Monday, March 24, 2008

Persistent and how…



When we were young, and had company over for dinner, I remember a strange ritual. My mother would ask the guest if he wanted a second helping, he would decline and yet my mom would persuade him and serve him some more. It was funny because we knew he wanted more, yet he expected us to force him to eat more!! That was my first initiation into the art of persistent hospitality. We Indians are very persistent hosts. Especially to people we like…especially when it comes to food. especially to anyone who visits home...

Psst...We are also persistent breeders, as the population statistics go...but that's not what this post is all about.

When I moved to Delhi, the neighbor, a portly lady, invited us for lunch. ‘You are so thin’ she exclaimed in horror and proceeded to dump steaming hot parathas (Indian savory bread) with dollops of butter right on my already overfilled plate. It took me hours to finish it, partly because I don’t like butter and partly because I wanted her to get tired of waiting for me to finish. :-P

It’s been 14 years, but the ritual is always the same. People tsk at our ‘thinness’, and proceed to fatten us up… The amount of dishes cooked often varies with how close the person is to us… If you are the son-in-law, then you can be assured of being smothered with food!!! It’s just that stomachs rebel…My hubby finds it hard to decline a second helping politely…, he always ends up being served a third helping… !

In my case it's the opposite... If it’s a close friend/cousin/sister, we’ll be lucky if we get any food, because we would be so busy chattering away!!Now if you happen to have a full platter waiting for you at my home, it does not mean that i don't consider you a friend, it means i have had some advance notice...and that you are lucky to have got it served to you before i started chatting...

On the other hand, if the platter's ready and i keep serving you and serving you so that you have no time to talk., then...you get the picture...:-P
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fitted well with the writer's island prompt this time

42 comments:

Joy said...

"tired of waiting for me to finish"
I really liked your sweet little plot against your neighbor...Very true and well said.

keith hillman said...

I visited a house in Jaipur last year and experienced a very similar situation.I could hardly be decribed as looking undernourished, yet I could hardly stand up after I'd worked my way through mountain after mountain of food!

Prats said...

hehehe.....oh yes!!! I know all about this consistent fattening the thin people techniques..Its like we're so starved and don't know how to ask for the second helping , so they help us out.
Andnot to worry...the lpatter at ur home might just wait there, while I join in the chatter and yap yap... :D

tumblewords said...

Love this post! I know people who push food - and also people who forget to eat! Nicely told!

Ps said...

Oh my God! You blooged about one of my pet peeves again!(Fattening people up in the name of hospitality!)
Oh yes--who wants food when there's someone interesting to chat with!

texasblu said...

lol! I've have some of the persistent hostesses from Italy do that to me in the past. Very entertaining on the persistence prompt. That was my choice as well. :)

Greyscale Territory said...

Persistent hospitality! Yes! That tends to be the sign of a great host/ess!

Lovely posting!

Gemma

rayshma said...

neither vin nor i need to be 'told' to take seconds... that was FYI... in case we visit u! :0)
and pls help urself when u come over... coz i'm horrible at being persistent at feeding people. i just presume that they can't eat any more of what i've cooked... so i don't force.. LOL!

J said...

Hahaha.. yep, it kinda seems funny, when the guest declines and yet agrees to another helping.

Been ages since I had a second helping :P

~nm said...

Somehow I never appreciate being forced to take an extra helping. And there were times when I used to get irritated when someone would ask me over and over again after I had said "No thanks!" coz I was never shy when it came to food :P

And using the same funda I never asked my guests again if they wanted more once they said "no". But I'm learning.. :D

As I'ver realised over time there are tonnes of people who like to be asked multiple times for another helping :)

Shoonyata said...

this happens every time I go to Kerala :)))

thanks for visiting....

--xh-- said...

'tired of waiting for me to finish' - i should try this next time :-) thnx for teh tip... i am not at all thin, but still get to atste thsi persistent host thingie.. generally, i dont eat much quantity tough i am a hard core foodie. when ppl see teh quantity i take, they become more persistent... :-(

Gazal said...

LOL
and indians are persistent hosts to thin and not so thin,too !!!!

we want to force the helpings so that we could help ourselves to some more without guilt....i have observed this happening very often

GoldnPoems said...

hehehehehe::: he who hogs lasts!

Thinking aloud said...

@ goldnpoems

he who hogs lasts ...but in the bathroom...:)

@ gazal...
is that teh reason? lol

@ xh...
another tip? if i'm forced to eat more than i want to, i politely threaten to puke all over the floor :-p

2 shoonyata...
:)

Ziah said...

Hehehe suma! :) Very true. Often these hosts get offended if you dont eat till your pants pop open..:) But I don't prod people to eat if they don't want to. So when you come over... feel free!:)

Rambler said...

persistent breeders :D hehhe, how can we be persistant lol

Its even worse when the person is very think, like me, people think I am think because I don't eat much..and hence force me into more helpings :)

pink dogwood said...

It happens a lot when I visit India - and I am not even thin :)

Richard said...

