented that the ketchup lacked "Umami". I don't know whose Mami is that but I suspect that he was stating diplomatically that the ketchup tasted godawful.

    So tread carefully when it comes to Deepavali gift hampers and have a safe pollution-free festival.
     
    Viswamitra and umaakumar like this.
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  2. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Yes Postmen do not bother anymore. But then tipping in Diwali is more of a tradition than demand though there is very thin line now.
    Gift hampers, unless perishable, can be recycled and it may land back in your hands too.
    I always try to gift suitable for all occasions like books.
     
  3. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Balajee,

    At least your mailman gets to see you and our mailman delivers mails to our mailbox outside and never get to see us at all. However, during Christmas, we leave a gift or cash for him in the mailbox and he promptly send a thank you note to us. We pay all our vendors who regularly serve us like pool cleaner, lawnmower, house cleaning crew, pest control, etc. their one extra month pay during Christmas as a gift. Fortunately, the service providers here take it with a lot of gratitude and never crib about the amount. They are always satisfied with whatever little we give and they appreciate the gesture more than what is given. Probably, their expectation is nil, and therefore anything given is appreciated.

    Every time, I read your snippet it is such a pleasure as it brings a smile to my face. Diabetics is a good excuse to escape from distributing sweets. Ketchup not having "umami" is such a funny expression. Keep writing these wonderful snippets.

    Viswa
     
    startinganew likes this.
  4. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:
    Few days after Dewali, my North Indian friend over phone enquired whether I had received the hamper that he had sent through a special messenger (that included kaju barbi /cake).*

    At that moment, I had remembered the old watchman to whom I had gifted that hamper. He was to truth speaking. He returned the hamper & told that i was cheated by the shopwalla as nuts smelled rancid and kaju diamond shaped cake adulterated with ground nut powder.

    I felt bad: immediately I gave watchmen platterful home-made South Indian sweets & snacks. He left telling “sadha suki raho”.
    * just to maintain amicable relationship, I simply told him after receipt of hamper, I could not go to office as stomach was upset.

    I enjoyed this Dewali jotting ; hilarious as usual. Thanks.
    Regards.
     
  5. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    I don't know why people don't think of books as Diwali gifts. In fact they are ideal gift material. I don't mind dry fruits too, a limited quantities od fresh fruit are Okay but sweets a strict no no. AND CERAINLY NOT TOMATO KETCHUP!!!!!!!!
     
  6. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Balajee,

    Hope it indeed was a pollution free Diwali this year! Gift hampers?? had completely forgotten about them. For me the memories of gurkha is way more than a mail man - mom always used to ask dad to give something for she always said that he could hear their assurance with the beat of their sticks in the night! How simple were those days no? We all trusted giirkhas way of saying "all izzz well".

    With a quieter Deepavali here, I have to confess the quota of sweets we got still remained the same, if not a little more - since it was social distancing people decided to to give each other mithai dubbas generously and this upload_2020-11-22_21-34-14.png

    brought perspective back and I decided to go easy....on the eating part :)
     
    Balajee likes this.
  7. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    Viswa while it is a good policy to tip service providers , you just cannot allow them to armtwist you into tipping them, particularly when they are no longer providing you that particular service. In this age of emails and courier services, the postman does not ring even oncce , let alone twice. But come Deepavali, they will press your doorbell a 100 times or until you open the door! As far as gift hampers are concerned, I have stopped expecting the unexprected. Why doesn't someone surprise me with a gift hamper of books?
     
    Thyagarajan and Viswamitra like this.
  8. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    We are living in an age of adulteration But I really admire the tastebuds of your watchman that he discovered that the kaju cake was adulterated with peanut powder. If you order badam kheer in a restaurant, you have to be careful. They try to cut corners by serving you peanut kheer laced with almond essence (synthetic). Only genuine edible hampers are those containing dry fruits and nuts. Even fresh fruits come with a heavy chemical coating nowadays.
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  9. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    Fruits like Washington apple with extra gloss is said to have wax coating. Mangoes are artificially ripened with chemicals that are more dangerous and carcinogenic.
    My spouse & I offer fruits to guests after peeling the skin of apple and other fruits.grapes of all kinds ate to be washed in saline before use.
    This analogy applicable with equal force to vegetables like cauliflower cabbage carrot etc.

    Jack fruit I consider the best.

    Thanks and regards.
     
  10. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    Tyagu sir, I think the only safe fruit is banana. The thick peel protects the contents. Once it was said that apple must be eaten with peal to get full benefits Nowadays we are warned not to eat them with peels. I love to eat a thin-skinned mango like Banganapalli with the skin . . That slight bitterness of the skin beautifully balances the sweet-sour flavour of the fruit but nowadays you can no longer trust the skin.
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.

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