My mama (mother’s brother) had been trying to reach me frantically. I didn’t answer the calls because it was 1st Jan and that isn’t how I want to start any new year. Sure, he has genuine affection for me and I have fought with parents to defend him. (My mother claimed his wife was using witchcraft against her. Whose side was I to take in that discussion?)
But he is a manipulative jerk and I feel zero guilt for ghosting him every few years.
Thankfully, he had the basic courtesy to Whatsapp me the reason for the call. He was inviting me for a Jagran in his hometown and wanted me to attend with my plus one.
Jagran is how religious people party and shake their booty in a dry state.
Flashback to college days
I was on my annual vacation to maternal granny’s house where the whole family had gathered. Everyone was going crazy talking about Jagran. Studying in a boarding school meant I was completely out of touch with traditions. Someone explained that Jagran means dressing up and dancing all night to a professional singer’s beats. That sounded like fun and I put in hours into my traditional dress (lehenga and choli) and make up.
When I reached the venue, it took a few minutes to understand what was happening. There was a professional singer surrounded by pictures of Gods. Jagran meant singing and dancing along to Bhajans. Even at that tender age of 18 years, I was a true rebel and walked out of the venue and went home to sleep by 10 pm to the horror and embarrassment of my mother.
And it is memories of such ‘parties’ that make me palpitate every time am invited to one.
Completely oblivious to my allergy to anything remotely religious, mama tried to make the proposition exciting by telling me all my relatives are invited, it is on Holi which is followed by a weekend and he wants me to bring KC. Why would I willingly walk into a nest of vipers?
I started counting the number of Salman Khan movies KC would make me watch in a theatre to get even for this kind of torture. Worse, he would send me forwards on Whatsapp from his Whatsapp groups. Nobody deserves that kind of negativity in their life. Not even me.
I told him I would see. Making concrete excuses is difficult 2 months before the event.
I miss being banned from the family.