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.


Life revolves around food

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Hiya. I am sitting in the bedroom after watching a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory Season 5. KC is sleeping and there is silence. It is cold but bearable. Last night’s howling breeze is silent right now. Winter is saying goodbye and I couldn’t be happier.

This week has been hectic and I have not been getting enough sleep. No, its not work… its never work. On Thursday, my colleague gave me a free pass for the movie ‘Chronicle’ playing at Vasant Kunj Mall. I invited D, AB and KC. AB couldn’t make ‘coz he had to “sleep early”. KC was quite busy at work and we had to leave quite late. The traffic on Mehrauli road did not help and we reached half an hour after the movie started. Disappointed, we headed for a quick drink and dinner at Taman Gang. I had not heard about it but D had come for dinner with his family. He did mention that it is expensive but I did not realize then that our definitions differ. Anyway, since we were in a hurry D ordered for us. We did not even look at the menu. There was some chicken starter which was quite good. The chicken red Thai curry was yummy. The chicken was so so so soft. And rice was good. We had 4 drinks in all. The bill came to 5k. I was a little zapped. We have not done the whole get together with friends in a while and was not sure how much it is supposed to cost. Even then, it seemed on the expensive side. On checking the bill, I realized main course and starter cost 650 bucks each. KC and I do not have a budget but generally, anything above 350 bucks is expensive for us. I read the reviews on zomato.com and check the prices before going to a place. The prices are so high only in a 5 star. The food was good but quite expensive.
We then headed for The Descendants. I will write a review in my next post.
KC was working late on Friday night and we came home at 10.30 pm. I was in no mood to go out and we ordered in (with great difficulty since everything closes at 11 pm in Gurgaon).
Last night was great. We headed to Select Citywalk since KC wanted to shop. Dinner was at The Big Chill Cafe, as always. We visit it every month and love the food there. My only grouse is the waiting time. The first time we went there on a Sunday afternoon, we got a table at 3 pm (after more than an hour of waiting). At Khan Market, D had booked a table on phone an hour earlier. We were made to wait for another 45 mins. Last night was the same. 60 mins of wait and we finally got a table at 10 pm. Thankfully, the service was quick. Their Vanilla Oreo shake is to die for.
Last weekend was the workshop. I was happy to have no class on a Sunday and just wanted to stay in and do nothing. At 12 noon- after finishing all the chores, we were about to start watching TBBT when a friend R called. R and me live within 5 mins of each other and were together in engg college. Our friendship has lagged over the years and neither has made an effort to revive it. All my invitations to movies or dinner have mostly been turned down by him- for one reason or the other in the last few months. And I have basically given up. Anyway, he asked me to bring him some food since he is very ill and has nothing at home. I guessed he was in dire need of help to have called me. I packed some food and took it to him. He had been running a fever for 3-4 days and was surviving of D Cold and Crocin. His sister was away at a weeding out of town and parents had gone back to their home 2 days back. Basically, he was alone and there was nobody to look after him. After feeding him soup, I took him to the hospital. He had to be given a drip to bring down the fever. I brought him home, fed him lunch and returned home to a Sunday that was almost over. Sigh!!! I do not understand the reluctance of people to see a doctor. My father is a doc so advice is always available and I am quite used to it. For me it is very natural to see a doc when I am unwell. Most people wait and wait and wait till they are pushed by someone to see a doc. KC is like that. So, is R. Any symptom which lasts more than a week should be diagnosed by a doc; 2 days if it is fever.
And today I plan to do nothing. Just sit home and lounge around. I need to.


