Story So Far: It is a story of a man who met with his friend after so long and invited his friend, COL Buxi to home for a dinner. The day has arrived when Col Buxi & family will be their guest. The host family was worried about the kind of language Col Buxi uses. They have adopted a strategy so that their guest would get less time to talk. What was the strategy? Find out in the last part. 

Part 5: The Strategy

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Eat more and talk less, was our strategy. We ourselves will not moot any new topic. Talking was to be avoided except bare exchange of pleasantries and smiles in response to whatever matters were raised by the visitors. For serving tea we would be joining our maid in a manner that we are seen engaged. All logistics were in place when the door bell buzzed. My feet trudged towards the door to receive the gatecrashers. A well- groomed lady and a young man were led by Col Buxi. So far so good. We straightaway led them to the dining table. Col Buxi was chatty. In all the hundred minutes of their stay he was speaking as if we had always been in touch. His sense of witticism had further sharpened. The whole family was gentler and friendly in speech.

But the most mystifying change about the father-son duo was total absence of expletives in their talk. They were as civilised and polished in talking as one should ideally be. We were startled by the striking change in their communicational change. All along I was waiting for the ugly moment when their mouths would erupt like a volcano and throw out the lava of abuses and obscene phrases. I was all prepared for that ugly exigency, ready with the plans to apply brakes and wind up the assembly. But that situation never ever arose.

“Get-to-gather after so long”

My wife gathered her wits and asked Mrs Buxi, “What is responsible for the change of the Colonel’s deeply ingrained habit? Is it his approaching retirement?”

“No, nothing of the sort. He has been using slangs for decades. It is the coming of a daughter to the home, that has brought about the change,” she said.

“So finally you have adopted a daughter,” I asked. I recalled Mrs Buxi’s often repeated words. Whenever she felt exasperated with Col Buxi’s slang, in a cursing tone she would say, “I wish I had a daughter in lieu of a son.”

And upon that every time I had suggested, “Why don’t you adopt a daughter now?”

“No. I have a daughter of my own. I mean a biological daughter. She came to our family 16 years after the birth of our male child. Now, my family comprises my husband, a son and a daughter.” She had continued, “The idea has worked well. After her birth the father-son duo have stopped talking rot. Not only the Colonel himself has stopped, he has been disciplining our son also to observe restraint in his expression. Also, booze bottles don’t clink in our house any more. The cigarette butts too have substantially declined. The little one, more than a daughter is a dawn of civility in our home.”

“Where is your dawn of civility? I don’t see her here,” I asked. “She is in the care of a nanny at home. The following October she will be one year old,” came her reply.

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