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20 Questions

This conversation took place when Seejo and I were driving back home from a birthday party. The party was hosted by one of my cousins on the occasion of his daughter’s second birthday. There were around 50 guests, including the kids in the apartment. The weird thing about such parties is that men and women sit separately, in different rooms. (in one case, where the party was held in a three floored house, men and women actually sat on different floors!!!). Seejo sat with the men in the living room and got confused trying to understand “namboodiri bhasha” (which is colloquial Mallu which my cousins speak at home) and I sat with the women in the bedroom trying to understand relations and family connections and passed time deciphering which kid belonged to which mother. There was a brief spark of hope for me when I was introduced to a new-comer to America with the words “She is also newly married….just arrived in US 4 months ago”. I was so relieved to find somebody who did not speak only about their kids or punctuated conversations with commands to their kids..Only to have that hope unmercifully crushed… She was 4 months pregnant…..

Anyway, Seejo and I had the following conversation on the way back.

Me : so were you very bored?

He : Ah! Well…I talked to a few people this time though.

Me : oh good, whom did you talk to ?

He : Well, I spoke to this guy called P….Very quiet fellow.

Me : Hmmm I wonder whether that is Lekha’s husband, Suja’s husband or other female’s husband . I think the third female was called Nimi ( later figured out that it was Nima ) or may be the he is the husband of the new comer.

He : how would I know ?

Me : Yeah true…Wait let us try to figure this out logically.

He : Why??? Let us forget about them.

Me : just for kicks….like a game of 20 questions.

He : oh all right! perhaps you won’t go to sleep in the car that way….

Me : First question, did they have a kid?

He : yeah a girl…atleast there was a girl scrambling all over him!!

Me : Gender doesn’t help. All three have girls. But atleast we eliminated the new comer.

Me : ok how old do you think the kid was ?

He : I don’t know. She was a kid, a small girl. Ok?

Me : Tell me this, less than five, greater than five.

He : Less than five. I am pretty sure!

Me : That rules out Lekha. Her daughter is a little older. Tell me what was the kid wearing?

He : How the hell would I remember…some kind of dress I am pretty sure.

Me : Dress or salwar kameez ?

He : I think a dress….I don’t remember clearly.

Me : It doesn’t help anyway. As far as I remember both were in a dress. Tell me the color of the dress.

He : (gives me an Are you crazy look?) I don’t remember that.

Me : one was in blue and pink, the other in red and black.

He : I vote for red and black!

Me : I think then that is Nima’s kid. Yay!! Parameshwaran should be Nima’s husband.

Me : Do you know who Nima is?

He : I don’t know. I don’t care.

He : Enough!!!!!!!! Stop this right now! Before I throw you out of the car.

We left the rest of the couple matching to the next party. Vaidehi ‘s birthday is in December. Seejo is trying hard to get a transfer to Alaska before that.

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