So true. Before I had friends in India, I'd loose weight when I traveled. Now that I have friends I'm one of the few foreigners who returns heavier than when he left.

Thinking aloud said...

@ joy...

I have many more up my sleeve ;)..wanna few tips?

@ keith...

lol...I hope you could stomach it ;)?

@ tumble words...

thank you...people who forget to eat...hmmm add me to that list...I tend to do that sometimes...

@ ps...

heh...heh...thinking alike again are we? so i guess we better meet in a cafe etc..where the food is made to order ;)

Thinking aloud said...

@ texasblu...

lol...
i loved your post too...'

@ prats...
hey join the fun, the more the merrier!!!

@ gemma,
hey no, i am a great hostess...but i just cannot force people to eat more...

Thinking aloud said...

2 ray...
That snippet has been stored away in the "to remembr ' part of my brain for future use...:)


2 j...
hey you just have to help yourself!!! ;)

@ nm...
after loose experiences...i too am very firm in saying NO... but there are peopel who wait for you to force them to eat more...ahh well! to each his own...

@ ziah...
heh..heh...I've had to loosen my pant belt many a time :(..can you believe that? hey you gonna be in blore then?

@ rambler...
and people think i'm thin cos i diet..and i go red and blue in the face trying to explain that my stomach can't take any more...

Madhumita said...

See, the Delhi incident is proof that you are indeed somewhat wicked! :D . As I mentioned somewhere earlier!

This is the second blog I'm reading today (first was Prats) that is so bang on about some of our good old Indian traits. Heck, even I am guilty of this fattening people business. Zimbly louve it!

Joy said...

You are tagged.
http://talloakroad.blogspot.com/2008/03/i-like-you-i-like-you-not.html

Guruprasad said...

in my case i think the persistent feeders succeeded in fattening me up :(

i wonder when the sacrifice will follow?

loved the post!

Solitaire said...

You are blessed with thinness?

Sigh!

Thinking aloud said...

@ gp...

scarifice?...aren't you walking? :D

@ solitaire...

a good rant and all you read was that? ;)

don't sigh..i've inherited my father's genes...

Thinking aloud said...

@madhu: wicked and moi? *innocence personified...u love feeding people? okie, for you a lil sacrifice...partly b'cos u have a food blog...

I'm veg okay? :D

@ joy: *wide grin...what a tag, am gonna have some fun here...:D

UL said...

:) this had me smiling and so did your 'I dont get it' post, now I know what I have been missing...you did well :)

Just Jen said...

I'm extremely skinny too, and once i was at a wedding and at my table an indian was seated. I had to eat 3 platefuls of spaghetti then I excused myself because it was an italian wedding and that was on the first course, there were 9 more and I wasn't going to make it...lol
Hospitality is right! :D
LOL, one plate will do!

Talk to the hand said...

How true! I think its ridiculous that this obsessive persistence is supposed to make one the perfect hostess...its hypocrisy.

romila said...

Persistent host and persistent breeders...hee hee.. how true!

In some parts of india, leftover food in a guest's plate meant he/she has had his/her fill...and are served till he/she cannot eat anymore and had to waste food.

forgetfulone said...

great take on the prompt! I think American moms/grandmothers also want to "fatten up" their grandkids. I wonder why that is?

UL said...

suma, you caught the bouquet before i had a achance to inform you.. hope you like it..wanted to gift it as a surprise, but you caught me red-handed. :)

Compassion Unlimitted said...

Persistent hospitality!..just wonderful coinage ..shall i buy my ticket to singapore ..your hubby will have a good com[pany for the revered third helping..lol

TC
CU

Thinking aloud said...

@ cu: ...sure..but that makes it expensive hospitality...lol

@UL: ...I'm glad you thought of me...thank you...

@ forgetfulone: i think most grandparents are guilty of that...:D

@romila: i remember that custom..thanks for the tip...will come in handy on my trip to india...:)

@talktothe hand..: heh..heh...guess you had teh full dose on your trip home..:)

@jen: gulp...9 more? wow!!! did you manage finally to taste everything? tho i didn't get teh context of the indian at your table...wrt to the hospitality...

@Ul: hey thanks...now if only i could write poetry as well as you do...

c e e d y said...

hehe

I am saved from this here - it is tough.....I usually sit next to my brother if he is around.....he loves to eat - i cannot say no - he is shy to ask for more.....people like to be persistent......

everyone wins.......

if he is not around - stomach aches....

Thinking aloud said...

ceedy: lol...brotherly love?...:)

Sumana said...

lol funny, we know what to expect now

ruSh.Me said...

Persistence is the Root Cause of MY Misery!!!! :((

Thanks to Mom n All my Aunties....!!

Brenda said...

As an American, I always considered this type of hospitality part of my family's German heritage, but based on comments here it seems this gesture must cross boundaries of nationality. When I was a skinny young girl it wasn't a problem ... but those days are now long gone and I struggle to control my diet.

Neera said...

ha ha ha ..and my dad always said "Main to bhookha hi reh jaata hoon" after playing the role of the persistent host to the tee :)