Tag Archives: Family

The much talked about wedding

Recently I had to attend this big fat Indian wedding which like I mentioned earlier our family was partially organising. TBH was the main host and organiser, even more than the bride’s father. So needless to say he was extremely busy and nowhere to be seen with Bunny and Me. In fact so much so that he used to even sleep in a different room because it used to get very late for him every night.

In one line the wedding and the arrangements were a huge success and all the TBH’s hardwork paid off. The whole family including the guys side gave him a standing ovation on the Reception night. I can’t tell you how proud I was. Unfortunately it got very cold by that time and I had to retire to our room with Bunny.

Other Highlights

Food :). All three meals/spread were unbeatable. We selected a freelancer caterer and their team did an awesome job. Food is an important part of wedding, as if that fails all other arrangements and efforts go in vain too.

The Bride. She looked like a million dollars and even more. Beautiful. Graceful. Happy. Cheerful bride. Anyway the shy types are long gone from our marriage scenario. Another commendable thing was she was always ready before time and took real good care of eating her food in time.

The Bridal trousseau. The major part of the bride’s look apart from her natural beauty was her dresses, all of which were designed by TBH’s another cousin. She runs a successful boutique in Mumbai. This was my first time meeting her and would definitely ask her to design something for me sometime in future.

The Foreigners. There were many, from across they globe including both the Business guests and Bride’s friends. And they had a wonderful time. They were so excited about each and every little ceremony. Almost all of them including the males got Mehandi on their hands. They all danced on the impromptu dhol from time to time. They were super excited seeing the bling, the dresses, the jewellery display in an indian wedding. All of them wore indian attire on the min wedding day. It was fun explaining them rituals and seeing them enjoy the wedding.

The Sangeet. The weather was horrible, it was raining in peak winters and the grand sangeet was shifted to a hall within the hotel. We all were so skeptical but it turned out to be blessing in disguise, the grand function turned into a cozy, family affair. Where people wait for their turns to dance. The professionals who were suppose to dance were kept awaited for long. The TV comedian was booed because we wanted family on stage. Their were little ego clashes, sweet fights and in the end all it turned out to be much more fun. We planned a little family dance as a surprise where all five of us (bhaiya, bhabhi, TBH, me and Bunny) join Mil & FIl in their little dance sequence. We tried to match step on one stanza of ek dusre se karte hai pyar hum beautifully portraying the family bonding we share. I wore Bunny in a ring sling, he was the youngest member to be on stage and it was appreciated by everybody. Not the dance for sure but the little family gesture.

The Family. Met a lot of people first time from TBH’s maternal side. And it was fun. Actually everybody is nice for temporary meet ups. The cousins are quite connected and almost every day in the three days wedding they stayed up night chit chatting, Teasing, leg pulling in a good way.

The Reception. It was spectacular. The stage was beautiful and luckily the weather turned in our favour. Live orchestra and fireworks added to entertainment. And the strategically placed fire arrangements led guests to enjoy amidst very cold weather. And the food like I said was mouthwatering and uncountable dishes on reception.

Me. Thankfully I prepared well for this wedding. I knew what to wear when and was looking nice throughout, methinks :). And specifically my attires were Bunny friendly. Got compliments on managing him well. Of attending, enjoying with a baby. Unfortunately with Bunny and Bunny stuff, couldn’t carry camera much and no pics. Above that TBH took my phone to be connected all throughout.

Bunny in marriage. This requires a little post in itself which I will be doing shortly to help new moms and to keep a record myself. In few words, this little guy never fails to make me feel proud of him :). He was the best he could be, by the time the wedding ended I heard someone saying they dint hear him cry even once in three days. That says it all.

No Vidaai. Yes there was no Vidaai of the bride, apparently the bride at the first place did not want a big affair like the usual indian weddings. But gave in at the end for her parents and family’s happiness. But stayed adamant on not having the traditional Vidaai. In fact all the functions were held at our hotel where the girls side was staying, the Guy and his family stayed in another hotel. So after the pheres which were held in daytime, the bride went to the guys hotel for a little religious ceremony/Pooja and returned back. After the reception they stayed together for the wedding night supposedly in a third property. The next morning the guy went baked with his family, the girl with hers :). Funny, fodder for the gossipers but I think a proactive step.Specially for families for not making any fuss over this. Vidaai seems such a sad ritual, if it all it needs to be done, should be done for both the bride and the groom.

