My weirdo house

Samarjit Kambam *

House...home...I was always confused with the two different words until recently my dumb and dumber brain could finally come to terms in differentiating their lopsided meanings. House refers to something concrete, palpable, which can be touched and seen. Home is inclined more towards the abstract side. Say, the members of a family constitute a home whether you and your family members are at the foothill of the Himalayas or under the shade of a banyan tree.

On the flip side we can use certain phrases such as “India is the home of democracy”. It doesn’t blend perfectly well when we use terms such as “spiritual house” but we have come across “spiritual home” for the umpteen times. You might have come across “haunted house” but not “haunted home”. Quite confusing, especially for retarded ones like me, eh!

In today’s write-up please allow me to noodle around by using both the words as per my convenience. My home consists of four family members – myself, my better half or more appropriately ‘my stronger half’ and two kids, a boy and a girl. Coming to house, the occupants of my house consist of many other creatures and non living things apart from humans which include a cat, a dog, mice, lizards, swarms of mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches etc inside the house and ducks, chicken, snakes, frogs, leeches, grasshoppers and other insects etc outside the house alongwith a two wheeler and a four wheeler at the garage. Sometimes, frogs and snakes use to pay occasional visits inside my house, especially during summer time. Oh! I forgot to mention fireflies also.

What I want to express is that my house as well as its occupants seem quite bizarre compared to other houses and their occupants. Previously, I thought that it might be just my perception but now I have learnt that it’s realistically real. First of all, let me scribble a few words about the human occupants of my house. It is said that the head of a family should be responsible, hard working, energetic, vigilant etc etc filled with all good qualities.

Here, in my home, the head of the family is the most irresponsible, dumbest, laziest, weakest, one filled with all possible negative qualities imaginable, doing things at the wrong time and place, an active listener but a passive doer, who talks less and still works less, an insomniac, more appropriately, a nocturnal creature.

As for physical appearance, one would definitely mistake him as a prisoner escaping straight out from a Nazi concentration camp. And lo !, the head of the family turns out to be me. Pity me! The officiating head of the house is the big female creature, the mother of my kids. My kids use to call her “mommy”, “mummy”, “mom” and most commonly “ma”. To me, there’s no definite word to call her.

I usually use to call her “Hey you” for I really don’t find the appropriate words to call her. Usually I used to call her “Thoibi-ma” as my daughter’s nickname is “Thoibi” but it seems to sound so absurd to me. Once I preferred calling her by her name but that made me quite uncomfortable as though I am her sibling. So I use to call her by showering upon her with the two words “Hey you” which I find it most comfortable (Thanks Pink Floyd for these two words).

Now, let me squiggle a few traits about my wife which are rather weird. Her voice is so loud, it may be around 300 watts or more, not PMPO but actual wattage. She’d fit in perfectly to be an announcer or Master of Ceremony of a public function without any PA equipment system. There were times when she barked at the kids for not studying and the decibel of her banshee wailing voice is so high that the whole rooms of the house shook as well as my whole body and more particularly my balls as though they want to jump out of the scrotum.

She’s not only a big-mouthed woman but also a big-footed one. So, buying a pair of slippers or a pair of shoes for her from the market is a herculean task. I pray that the shoe manufacturers manufacture bigger shoes and slippers for ladies especially for big-footed ones like my wife.

I know very well that beating women and children is the most coward thing for a man to do. I am a very patient person with a high level of tolerance. But there were times when she really got me on my nerves, making my mind all screwed up, driving me nuts and turning my world topsy-turvy. When I couldn’t bear any more, there were instances when I had to bash her up as a necessary evil leaving greenish marks on her arms and legs.

The irony is that, instead of covering it up, she would show the marks on her arms to whoever that comes in her way like a military personnel flaunting his decorative medal or star after receiving an award or getting promoted to a higher rank. Sometimes, I feel like losing my individuality as she would carry out thorough frisking of my shirts, trousers, my purse and most particularly my smartphone. A simple exchange of text messages with a female friend in Facebook Messenger is the numero uno reason for her to boil with rage which will definitely be followed by lightning and thunderstorm from her side.

Sometimes I feel like a sliced-open guinea pig about to be examined and experimented. Whenever I go, she will always follow me or accompany me. Once I was shell struck and jolted with surprise when she was found seated at the back of the car. It was almost dark. I had not noticed that she had slipped inside clandestinely at the back seat playing the part of a female Sherlock Holmes. I realised about her presence after I had driven for about five minutes. If such a scenario happens to persons with heart problems, they may instantly die of heart attack or cardiac arrest due to surprising surprise.

