This Fathers day was our third because it was around three years ago that we heard about Fathers Day. It’s not your typical mallu festival but we modified it so that our hardworking Dads would get a well deserved break from the joys of fatherhood.
So after many hush hush meetings with cousins we decided that the best gift we can give our Daddies was…….a day away from our mommies!!!!!!.
And boy! Did they hasten to agree with our philosophy! One of my ‘ungles’ even broke down when he heard that. The poor mans wife is a housewife you see!! He is also an advocate for Marital Annual Leave and Marital Casual Leave and Marital Sick leave for which he unsuccessfully campaigns at every family gathering.
So Sunday morning dawned partially cloudy with the Met office predicting that “it may rain or it may not rain”. After breakfast my mom was gently chided to hurry up and pack up for the day. We needed her out so that we could stuff the freezer and the fridge with the beer. Showing unnatural tardiness in getting dressed for her big outing we finally managed to push her out of the house where a car full of highly curious ladies waited for their ‘exciting trip’ to somewhere.
With the ladies outta the way and the beer cooling their heels in the fridge we gave the men the green signal to start trooping in. And they came in… in all shapes and sizes , fat, thin, tall, short, bald, hairy, corporate types and the not so corporate types, one chronic bachelor ( his excuse was that he was celebrating on behalf of his dad in heaven!!!) all united in the singular purpose of enjoying the day to the hilt. And enjoy they did….drinking like dehydrated fishes, singing ribald songs in Malayalam and cracking risqué jokes when they thought we girls were not around …(some of them even got prompted by us to complete the punch line ,which they didn’t notice anyway.)
The food was strictly bachelor fare…..meat, meat and more meat with enough fat to clog up M.G. Road for one whole day. “Boys’ don’t eat carbs” they sneered,” that’s strictly for the women.” The only saving grace for the “tiger hearts” was the green salad which they seem to enjoy with the meat.
The alcohol revealed hitherto hidden talents as the men (unsuccessfully) tried to demonstrate the art of Kalaripayattu and Kung Fu and Kathakali ending in drunken heaps on the floor. We heard hitherto untold stories of college crushes and about Saramma with the lovely hip length hair and reminiscences of one Nair kutty who held an entire college enthralled for the whole academic year and then broke a hundred hearts by getting married to some rich Gulf returnee. Tales of hunting for wild fowl at night and getting thrown in the slammer for participating in college strikes and many more that sounded like fantastic fables. Tears were wiped as the little boys within them came out unabashedly to enjoy youth one more time.
By evening as we said our goodbyes we had forgotten the original purpose of the gathering, i.e. celebrating ‘Father’s Day! But the day had served its purpose judging from the camaraderie it generated in a small group of Mallu men who had left their home and hearth many years ago to seek their fortune.