The Week that was…

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Hiya. This week has been nice. I love mid week holidays. They are non chore days. I cannot wake up on Thursday with a list in my head. The lists are for the weekend. We had nothing to do on Republic day since we could not get passes for the parade. I was told tickets are for losers. Anyway, 26th Jan’12 bright, early and sunny. The day was beautiful. My friend AB told me he was going for a picnic to Lodi Gardens. I decided to head there as well. We had planned to go to the garden last month but it didn’t work out. To avoid checking, we took the metro to Jor Bagh. The garden was crowded… all the Delhi families had come there to soak in the sun. And they had come with preparation- home made food, cards, cricket gear, badminton rackets, liqour, floor mats etc. I got to know later that Lodi gardens and India Gate are a draw during the winters. It is the ideal place to hang out. It was quite nice. We walked around the garden and visited the monuments. I was shocked to see people drinking liqour. Lodi Gardens is the most posh place in Delhi. Dignitaries live around there. If decent families can drink liqour in the open on Republic day, anything can happen. I mean, what are we teaching our kids? Sigh!!!

After an hour, we met up with D who lives near Khan Market. After a Vanilla Oreo shake (please try it) and pasta at Big Chill we tried to get tickets for a movie, any movie but were unsuccessful. It was a day well spent.
Yesterday was the Winter Workshop at Sirifort Auditorium. My day was filled with “to-do” items- buy shoes from Sohna Road Bata showroom (the only store in Gurgaon which stocks shoes worth 250 bucks), go to the bank, buy groceries, go to the parlour, have lunch, leave for workshop. The workshop was fine. Our performance lasted for barely 1.5 mins. We went on stage, did our stuff and came out. It was unbelievable- 2 months practice for only 1.5 mins. During classes, I don’t interact much with anyone. I dance and leave- like everyone else. Anyway, 90% of the class has school going teenagers. During the workshop, I had the misfortune of interacting with them. We had to wear checked skirts given by the company. They were knee length skirts. ALL the girls found them TOO long. And then, they proceeded to fold them to less than half their length. For some reason, most of them have accents. I do not understand this. They don’t look like NRIs. Where do they get accents from?
Lesson learned- Have kids but do not educate them in Delhi.


Its been a good day… good, good day

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It has been a good Sunday. The morning was a rush. I could not wake up early enough to go to the gym. The plan was to finish all chores in the morning and meet some friends for lunch at Khan Market. We rushed to Galleria to buy groceries, veggies/fruits and a b’days gift for the friend. We had to meet A and D. It was D’s b’day yesterday and I wanted to get him a gift even thought A asked me not to. It is so difficult to buy something for someone who can afford everything… what can you gift a guy? With KC, its different… I spend enough time to notice what he is drooling after and what he needs… but for friends, it becomes difficult… specially guys. I got a cologne from Body Shop. We rushed home… I got dressed while KC napped. After a very long time, I wore my heels. I am not comfy in heels and do not like it when my legs ache. Also, work involves travelling, walking and standing around… so I avoid heels. Today was the perfect day for it… since the only walking would be from my car to the restaurant.
Lunch was at Big Chill where we had to wait for 45 mins even though a table had been booked in advance. When I gave D the gift, he looked quite embarrassed and told me it was unnecessary since now he will have to remember my b’day and then buy a gift and finding a gift for females can be a drag. Wow!!! I never thought of it that way… I mean, I had to meet up with girlfriends a day before or after my b’day… a gift would be given to the b’day girl. No questions about it… its taken for granted. I guess, men are different… very different.
A complained that I not gifted him anything for his b’day. Well, when I called to wish him… he
had denied that it was his b’day and that facebook was lying. No kidding.
After the crazy lunch, we dropped in at L’Opera… A and D wanted to see what the big deal about the macaroons is… what is it that costs 130 bucks. They were unimpressed.
We headed home soon after. Rest of the day was spent lazing around.
Some pics of my fav heels… I don’t remember when I bought them…. its been more than 2 years.


Good Morning

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I hate writing titles… after thinking about what to write in a post I have to find an apt title. When I wrote poetry as a teenager another friend made up titles for them.

