Friday, February 8, 2008

are you moving out? gasp..gasp..

My mom awoke to this shocking revelation when I told her I needed to stay closer to work.
'What!' was her expression for the first two days.
'I won't speak to you' was her attitude for the next three days.
'I know you're in the room and I pretend as if everything is the same, but I'm mad at you and you should know that' was her tune for the week after that.

When there was about a week left, she became sad.
Then came the bottles of pickles, rice crispies, salted, dried and fried red chillies, and other condiments that I had begged for. They're all neatly arranged in bottles. She also gives me a rice cooker and a few steel utensils, all meant for my marriage. She's a little disappointed that it's not the occasion of my marriage that she's giving away steel utensils. But I tell her, it's a start and that seems to cheer her up oddly.

'You have to come home every weekend,' she said. And she religiously meant it. She is not satisfied if I don't sleep at least three nights in the house (Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night).

Dad has been stoic about the whole thing. He has lately been observing with great detail the entire process of making Sambhar for 200 people by a Bihari who's opened up a new South Indian snack shop. So he's busy regaling us with stories of how buckets of water and Dal are poured into a giant vessel and cooked. (He does this with actions, so its funny, really.)

My sister is happy, now that the disputed area of the shelf space is no longer under conflict. She is also dreading the fact that all the attention, concern will come upon her. ('Vandhna, you're aren't eating enough. You've become so thin! You've lost so much weight! Eat this banana. An hour later, you have to eat papaya and drink a whole glass of milk.' She hates bananas and milk.)

I'm ok. I miss these crazy dudes, but they make me laugh like hell.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

south-indian weddings

So I dread going to weddings, for very obvious reasons. I'm at the age where any relative/family-well-wisher/woman-friend of my mother would be proactively seeking me out in a crowd and bombarding me with only one question.
'So when are you getting married?'
Or another variant. 'Is there anybody you have in mind?' (This one came from a friend of my mom's whom I have previously seen just once in my life).
Or yet another variant. 'We are now going to have the next wedding meal at your wedding.'
To all such questions and insinuations, I have developed a standard response. It's called 'grin and bear it.' I have realised with time that the best thing to do is to not argue and just accept that this is better than a lot of things...being hungry and poor, having bird flu, being tortured in a Chinese prison...
The wedding I went to was punctuated by a lot of other 'usual' South-Indian-wedding events. Eating Rasam-rice with a spoon, a video of you being taken while you have your mouth fool of beans curry, waiters almost throwing food onto your banana-leaf-for-a-plate etc.
After the last you-just-watch-while-we-get-you-married comment was done with, I was dying to go home(Public conveniences...really are you kidding me?). And the conversation on the ride back home was also dominated by how a younger cousin of mine(younger than even my younger sister) was married and was expecting a child. I was back to my smiling routine.
Till the next wedding, I'm smiling.