India trip

Happy New Year everybody! I promise to improve the quality and quantity of posts that I make this year.

Last year ended with a visit back home to India, where needless to say I had a ton of fun, did loads of shopping and ate an unimaginable quantity of yummy food thus adding to my already heavy weight.

If I started writing about all the stuff I did, I could go on and on and so to spare everyone the misery of a mile-long post, I will aim to make is short and sweet thus:

  • Visited Bangalore, Chennai and Ahmedabad (first time).
  • Took a few minutes to get accustomed to the number of people who looked like me once I got off at the Bengaluru international airport.
  • Weather was just perfect!
  • Traffic in Bangalore was horrible horrible and more horrible!
  • Cornered several times by my non-existent Kannada skills.
  • Enjoyed pre-wedding get-togethers with my cousins and wedding celebrations of my cousin to the maximum possible extent.
  • Loved mehendi, pattu podavais, malli poo and dressing up my daughter for all three sessions.
  • Watched (and almost relished, I dare say) my husband get a typical madras bashai dose from a taxi driver as he tried his hand driving in nungambakkam after 4 years.
  • My daughter loved the attention from the thathas, patis, kollu thatha-patis and innumerable uncles, aunts and cousins.
  • Suprised that I enjoyed my Saravana stores shopping experience – I had a personal shopper and all that. Apparently there is a group of folks there who watch out for NRIs and the like and assign shopping assistants. Wondered how they identified me as an NRI when I was in a salwar and had malli poo in my hair. May be too much English to a 3 year old.
  • Scared by the utter lack of time to enjoy life by my IT counterparts in India.
  • Bought a small baby oil bottle, one mysore sandal soap and a bottle of shringar “chaandhu” at a Naadar kadai for Rs.97 and felt stupid for pulling out Rs.50 note.
  • Celebrated a very traditional Karthikai at my in-laws in Madisar and everything. Ate a lot of kadalai urundais – don’t really care for the pori urundais.
  • Went bonkers shopping for handicrafts in Ahmedabad.
  • Ahmedabad is a nice city – no crowds, bearable traffic and easy parking.
  • Shamelessly bought a lovely hand-embroidered diwan set for Rs. 500, then bought cushions, and now hunting for a diwan on the Ikea website. All “thalai keezhai”.. ya I know.
  • Provided daily menus (not healthy ones, only tasty ones) and made my mother dish out everything I wanted to eat, thus adding several pounds😦
  • Changed an unbearable number of yucky diapers because my daughter got a Rotavirus infection.
  • Found a new hobby – playdough!
  • Made sure I packed all 4 bags to the maximum possible extent and now struggling with trying to find a place for everything I bought.
  • Bid reluctant bye-byes to everyone back home.
  • Successfully answered the question – “I see a lot of H1Bs adjusting their status to Green card. Why do you think they do that?” asked by the immigration officer by saying “Everyone has their own reasons!”
  • Happy to be back home and still have a job!
  • Damn it’s cold!

Here are a few pics..

Update:

And how did I forget this??  I spoke to Maami quite a few times and felt like I had known her all my life!

15 thoughts on “India trip

  1. Pradeep

    Good one! I will have similar vacation experiences in a few months. Hopefully!

    Rekha: Oho.. all the best for the India trip. When are you planning to go? I hope you are escaping at least some winter.

  2. Welcome back! Super trip. I think you did every possible thing you could! LOL @ the immigration officer question

    Rekha: Don’t ask about that immigration officer yaar! Total dubakoor.. wanted to know why I decided to apply for green card when I came here on H1B temporarily. “Dei dubaak officer.. there is no other way to enter this country” nna solla mudiyum?

  3. hey, perfect NRI trip anyone can ever make! They probably identified u as NRI not coz you spoke English with daughter, it’s just written in large caps all over our wide foreheads. O, malli poo.
    Yea, more than anything, it’s the malli poo!

    Rekha: Yeah I also think it might have been the English.. That or they saw me getting off a chauffer driven car.

  4. Nice trip.. & nice snaps..makes me wanna go to India too.. my trip is not due till next feb..😦

    i’lll be posting my tag post today.

