Events, life lessons, madras, Marriage, Travel

Questions & Answers

I’ve been away from my blog for a month because I’ve been traveling, moving and recovering from jet lag. Towards the end of 2014 I was in Madras for my brothers wedding. I was there to provide my brother with moral support and a steady stream of fart jokes. The wedding and reception were on the 30th and 31st which meant everyone was on a year end holiday so were free to attend the wedding.

My grandmother arrived a week before in order to spend some time with us. Now my grandma is a rockstar. She only ever travels with her entourage. Its like she is the honey and the entourage are the bees around it. Wherever she goes, they go. One of the ladies from her entourage, lets call her Jan, is considered to be her hand maiden. Jan is a character. Her voice has a particular pitch which is indescribable. She is loud, demanding and always wants to be the centre of attention. She is also extremely helpful and makes the best ginger tea. Jan is from Tirunelveli, just like my family. She isn’t educated, so her only mode of “learning” is the television.

Ever since both, my grandma and Jan laid their eyes on me, the only question they asked me was “Are you pregnant?”. Not “When do you intend to have a child?”, but straight up “Are you pregnant?”. I think, I THINK, I might have put on some weight since my wedding two years ago.

I am used to evading this question. I’ve had two years of experience tackling it. So this time around it didn’t bother me much. I just smiled and said “God willing”. I didn’t even bat an eyelid when on the eve of her return back to Tirunelveli Jan said, “The next time you come you should have a boy baby!”. I just attributed her need to stress on the sex of the child to her education which was nil and to her exposure to the outside world which again, is through the idiot box. I also ignored my grandma nodding in agreement to her. My grandma is over 90 years old, has ten children and so many grandchildren and great grandchildren that she can’t be bothered to count. I am just next on her list to procreate.

Once the wedding was over we had a stream of relatives come by our house to see the new bride and groom. This gave me a chance to meet all of them again before I left and also gave me the practice to hit the “When are you going to have a baby” questions outside the park. One of the women who came to visit us was a lady who I liked a lot. She is in the education field and I held her in high regard. After chit chatting and drinking adequate cups of tea it was time for her to leave. She hugged me and said in my ear, “God willing, the next time you come, you should come with a baby boy.”

Now this lady is educated. Her profession was in the field of education. She is smart, enterprising and SO BACKWARD. I do not understand her need to stress on the gender of the child. And what is this obsession with having a boy?! Did people not understand the biology they taught in school? There is a 50-50 chance of the fetus turning out any which way. No matter what we say or do isn’t going to control the sex of the fetus! We can hope, wish and pray for a boy but whoopsie when there’s a girl at the end of nine months nobody can be held responsible.

It honestly amazes me that this lady with all her education could say something like that. I didn’t bother when Jan said it, because Jan and her world are very small. But if both minds work this way then what use is education when people fail to grasp the basic concepts of life? And when is this pride of having a son going to fade? People should be thrilled at the prospects of having a girl. They should concentrate on bringing up an educated and strong woman, instead of “When you were born, we thought you would be a boy.”

The most worrying part of having a girl, at least from my observation, is what the parents will “give” her at the time of the wedding. This problem can be solved if everyone “gives” their a child, boy or girl, education and sound moral character. In this utopia both the sexes are strong enough that they don’t posses the need to compensate for their gender by bringing in money and material things into the relationship.

Clearly this utopia can only be a dream because for some people, no amount of education can rectify their basic thinking.

Also, no, I’m no pregnant.

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America, Eating Out, Food, life, Marriage, random, The H, Weekends

Weekend Shenanigans – Part Deux

I’m not big on Hallmark holidays but once I heard that Friday was National Donut Day (yeah, its a thing) I had to get some donut in to my system. We woke up bright and easily on Saturday, excited to try out a local donut shop called Stan’s Donut and it was such a disappointment. I had to erase that memory of the bad donut so Sunday evening we went to a good ol’ donut corporation – Krispy Kreme and I had my favorite original glazed chocolate donut. To further quell my greed I had two more. Go ahead and judge me. It was worth it.

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I have this terrible sickness where if I start watching a tv show or a movie I have to watch it till the end no matter how terrible it is. This past couple of months I painfully sat though Desperate Housewives. It was so exhausting but I HAD to know what happens in the end. Now I am watching the last season of Beverly Hills that I stopped while I was in college with a bit of 30 Rock on the side. I’m itching to watch Orange is The New Black but waiting for my finals to end before I get sucked in to that vortex.

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A couple of nights back in order to save the mutton from getting burnt Jay mutilated my tea vessel to place it inside the pressure cooker. I haven’t had my Lipton tea in two days now and I’m going just the tiniest bit insane. Speaking of tea, Oprah came up with a new tea. Starbucks sells it, so if you want one you have to ask for an “Oprah Chai Tea Latte”. Its a mouthful. N is a huge Oprah fan so I tried the tea for her sake. It tasted like sugar water with ground cloves. Americans have such average taste buds. They should taste my mother’s ginger tea. It’s so good that she could mass manufacture it.

