There are from time to time small talk situations in which Ramona is slightly in loss for words – mostly due to the boldness of Indian people’s words! Let me tell you what happened recently at the Ashram.
An old school friend of mine recently came to the Ashram to visit us together with his wife. After the initial greeting and telling each other that everything was going good, my friend’s wife looked around, noticed that we were doing some small renovation work again and said ‘You are constructing again!’
Purnendu said something along the lines of ‘Well, we want to have the home beautiful when you are coming!’ in his typical joking-charming way and she answered with a laugh ‘You are fixing your floor when I am coming. That is good, then you cannot say that your floor tiles broke from my weight!’ And they laughed.
Ramona was standing next to them in total confusion after this typically Indian verbal exchange: what would you answer to that? You may need to know here that this lady is, indeed, quite heavy.
‘Oh, don’t say that, you are not that big!’ – well, I think you can hardly say that to a woman who has three times the width of yourself while being about the same height!
‘Those stones need to be broken next, can you just come over here?’ – Might be funny but Ramona would never make a joke that suggests another person is overweight! But she clearly is and she made the joke first!
Oh, Ramona told me later in amazement that no western woman whom she knew would ever talk of herself and her own weight like this! We were laughing because this woman had just been honest, throwing Ramona in complete confusion.
Do you know such situations when you later think of a witty thing to answer? Ramona has been thinking for days now and still could not find that one line in reply to this joke! 🙂