Published: March 27th 2007March 27th 2007
This morning I received an unexpected invitation from Ganesh for Sachi and myself to join his family for dinner that evening. Obviously an invitation I couldn’t turn down and even Sachi, who was still bemoaning the quantity of food she had consumed over the weekend whilst having her cookery lessons, couldn’t refuse.
Ganesh turned up at the guest house at 7 with his eldest son, Shruti (10) in tow. Ganesh and Shruti were on a motorbike and I was just trying to figure out how the 4 of us were going to fit when Ganesh explained that he had arranged for us to follow him in a Rickshaw! Thankfully!
Shruti joined Sachi and I and provided the driver with appropriate directions. He also started the inevitable questioning of the pair of us to understand our names and where we came from. It turned out that Shruti is an extremely bright child who has is developing a strong grasp of English.
We arrived in less than 5 minutes at an Aravind owned apartment complex. The sort of place I would assume was provided for single residents or students. Not where I expected the senior manager for IT and
Ganesh and Shruti
Officially photographed by Mukund
Systems to reside with his family. It turned out that Ganesh and family had lived there for 2 years and there were several other families housed there also.
Ganesh introduced us to his family, his wife Havish and youngest son Mukund (7). Havish was a fantastic host and treated us to a delicious meal. Very similar in contents to the meals we enjoy in the guest house but superior in every way. The guest house food is largely prepared in the staff canteen with Mary only preparing certain elements of the meal, what we were treated to tonight was proper Indian home cooking. What a difference!
I had been earned in advance by Sachi that when you eat in someone’s home you are likely to find it difficult to say no. How right she was, apparently the English phrase, ”No thanks, I’m full” translates into Tamil as “yes please, I’d like a huge additional serving”! I did eventually manage to convince Havish that I had been defeated and settled back into my chair to try to digest it. At this point Ganesh proudly announced that he had left work early today in order to prepare his favourite dessert
What is it with boys wanting to pull daft faces whenever there's a camera pointed at them!
for us, Bananas and Pomegranate in Custard. Marvellous! Being English and not wanting to offend, I made a concerted effort to clear my bowl - it helped that Ganesh does indeed make a fantastic custard!
After dinner Mukund and Shruti insisted on demonstrating to us their volleyball and then cricketing abilities in the small yard outside their door. As with all siblings, a playful match rapidly descended into tears as Mukund refused to accept being called out. Cultures change but people are the same the world over - particularly kids.
Sachi and I were also presented with the families entire photo collection as the boys took it in turns to disappear into the bedroom, returning with one photo after another showing various prize ceremonies, family members and baby photos of the pair of them and also of Ganesh. Very entertaining. We were also introduced to the families pets, a collection of small sharks and Koi, Mukund very proudly informed us of all their names and breeds, he also informed us that his plan was to get a bigger tank so they could get a dolphin!
At the end of an extremely pleasant evening, Ganesh and Shruti walked
I'm a natural
Thow any situation at me and I still manage to look cool, calm and collected!
us back to the guest house. Shruti proudly demonstrating how good at cycling he was and then insisting on Sachi and I taking turns to show our proficiency. It was somewhat unnerving cycling in virtual darkness with potholes everywhere, cows wandering out all over the place and motorbikes and rickshaw appearing without lights. And I worry about Andrew cycling in Timperley!
We made it back safely to Harmony, thanking Ganesh and Shruti for their kindness and hospitality.
Only 1 night to go in Madurai!