Sunday, October 26, 2008

Well, it doesn't exactly feel like Diwali right now. I'd blame it on my whereabouts you see. I've not been taking too kindly with the way Indians celebrate Diwali in the US, but I could crib and complain all my way to Jersey Downtown and no one would bother.
Thats life you see. Sigh.

I'm kidding, I'm not really as miserable as I sound. This place is..n-n-n-ice.
(Fine I admit it!)

But for what its worth, Happy Deepavali O Confounded-Souls! Burst them all and...drink lots of water.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Lessons my Elders (didn't) teach me

Flushed with the success of conducting a grand TamBram wedding (if I may), all my parents have to now do is sit back and watch discerningly as to how their li'l girl survives her new life.

No, I don't really mean to make it sound like boarding school or rehabilitation, but marriage (or post-marriage to be more specific) is indeed a big deal for any Indian parent and an even bigger deal for any Indian parent's child. So, I am work in progress, every single minute of the day.
The thing with marriage *I go on to say in wisdomous tone, lowering spectacles so that it rests firmly on nose to give intellectual look* is that there are very many loopholes and..I'm afraid that there are somethings only experience can teach you.

For instance, they say that you ought to shed your ego, every ounce of it, when you're starting off a new relationship with your spouse. Heck every relationship can do well with little or no ego, but I'm restricting my insightful thoughts to marriage as for now, cos...everything now is about what I think about marriage isn't it?

Yes it is. That was just a rhetorical question.

As I was saying, amongst all the precious pieces of advice the Elders from back home had given me, like smile, be nice, be friendly, be neat, be less finicky, don't frown, don't use chilly powder as weapon, don't be yourself, shop at Debenhams (just kidding), yada-yada-yada blah-blah, the most common words of wisdom I'd received was to shed my ego ( I travel with excess baggage, that's sometimes so not very nice) and be truthful if I didn't know something.

That is sane advice, yes I know. So before I leave to my husband's place, I resolutely practice my lines in front of the mirror, "Sorry, I don't know how to do that", "Sorry, I'm new at this, can you teach me?" or "No I've never made tea all my life..can you make your own tea for the first 10 years of our married life?"
See, that wasn't so difficult. Everything just needs a little practice. Even the non-ego part like the Elders said, can be conquered with just a little determination. Yay for me.
Or so I'd think.

But its not as easy as I thought it would be you know, this no-ego thing.

You see, humans have this inherent tendency to say 'I do' without even the slightest hesitation (if you're Ross Gellar, you're a pro and I'm not even talking about you).
Its not just the weddings, its everything else in normal dealing with people, things, situations, especially when they're new... I've learnt that it takes a lot of courage and strong-will to say 'Nope, sorry, I really don't know how to'.

So the other day when V asked me if I know how to iron shirts, I say 'yes' so matter-of-factly like I was asked if I knew how to eat thayir-sadum.
I surprise me.
I mean, how good was I at ironing anyway?
Lets see..All my life my mom ironed my school-uniforms.
I'd ironed my Salwars to college, but that was just because I loved ironing over large flat surfaces, it made me feel nice. I never really cared how it looked even if it looked far more wrinklier after I was done with the iron-box.
Then there was always the ironing my clothes before packing, so that they'd fit perfectly into my suitcase. It was clearly another case of ironing out of desperation, so it didn't really matter whether they looked nice or long as they fit neatly in a row.
Wait, there must be more.
Oh yes, I remember ironing my Appa's shirts before he'd leave for work.
I am now beginning to realise that he wore the shirts which I ironed to work without much of a grumble JUST to not hurt my feelings. No wonder he never removed his suit at work.... he'd get sacked if anyone saw how an Investment Banker dressed to work at this Bank!

So! Not even bothering to consider my promising past with the iron-box, I daintily trot to the iron-stand and pick up one of V's shirts that need ironing on my way.

I JUST then realise that I don't know where to start. I iron over the flat surfaces (and enjoy the good feeling like the 'ol salwar days), and stop at the sleeves. I really don't know where the crease ought to be. I mean, in a proper shirt where you go to work not expecting to get sacked the very next day for looking like rubbish.
Same with his trousers, where is the goddamn crease??? At the sides or at the front?

After ironing all the flat parts (something I can do as professionally now), I go up to V and tell him that my father was a good man for wearing what I ironed for him all these years.
V gets the picture, he's a fast learner.
I give my sheepish grin (another thing I can do quite professionally).
V irons his clothes to work for now..and makes his tea (for now). I love his tea.
I take care of the cooking, and the fire-alarms that go off during the process.

I'm yet to go up to him and ask him where the crease falls.