#CustardApple #HomeGrown #KitchenGarden #FruitLove #Seethaphal

Homegrown custard apple

Homegrown custard apple

Not just a fruit but king of fruits for my MIL. My otherwise authorotative, disciplined MIL becomes like a little girl in our garden. We have a lot of other fruits as well but her first love is Custard Apple. It’s literally her fruit of labour. Or may be my FIL’s expression of love for planting that tree years back, because he can’t have a single one owing to his sugar and MIL can’t stop having them all.

Winters are here and each morning she religiously goes to the backyard and plucks the ripe ones. She risks her back, neck, knee and what not to get the fruits. Our tenants on the ground floor are strictly not allowed to go near that particular tree. The other day she took help of our maid to pluck some top ones, and when they both came up she had to quickly cook a story to convey her not to go there when alone so as to save her fruits from being stolen. I was laughing inside knowing that she is very generous when it comes to giving food/ fruits/ money any other stuff to her. She sure loves her seethaphals.

So the story doesn’t end there, she also hides them in a kind of secretly kept cardboard box so they are fully riped before eating. And believe the fruits of our garden seem to be filled with sugar. I like them too but seeing her love for them I kind of let her eat them all :). People often associate custard apples with cold, she even has her strategy of not catching cold while eating them to your heart’s content. She sure doesn’t.

So if you love them and are not able to eat them due to the fear of catching cold here is Bunny’s dadi ka nuskha:

1. Don’t keep them in fridge, even if you do take it out hours before you consume them.
2. Eat with a spoon, don’t touch the actual pulp with hands.
3. Do not wash your hands or have water atleast for half an hour post eating them.

Xerox Copy

Me, of my Mom at least in looks. A lot of people except my dad say so. And I proudly accept it, because she is so damn pretty. Even after being a sasu ma, my mother has the ability to look like a newly wed and I for one look more like her sister or a close relative. She looks quite young for her age, infact dad too and they compliment each other wonderfully. If only I would have been 20k lighter and had a flawless skin like hers, papa would have been convinced too :P. Anyway people have started relating more now after my marriage specially when they see me wearing Indian, a bindi, sindoor etc. Yes I do look like my mom. 

And I so wish the similarity goes much beyond that. She is a beautiful lady inside out. An exceptional professional, a sought after orator, a literary personality and a total family person too. Not the typical mamma material who would care for the child, worry unnecessary about the routine things like if her kids are well fed or are sleeping enough, how they are dressed, staying awake with their exams, no not at all. But she comes as a pillar of strength when we need her. It’s only now when I have seen few ups and downs in life I have realized how wonderful and strong she is. She and dad together give the best advice possible. She sometimes seems so vulnerable but at other so strong. I can’t put in words how much I respect her and want to be like her.

I read somewhere that its only in your late 20s that you feel you are tuning into your mom. And I feel it so many times, on all her habits I used to crib as a child, I follow exactly same now. The sister usually calls me her second mom, because my behavior with her is more like our own mom in fact only more interfering. Mom has this immense ability of keeping herself detached from us where necessary, giving us our own space. I always wonder how she does it, it’s so difficult letting your child commit mistakes, fall right in front of you and than standing on the other side a support. Only once in my entire lifetime I saw her weak and the reason was me and in the end she turned out so right, I can’t imagine my current life if it wasn’t her taking command of my life.

All I wanna say is I love you Mom !!! Would never hurt you deliberately ever again, no matter what. Can’t thank God enough for making me your and dad’s daughter. 

Oops moments

All of us have our share of those embarrassing moments which turn out to be something to laugh about in later years of life. I particularly remember few incidents of my life which still friends and family use to pull my leg. 

Now this one is truly embarrassing, when I was really really small, just two and half year old, I came out of the room trying my mother’s inner wear, that too bra in particular, and was trying to put cotton where there should be some elevation . My mother had a shock of her life, she just managed to grab me before my grandfather could see me in that state.

