Life's Like That

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Love..or something like it

I’ve been tagged by Dipali to list the 5 best things that the boy has ever done for me. Somehow, when I got down to writing it down, all I could remember was the time when he broke all the glasses in the house, or when made me watch some gory Kamal movie in Tamil and didn’t translate, or the time that he jauntily walked into a freshly mopped n cleaned house with muddy shoes or worse washed his shoes in the washing machine…definitely not nice. Then I remembered this post and the fact that he didn’t kill me for it. Very very nice of him I thought. And with that, the train of thought moved onto more positive things. So Dipali, here goes, specific incidents that got through my thick self centred hide and touched my heart and some general things he has done or still does :

1) Just before we moved houses, I had this sneaking suspicion that there was a mouse in the house. One evening I come back from work and see a tiny dead mouse lying on the kitchen floor. Turns out, Rahul had put that rat kill thing in some corner without telling me and this dead body was the result. I freaked. Called him and demanded he come home to get rid of the mortal remains of the damn rodent. He said just sweep it onto a newspaper and throw it away. I freaked some more and hysterically told him I couldn’t even think of entering the kitchen since its dead eyes were looking at me, sweeping it onto things were out of the question. He cut short an evening out with the boys and came home to dispose of the horrible thing. If that is not nice then I really don’t know what is.

2) We moved house recently, and were maidless for more than 2 weeks. With all the unpacking and arranging and making the house live worthy plus office, the lack of some help for at least cleaning the house was quite trying. While I’ve been cribbing and moaning to all and sundry, he has been quietly, sweeping, mopping and tidying up the house. He even decorated the living room with whatever he could find, immediately after we moved, because my friends were coming over. The man cannot cook, but he gets down every weekend and makes the one dish he knows how to...soya nuggets. Last Sunday, I woke up to the unbelievable sight of him making dal paratha for breakfast.

3) A couple of years back, for about a week, I had this crazy event which required me to leave home by 7 a.m. and ensured I got back only by about 11/ 11.30 p.m. When I got back the first day, dinner was laid out. The culinarily challenged boy had actually made rotis, heated the sabzi and laid it all out for me. He did this the whole week. Cannot describe how wonderful it was to come back to a nice hot meal all laid out for you.

4) He has never, not once tried to stop me from doing my thing. I go out with my friends almost every week, I meet old boyfriends, I go out dancing and come back in the middle of the night as tight as an owl, I call 10 people over to dinner without even informing him and he takes it all in his stride. Needless to say, similar behaviour on his part would result in a meltdown of cosmic proportions. I run the house as I please. He pitches in when required but otherwise does not interfere at all.

5) He may not agree with this last point, but I insist this is true. I always get the last word in any argument. Whether that’s because of my superlative argumentative skills or his unwillingness to carry on a fight beyond a point, I don’t know. But it’s very satisfying to have the last word.

These last two years have been quite something eh Rahul? Not too bad for a couple of people who at first glance have very little in common. All the broken glass (literally...he is the clumsiest person in the world), hysterical shrieking, sobbing (all me), name calling (me again), care taking ( both), illness, moneyless ness, bad jobs, bad bosses, bad driving have all added up to a couple of years of fun and madness and understanding and more importantly, acceptance of the way we each are. That, I guess is the whole point of being married right? Happy Birthday boy. Have a great year :)

And for Gods sake make up you mind about what you want as a birthday gift!!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Big Fat Indian Wedding II

Even as the wedding rites were underway, two of Rahul’s friends swayed up to the mandap. Smiling cheerily at us, A slurred “Shhhhhhmiiiilllee Ronnnnnnn” as he tried to click our photograph on his camera phone. We stared aghast! How on earth had A, a committed alcoholic in denial, managed to find so much alcohol at the strictly alcohol free wedding venue!!!? He dropped his phone the very next second, almost into the fire and then proceeded to lean dangerously over the railing to retrieve it. I looked around frantically hoping A) my father and grandmother and Rahul’s grandparents and parents were not witnessing this and B) hoping for someone to correctly interpret my desperate expression and remove A from the mandap before he fell into the fire. Thankfully my dear T was nearby, she hopped up, retrieved the phone and disdainfully stopped A from dying an horrific death. God bless you T. S, another marginally less drunk friend of Rahul’s steered a very obliviously happy A away from the venue and we breathed again. The rest of the wedding went peacefully enough. Except that finally at night, after the bashor nonsense, I went to Rahul’s room to give him a toothbrush (Bong wedding: no sharing same room for 2 night. Most pointless) and my aunt had a much delayed shocked reaction…I mean she gave me a toothbrush and said go give it to him, which I did, and then 20 mins later she said “Eki tui oi ghore ki korte gechili”. Weird.

The next day I made my way over to the hotel where the boy’s side were staying. I took the boy and siblings and cousins on a Calcutta darshan trip. Bedecked in a shiny red salwar suit and much jewellery. Christmas tree and Christmas decorations were the two terms topmost on my mind. The day after we woke up at 3 am to make our way to the airport for our 5 am flight. I was made to unpack my suitcase, take out some sparkly bindis at 4 a.m. and put one on. Something that I will never forgive my MIL for. 4 a.m. is not the time for self decoration even if one has just gotten married. At the airport, I noticed the Sachdevs looking somewhat concerned. Rahul’s father looked especially sheepish. As it turned out, the FIL had carefully packed the Chennai house keys in a large suitcase, and given the suitcase to his friend to bring to Chennai…in the train. Which would reach the next day. So all 6 of us were effectively homeless. What a wonderful welcome to my husbands family. Unique if nothing else.

