Entering a new house is an art in itself. Way back in 1997 when my father built a house in Madurai from his retirement funds, he made a cow enter the house first. I am serious. As if getting a shepherd and paying him Rs 100 wasn`t enough the cow was forced to stay inside till it emptied its urinary bladder. Again, I am serious.
I hadn`t known of my fathers plans and when I tried stopping him he said being Hindus, and being people who respected cows, and being shepherd by profession (my grandfathers were all shepherd – and very rich with up to two thousand goats, sheeps & cows) it only made sense that the cow entered the house first.
For those who don`t know, a cow`s urine is considered as pure as the water from the Ganges.
When a dejected me was standing in line to get into the house, the shepherd came out of the house shouting “Eureka!” and sprinkled cow urine on all of us. The die-hards asked for some in their palms and drank it. Again, I am serious.
I left for college the next day and forgot all about it. That`s till my mother reminded me of the incident and said maybe I should do something similar before entering my new house in Gurgaon.
“But mom, this is not our house!”
“That`s ok. Aren`t the landlords Hindus?”
“They are. But they are Bengali Hindus and I don`t think their grandpas were shepherd.”
“That shouldn`t be an issue. They will be fine with it if they are practicing Hindus.” My mother was adamant. I was glad she was in Madurai and not in Gurgaon to supervise the house warming ceremony.
“Besides, unlike our house this is in the first floor…how am I to get a cow here?” I asked. How was my mom, going to tackle this googly…I wondered.
“Don`t you have a lift?”
“We have, but it can only carry six people at a time.” Shucks, what was I getting into?
“Some cows are known to walk the stairs. Get the right cow and you can still have a sacred house warming ceremony.” I knew my mother could hold court with the vegetable vendors…but didn`t know she could do the same with a Senior Product Manager from a leading internet based products company.
“Mom…let me put this straight…there are no cows in Gurgaon. Despite the name this place is not a village.” I could feel my anger reaching my horns…oops…head.
“Then, how about goats? Or a sheep? They can fit into any lift.”
I banged the phone and broke my Nokia N70 – a few micro seconds later I realized I was not speaking into a landline.
The persistent lady that she is, she called back after a few hours – from a PCO so that I don`t recognize the number and cancel the call.
“So, decided on the house warming plans?” She re-opened the conversation.
“Yeah, the landlord`s family is coming in on Sunday morning to sprinkle Ganga Jal all over the house.”
My satisfied mom bade farewell.
I wasn`t lying to my mother because soon after my Nokia phone had started working I had got a call from my landlord saying they would want to visit and sprinkle Ganga Jal all over the house on Sunday. Being a Bengali, he pronounced it Gongo Jol.
I had assured my landlord that I will be home on Sunday and they can come in the morning.
All this happened on Friday. On Saturday morning I shifted into my new house…and in the evening I celebrated with a peg of whiskey. Just that, I had left the windows open and a creature of the night fell into my glass of whiskey. In an attempt to remove the insect with my finger, I ended up sprinkling whiskey all over the house ….12 hours before the Gongo Jol arrived.
As betal would have asked here is today`s question – Which is the best liquid to purify your new house?
Important Notice: Dear landlord, if you happen to read this and decide to throw me out, you will be the first to take these writings seriously. This website is all about exaggerated lies!