During my second standard me and some building kids used to ride our cycles to piano classes. I was the only girl and the youngest. Our building was on a slope. One of the evenings while returning from the class, the guys managed to smoothly peddle the cycle in between two pillars (on one side of the road). I thought what a big deal, I should try that too. I did, only to totally overlook a hard iron cable in between those two pillars. I banged the pillar head on, falling off with few few bruises to boast about.

The same group used to go for swimming classes. So one fine day, we decided to pull in some money and have some eat out sessions in one of the road side joint on the way to our swimming. The same day our parents decided to check our progress, they followed us to the class. only to find us gorging on to some local food. We had a hard time convincing them that we actually planned to go to swimming after the little break :P. 

And then hits of hits, all those who know me are aware of the fact that I dislike dancing. It was one of my cousin’s wedding.There were very few youngsters to perform on the sangeet ceremony. I was emotionally blackmailed to do my bit that too right at the start of the ceremony. being the only sister and all. It was a very small piece of 2 minutes or so. I was so nervous that as soon as the music started, I started performing whatever moves were taught to me. And suddenly the music stopped in between. I was like what, and the organizer apologetically announced, sorry wrong song :P. Can you believe it, that was not even my song. My family had a hard time stopping their insane laughter and concentrating on next performance. All my plans to flirt/impress the bride’s handsome brothers went for a toss. 

In another marriage, Vidaai (farewell of the bride) was going on, everything was okay till the bride’s brother hugged her tightly and both of them started crying nonstop. In another corner of the room, another crying voice joined them. It was me, it was something about that scene that I could not stop myself, I started crying loudly. I was a newly wed then, i was attending first wedding after my marriage.  All my cousins looked at me followed by a  silence for few seconds and suddenly all of them started laughing together. And then someone said a midst laughter tears, she dint cry at all in her own wedding which was just two months back and see her now. 

I can add few more, but I can’t handle more embarrassment than this for a single day :P. 

In Laws

For some reason the term ‘In Laws’ itself used to connote a negative feeling for me. In laws – as if they are aliens from a remote planet who only exist to make your life hell. Hindi cinema and some real life incidents play its due role to engrave that awful image in our minds. No doubt, girls getting married are dreaded of In – Laws, specially the mother of all mothers –  Mother in Law.

Things were pretty bad even few years back, barring few rare incidents; all married women would plan, strategies, think of various ways to tackle with this other side of family. They had to make hard bargain to work, face torture for producing a girl child, do every house hold work as if they are bounded labor.

But situations has improved tremendously over the years at least in urban India. Females have as much right to work as their husbands, anyway two incomes in one household is the need of the hour; dear mommies are able to see their sons contributing in the house, in fact they take pride in the fact they have trained their sons so well; most couples opt for having only one child, so it doesn’t matter it’s a girl or a boy; the modern mom in laws pitch in to help whenever needed, without making it an ego issue, they also mostly have one/two kids so they want best for their kids; Girls are also not overly possessive about their own moms/families, for them also both the families are equal, and try and provide equal treatment as much as possible and same applies to the new age husbands J

I have seen this with most of my friends/cousins who married let’s say in past five years. And slight adjustment is needed everywhere where adults are concerned. Don’t we have our own sets of fights/arguments with our parent’s too? We just need to be more accommodating for the new family and vice versa.

So now it comes down to my in-laws. Even if there was an iota of doubt about this clan in my mind, it all vanished as soon as I got to know this side of family whom now I proudly call mine :).

The big extended family: Taking in consideration the rigidness of our community and the place TBH’s father actually belongs, this came as a total surprise. My father in law is eldest in his 6 brothers and one sister. So it’s a big family. But everybody is so fun and good at heart. The uncles are really cool. I remember one incident of a big religious ceremony being held for us post our wedding. It was a big pooja and I don’t know anything about our religious customs. In fact my biggest struggle was standing in a saree for couple of hours. I was dreading that everybody would get to know my lack of knowledge as far as our religion is considered. But every single of our aunt was so supportive. They guided me completely. I had to just manage the pallu and keep my one hand spare, they would hand over me whatever was needed to put in the havan on regular intervals. I can’t tell you how relieved I was witnessing this gesture. Even now every time we meet they shower their love, guide me to manage the big gathering, give a helping hand when needed, and generally do not make a fuss about anything. The cousins too shower love at each other and gel well together.