Good morning!!! It rained… again. And that is so nice.Wish I could say KC and I took a walk in the nice weather. He is still sleeping… I am awake ‘coz of the cook.
The weekend was good. Friday night was spent in TGIF drinking, watching cricket with KC and his friend. We had to pick him up from his guesthouse and I am getting familiar with the roads. The only problem is either people don’t know the roads ‘coz they are new or lie. Not kidding. They lie confidently. We make it a point to ask 2-3 people.
I tried steak for the first time and had a tough time. I am superficial non veg eater. I grew up with fish but never involved myself into the details. Chicken came into my life in college. I do not like red meat like goat. It is tough to chew…. sea food was out when I tried squids… gross, slimy creatures… bacon/pork is tolerable but once in a while on my pizza. I follow the food blogger ‘Kalyan’ (on the side bar) and admire how he has eaten everything- pork, beef, chicken, meat, fish, sea food, kangaroo, frog legs. Wow!!! Anyway, he would have liked the flavours of the steak (he blogged about it some few months back) but I couldn’t appreciate the flavour.
KC spent Saturday with his friends drinking which lasted all day and night. It started with Bauji ka dhaba at Metropolitan Mall… moved to happy hours in Rodeo next door. We headed to CP at night. This was my first time driving on Delhi roads… AB gave directions on the phone. The roads are sexy without traffic… the road signs were helpful till we almost reached there. We got confused among the 4-5 circles… people lied about the directions again. We went to the rooftop restaurant China Wok for drinks. AB picked me up and we headed to Cibo at Hotel Janpath while KC and his friends moved to another lounge.
Cibo is sexy…. huge screen for the match (not the attraction), tables laid out on a cobbled path, open air, nice lights, a fountain bang in the middle. I wanted to try the Italian food but AB was keen on some chicken curry. After drinks we headed to National on CP. You have to try either National or Kake da dhaba for some non veg. The prices are low. We had 2 plates of chicken curry (very very spicy) and 4 rotis for 280 bucks only. And the food was good. I have never seen anyone eat non veg with so much passion. AB sucked out everything and only looked up when carcasses were left.
Today we will relax. I have an early morning flight to Mumbai for a training. Looking forward to meeting my old colleagues.


Sunday morning with hot Bournvita

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Hiya. I am waiting for the plumber to turn up and then electrician and then maybe, maybe… the Airtel DTH- if my stars are aligned. And then we will be done. The house will become a home… almost. We need seating arrangement in the living room which will have to wait till next weekend. The gas connection is done and I am having hot Bournvita after a long time.

Last night was great, after a movie with hubby we had drinks at home with AB followed by maggi and parathas at midnight at Convergys dhaba. It is nice to have some place teeming with people at that hour- a rarity in Gurgaon.
It is actually raining right now. Unbelievable weather. The winds will change in another month and I am savouring it till then.
I am liking the silence of Gurgaon after the noise of Mumbai. Everything in life is relative. We make future choices basis past experiences.


Big News… Life comes a full circle

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Hi. So, I have meaning to make this announcement for quite sometime now. I had to use all my willpower to keep my mouth/fingers shut.

KC and me (or should it be ‘I’) are relocating to Gurgaon. Yes… Yes… I know… I know. People who know and have read my previous blog will wonder if this is the correct decision. I did have a miserable time last time I was there. But… if this is what it takes for KC and me to be together, we are willing to do it.
At one end we are excited… our married life can start finally… we will actually be living together on the marriage anniversary… at the other end… we do wonder how we will manage. I mean… together everyday… me- all organized and time tablish… and him- lazy and disorganized. Now is the real test of the relationship. We can stay apart… but can we stay together?
As for Gurgaon itself, I guess I will survive. It is not the location which matters but people around me. Thankfully, Abhinav and Katty are in Delhi NCR. So is Tanuj.
Below are things I want to do after moving there:
  • Join Jazz classes on weekdays
  • Join Salsa with KC on Sundays
  • Join swimming everyday
  • Join a cooking class when time permits
And we plan to stay in a 2 bhk… sigh, what a relief. Since we do not expect visitors the 2nd room will be a study cum PS2 room.
Ciao…with happy thoughts.


