Some days back I landed at Frankfurt. Lovely airport! You will fall in love with this airport if you are the type that goes weak in the knees at the sight of massive amounts of steel, concrete, glass and Germans.
My aunt who was supposed to pick me up was already waiting for me two hours before the scheduled arrival of the aircraft. Forgive her her enthusiasm and protectiveness; after all she is my moms sister!
As soon as the aircraft came to a halt, there was a a whirrr of helicopter blades and the aircraft was surrounded by commandos who had descended from the choppers. Before I could say “Oktoberfest” I was whisked off in a private car that was parked on the tarmac. hahahaha I am kidding but that wouldn’t be too far from the description of my aunt swooping down on me.
Before I could walk into the terminal she was beside me hugging me and kissing me (groan) and whisking me into the Airport. Of course not before she gave her dirtiest look at the German hunk who was talking to me. From her looks it would seem he was a criminal. All he was trying to say was "Will you be my subservient Asian wife". From my aunts reaction it seemed like he had just said "Would you like to convert to a heathen religion?” *sigh*.
After that it was my aunt all the way... from collecting the baggage to driving me home all the while chattering away like an mallu stranded on an iceberg dressed only in a mundu. I had this nice hotel booked by my office, but living in the Hotel would mean automatic disinheritance from my aunt’s Will. (She has kept some family heirloom for me you see. She will not disclose what it is but I get this sinking feeling that this is just a ruse to blackmail me.)
My aunt drove through the German roads not once taking her legs off the accelerator and it was then I got the answer to the question that was bothering my Dad for a long time i.e where my brother gets his driving genes from!
My aunt lives in the suburbs with her husband, one colorful Parrot, 56 resident cats and 78 visiting cats of which 34 are here just for the food. The rest fool her into thinking that they love her to bits. My Uncle is a jovial businessman who hates cats.
My aunt had apparently been cooking from the day my mother wrote in and said that I was coming. Like most loving aunts my aunt too was under the impression that I would probably crumple up and die if I didn’t get good home cooked mallu food and then her sister wouldn’t talk to her for the rest of her life. Which is a very horrible thought for her. That would be a lot of ‘shame and scandals in the family’ she would get to know only after it has been discussed to death and not instantaneously as he does now.
Sitting in a German house in a German town on a German table eating Rice and Thiyal and Pappadam from German utensils is one of the queerest things I did. Of course there was the Ada Prathaman served in a German ice cream bowl, but what took the cake was the unakka meen (dried fish) dip topping on crackers (it was yummmmy).
My aunt is a slim and feisty lady who looks like a Gucci model if Gucci had models for its seniors collection and is always on the go. She is very active in the local community and during her free time she conducts "Indian Cookery" classes. She actually convinces the Germans that "thawed cut vegetables cooked in coconut milk from the can is Golconda Quila ka Kuruma" and "canned baked beans mixed with one teaspoon Curry Powder is Shahi Nawabi Rajmah" and Chicken cooked in Tomato sauce is Chicken makhani. (This piece of information remains with me till I die or she gets to be disinherited by my mom. Apparently my mom has kept some family heirloom for my aunt you see. She will not disclose what it is but my aunt gets this sinking feeling that this is just a ruse to blackmail her. Like sister like sister. )
The proceeds from the cookery classes goes towards realizing the single most important mission in her life besides getting her husband to like cats...and that is entering the Guinness Book of World Records for feeding the most number of cats!! (The last is a possibility, the former an impossibility.)
A word about these cats while we are at the topic. Unlike our Indian cats, these guys are 7 feet in length and weigh a ton and if a Royal Bengal Tiger ever saw one of them, he would cover his eyes with his paws and go “mommmmy”. It would then promptly go extinct due to sheer shame.
p.s On my last day of stay the Parrot looked at me and said “Chechi." That's when I realized that the colorful parrot was actually my cousin brother Chacko and not a parrot that can talk Malayalam! No wonder he looked askance at me when I went “Polly Polly, Pretty Polly, Polly wanna Cracker?” I cant believe I did this to him. I didn’t recognize my own flesh and blood!! I am mortified :(
But I must admit that his yellow and green hair looks rather colorful in the dull grey of Frankfurt. Now if he would only lose his pink pants and leather jacket I firmly believe he will look human.
His other two brothers were in Kerala for the vacations. Apparently they need to go away from the house from time to time or their mom would start chasing them with a Flea Collar calling “Kitty kitty, here kitty, come and wear this nice Flea Collar mommy bought for you”.
But it was a nice trip and really great meeting up with my aunt and even greater that I left Frankfurt without a flea collar around my neck *whew*
Auf Wiedersehen Frankfurt!