Thursday, June 2, 2011

Playing Host

Summers and you don different garbs. You play host, tour, work, and generally are the verge of losing it when school reopens, monsoons come and life returns to normal. In the following weeks I will recollect some of the abnormal experiences. Here is first one.

Husband's co has a stockist in Bangalore who came down to visit Kochi. The Husband and wife duo were made for each other measuring not an inch above five feet, equally clueless about what to expect and equally carried by those lovely houseboat pics that tourism offices put up around the world. And to top it all, they were pure vegetarians -Jains( mostly ultra orthodox sect who won't have any vegetable that grows underground, won't dine at a veg+ non veg restaurant and even not like the vegetarian fare around). Jain tourists usually cook their own food or bring packed food for foreign tours!

We had to take them around Cochin and spend the day with them. Our guests originally belonged to Rajasthan but had been living in Bangalore for last 35 years. They had two grown up children who had recently married. So the couple were out for their second honeymoon.

They arrived late morning. We started with Mattanchery. By the time we reached the Jewish synagogue , it was closed for siesta and was to reopen by 3pm. So I tried to engage their interest in antique jewellery and furniture shops of Jew Town. But they were unamused and the lady kept repeating that they would get cheap stuff in Kolkatta where they shopped for daughter's wedding. I however continued my efforts to generate interest. But their bored looks made us try another attempt which was taking them to Fort Kochi, the place known for the Chinese fishing nets. But the decision was wrong. The beach and wharf stank of fish and the lady was almost blue in face closing noseand mouth. Her eyes pleaded rescue which we promptly did and took them to one of the oldest churches in the area. Another lesson learnt-Jains are not interested in churches even if they have Portugese inscription, centuries old Punkahs and nice wooden pews.Evey now and then, they would ask, "Will we going on a houseboat today?" to which we would be patient and say that good houseboat tours are in neighbouring dist. Alappuzha and that they can go on one the next day or the day after. But no avail. The question was a good example of periodic motion and was put to us at regular intervals.

After lunch from a Gujrati restaurant, we took them again to the synagogue. I tried to explain Jews and Judaism to the uninterested couple who made a face looking at the paintings depicting arrival and progress of Jews in Kerala. I ranted on my knowledge. At last they asked a question "Ganne ka juice jaisa
"( Like cane juice?)

That shut me up for the rest of day. I have answered some weird questions in life but this was too much.

P.S This just a humourous generalisation. I know many saner Jains.


  1. There are many like this who can never hide their inner feelings.

  2. ooops ..

    They should have told you in advance then , if they are so Fussy ..
    you did your best I hope they know that and appreciate that .. and good to see you back ..


  3. chalo you did your best :)
    we cannot please everyone :)

  4. Lolz !But you were a good host .
    Nice to see you back HL .My husband just returned yesterday ,he was on a week tour to Kerala.He is all praises for the place and the people.

  5. Thank your stars that you did not opt to be a professional tour guide.

    I felt after knowing a few Jains that like some other faith they take things by the letter not by its essence or spirit. Pity people see anything and everything that they do not like is bad and evil.

  6. Interesting guests! Aren't you lucky! He he

    Nice to see you back here HL. I was wondering what happened to you!

    Jyothi ( in a new Avatar)

  7. Nice read..Luckyyyy..;huha...

    Good to see u back..:)rock..

  8. Shilpa
    You been there? It is exasperating.

  9. K Parthasarathi
    True. Maybe they need some training.

    MAnn Bikram
    An to top it all, on the guy's behest I prepared a veg meal but she refused to eat as we eat non veg too!

    Thanks for the pat on back

    Your hubby woul've loved the rice and fish but not poor Jains.

    Anil Kurup
    Am I glad for my stars:)

    Jyothi in new garb?

    Being Promoda
    Thank You.

  10. And a big thank you to each of you to comment on the blog even after a long break. Love the warmth you have shown. God bless.

  11. I CAN'T FOLLOW YOU. It says you have denied me permission to join this site! What did I do??? :)

    Yeah, a new garb. I had to google the meaning of garb. I thought it was a short form of Garbage. I was shocked! :D

  12. No clue. Even I can't comment on any blog most of the time.

  13. Lol:)...Normally jains are orthodox people.

  14. Hahaha...I can't stop laughing! But how could they? Oh, I wish I could have seen your face when they said that! 'Ganne ka juice' :D

  15. Tomz
    Oh Yeah!

    Orthodox ok but so naive...

    Destiny's Child
    I bet you'd loved the look:D

  16. It was such a funny account. I know quite a few Jains and most of them are not this orthodox anymore. But you tried to be a good host :).

  17. Faith is a wonderful thing. It's a shame when religion gets a death grip and chokes the life out of it. Small world, isn't it? This kind of thing happens everywhere. It's too bad your hospitality was snubbed. At least you had a funny story to tell.

  18. hahahaha "ganne Ka Juice" :P

    Yes variety of culture and variety of people.. Food has always been a problem for veggies when they go near coastal areas, but one should know how to adjust and enjoy the tour.. Besides if they were not interested in watching or knowing anything, then why did they plan a tour? Your bad luck! I have visited almost all states in India(2-3 places left) and I have been dying to travel to Kerala, its a green heaven i have heard. :)

    All the best for all future encounters :P :P

    P.S. Its good to see you back.. Keep writing :)

  19. Rachna
    Oh yes, yes. I too know many saner Jains

    Walk 2 write
    Thanks for the cross continental pat for being a good host

    Let me know when you land. Book your rooms with Hotel woodlands or Bharat tourist home. They serve pure veg food.

  20. oh Wow! is there a metaphor somewhere:) weird..

  21. Book your rooms with Hotel woodlands or Bharat tourist home.

    I cant stop laughing.. :)

    what if she wants to stay at your place instead. :)