, , , , , , , , ,

When you have been an empty-nester for a while and your son comes home to stay (and plans on being around for a while), you suddenly find the slow pace of your life has changed to a faster one. The long silences are now littered with doses of laughter and animated discussions (also arguments).  There is someone close by for you to annoy and who in turn annoys you much to the chagrin of the senior-most man of the house. Luci has one more person to pamper her and also to take her for (longer) walks. But the best of all is the fact that there is someone in residence who knows enough to rustle up tasty dishes for dinner. I am of course, talking about the Second Born.

Though I love cooking, I also equally love passing on the onus of preparing dinner to someone else and relaxing of an evening, or as in this case, playing the minion to the chef-of-the-night. Capsicum? Here it is. Have the carrots been washed? Right away! What, you haven’t made the Thai curry paste? You are wasting my time! Poda! By the time you cut vegetables, it will be ready (Phew, almost slipped up there. I was supposed to keep it ready). See what I mean? Then I go about putting things away while he cooks and also sets the table. The final clearing up is done by the L&M.

I watch in admiration as the SB makes stir-fried veggies, expertly tossing the contents in the pan and sigh. I secretly covet the ability to do that, but I know it is not for me. I am too short and the kitchen slab is too high. I’d probably end up decorating my face with the sauce smeared veggies. Nobody has short people in mind when designing things. Tables at restaurants are almost always too high. Chairs too. At most places I find my legs dangling way above the floor. The best part is how people think it funny when I mention this. Well, there is that, it evokes laughter.

Being tall certainly has its advantages. You can toss veggies as high as you want, no looking down from chairs where you are seated and finding the floor too far away for comfort. For another, tall people can keep away things that belong to shorter people on top of tall almirahs and have them, the short people that is, wander around looking for and never finding them.

The very thing happened to me recently. I couldn’t find my back-scratcher. I looked for it everywhere. Finally it was located on top of the tall steel almirah, quite by accident, by the visiting sister. I don’t have to spell it out to you how the back-scratcher happened to have got there, do I? There is only one person in this house who is more than six feet and keeps things away at heights unreachable to the wife who is exactly one foot shorter to him. I am sure he will contend the charge, but tell me, who else could have kept it up there? Luci?

One day, I discovered the world as the tall people saw it and was awestruck. It so happened that I had to put a few things away in one of the top shelves in the kitchen. Since no one was around to help, I climbed a plastic stool and did the needful. Now it so happened that the plastic stool was exactly one foot high. When I turned around and looked at the kitchen from that angle, it struck me with force. Gosh! THIS was how the L&M saw things from his height of six feet plus. How different everything looked from up there. It was a totally different world view… umm I mean kitchen view.

There is one thing I learnt from all this. I was doing it all wrong when I looked this way and that in the mirror to check how I looked before going out. By doing that I was only finding out how I looked to myself. Everyone I knew was taller than me and had a view of me that was from higher up. So now I hold the mirror up and check to know how I look to others. That’s when I stopped worrying about my double chin. From that position no one could even see it. Howzzat? The tall people on the other hand had to clearly watch out for their wobbly double chins, because that would be the first thing visible to those shorter when they looked up.

Egad. How the heck did this post go from the son and stir-fried veggies to double chins?! Ahh, I guess that’s how it goes when you ramble on unchecked making the most of a quiet Sunday night after partaking of green Thai curry and sticky rice. And oh, here’s the advantage of being short: You never, never, ever have to fear your head hitting the roof. 😉

©Shail Mohan 2017