Aug 5, 2006

Houseguest problems anyone?

I am paying a huge price for a tiny mistake i made. The wife's friend's brother was coming down to delhi for a month or so for some work and he called me up to ask about places to stay. The wife's friend was a bomb, and because of flashes of her sacred memory i offered that he can move in with me for some time and then look around.


He has moved in permanently. That by itself is not a problem. The problem is he has ALL the characteristics that turns me off completely. He talks incessantly. He is one of those people who feel insecure when not mouthing off. Be it summarising a newspaper article while reading the morning paper, admiring a new car that is being launched, opining about any issue while watching the news, anecdotes about office colleagues, the state of the telecom industry, the infrastructural problems indian cities are facing etc etc etc. You must be wandering what my problem is. These are everyday topics that are discussed all the time in conversations with friends. Agreed. The gaping hole in that logic is that as 'conversations' these make sense. You see, throughout all these, i sit like a statue carved out of granite.

Thats right. All these are monologues. I dont participate. Does that dry him up? OH NO..he goes right on. I have tried leaving the room, he goes on. I have tried opening the laptop and typing seriously (like now), the words flow on. I have tried conversation stopper replies (like 'if thats your point of view we should stop this conversation right now'), he carries on with a beatific smile. I have tried putting on a movie he likes, just so he will shut up..he reads out the subtitles. I go and stand in the balcony, he starts playing a game on his cell phone, and for my benefit does a running commentory (thats level 1, yeah, now come on Dronzo the Dragon..).

Last night I really wanted to be alone for some time. Some peace, some introspection, some solitude to take a few decisions (if you have read the last post you would know why). So i worked out a strategy. I came back home, had an early dinner, yawned copiously, then said that its been a dog's day, goodnight. Went to my room, feigned sleep for 30 mins, heard the living room lights go out, heard the door to his room close, waited 15 minutes, then tiptoed out, stood in the balcony, took a long drag on the fag, exhaled out to the cool full moon night, revelling in the silence, welcoming the end to a stressful week, trying to recharge the batteries to prepare for the fight I knew I had to fight in office in the coming week..he comes up from behind and tells me 'Thank god you are awake. I was getting so bored'.

I didnt deserve this. I seriously want a shoulder to cry my heart out. MOMMY! I NEED YOU!


Ghetufool said...

hillarious man. very well written!

Shuv said...

straight from the heart ghetu, straight from the heart.

DD said...

In answer to the question posed in the title of your article, YES I have had some excruciatingly ‘interesting’ houseguests in the past. And having gone through those experiences and being a ‘simpatico’ kinda guy, “I feel Your Pain” (William Jefferson Clinton – 1991). Remember, I am here for you – with emphasis on the HERE and NOT THERE, and stay away from edges of balconies.

The first one I would like to tell you about was a cousin who stayed with us for about a week. “I was going mad.” (Alistair MacLean – 1969). She started out by wearing tennis socks – you know the kind – thick, comfy, once white – into the shower. I kid you not! She never took them off for a couple of days and then didn’t take them off when she went into the tub either. And then she came out WEARING THEM – soggy and squelchy. For the endless evening that stretched out ahead of us, she nagged us into going to the grocery store and the video rental place. At the grocery store, while I was getting some necessaries, she picked up about 4 magazines, and conveniently showed up at the checkout and put them on the belt as I got there. Those things set me back about $15. And what was worse, she hardly looked at them when we got home. These were fluff magazines like ‘GQ’ and ‘Cosmopolitan’ – things I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole as long a s there was a copy of the Yellow Pages around.

From the grocery store, we went to Blockbusters. And there, she headed straight for the FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMS aisle. She was just starting out getting pretentious lessons from her younger sister. So, whereas the younger sister would have known what the latest highbrow movie to see was, she didn’t. The choice – a movie of Italian vintage – as it turned out, would have made a sailor blush. Khaunish Ray would have had some interesting comments if he’d seen that one.

