Punju Wedding

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I attended my first Punjabi wedding. Technically, I did not. I left before the wedding started but after dinner was served.
A friend (who used to be close) got married. We (me and another common friend) along with KC were invited for the engagement and wedding/reception. This common friend- lets call him D, is also a Punjabi. The three of us have worked together and now are in separate companies. Like D said, “you are my friends from work”. Yeah, he has a lot of categorizations- friends from school, college, work, current work, family friends, relatives etc…. too many compartments to fit all the friends in his life.
But before I get to the wedding, I need to talk about what I wore… or what I did not wear.
In 2008, when I had just moved to Gurgaon I was invited to the wedding of the brother of a colleague. I had no intention of attending but a call in the evening from a senior made me change my mind. I had just moved from sales to the HQ and my clothes reflected that- daily wear, semi formals, comfy clothes and nothing for a party/wedding. With no time to shop I pulled on trousers and a top which would fit party wear. Big mistake. I was mortified when I saw the turnout. Colleagues who looked drab at work had transformed into swans. So, when another colleague was getting married a year later I took the time and money to buy a wedding dress. That is the only dress I have worn to ALL weddings. It has been 4 years. 1.5 years back I had to attend KC’s friend’s engagement. I bought a sober dress to wear there. After that, I wore it at the office Diwali celebrations. Taking all this into consideration, I decided not to buy anything new for the friend’s wedding. But I did not feel like wearing the same clothes. I decided to wear western outfits. The only people I knew at the wedding were the friend, D, KC and maybe 1-2 batchmates from B school. I didn’t care what they thought.
Coming back… the engagement was at Pitampura which is in extreme North Delhi. I have been there a few times and regretted it. On Friday evening/night, I reached Pitampura at 9 pm. The time on the card was 8 pm. I was late… or so I thought. The friend- lets call him A, was waiting for the to-be bride… food had not been served… 50% of the people had not arrived. WTF!!! At 10 pm, the bride-to be arrived and by 10.30 pm they were engaged. We reached for the dinner and left by 11 pm. There was a DJ and I assume the party actually started at 11.30 pm and went on till wee hours.
The wedding was on Sunday night in some godforsaken farmhouse in Chattarpur… there were no street lights and the road was bumpy. I told KC if we have come to the wrong address, we will head back home and go to sleep. We arrived at 9.30 pm and I thought we are late. Guess, who meets us at the gate? The groom… in the car… with the baraat around him. He had not yet entered the venue. Finally, after all the dancing and insane noise he entered the venue at 10.30 pm. By then, KC and I had eaten dinner and were planning to leave. At 11 pm, we left just as the bride was arriving. The wedding probably started by midnight.
In all my life, below are the different kind of weddings I have attended:

  • Family friends: Since I was in the boarding, I did not know most of my parents’ friends. So, these weddings were a pain. My sis and I would plead with our parents to let us stay home but 9 out of 10 times we had to attend. Who was going to cook dinner for us? It was a quick outing… enter, meet the couple, smile, get pics clicked, rush for dinner, eat, leave. Done- by 9-10 pm max. By 11 pm even the couple would have left for home. Btw, this is in Gujarat… so, no liquor
  • Family- Sister: Sis’s wedding was different… weddings at home are different… the time and day does not matter. It is an entire week of celebrations. We had a sangeet along with mehendi, janoi (my brother’s), garba night, engagement (along with DJ night), wedding and reception. People turned up for whatever functions they wanted to. Relatives and close friends attended the sangeet… everyone attended garba and janoi… engagement and wedding were at Indore so it was just close relatives.
  • Relatives: I do not remember the actual wedding because I was not there… I was probably gossiping with cousins or playing badminton (no kidding… we did that… played badminton at the other end of the ground), playing with cousins or out frolicking with my cousin brothers. Time did not matter. It was an entire week of celebrations for family and there was the reception for outsiders.
  • Close friends: Umm… except one, all the other friends are single. I chose not to attend the wedding since I am not into it. If I had a choice, I would not have turned up for my own wedding… actually, if we had a choice KC and I would have had a live in relationship all our life.
Punjabi (or is in Delhi) weddings are notorious for starting late… the invitation says 8 pm but the wedding starts at 11 pm. Thats how it is- I was told. Different… very different from Gujarat weddings.
Few months back my sis was in town and I had taken her shopping. We came across gaudy bling in most of the shops and my sis wondered what happened to the fashion conscious Delhi people. I guess, at a wedding it all goes out of window. Being a Sindhi, I am no stranger to bling… but the bling of this level was beyond my imagination. There was a lady dressed in a blingy saree, with a bling blouse, gaudy jewellery, bling on her eyes and the blingy footwear. For a moment I thought she is the bride to be (I have met her only once and was blinded momentarily by the bling) until I spotted the chudas and realized she is a newly wed.
I am glad its over and will be avoiding any future weddings. Requesting my friends not to invite me. I think RT is the only friend whose wedding I am looking forward to… the wedding will be in MP and we can go to Bandhavgarh from there.

