Ludwig consented to eat dinner with us last night. We felt so thrilled. I suggested to the monster that I should call a few more young people (one of my cousins was going to come as well). Young people as in, not kids of course. I am not known for my skills in handling kids sans parents, definitely not between the hours of 7 and 10 in the night on a school day. So, young people >18 years of age, and preferably not dependent on mommy for eating purposes. That was my criterion. Monster nicked that one in the bud. I don't think she meant it seriously, sometimes she says the exact opposite of what she wants. Anyway, Perakath could not make it either due to the earliness of the hour, so it was a small tight gathering consisting cosily of ludwig and cousin and me and monster - the husband arrived later in the night by which time everyone was back home, some working, some chatting, and some snoring (meaning, me).
Now this brings me to ludwig. sometimes I think he is like Kevin Bacon, but with a difference. I like Kevin Bacon (no, that is not the difference; minus twenty points for thinking that). My favourite K.Bacon movie of all is called the "AIR UP THERE" - its a basketball movie from a long time ago that has the dude go some place in Africa and kick some basketball ass. Its famous for a dialogue which goes "Read it and weep!" in a context that I will not belabour here.
Six degrees of separation, right. Only, with ludwig, its less. Usually whenever I meet someone, this is what happens.
"Hi, my name is Kenny. Do you know ludwig?"
"Yes, yes, I met him in XYZ in the year RTY"
"Oh! Nice guy no? And Machan, have you noticed his head?"
"How do YOU know him"
"Me? From here and there. We were in college and grad school and cambridge and asha meeting and so on together"
"I see. He does that thing right? (** thing being something absolutely crazy sounding, movie reviews, standing on ones head, eatomania contests, stuff of legend like that **)"
I mean, it could be ANYBODY. Of any of the three genders that abound on this bountiful earth. Sorry, I meant two. They invariably, inexplicably, know ludwig. Some refer to his love of animals. Some claim they like him because he swears like a sailor. Some say they worked (!) with him. Some were his roommates. Some are his running buddies. Some have participated in Eatomania with him (and lost). Some are his shopping mates.
Now coming to the monster. Last night, when I told her he is coming over, she expressed her happiness by completely ignoring my statement. She was hanging out in a corner of the kitchen reading 'Ramayana for children' behind the fridge because she felt shy of my cousin. Then once ludwig showed up she sprinted up the stairs, forced me to go with her to her cupboard (I do wish, that some cupboard in my house, old mother hubbard, would be bare, most are overflowing with stuff usually this one surely was). I suggested puzzle X Y & Z. She dissed it all. Searched hard for the Unicorn Jigsaw Puzzle and brought it down. No words were initially exchanged. But soon enough everyone was solving the Unicorn Puzzle. Ludwig was at his abusive best and the monster was abusive back with 'knobs on' in her words.
Some twenty years hence I guess the monster will be a person who will say
"I know ludwig, we used to solve puzzles together"
Its something, I guess. And me? I was just happy to eat dinner with people that don't need to be fed... And who eat heartily and like food and don't dislike Green Peas.