Honey, we’ve shrunk the kids but our stat­ues are taller

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - SUNDAY SPECIAL -

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?

Photo imag­ing: TOI

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