The Trip

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Hiya. Sorry for the silence. I wanted to blog about many things but life has been extremely busy. Last Saturday, my parents had a stop over at Delhi on their way to Srinagar. I did not join them on the Kashmir trip since I had month end. They landed at 9 am and I took them to the mall in Vasant Kunj. After some retail therapy (why do shops open soooo late?) I dropped them at the airport and rushed home. In the evening while heading to the gym D called and invited me for dinner to Nizamuddin. KC and I had planned a night in with some wine but I really wanted to try the non veg at Nizamuddin. It is a very famous place where people park near the road and eat non veg and have liqour in the car. No, there are no cops. Cops look the other way. It is hard to find if you don’t know where exactly it is located. Umm, it is between Khan Market and NIzamuddin… just before the signal. We had mutton burra kebab, chicken seekh kebab and mutton burra roll. I do not eat mutton ‘coz it is red meat (and unhealthy) and also I find it harder to chew. Here, I fell in love with the mutton… it unbelievably soft. For 3 kebabs and 5 rolls, we paid 300 bucks per head among 5 people. Not bad.
On Monday night, we headed for Avengers. I reached the mall from office while KC came direct from Noida. I was exhausted waiting for him and it was a late night show. I fell asleep within 15 mins of the movie. I don’t think it was too great. We left for home in the interval.
On Thursday I left for Jammu from where I took a bus to Katra to go to Vaishno devi. No, I am not religious. On the contrary, I am allergic to anything remotely religious. I think it is all a farce… people are just trying to find something/someone to blame for their problems and God becomes a convenient excuse. It gives them false hope and they keep waiting for miracles to happen to them instead of finding their own solutions. To counter my own self, it also gives people hope and a strength to fight life’s battles. I think I can fight without heavenly help. My parents, specially Mom, is overally religious and our views do not match on the subject. Few years back, she had expressed a wish to go to Vaishnodevi. She wanted me to come along since I was in Gurgaon then. I had reluctantly agreed but the trip never materialized. She has been to the temple twice already and this time wanted my bro to come along. I decided to join them to gain some goodwill.
Vaishnodevi is a temple located among the Himalayas… 11 km from Katra. People generally walk all the way… there are options of horse ride or palkis for those who cannot walk. I reached Katra at 7 pm. After dinner, we negotiated for a palki for my dad since he cannot walk. Since it was night and the government palki wala was closed, the locals had doubled their rate. We had no option but to pay. Mom, bro and I decided to brave the walk. The 11 km are steep, on a winding slope. There are steps at some places but climbing steps creates more pressure on the knees. We walked… and walked… and walked… all night and reached the temple at 3.15 am. (We started walking at 10 pm). The first 5 km of the road are lined with markets selling food, snacks, handicrafts, knick knacks which are open all night and day. There are 2 CCDs on the way. Anyway, there was not a long queue in the temple but it was still filled with people. After a quick darshan (very, very quick) my mom insisted on going to another temple 2 km away. Now, I was pissed. I just wanted to get over with and go back to the hotel. So, we walked… the most difficult part of the journey… since the 2 km were ascending directly upwards. There were around 1000 stairs incase someone did not want to walk. I rushed through the darshan which pissed off my mom. I didn’t care… it was some Bhairon’s temple. Not that it matters.
On the way back, we took a tempo for the first 5 km and horse ride for the balance 6 km.
We slept all day and then headed to Jammu next morning.
I think the place is over rated… the whole idea is to get people to spend money and boost the economy of Katra. I believe that in a religious place people will be polite and charge correctly. Not so here… from the palkiwalas to tempo guy to horse guys… everyone charged a bomb. I was disgusted. These people are taking advantage of religious sentiments. The management in the temple is pathetic. Going during the day can be mind fucking.
If you are very religious, please go visit the place. You will love it. If you are anything like me, avoid. Pathetic place.