    Rekha: Oh.. long wait! Checked out your post on the tag too and loved it.

  5. I agree with Rads. It is the Malli poo🙂

    And did Maami and you go to the concerts😉

    Rekha: Oh no.. Maami couldn’t come to Chennai at that time, so we only spoke on the phone. I had no time for concerts.. chennai trip was totally packed!

  6. ellam ok, green card also ok. but spoke to maami and quite a few times a?

    idhu too much….

    unless u are related or coll buddies i strongly oppose!

    Rekha: For the record, we are neither related nor are we college buddies.. Elaam vitutu indha one line lae ivlo objectionaa??? You should take it up with maami not me🙂

  7. Me

    So who made everything for karthigai? youvaa illa maamiyaaraaa illa unga in-laws aathu cookaa?

    Rekha: Maamiyar made everything! I was busy enjoying mehendi etc at my cousin’s place and making avasaram trips to stores in T.Nagar.

    Happy to be back home and still have a job!

    abba engala maari yaarumay feel pannalayae nu ivalov naal orey varutham…every friend of ours say that they feel india as home…

    Rekha: Hm… I feel both are home.. but at this point in time, my primary residence is here and so this shall be my home until my situation is altered otherwise.

    Bought a small baby oil bottle, one mysore sandal soap and a bottle of shringar “chaandhu” at a Naadar kadai for Rs.97 and felt stupid for pulling out Rs.50 note.

    …LOL! i got 4 apples…& a litre of milk and pulled out a 50 ruba note for 100 something bill…felt shocked, stupid all at the same time..

    Rekha: Rs.50 is now what Rs.2 was when I left from India five years ago.

    …so maami is for real huh…i always thought a mama was writing the posts on maami’s name….don’t ask me why

    Rekha: Haha.. that is the funniest thing I’ve heard. Maami is a woman and most charming too.

  8. ‘A maama was writing all posts in a maami’s name’- Why oi?I sound like an ambala Kamakshi-ya? (Varinju katufying veshti😉 )

    Next time Rekha we shall hopefully meet up-your daughter looks a darling and go shopping in Mylapore like a couple of nice maamis and discuss how to make our mums work for us while we holiday.

    Babbu:Poor Rekha:-) She’s way too young to be my college buddy.

    Someday we can all meet-if I get over my inhibitions.I’m very very shy-like they show girls in Tamil cinema you know, in case you haven’t noticed:-)

  9. Me

    saary maami….i think i read too many calvin & hobbes…i am starting to hallucinate…

    NRI Maami: saravana stores la ennalam vaanginel?

    Rekha: Saravana stores lae.. nothing very fancy.. bindis, bangles, blouses, shoes for my daughter.. soap seep kannadi types..

  10. 😛 I was just going through your ‘about’ page in a fit of insomnia and noticed how curious people have been about your Iyer/Iyengar status.

    LOL, I dunno why, but those comments there were so funny!🙂

    Rekha: Yep.. I found them quite hilarious. Sometimes I think people think I am like a 60 something old Maami and ask me questions that would be more relevant to someone of that age.

  11. What a trip!!! Been following your blog for some time but today’s post inspires me to leave comments.
    I love to learn about Chennai culture but don’t know all things you mentioned.. What is “madras bashai dose ”
    Regarding Sarvana store helper.. Did you get charged more or had to tip that person who helped you? My sis in law whos a Keralite by birth never lived there til recently, and when she moved to Kerala, initially even to this time in some stores she hasn’t yet gone, she has similiar experience…
    Your snaps are brilliant. Thanks for sharing!

    Rekha: Madras Bashai is the local lingo.. and a dose of that is what you get when you cut off a taxi guy or auto driver on the road – choicest cursers hurled in the local lingo.
    The saravana store helper didn’t need a tip and I didn’t get charged more either – I guess it’s just their way of making people like me feel more comfortable because saravana stores used to have this name of being very low-class.

  12. Simbly South

    “…and felt stupid for pulling out Rs.50 note.” My last visit, I too had that same dumb feeling – & that too a couple of times. It was almost like everything below 100 Rs. was worth nothing !!🙂

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