Stuff’s been going on

Hi guys, sorry for my long absence. I have been super busy, with work and non-work stuff. My in laws got here a couple of months back. This is their first visit ever to the US. In fact to any country other than India. 

When they reached Newark airport, I was unable to receive them as I could not take a day off from work. I was expecting them to be severely jet-lagged and hoped they would rest till I get back from work. But they were so excited about coming here and seeing their son that they weren’t sleepy at all and started doing household chores immediately!

As this is their first visit, we have been taking them around. So far we have taken them to Niagara falls, all over New York City, Lake Placid and surrounding areas to see fall colors and Bushkill falls in Pennsylvania. This is their last weekend here. Sam and I are so going to miss them 😦

At first I wasn’t sure if I would get along with them. This is my first long stay with them. I expressed my apprehensions to my sister who assured me they will be nice as they’re the parents of the nicest person in the world! And sure enough, within the first couple of days itself I started feeling at ease to be around them. 

Amma and Appa are both extremely nice. They love their children (especially Sam, I suspect) more than anything else in the world. Amma is a really good cook, like all mothers are. Sam and I have been very busy devouring soft idlis, dosas, other different sweet and savory south indian foodstuffs that are hard to spell. Appa cuts vegetables, amma cooks, and appa does the dishes, does the laundry and cleans the house. They don’t let me or Sam do ANY work. We have become increasingly lazy and I have no idea how we’re going to get back to all the work when they leave 😦

That’s pretty much what’s been going on in the non-work section. Work stuff deserves another post! On a side note, both my sister and my sister-in-law are pregnant 😀 😀 More babies in the world!!! 😀

A surge of emotion

I, like many other Indians, have lamented plenty about the condition of India, the poorly constructed roads, the corruption, the sexism, the racism, the poverty, overpopulation, uncleanliness, and so many more. I used to love living here, and usually dreaded even talking about the moment when we will decide to move back to India for good. Lately though, things have changed. The change is ineffable. I can’t pinpoint what triggered it.

How I realized it –

One of my American colleagues, lets call him DP, recently made a trip to India. He stayed in Hyderabad for about a month except when he visited the Taj Mahal on one of the weekends. When he got back, he made it very clear that he had a terrible time there. He complained continuously about the food there – “Even their breakfast is spicy. Who in the world eats spicy food for breakfast!”; he complained about people – “The men are so touchy feely! I had a tough time figuring out if they’re gay or just have bad manners.”; he complained about lack of women – “I was hoping to find love there. On day one it was clear I wasn’t going to find any (unless I turned gay, heh)” and he went on and on.

Hearing someone else talking crap about my country affected me in a strange way. I found myself getting riled up and wanting to justify every complain he made. Sure my country has its drawbacks, no country is perfect! I found I was getting really bothered by it. I tried to laugh it off when he talked about it with me, but I found it very hard to not snap.

I guess you only realize how much you love your country when someone else criticizes it. I have lately started feeling this dull ache and a sense of longing when I think about moving back. I hope the time comes soon when we take the big step.

The funny part is, Sam used to tell me all along that a day will come when I will want to move back to India. I hate it when he’s right.

The married life

I have lost count of the people who have asked me how my married life is. The answer is, it’s the same as before. Well, almost. Me and the husband had been living together for more than 2 years before we got married. We already had many unspoken agreements on how stuff needs to be done and who does what and when, without having a firm schedule. Whatever needs to be done is done by whoever has the time and inclination at that point in time.

There have been a few changes with respect to the extended family though. Prior to the wedding, they used to refrain from talking to me on the phone too much, as they weren’t thrilled with the idea of their son/brother/brother-in-law getting married to a non Tam-brahm. Also, since they didn’t know we were living together, they didn’t really have a way to talk to me much. After the wedding, all that has changed. The in-laws want to talk to me every single day. They want me to call them on Skype and sit in front of the webcam for a couple of hours every couple of days.

Initially I was basking in all the attention I was getting. But now its kind of getting to me :-/ I am not a phone person. People who know me know that very well. I don’t call people, I don’t answer calls or respond to voicemail. Text me and I will get back to you within the next 10 seconds. But if you call me, I will respond in as timely a manner as AT&T would (which means never, for people who have had the good fortune of never needing to interact with them)

All that is minor stuff. Compared to the in-laws I have heard and read about my in laws are awesome. They tell me everyday to not do a lot of work and remind Sam everyday that he needs to do as much or more work than I do. They take as much interest in my job and the work I do as that of Sam. My FIL in fact is waiting for my app to hit the app store so he can download it 🙂 He has already downloaded all the apps I have worked on so far and keeps showing them to visitors. When we were in India, he spent an hour demonstrating some of my app’s features to the next door neighbour who doesn’t even carry a dumb phone. Needless to say, they have stopped visiting now 😐

My MIL has always been overprotective of her son. Now that same overprotectiveness has extended to me. She keeps giving us tips to make ourselves healthier. Some of them make sense, others are outright hilarious. I know she means well, so I just nod along. Here are some of them –

1. Sam should NEVER eat oatmeal or anything with oats. It causes impotence.

2. Do not eat pizza. It is made out of pigs.

3. Put at least a tablespoon of coconut in everything you cook (including atta for rotis). Your kids will be very fair.

4. Neither Sam nor I should ever go to the gym. Or go on a healthy diet. (don’t know the reason for this one.)

5. Not to drink any coffee except Udhayam filter coffee. The others have some amounts of alcohol in them.

and so on. Both Sam and I hear these gems of advice and obviously don’t heed any of them (except the pizza one, as Sam has cholesterol)

They are visiting us this September, so I think I will have many more to add to this list by the end of their stay. Stay tuned 😀

Catch up

Sorry for the long absence. The past couple of months have been terribly busy. I finally joined my new job. I was very under prepared for what was in store there. I thought I would get time to familiarize myself with the new surroundings and get a lot of time to learn the product and the technology behind it. But no! On my first day itself they put me on the product development team and assigned me a few defects to fix! So for the first few days I was running around and trying to take in as much knowledge as possible. I must say though, things have improved quite a bit now.