The grandparents: They are two pure souls. Both are very old now, struggling with their old age and the health hazards that comes with it. Dadajee is one enterprising soul, he has nearly done all sorts of business in his time. Even when he is now not able to contribute to the business or keep a check on day to day affairs, he has a fair idea of what needs to be done to grow our ancestral business, where the investment should go. Dadi – she is like beyond all the worldly affairs. She is so gullible that if you tell her its night even in day time she won’t deny you.

MIL – FIL: Super cool in-laws is the word. When they are here it’s a fun riot. In fact when everybody gathers it’s such a fun family time. They love to pamper me, I am like the kid in the family. They never interfere in anything personal. The talks are mostly around investments, new businesses, very productive and enterprising in general. No bad mouthing about anybody or other useless stuff that leaves a bad taste. No restriction on food or what to wear or on taking TBH’s name in front of them. In fact post marriage my mom wanted to see me in some traditional cloths but my MIL she doesn’t like me wearing them, at least when it’ just us. She is the one who got my first ever dress. FIL is this calm composed super active gentlemen who isn’t shy of expressing his love for his daughter in laws. He doesn’t mind sitting on my side when I am driving, or going shopping with me all alone. We have even shared meals in one plate. This may sound nothing to you, but in our community it’s a very big thing. Fuss free people who just want to fill our lives with their love and affection.

BIL and bhabhi: Oh my god, I never thought typical ‘jeth – jethani’ can turn out to be the Bhaiya – Bhabhi I never had. My family was surprised to see the openness we share. It doesn’t need any explanation, it’s like getting doubly pampered and teased :).

All I can say is I am super lucky and amazingly blessed to get two wonderful families in one life time. I cannot thank God enough.  To make matters more beautiful, my in laws and parents get along so well, they meet like long lost friends. We are the third party for them when everybody is together.

Cousins

Image I found this image in my Facebook feed today and I immediately knew my topic for the Day 3 of A to Z blogging challenge. Its strange how the mind works, when we are at something we start relating everything to it.

Coming back to the topic, I belong to the typical big fat Indian family with couple of dozens cousins on both sides of family. And major part of my childhood specially the summer vacations has been beautifully spent with them. For me it was very different at both sides of family. But I am lucky that all of us love each other and stay connected through various means. 

At my maternal Grandma’s place it was all girls gang, there were around 13 girls as against just 2 boys while I was growing up. There were only 2 cousins and my sister who were younger than me. So I used to get a lot of attention and lot of pampering. My cousins would wait for me to come and Mom would be freed from all my responsibility. Some one would make me bath, someone would get me ready, someone would cook my favorite food and play different silly games just to make me happy. As i was the daughter of their favorite aunt and they would meet me only once an year. 

I won’t even remember days slipping into each other converting into weeks and before I knew it was time to go back home. Its there I learnt to eat all veggies as everyone would eat together in a fun way. My cousin S used to mash everything in the plate, lying to me for things I won’t eat n I was too small to pick up the taste.

My fondest memory is of sitting near nanajee and just talking to him. In the evening everyone would gather in his room and spend some quality time together. Every trip we used to have a session for re watching old albums and funny home/old marriage videos. What fun it was.  

It’s there I did my first business, me and my cousin would have a comics stall where we used to rent out comic books to his friends, we would also provide free pick-up and delivery services sweating ourselves in the sun just to earn few pennies and eat ice cream. Yup life was that simple, financial planning was limited to saving and eating ice cream in the evening. 

I learnt about sharing and letting go. I learnt about different people and personalities. As i grew up my cousins started to confine their deepest fears and insecurities, wishes and dreams with me considering me their friend from an early age. Probably because I used to give neutral opinions or simply being a listener and strictly refrained from sharing their secrets with anyone else. 

But gradually the dynamics started changing. I got busy with life and my visits reduced drastically. It has also to do with both my maternal grandparents passing away in quick succession. My cousins started getting married. And when I would talk about studies, making career choices, corporate job; their talks were more towards in-laws, jewelry, make up and sareers. They all are perfect daughter in laws of their families, talented, excellent cooks, perfect in every sense. But I couldn’t connect with them at that time. Sometimes it used to break my heart seeing their talent and if they were pushed to make a career, how great they all would be. But guess as long as they are happy it doesn’t matter. Things are again back to track now, not the way it used to be in carefree childhood ways but still the feeling of special connection and belonging remains. The visits are now limited to family weddings but facebook/whatsapp/mobiles have given way to connectivity and being updated. 