Apna Khoon

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I have been in a dilemma due to a conversation I had the other day.

I had been preparing for the market visit of a senior manager in the organization… that explains the previous posts.
Anyway, on the day of the visit, we stopped for lunch. The manager is a new joinee and was asking details about me.
Him: So, who is in your family?
Me: Mom, dad, younger bro and elder sis
Him: Silence
Him: Umm… so, your parents are in NCR?
Me: No… my husband is here
Him: Oh, you didn’t mention him when I asked about family. I wanted to know if you are married
I was zapped for a moment? Is my husband part of my family? I mean… sure, by Indian traditions he is. But isn’t family about “apna khoon”? As in, people of the same blood?
Don’t be scandalized. I love my husband… he is my best friend… we are great together… no matter how many disagreements. We fit together… like we have never fit with anyone else.
But, is he family? Just ‘coz he has been with me for 4 years now… can he supersede my parents?
Ok… he did… when I married him against my parents wishes. But still, family is mom, dad, bro and sis… thats how it has been always.
Like, my jeeju is extended family. He does not immediately come to mind when I talk about family.
And KC is different… he is my best friend. Family is those people from who you keep secrets and friends are those with who you share those secrets.
When I mentioned this to KC, he said; “Whenever I am asked about family, I do mention you. But knowing you, I know you have different view point on that. Thats just you”
Sigh!!! Does anyone else understand this? Or as Indian women (even men), are we brought to consider husbands automatically part of family.

Happening Week

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Hiya. Its been a very hectic but happening week. My mom called and told me she is coming to Delhi with my sis who is arriving from USA. This came as a major surprise. My mom is not one to inform earlier. I was pissed since getting leave at the last moment was going to be an issue. I had pending leaves which I had planned to take in advance. Anyway, they arrived on Monday morning. I met them in the evening after work at CP (no, they didn’t stay with me… no surprise there), dropped my mom off to Karol Bagh, dropped off my sis at AIIMS and headed home. I was exhausted with all the driving around. Btw, Karol Bagh is like Times Square of New York- with all the billboards and everything.

I had taken Tuesday off since my sis had to shop for my cousin’s wedding. (No, I was not invited). Big problem. I know where the malls are… I know where to get western wear… but Indian wear? Beats me. I googled and took advice from male friends…. who asked their female friends/colleagues. We went to Nalli in South Ex but they had only sarees… we went to Hauz Khas since there are designers stores there. I learned something new- designers stores display only a few pieces. They design and not retail. We had lunch at Gunpowder and left for Gurgaon empty handed.
Gurgaon was a disappointment too. We finally picked 5 dresses and waited for my mom to turn up and pick the final one. She rejected all of them. The shopkeeper was in tears. He had spent more than an hour showing us the stuff. On our way out, we came across a dress material shop and checked it out. Finally, the purchases were made and everyone heaved a sigh of relief.
The initial plan was that mom and sis would leave on Wednesday night but the unsuccessful shopping trip changed that. They left on Wednesday morning to get the dresses stitched from A’bad in one day.
But before that, my sis was wondering where are the top designers in Delhi. Delhi is supposed to be the fashion capital, after all. More google.. and we went to Emporio Mall. I was impressed. I have only seen the clothes on the net… to actually see them in front of me was a dream come true. Of course, Indian designers are all located on the top floor of the mall with the most expensive and premium brands like Versace, Cartier, Christian Louboutin etc on the ground floor. We checked out all the Indian designers- Suneet Verma (lehengas ranging till 5 lakh), Tarun Tahiliani (regular salwar kameez for 80 k), Malini Ramani (the dress that Ekta Kapoor wears to all parties at 19k) etc etc. Rina Dhaka was the cheapest with salwar kameez arounf 20k. It was quite a trip and one that I enjoyed thoroughly.
I realized how misunderstandings and negative feelings can last for years due to mis-communication or lack of any communication. That was rectified on this trip.
Next post- Amritsar trip


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Hiya. Its been a busy week. Any week where I have to go to Faridabad and Noida/Ghaziabad is hectic. I have not had a moment to breathe. Also, the Sunday dance classes just add to the stress. I do enjoy them but it does get tiring and I like my Sundays free.

