Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The beautiful bride.

So I mailed a friend inviting her for my wedding last year. No she could not come but she said she had only one piece of advice. No matter what else happens, you HAVE to look absolutely gorgeous on your big day, she said!

Okay. Right. Ofcourse, I have to.

So far so good. I had chosen my lehenga with care, booked an appointment at the best saloon in the city. I was set to be the pretty bride.

Now I am okay looking. Sometimes when Sid is a little high he goes as far as to tell me that I the most gorgeously beautiful girl on the planet. Mommy says I have the loveliest eyes on the planet. Okay I can ignore Mommy. All mums think their child is good looking. I should also ignore Sid because he says such things only when he is happy high. Okay. Not good. See, I know I am decent looking, never mind if i dont get the compliments.

So that point clarified, let me move forward with my story.

On wedding day, when I was all done at the salon, and the salon ladies had gushed how absolutely gorgeous I was looking and the cleaning lady there said that i was the prettiest bride ever (and asked for a bakshish in the same breath) I was happy and content. Then came mommy. And she stared at me. And stared.

Then she cleared her throat delicately.

'Cant we loosen her hair a little bit?', she asked the parlour lady a tad bit too politely.

'No Aunty, the whole duppata is in the right place because of the hairstyle only!'

'Hmmmm...can we change the color of the lipstick',asked Mum looking at me.

'No Aunty, it matches the lehenga'

'Okay, can we wash her face?'

'Mom!' I said.

Dad called at that very moment.

'Ohh, have they left?' Mom said into the phone.

'The barat will be there in 20 minutes?' she said again after a minute's pause.

'Okay....I have to welcome them, i know'

'Yes I am around an hour from the venue...will come in in a bit'

'Oh ok, dont distrub me I will be there' said Mom, she shut her phone with a bang and barged out to welcome the barat that was 20 minutes away from the venue that itself was an hour drive away.

So there I was standing in my bridal lehenga, dressed in all the finery but not really sure of Mom's reaction.

Was I the beautiful bride?
It was one of the few things that both the sides of the family unanimously agreed. They agreed that I was NOT the beautiful bride.

Some people even told me to go and get back my money from the beauty parlor. And then things started snow balling. Those who probably thought that I was looking good, decided to go with the mass opinion and declared that they would not send their own daughters to the salon where I had gone.
And so on and so forth.

I therefore did not look forward to the wedding video, cringed when it came and hid behind the door when the rest of the family watched it.

I also did not do one more thing.

I never really saw the wedding pictures.

Untill a few days back. Bt when I did do you know what struck me the most? Okay I certainly did not look as great (if i might be aloowed to use that phrase) as i normally do, but you know what? I looked absolutely, blissfully happy :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

So I still exist.

I have been absent from blogging because I have been working too much :(

Things have been very busy of late the blog has been very neglected...Apologies.

I was just thinking how lonely life is here in London. Once the shine of it all wears off its just the loneliest place. I sometimes long so much for my home back in India. My Mum was one of the most ambitious people and still grudges the fact that she had to give up her career. And when I sit here...all alone with just work for company, longing for the familiar banter I always shared with Mum, I think to myself that she did give up a lot but in return I and my brother got SO much.

The comfort of knowing that someone is always there to talk to...some one is always there...just there..

Tuesday, March 08, 2011



So it is that gorious time of the year when I get to start gloating about an upcoming India trip. And trust me there are few pleasures greater than this.

I am travelling alone to India in May and will be spending time with both sets of parents. I am already thinking of the nice absolutely yummy things I can eat....aah..well...

Anyways, so I am going to be in India for a glorious 10 days. Of which I might work for a few days as well....but thats fine, till I can be in India and be around people who matter such trivial issues do not matter. The sad part however is the main purpose behind the India visit. The dentist. How I shudder at the thought...