We reached Chennai and dispersed to various corners of the city. Rahul and I went to the club where a room had been booked earlier. Rahul’s parents moved temporarily to a friends place since their room booked at the last minute would not be ready before evening. V, N and S (Rahul’s tarot card reading investment banker cousin from London) moved to V’s friend AK’s place. It was V and N’s anniversary so we planned to go out for dinner in the evening.

Dinner was at a lovely restaurant with seriously awesome chicken tikkas and much alcohol. As the night wore on, I begged the boy and the others, in vain, to end the revelries and go home. My back was killing me, my head was throbbing from lack of sleep and excessive stress over the last few days. At around 1 a.m. the group decided to drive to a beach on the other end of town to take in some fresh sea breeze. By this time I was too tired to protest so went along docilely. AK got behind the wheel, with Rahul in the passenger seat. I squeezed in between V and S in the back seat with N sprawled over all our laps. We drove off. And then AK announced a tribute to me and started playing that capped menace Himesh!! V decided this was a wonderful idea to join in the nasal OOooooooooooo-ing and bellow the same into my ear. I bit my lip to stop myself from screaming at him. Then, at that minute, Rahul, my newly wed husband, the man who knew all about the violent nauseous physical reaction I have to Himesh, joined in the singing. That was the very last straw. Much to my own surprise (and utter embarrassment) I burst into loud sobs!! I couldn’t have asked for a better reaction. There was stunned silence in the car. AK, who was meeting me for the first time, almost ran into a tree, so great was his shock. V stopped oooooooing immediately and started saying sorry repeatedly. Rahul said why on earth are you crying? S said in a wise manner, its all the stress, N just stared. I wailed. Nonstop. Loudly. Wracking sobs and all. We all got out onto the beach where I continued howling much to the puzzlement of some underfed dogs. I sobbed quietly all the way back to the club where within the privacy of the room it reached a wailing crescendo once again. For a change the boy was most soothing and sensible and eventually I did fall asleep.

The next day was the reception. I was allowed to sleep undisturbed till about 12 p.m. Something I will be eternally grateful for. V,as it turned out had fever. And V with even the mildest of tummy aches is not a happy situation. I love him very much but must say he is the biggest whiner I know. And he proceeded to live up to his reputation by lying in bed all evening and shivering and generally behaving like he was at death’s door.

Anyways, we ate out and then N, S and I went to have our hair and make up done. Kanya in Bangalore is really good and N and I frequent it, so we presumed Kanya in Chennai would be as good. We reached. I asked them what they could do with my hair. Having has it straightened for the sangeet I wanted to do something different. They tied it in an intricate bun with tendrils of hair falling down the sides of my face. I said an emphatic no. N suggested extensions. They looked blank. Then they curled my hair into tight little ringlets. If I was blonde I would have had a striking resemblance to Goldilocks. Naturally, I rejected it. This time they looked exasperated and said “You don’t want a bun you don’t want to curl it then you have to straighten it. What else can we do?” I was tired of them pulling my hair anyways so I surrendered to whatever they suggested. Then we got on with the rest of the makeup. I had my eyes closed for most of the makeup session. When I opened my eyes and looked in the mirror I almost shrieked in fear. I looked like Lord Voldemort. Deadpan white face. RED eyelids. Lank straight hair hanging down my face!!! I would have been a better Voldemort than Ralph Fiennes trust me. I rushed to implement emergency damage control measures. Between N and me we managed to bring some colour into my face and dilute the red ness of the eye shadow.

Looking semi- human I went to get my bloody heavy Kanjivaram draped on since we were getting late and my FIL is as much a punctuality maniac as my father. Both N and I had bought the saris in Chennai and due to lack of time had given the blouses to a local tailor to be stitched. We had not had the time to try them on beforehand. We went into the little cubicles to put on the petticoats and blouses and within seconds could be heard hissing to each other “Have you tried on your blouse? Does it fit? Can you breathe?” I had lost 6 kgs since the time they measured me for the blouse, so there was no way my weight could be the cause for this horrible tight garment. I struggled for 10 mins to button the damn thing and when I finally succeeded I realized I could not put my arms down. They stuck out from my sides like a bloody wrestlers. “I can’t breathe” I gasped to N the second we got out of the cubicle. “Oh god I think I might burst out of mine” she wheezed. The makeup lady finally took pity on us and sat down and removed a few stitches so that we could at least hold our arms closer to our bodies and breathe without worrying about ripping our clothes and scandalizing people. High heels heavy jewellery on, we were ready to face the reception.

The reception was a rather strange experience. At most weddings, usually the bride is the centre of attention and people come give the gifts etc to the bride while the groom more or less slinks around and smiles at people. Here everyone came on to the stage where Rahul and I were standing smiling woodenly and threw themselves all over him. They hugged him. They shook his hand, one uncle even tried to make him wear a thick gold chain he had brought as a gift much to the poor boys embarrassment. Noone gave me a second look. I might as well have not been there. I didn’t even need to smile at them. The gifts were handed over to Rahul. We smiled n posed for photos and the next lot of people came on and fawned over Rahul all over again. I just stood there feeling rather foolish.

Many many MANY hours of aching jaws, painful feet and hurting ears (heavy earrings) later it was FINALLY over. We were married. We were over and done with the madness. In a day’s time we would be off to Manali where I could rid myself of all jewellery, all make up and get into my jeans. Manali was quite an entertaining experience I must say. As was Chandigarh where we stayed for a night, and I met Rahuls nani and mamas and maasis..but that’s fodder for another blogpost. My first up close and personal experience with North India and North Indians. Later maybe?