At my paternal side it was different. After initial years of love showered from all sides (as my dad is the elder of the two brothers and I was the first born among them) I had to play the elder one among a lot of my cousins, had to be responsible and act bossy as most of the times the gathering would take place at our residence. I would make the kids to eat together, not letting them creating a mess, take them to gardens in the evening and just having fun in a different way. At my nani-ghar the vacations would be confined at home as it was a small village and my uncles being businessmen couldn’t spare a lot of time on outings.

On the other hand on this side of the family, we were city based and majorly service people. We would plan outings, eat outs, entertainment parks, sight seeing, shopping trips in nearby places so on and so forth. And it was more a boys gang so the elder ones (teenage and beyond) stopped accompanying their moms on the annul trips after a certain time. But it was fun nevertheless. Experimental cooking was done. Trial sessions were held. Hairstyling and stitching – crochet was done. Serious movie watching and reading done. Endless talks and leg pulling done. Aah all fun done. Though the younger ones still adore me, consider me their favorite didi, share everything with me, take guidance but I grew close to some of my elder male cousins when they shifted to my hometown for studies and lived with us for sometime or at-least had regular weekend trips. I connected them at all the levels of education, career and crushes. 

Over the years somehow I realized and my sister feels the same that its your paternal cousins you feel more connected to. In my case it could be similarity in our circumstances- family situation, city upbringing, struggles of making a career, corporate jobs or simply same values being passed on but it still holds true. 

But I love them all. You can have best of friends, I do have my share of them. But the way your cousins understand you and family takes them to a different level of friendship. At least one set of parents have the same finicky nature :P, at least they would be aware of your family’s real situation, or your parent’s dynamics and million other little things. They would always be the first best friends I ever had. 

I am so glad TBH is equally comfortable and gels well with all my cousins. I am still the go to person for most of them. They still call me at odd hours for advises or to share the firsts of many happy news When someone gets drunk and the matron threatens to call their family, they make me their temporary mom. When they get a few days off, they plan to travel and stay with us rightfully. They religiously like all my fb posts and updates – that in itself says a lot about our relationship :P. I love them, life wouldn’t’ be the same without them. And today I am gonna call at least three of them in honor of this post. 

 

Another Letter from the sister !!!

Just when I was getting back to regular blogging and had numerous topics churning in my head I took an unplanned break from blogging. Reasons many yet none. It just happened. I know it should have been a new year’s/retrospect kind of post for being the first one of this year but I am skipping that and posting yet another heartfelt letter from the sister. 

Our 2nd anniversary was last month and the sister surprised us with a photo book on our story along with some beautiful words to go with it. The book ended with this letter, I just reread it and decided to post it. Here you go. And before I forget Happy New Year Fellas. And all of you who are participating in the January Blogathon, I am reading you religiously. You guys are doing an awesome job. 

2nd Anniversary Didi – Jiju

Aaahaa! What a beautiful collection of pictures! With full modesty I accept all the compliments, thank you- thank you! Haha! Jokes apart, Didi and Jiju, you both know how much we all love you; You are the reason the two most amazing families met and became one; Thank you to the two sets of mummyjis and papajis to look up your names in the patrika and calling their respective panditjis. And bless you panditjis and whoever behind the making of this beautiful couple, you did a wonderful job!

Cheers to your two years of togetherness! Your frequent visits to us have always been such a delight. After all they add the no. of food stations to my life and fill my cupboard with a pile of clothes from janpat and sarojini. Haha! I am such a lucky sister and a luckier saali. The glow on moms face each time you guys come is not hidden from any of us. Also my emotional dad sometimes shed a tear or two out of extreme happiness at seeing you both. You guys have made me believe in arrange marriages, not that I was ever against; only it’s a common topic of debate and I have the best example in front of me to speak in for the motion.

I wish you both from each member of the family a very happy married life; a lil chiggu whose pictures would be clicked monthly and who would be all pampered by her/his maasi! Space limits me otherwise I could have gone on and on…

Loads and loads of  love,

P