Anyway, the performance is next Saturday. Hope it goes off well. If it does not, its ok. I am not planning to become a professional. Today I had to go shopping for the outfit- checked skirt, puffed sleeves top and skin colored stocking. Stepping into Promod is really hard on my pocket. I cannot leave with only 1 outfit. Sigh!!!
There are things I have been meaning to talk about:
  • Arranged marriage: 2 of my friends have started looking out for partners through arranged marriage route since their own search has been unsuccessful. In a way, arranged marriage is a convenient thing in India. It is not looked down upon. What about people in the USA? They have to find their own partners. What they cannot find anyone and want to get married? Anyway, these friends are educated, broad minded people but when it comes to arranged marriage- the rules remain the same. A grounded, good looking girl who is well educated and has a career but is not ambitious to pursue it strongly. Also, someone who can cook and will “blend” with the family. Everything is skewed towards the males. Can a female have “cooking” as a desirable trait in her partner? Naah… people will laugh at her. She is only supposed to compromise. Totally unfair. KC and me were discussing. I think the whole concept of a female moving in with the guy and taking his surname is very old fashioned. Can she ask her guy to move in with her parents? No, right? And why not? Are her parents not important? The whole concept worked when women were not working and males had to support wife, kids and parents. That does not apply anymore. Of course, KC did not want to argue or agree with me. Men!!!
  • Last month when I met my cousin, she told me she had quit her job. I was shocked. Even though we are in 2012 (when the world is supposed to end), my family does not consider financial independence of the female to be important. Strange since there have been many incidences where arranged marriage has led to fatal consequences. This cousin- lets call her L, was one of the few females in the family who was working. She had completed her engineering in a reputed college of Mumbai and joined a reputed company. Her parents are looking out for a groom and decided that she should stay home and lose weight instead. I was sickened by the whole thing. Of course, my arguments were shot down by my mom who thought anything is better than giving girls so much independence that they marry against parents’ wishes. Argument over. Case closed. If things have not progressed for my family, what about the majority of the population? Will females ever get their due?
  • Met a friend last month. We had discussions on variety of topics. I had forgotten how much fun that can be. One of the topics discussed was fidelity or infidelity. We decided that a person does not cheat because he/she is dissatisfied by the other partner. It is always because of lack of something in the person and not the relationship. There are people who cheat and there are others who do not. It is a matter of character and will power. Anything else is an excuse. No, I am not moralizing. This is an opinion of someone who has been there. I am quite familiar with my dark sides. I think it is quite important to make mistakes so that you realize their consequences. Life is all about experimenting. There is a time to play with fire and a time to play safe. I have played with fire and have moved to the safe side.
  • I want to feel warm- if only for 5 minutes. Last weekend, there was sunshine and it was barely cold. I was so happy. I thought winter is over. Monday began with fog and rain. What is worse than cold? It is cold+rain. I just want to be warm… and nothing makes me warm enough. And I want to feel the sun. I miss the sun.
I will be back with movie reviews tomorrow. The cooking is on hold right due to lack of time and energy.


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Hiya… I have taken 3 days off since leaves are pending- Saturday to Tuesday. On Saturday, I woke up at 11 am… after a really long time. It is difficult to sleep when the doorbell rings constantly. I already have a list of things to do in my head- go to the gym, get refill of gas cylinder, buy groceries, wash clothes, give clothes for ironing, maybe watch a movie. Last weekend, we returned from Mumbai at midnight. Sure, it was a day off but we did not get a chance to relax and I was looking forward to that. One phone call changed that… KC’s dad had passed away. He had a severe heart attack… the 2nd one in a week. We rushed to Mumbai asap. Of course, the flight got delayed and we reached at 8 pm. I was shocked… the last funeral I attended was when I was in school. My parents have never really taken us for the recent funerals- my maternal granny, paternal grandparents, dad’s brother etc.