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America, life, Marriage, random

Here, There and Everywhere

I never thought I’d ever say this but domesticity is starting to suit me. Sure, there are days when I just want to veg out on the couch watching Netflix and eating from a never ending bag of Cheetos but, there are days when cleaning and cooking feels comforting.

One of my favorite things to do is vacuuming the floor and laundry (not folding the laundry but just dumping clothes in to the washer). I love the luxury of not thinking that these menial tasks offer. I do dishes to the sound of Netflix. I’m watching Parenthood right now. Not as good as Gossip Girl reruns but it will do. I enjoy fresh bed spreads a little too much. What I do not enjoy as much is cleaning the bathroom. I think I have every kind of toilet cleaning liquid manufactured. Cleaning products are my crack. I miss throwing water around bathrooms like we could in India.

I need to get some cleaning wipes to wipe down my leather couch. Suggestions are welcome.

I need to load some dishes in to the dish washer. Can you do it for me?

While you’re at it, can you clean the kitchen?

I need to put the clothes inside the dryer. But I don’t want to get off my couch.

Also, need to buy dish washing liquid. The tangerine flavored liquid is awesome.

End domesticity.

 

 

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America, Food, life, Marriage

How I Make Dinner

My experiences in grocery shopping was limited to driving my mother to the store and later, pushing around the cart while she did the shopping. After moving out (and being married) I have to do my own grocery shopping. Living in the Bay Area it isn’t hard to find an Indian store. You’ve just got to follow the saree clad Aunty and she will lead you right to it.

I love the store we go to. They always play old Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi songs. My mum listens to these songs endlessly when she cooks. So now every time I’m at the store I feel like she is next to me shouting at me for picking up the wrong tomato . The only veggies I know how to make reasonably enough are okra and potato, and the staple of any Indian kitchen onions and tomatoes. So I made them for a few weeks oblivious to the fact that there were other vegetables in the world.

One fine day we were sick of okra and potatoes. Jay was being spontaneous and picked out a random vegetable. We didn’t know what it was called. So we did a Google image search (thanks technology!) and found that it was Bottle Gourd. Another Google search later we figured out what we could do with it. And thus lunch was made.

As a novice in the kitchen, I would be right where I started if it wasn’t for technology. But I have now surpassed my own expectations. While I’m not yet a wizard in the kitchen, I can cook a tasty meal to survive. I have to give credit where credit is due and I thank all the amazing food bloggers who help me make dinner. If it weren’t for you, this household would just be a Maggi fest all day everyday. So thank you Nags from cookingandme, The Pioneer Woman and Haathi from Hungry and Excited for doing what you do.

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America, Eww Stuff, life, life lessons, Marriage

Is it clean or is it green?

Today I put a bunch of clothes in the washer. Actually, I put too many clothes inside and the washer stopped working. So I took out half the amount of clothes and a red dress whose colour I know for a fact runs. I put two cycle of clothes in the washer. I thought I was smart, taking out the red dress and all. I opened the washer and the clothes looked alright to me. I put them in the drier, happy that I had accomplished this task without any major blunders.

Fourty minutes later the drier beeped. I opened the drier and found that the green color from some random piece of clothing had managed to run. A few of my clothes had grey/green streaks all over and my white t shirt was white no more. I’ve now learnt my lessons : two loads in the washer, one for color and one for white clothes. Also, don’t think you are smarter than the washer.

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life, Marriage

Let’s connect.

In the 21st century a marriage is often between three entities – the husband, wife and the cell phone. The cell phone is at the dinner table, he watches the television and also comes to bed with you. Granted the cell phone is useful to keep in touch with family and friends who live far away but more often than not it is also an uninvited permanent guest in your house.

At home I try to keep away from the cell phone myself. But only a few minutes pass by and my hand searches for the cool, slim feel of my phone. I keep checking it even when it isn’t required. I always need to check my Facebook , not out of necessity but more out of habit. I need to remind myself that nothing much changes in the span of ten minutes. Instagram, although fun, is one of my biggest vices. I feel the need to check my phone the first thing in the morning to see what’s new. I need to see how many people ‘like’ my picture. It doesn’t matter that it’s morning and breakfast needs to be made, no, let’s first see what’s up on Instagram.

Maintaining a healthy distance from my cell phone is something I’m trying to do this year and I’ve also enlisted Jay to accompany me in this difficult journey. I know that going cold turkey will not work. I need to slowly wean myself away from the phone. I’d like to think that Jay is a worse than me when it comes to this. He works on the computer the whole day, comes home and we watch TV for a while with a handful of interruptions thanks to the cell phone. It’s either my whatsapp messages beeping or him checking mails, Facebook, etc.

Why do we need to always be so in tune with what’s new? Didn’t we survive just as well without these constant updates? Technology has made us so dependable that we need real time updates on who commented on our Facebook status and omg the world will end if you didn’t get that and reply in time  Before these ‘apps’ and mobile social networking we would log in to Facebook, and check e-mails maybe  once or twice a day and that was okay.

So this year I’m making a conscious decision to cut down my cell phone time by at least a half. It doesn’t help that there is a WordPress app too. But hey, you should try, right?

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