March is dragging on. Yesterday I started work at 8:00 am and finshed it at 8:15 in the night. Days are getting longer, more stressfull and with the year end just around the corner, the tempers are running woefully short...Sid is keeping very busy as well. For those interested, he is again travelling to Germany today for work. Poor fellow, he had to get up at 3:00 am today and he wont be back before 2 in the night- its going to be a long long day. I however plan to leave work on time today, go home dosome work on the book and then have dinner with N who has agreed to come over! I am planning to order food and wont have to cook!

Once March is out (and we are already done with the first week),April should bring some nice things. Primarily, there is going to be a lot of travelling. Sid and I are planning to travel to Nice and Monaco and across Italy in two separate trips in April. I am particularly looking forward to my Nice trip. I spend a lot of time just googling for Nice pics...it seems lovely *Sigh* If only the weather holds up.*Fingers Crossed!!!*

Italy should be good too but its a 9 day trip and each of those days will involve a lot of walking which I am dreading. We are planning to cover Rome, Venice, Florence and Pisa this time. I am really excited about Venice! I originally wanted to explore the south of Italy but then Sid and I decided that it would be best to do the main cities in our first trip.

And once April is out of the door, in comes May!

Yoooohoooooooooooooooo!!! And with May comes the trip to India! India! India! India! India! India! India!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

On being Indian.

'You guys don't drink', said a colleague accusingly one day. He was thinking of ways in which he could thank me for an extra bit of work I had done for him.

By you guys, he meant Indians as a whole. Rather bizarre because I am the only Indian I know in London who does not drink. And trust me I know a lot of Indians.

Anyways, so that was what he said. Just one example of how nationality sometimes explains a million things for a lot of people.

I have realised that there are some assumptions that the western world has made about us Indians. Some are good some while others are certainly not so good. Let me list a few of them:

* We get the scores- When I was interviewing for LBS, one thing was quite clear my 740 GMAT score was not really as great as it would have been for a non Indian. Indians are expected to score above 700! Be damned if you are Indian with a score less than 700!

*We know all about Excel and Powerpoint- So any gora in office has an excel issue, he turns around and shouts for an Indian, the issue gets solved in a jiffy. (Example of Excel complications: The text is exceeding the size of the cell, what do I do? Ans: Thwack your head with a news paper *Aloud* -Use Wrap text *angelic smile*)

*We are Tiny- And being as vertically challenged as I am does not help the cause of people of my nation. What I have started doing is wearing really high heels. All for the love of my country. That has led to back pain. But I can do that much atleast for people of my mother land.

*We do not reply to emails- And that I have to agree to, inspite of all the love for the motherland sloshing inside me. In the one year I have worked in an international organization, I have not come across any non Indian who has not replied to emails. People in India, believe in face to face conversation. Replying to emails does not figure high on their ways to communicate list.

*Saturday and Sunday are working in India- Yes. I am not kidding. This IS what we have done to ourselves. People get so many replies on Saturdays and Sundays ( which of course, the Whites here check only on Mondays) that they think Sat and Sunday are working days in India. Can you bloody beat that? I mean like comon?

*We do not like being handed stuff by the giver's left hand: So apparently there is this book on '120 ways of not offending Indians'. It is, rather disturbingly selling quite a few copies. This piece of exquisite literature spells what a Westerner should do or not do in India if he does not want to offend Indians. One of the things is NEVER to use your left hand while giving an Indian something. Apparently we find it very offending. My colleague came up to me one day and (out of the blue)apologized for having given me things with her left hand in the past. She is after all a leftie and could not do much about it but she will def try not to repeat this in future, she said looking incosolate. I was stunned into silence when she told me why she was apologising for something I had not even noticed!

The book also, FYI says that when you are in a meeting with a couple of Indians, do not speak if one of the Indians is senior to you. Apparently, during the meetings a strict protocol is followed regarding who will speak when. The senior most person sepaks first, then the second in the heirarchy and then the third etc etc. My colleague was concerned. I was VERY concerned.

*Indians cant make it to a meeting on time- Okay. I cannot make it to a meeting on time :(

Let me know if you know more of these! Will be fun!

As for the colleague who complained that Indians do not drink, I told him that while we might not drink, we do eat chocolates ;)