After about 10 minutes of this, Lali developed a sudden and deep love and commitment towards cooking. I have never known her to possess. She went into that hot and tiny kitchen and boy, she stayed there for an hour. I very well couldn’t digest this piece of crap either and so spent the time tooling around the house, looking for things to do. The cobwebs in the balcony were fascinating! Finally, the audio from the movie reached such heights that neighbors were surely calling the police (or at least leaving themselves reminders to ask me what I was using) and I just couldn’t take it any more. I just walked into that living room and shut the damn thing off. To her credit, our guest did seem relieved, but then why didn’t you turn it off sooner, you stupid cow?

Anyway, Lali took the opportunity to ask to see the other movie – a recent flick of Robert Redford (no seriously, I am not intimidated at all about our physical resemblance) that she had picked out. In the first 15 minutes of this movie, my cousin said this ONE comment at least FIVE TIMES – “He is so dreamy! Don’t you just want to hold him?” Well, since Lali had again disappeared into the kitchen after the fourth repetition of this question, and the fifth repetition could only be directed at ME, I had to say “Well, actually, NOT SO MUCH”.

It was not all bad though, because having her around for 6 days, really brought Lali and me a lot closer.

Our second interesting houseguest was someone who stayed with us for a month – yes, I said a MONTH, also when we were staying in our tiny one bedroom apartment. He was a well enough chap. Brought me a large bottle of Glenfiddich when he arrived, sort of as a peace offering for the imposition. And it wasn’t much of an imposition, really, except for this one annoying habit.

Let me set this up for you. Say the TV is tuned to CNN. Say there’s a war going on. Heck, we don’t need to assume there’s a war going on. There’s always a fucking war going on. We (our guest and I) find ourselves to have diametrically opposing views. And then, in a brilliant flash, I get inspired. I think of something that would surely convert him to my way of thinking, and hell, might even stop the war if introduced to the floor of the United Nations. Basking in the ethereal glow of my own brilliance – because these moments are so few and far between – I say my piece and sit back. To my surprise, he takes it rather calmly – if one were feeling uncharitable, one might even say stupidly – and then says “You know, I was thinking …” and then repeats my argument back at me as if he just came up with it. It’s like what I said was just some fart in the wind and gone forever. This happened, not once, but several times. Nearly drove me to suicide.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that others have walked in your shoes before you and worn these very same thorny crowns. I guess what you could use is some suggestions as to how to deal with this

1. Didn’t you mention a balcony? What floor are you on? No, not you, you idiot, HIM!
2. Start talking about his sister’s attributes in a lewd and suggestive manner. I am sure your wife will forgive you..
3. “Kyo(n)ki ka(n)ta hee ka(n)tey ko kaaTta hai” – Thakur Baldeo Singh(1977). When I was a graduate student sharing a house with 3 other students – one of our roommates was a sanctimonious prick, and when we wanted to get rid of him, or send him into his shell for a few days, we’d invite this friend of a friend of friend – a guy who, on an average, used to cleverly intersperse at least 4 ‘behn-chot’s and 2 ‘maadar-chot’s into the average sized sentence. I am talking 10-15 word sentences – tops. Anyway, our roommate used to get so offended that he would stop any spontaneous (and invariably holier than thou) conversation from his end. What you need is to discover this guy’s ‘chink in the armor’ and get someone to sit up with him.

If I think of anything more, I will surely write again, but in the meantime, stay away from edges of balconies. Cheers!

Shuv said...

rule on this blog: a comment cannot be better written than the original post.

Loki said...

c'mon apu, have you forgotten our 1st year days in blore? follow the same policy. smoke under a blanket and get caught. if he still doesn't get out then you can invite chaubey. as dada muni rightly said "Kyo(n)ki ka(n)ta hee ka(n)tey ko kaaTta hai". phir bhi nehi gaya to only god can save you.

take care man!

DD said...

As far as the RULE OF THIS BLOG is concerned, I am glad I did not violate it this time (I tore a couple of tendons in my side reading the post), but I will surely keep THE RULE in mind in the future.

kaushik said...

Well amidst all this where is BB (Beleghata Baba as I call him). Must be deep in sleep after the hard days grind. But knowing his tolerance level even this particular specimen would not have too much of a problem.

Shuv said...

loky there is a saying in bengali that means u started digging for an earthworm and out came a snake. bringing choube is something like that..

koushik: BB is least bothered. they are made of sterner stuff.