Maybe she loves me more than I love her even though it is very uncomfortable to me. She knows what kind of friends I have, their credentials, their attitude and their qualities be it positive or negative. On the flip side she seems to be too obsessed with me. Sometimes I think of taking her to a psychiatrist. If I was stuck at the office due to heavy workload, she’d hover around at the ambience of my office like an eagle hovering above a mouse, to make sure that I am still in the office.

What a life I am leading! One positive quality about her is that she is quite hardworking and is full of energy. Now, coming to my kids, my elder one i.e. my son looks like a nigger from Mozambique and is about three times thicker than me physically and weighs two times more than me. Sometimes, I got apprehensive thinking of whether he is suffering from obesity. To him virtual games such as “Clash of Clans” is his religion. Books and study are secondary as well as sources of allergy for him. His brain is quite receptive and is quite good in Mathematics but the problem is he don’t like to study.

His is known by his friends with nicknames galore such as – negro, pukchon, amujao, maibung, balloon, amuthi, thulumpoi, etc.. Coming to my daughter, she is a voracious eater who eats everything a human can possibly eat except four footed tables and chairs. And the more she eats, the more she becomes thinner. She is quite attentive in studies, however, the problem with her is that she forgets everything she had memorised after about two hours. Teaching her is more like pouring water on a stone. I wonder what kind of a brain her’s is – a human’s brain or a goat’s brain. Oh my goat!.

She’s pretty good in instant slumbering also. Once nightfall comes, she’d be sleeping at the very place she was sitting be it on the sofa, on the floor, sometimes leaning on the gas cylinder or fridge or even at a bag of rice or a bag of charcoal with saliva dripping from her mouth. Now, it has become a daily routine for me to carry her every night to her bed. Some years back, it was a non issue but nowadays, she has grown tall and become quite heavy. So carrying her to her bed has become sort of a daily ritual cum daily punishment for me.

Now, coming to non human occupants of my house, let me meander through about my hybrid dog – a breed of local and Chinhwawa known as “Lupa Kun Dog” by my neighbours. I got it from one of my relatives. My relative gave it to my daughter as a gift as she was very fond of it. He refused to take any money for the dog, however, as the day of handing/taking over of the dog was a Thursday, as per our custome, my relative told me to give just Rs. 20 for name-sake of being sold. Since then, it got its outlandish name the “Lupa Kun Dog”.

As it grew bigger, it became fiercer and began to gnaw almost everyone that came on its path. I was showered with complaints galore every adjacent day like “Your ugly looking dog has bit my son, see at the mark at his right leg”, “Your mutant dog has bit my daughter, look at the bite marks at her arm”. Every time such a complain came, I had to show the certificate that it had been vaccinated for Rabies but the complainants were not convinced and so I had to part with Rs. 500 to Rs. 700 for giving to the victims for their vaccination and conveyance to a hospital for every bite made by my dog who looks like a dwarf coming out straight from a “Hobbit” movie franchise. Left with no other choice, I had to give it back to the owner again. My daughter is still swearing and cursing me for giving it back.

From dog to cat. The cat of our house is a typical looking grey one striped with black. It’s the strangest cat I have ever come across in my life. Most of the cats I’ve come across usually sleep during daytime and stands guard vigilantly during night time looking for mice and other night crawlers acting as a safety net for the house. But this cat sleeps the whole day and sleeps even deeper at night on the couch.

It is a fact that cats are known their love for milk but this one doesn’t even bother to give a glance at milk poured at a tumbler in front of it, Neither does it like fresh fish nor red meat. It only eats dry fish. So far, it hasn’t caught a mouse, neither a lizard nor a small insect. It is the laziest cat I have ever seen in my life. I call it “Hermit”. My wife nomenclate it with the phrase “Like owner, like cat”.

Now, coming to poultry, my wife rears some ducks in two different batches as well as some chickens. Now, the small chicks have grown into big hens and cocks. From my neighbours’ poultry, the sound of “Cock-a-doodle-do” could be heard early in the morning starting from 2 a.m. But the ones reared by my wife would start doodling from 8 a.m. As for the ducks, the smaller ones would chase around and bite the bigger ones on a routine basis until they become almost featherless, a hideous sight to see.

Over and above all the weirdos mentioned above, the case of my missing socks still prevails. Sometimes I wonder if some kinda paranormal activity is going on in my house. Or could the “God of Socks” have incurred its wrath upon me for no reason? Sometimes I had to go to the office with similar coloured socks. To conclude, mine is a weirdo house and ironically the weirdos I have mentioned above are not crafted imaginations but true life events. Dang it !!

* Samarjit Kambam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on October 26, 2017.

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