Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sid plays the perfect host

"Hey, how are you?" asks Sid, as my friend Shagun lumbered in loaded with bags.  "Good, good. Let me just dump my stuff." Sid nodded and as she walked in he called after, "Hey, you want a drink?"  She turned around and looked at me as I walked out of the room, "It's just after breakfast.  It doesn't matter what time of the day it is, the first thing you walk into your house and he's offering you a drink.  No chai, no soft drink...straight to the bar"! As we laughed, a huffy Sid defended himself, "I'm just being a good host, what does the time of the day have to do with it"?  Sid's famous hospitality is quite a joke among some family and friends.  Not that there is anything wrong with his generous spirit or his social skills - if there is one thing to learn from Sid it is his great ability to connect with people and not only forge new relationships but sustain and preserve existing ones.  And all of these are fortified with an integral ingredient - alcohol.  Don't get me wrong, Sid's tendencies are not alcoholic, merely social!  Shagun's words are very true - it doesn't matter what time of day you walk into our house, Sid will offer you a drink - always alcoholic and if you dare to be his guinea pig with a "Oh anything, make me whatever you have", you may either get something spectacularly good like a killer martini or a sickening Pernod based cocktail, which can put you off "saunf" for the rest for your life.

The bar has pride of place at our home, filled with knick knacks from all over and we constantly argue about everything we buy for the house sneakily ending up in the bar the next day.  "But, it looks good here, it's a conversation piece, very raunchy", whines Sid while I march away with my jewelry stand (It's raunchiness lying in the fact that it's a pretty tacky but quirky piece I picked up on one of my holidays, where you can hang your bits and bobs of a stand shaped like a woman's body in her underwear).  There have been so many occasions when Sid has invited friends suddenly over on a weekday and promised "I'll do the cooking baby don't worry" only for me to come home and see the house looking exactly as we left it, the cooking not even started and Sid standing at the bar vigorously polishing glasses.  "But babes, they have to be gleaming"!.  "Fat lot of good that's going to do when our guests are hungry and you try to feed them gleaming bloody glasses" I grumble as I bang pots and pans together to voice my irritation.  He comes to pacify me with a hug, which I allow, only to feel something hard behind my back.  "Are you still polishing that bloody glass, literally behind my back"? I yell in disbelief.  "Help me get some dinner ready"!

The jokes are endless. How Sid will always start his tour of our home at the bar, proudly showing off his collection.  How his brother, Anand always says "God, I don't want a drink, you're obsessed"!  How, when I walk by Sid's friend, Amit, and his weekly drink at the bar, I find them lovingly gazing at a collection of bottles that they have pulled out.  Rolling my eyes, I call them "deranged", which has little effect as I am then made to take pictures of them with said bottles! Friends joke about the lack of glasses in our house for soft drinks or water, usually being served coke in a whisky glass or juice in a bottomless beer mug.  "Are you mad? How much have you had, 45 ml or 90 ml"?, Shagun jokes whenever we act silly, a reference to Sid's attempt to teach us to make green apple martinis, frustrated with our disobedience and lack of interest in all the measurements ("Not 60 ml you stupid women, only 45 ml of the vodka - and no not Absolut or Belvedere, only Ciroc.  Shagun and I of course do whatever we want and always maintain that our martinis taste much better, and more potent, after dismissing all his instructions!).

Not that anyone complains of course, our house is always filled with friends or family either visiting or staying over (also due to our proximity to the airport!) who are subjected, willingly or hesitantly, to Sid's hospitality. Of course, gone are the days when any of us could really drink ourselves silly and we're a lot more civilized, except on certain occassions like our raucous Christmas parties!  And so I drink to my husband's wonderful generosity and great skills as a host, never forgetting his manners, regardless of who walks in our door or what time of day it might be.  The latter part was reinforced the other night when Sid went out for a boy's night with his brother and cousin.  I had just dropped off to sleep when I heard Sid's signature "Hey guys don't go, come up for a drink"!  The three of them trooped in and there was much ruckus, much of it due to the drinking they had already done, as Sid used them and their dulled senses as guinea pigs.  They couldn't have been all that dulled though because cries of "Oh god, this is disgusting Siddharth", "What shit is this?" filled the night air, only to be interrupted by sounds of renewed pouring and subsequent cries of disgust.  Killing them with his hospitality, I thought.  I won't get into the details of that night (though the congratulatory calls the next day on my supposed pregnancy were a consequence of the inane phone calls made by them to the entire family!!), but it did end with Sid trotting in somewhere during the proceedings, "Are you awake? Do you want a drink?".  As I looked at him in disbelief, I thought "If there was one thing you could never fault this man with, it is his great ability to play the host"!" And so I humour him as he lumbers into the bedroom followed by the remaining two "boys" in the group, who were very excited to see me awake and immediately launched into an account of their evening.

1 comment:

Anand said...

HA HA HA. I WASN'T DRUNK THAT NITE. JUST PISS DRUNK.