Oh, and I got married! The wedding deserves a whole new post, if not a series of posts. It was very stressful, as all weddings are, and also a lot of fun! I spent the entire month of Feb gorging on wonderful South Indian and equally awesome Mumbai food 🙂 Needless to say, I put on many pounds (8! 😦 )

People have been asking us where we are going for our honeymoon. Well, we really want to take some time off as I have been very very busy the past month. So guys please give me suggestions! We have already been to Switzerland, Germany and France (though I wouldn’t mind going there again :D) A few places that came up during our discussions were –

Peru (Machhu Pichu etc, maybe make a detour and explore a bit of Rio and Brazil)
London (many many friends and relatives there)
NZ (lord of the rings ftw!)
Hawaii (Not super keen, but convince me!)
Cancun or the Bermudas
No vacation, reserve leaves for next India trip
No vacation, enjoy summer in NYC (Sam’s suggestion, Booooringggg)

What do you think?

To the end of bachelorhood!

People who have known me for quite some time know that I have always been commitment-phobic. Don’t get me wrong. I have always been faithful to the (3) men I’ve been in a relationship with, but the idea of spending the rest of my life with the first two always got me rattled. Probably deep down inside I knew they weren’t “the one” for me. All this until I met Sam. A couple of months into our relationship I knew he was the one. But to my closest friends, it came as somewhat of a shock when we announced we’re engaged. And the last weekend a few of them threw me a great bachelorette party to usher in the new era. 

N called me and asked if I was free Saturday and Sunday. I was free the entire weekend as Sam had his bachelor party the same day. His bachelor party really involved the guys going for lunch at Saravana Bhavan, followed by watching a Tamil movie – Vishwaroopam (which he strongly disliked) and then an evening of bowling at Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square, with a dinner at Mamoun’s Falafel. When he announced his plan to me, I casually asked, “Umm and when are you going to the strip club?”. I received a very dirty stare in response and I let it drop. And then he asks me, “Do you want to come?”. Sigh. The idea of a bachelor party is lost on him. 

Anyway so I met the girls for lunch which N whipped up. Consisted of kadhi khichdi, rice, aloo parathas with achar and raita, homemade spinach-paneer samosas and the pièce de résistance  was her “paneer patiala takatak”. All in all a sumptuous spread. After stuffing ourselves with generous helpings of the delicious food, we left for an afternoon spa session. Had a wonderful time pampering ourselves with mani-pedi, followed with a deep conditioning and hot oil treatment for the hair and ended with coloring and styling. 

Feeling refreshed, we went back to her place, decked ourselves in our evening wear, covered it all up with thick winter wear as an afterthought (it was -15 outside) and left for dinner. Dinner was at a Sri Lankan restaurant called Sigiri in SoHo which K picked. The food there was delicious! Even after our super heavy lunch at N’s, we had Dhal Vade and Sri Lankan spring rolls as appetizers, Kotthu Roti and egg Adai appam with dhal curry in the main course. The restaurant was BYOB, so we carried a Merlot red wine with us. 

After dinner and drinks we headed to this elusive dessert place called Spot Dessert again in SoHo. We’d heard of it a lot from many people so decided it was the right day to try it out. And boy were we glad! It was a teeny tiny place, almost a hole in the wall. We ordered a honey toast thing with ice-cream and strawberries (oh so delish), a green tearamisu (passable, not for people who dislike green tea) and P wanted to stay simple so ordered a plain vanilla with chocolate pearls and syrup (simple and awesome). Washed it down with some vietnamese coffee (strong and ideal for a cold day). Bottomline – if you happen to visit NYC, you have got to try this place. Check it out here – http://www.spotdessertbar.com/

After dessert we headed back to N’s place. She recently became the proud owner of a 60 inch TV, so put some movie (I don’t even remember which) and I went straight to sleep. All in all a great bachelorette party, filled with great food and awesome conversation with some of my best friends! Oh and here’s a pic of some of the dessert we ordered there.

Image

Sam the snoop!

If you’re my fiancé Sam, get out of this page RIGHT NOW. I’m going to complain a lot about you now.

You’d think why the sudden burst of anger after all the reasonably lovey-dovey posts. That’s because Sam read my blog! I was doing a great(?) job hiding it from him, but Chrome’s bookmark syncing let me down 😦

Anywho, this isn’t the first instance of Sam’s snoopiness. He constantly reads all my email, all my whatsapp conversations, even pretends to be me and messages people! It’s almost like I have no privacy at all!

So Sam, if you’re reading this (which you shouldn’t technically be) BACK OFF. And don’t forget you’re not the only snoop 🙂 I know about your Google Reader subscriptions 😐