When I met KC’s dad in the ICU last weekend, it brought back memories of seeing my grandfather like that. He had a liver problem due to excessive drinking. I was in 1st or 2nd standard when he was admitted in a Mumbai hospital. I did not meet him but remember the hospital… all the people just waiting there. We had gone to my masi’s home and the phone rang as we entered the house… Grandad had passed away. He used to pamper me silly and I miss him. I remember him always laughing and being jolly.
Recently, my granny passed away. I had not spoken to her in the last 2.5 years despite my mom urging me to call her. She was not keeping well. Before my marriage to KC, I was a frequent visitor to her house since I was based in Rajkot and she stayed in Veraval (5 hours away). I was pissed with her ‘coz she didn’t call me after my wedding (just a brief- I married KC without my parents approval and have been cut off by the family). I just thought that if she wanted to speak to me, she should call… anyway, I did speak to her a month before her death. I did not attend the funeral and when Mom asked me to go to her house after her death, I refused. I don’t think I will ever go to that house again… it will only bring back memories. Thankfully, rest of my family will move out of there and the doors to that life will be closed.
There are regrets when someone passes away… I know I will have many… but is there any point? No matter how perfect a relationship, it will not seem perfect after death. I’d rather hold on to the good memories than indulge in regret and guilt. Some things are destined and others chosen by us. I read in a Richard Bach book that we choose our paths. For example, instead of path A if we choose path B our life will have a different destiny. I do not believe in the notion that whats supposed to happen will happen. For example, if I had not chosen to do MBA and join a particular organization I would never have met KC. Ditto for him. We would never have met if I would have pursued medicine (tried really hard for it) or he would have gone abroad for masters. We would have ended up with different people.
And thats life…

Back with a bang

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Hiya… I had gone for a sales conference to Pune. I dislike conferences, corporate parties etc etc… I used to hate them. The hatred has lessened. I do not understand the fun and joy in drinking, dancing and interacting for 4 hours and more. 1 hour is my limit… after that I am ready to shoot myself. Anyway, 3 days were spent in Pune attending presentations at the end of which I won an award for best sales performance in my channel. It felt good.

On Sunday I met my brother and Mom. I treated them to lunch at ‘Out of the Blue’, an amazing restaurant in Bandra. The first time I went there was with an acquaintance from B-School. We ate 3 courses… pasta, pizza and fondue. KC and I have been there many, many times. Do visit it if you are on Carter road.
I also met another acquaintance from B-School in Pune- H. We used to be good friends but it didn’t last. I don’t remember our last conversation in college. But, thats the thing about friendship… you can pick it up any time anywhere. 2.5 hours passed away in a jiffy.
And now it is back to the cold…. mornings are foggy, I can barely spot the next building. We come up and tuck ourselves in the blanket with soup… KC likes to sleep by 10.30 pm which is a shocker since his normal sleeping hour was 1 am.
More … later… adios…

One chapter closes

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Hiya. I just finished with my appraisal. It was a sham… ratings have been sent 10 days back and yet there butterflies in my stomach. I think a good appraisal is one where you know what feedback to expect. You should know what is going to be said. So, I guess it was good. Another challenge beckons tomorrow… I need to accomplish it else consequences will be devastating.

Sometimes I think life was so much easier for women like my mom… they had to deal with home issues and not so many other people like I do- clients, bosses, sub ordinates, colleagues, distributors etc etc etc. So many complications… and having to always come up with right solutions… give your best… be on top of your game… whew, it is exhausting.
Some days are so relaxing… and I can’t wait for others to end. This and last week has been like the latter.
KC and I have been waiting for the winter to arrive. I was disappointed to know that winter lasts for only 1.5 months. Now I realize that 1.5 months will seem like 3. It is so so so cold… I sit/sleep in one position till I become warm… KC and me are constantly cuddling next to each other to share the warmth. Right now, we are gathering courage to open the balcony door, step out and dry wet clothes. Clothes take 3-4 days to dry completely and by then there are 2 more lots ready to be washed. Also, checking to determine whether clothes are wet or just cold is a challenge.
I am leaving day after for Pune for the sales conference. Saturday night and Sunday will be spent in Mumbai. Looking forward to meeting my mom and brother. I am planning to treat them at Out of the Blue in Bandra. Do visit this restaurant on Carter Road for the most amazing food. I had gone there for dinner and drinks with an acquaintance. We had eaten so much… pasta, pizza, fondue. Amazing food.
Tata… see you guys next week.

Happy Diwali

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Be grateful… I never reply to Diwali wishes and hardly ever wish. No, I am not being rebellious… it is pure laziness. I have always been home during Diwali or atleast with parents. A lot of times we would have only 2 days off in school and final exams would be near. My school term was from March to November- due to extreme winters in Mt Abu and Christmas. The nuns wanted to celebrate X’Mas without nuisance and so they changed the school term.

Anyway, my parents were always around for Diwali except once… when I had joined the boarding. Parents sent loads of fire crackers for sis and me. While bursting them, 1 cracker went hay wire and almost hurt a kid. The nuns confiscated our crackers and no amount of begging and pleading helped. I