Honey, we’ve shrunk the kids but our statues are taller
11.45am I am making insecticide by mixing sugar powder with boric acid when my nani calls, ‘Biren Bhai is arriving from Surat today. Send the driver to fetch your uncle from the station.’
‘Nani, my driver is on leave today and I can’t go either! There is a nasty ant infestation at home that I am trying to get rid of.’ She replies, ‘You should not kill ants, they are very lucky.’
‘Yes Nani,’ I mutter, ‘Ants are lucky, it’s just people like me covered in bites who are unlucky.’
My protests are pushed aside, and as usual Nani manages to get me to do her bidding. 3pmOnce
Biren Bhai and his dabba of precious fafdas are safely ensconced in the car, he begins rattling away in great excitement. ‘When are you coming to Gujarat? You have to come to see the Statue of Unity, not very expensive, only Rs 350.’
I reply, ‘I thought it was 3,000 crore, no?’
‘Dikri, that is for the full and final statue, this I am telling you is ticket price for observation deck view.’
I reply, ‘Have you heard about the controversy over the statue? There was an article in the Daily Mail filled with British outrage about the UK giving 1.17 billion amtha sawal nai puch. salo chors! Amtha, 8pmNot
only do I have ants running around my house looking for edible items but I also have relatives who are doing the same. My mother arrives with Nani and Biren Bhai, while my mother-in-law has invited all her five brothers.
While Mother is nagging me about how the hot snacks are apparently not hot enough, Biren Bhai has been discussing his new business venture with the mamas. On hearing snatches of their conversation, I am almost tempted to ask my uncle if the tallest statue in the world has inspired him to invest in a product called Dr Ayurveda Height Increaser. Vinay mama turns to my mother-in-law and reels off product details from Biren Bhai’s phone: “This product increases height in humans. It has no side-effects and is approved by Medical Council of India.” He then adds with a laugh, “Arre Biren Bhai, this is a foolish business idea! How can this work on adults?