Blackberry Vs Nokia

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Whew!!! It has been a few hectic days. I am supposed to get 2 blackberry 8520 as a reward from the company. The plan was to sell off one and upgrade to a higher model and give the other one to KC. When I got BB curve on Saturday I was curious about all the hype and opened the box, configured all the settings and was happily surfing. The next day KC and I went to many outlets to sell off 8520 and buy 3g 9300. In less than 24 hrs of opening the box the phone’s value had depreciated from 12k to 4-8k. I was in no mood to spend another 10k on a new phone. I gave up and decided to stick to 8520. 18-25k for a phone is a lot of money and over the years I have realized it is a waste. A phone needs to have- call, sms, internet, facebook, push mail, facebook etc. Even a phone worth 10k has all this. I change my phones every 1-2 years and the value of the one year old phone comes down to one third of the actual MRP if I am lucky. What is the point of spending money on something that depreciates so fast?

I am happy now… I can use my Nokia e63 (which I still love) for official no and BB for personal no.
Buy a blackberry only if you need to use mails on the go. Else stick to a regular phone.
And blackberry messenger is used by connections to send forwards which is quite annoying. Anyway, how much can you connect with someone?
For example- my friend Abhinav is on my phone list. We speak every week. He is on gtalk friends list through his bb, on facebook friends list and on blackberry messenger. Do we need to connect on so many different applications? Ditto for other friends.
Are we all trying to connect too much to bridge the geographical distances or are we just lonely or we are looking to get entertained on so many media?
Information sharing overload?
 
 


Comfort Zone

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I travelled to Pune yesterday by bus. I got onto a bus after almost a year and had forgotten how pleasant the journey can be. There was also the fear which made me realize I have entered a comfort zone. The thought of getting out of the cocoon is so tiring that I have stopped making efforts. I love to travel…. entering a new terrain gladdens my heart… whether it is the ghats near Lonavala or the stone houses at Saurashtra or dry land at Kutch… it is a new experience with new possibilities. Bus journeys have the maximum scope for imagination. Another great part is that travelling cuts me off from people… there cannot be long conversations on the phone (atleast not throughout the journey). All I can do is read and listen to music. I get the “Me” time. And since there are no distractions the thoughts come unbidden.

I wondered why I have not taken my car and driven to Lonavala. It would be extremely refreshing.
Through FB I realized an old friend is in Pune. I wondered if I should give him a call. We did not part on good terms. On reaching Pune I decided to throw caution to the winds and made the call (God bless FB… anyone contact is available there). He didn’t answer. “Oh well!!! What would I have said anyway.”; I thought. But he called back and sounded happy to hear from me. The meeting in Pune stretched till 7 pm and there was no time to meet up which was disappointing. There are some people we can call even after 10 years of not staying in touch. I have quite a few such friends.
On the journey I thought about my “happy places”… places in my mind/memories where I turn when life gets too much:
  • My bed at home. I dream of going home and sleeping on that bed. Everytime an opportunity to go home comes I somehow shirk it. If things didn’t go well there, the happy place will not give me happy thoughts. I am just keeping the door open.
  • Taking walks at Manipal. You never knew where it would take you. Every path (even the well trodden one) managed to surprise me. The best place was “the hillside”.
  • My trip to Corbett. I had the best time with Abhinav and Dhruv – specially our all night talking and drinking.
  • My trip to Bangkok- again with Abhinav and Dhruv. Those were good times and I am lucky to have such friends.
  • The time with RT and Appu at CCD in Manipal…. dinners of paratha and khichdi at Sheela (did I get the name right?) with them
  • Bike rides with KC when we started dating… I wish I had a bike instead of the car and he would still take me around everywhere

And this is probably the most “open”, “frank” post of 2009. Savour it…

The reason I have not been writing anything with “substance” is I am so distracted I don’t have a heart to heart with myself. I need to travel more… much much much more.


Weekend break

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Hello… I had a fabulous weekend… went to Neemrana (120 km from Delhi in Rajasthan) with Dhruv and Abhinav… met KC on Sunday night.
I have been up since 4.30 am… really need to sleep. I was very ill last week and going to the doctor only lightened my wallet. I guess I just needed to be with good friends and a damn good husband.
I had been coming home late last week… going out too often… late nights… eating out etc. I didnt have time to blog… to talk on the phone… to play scrabble.
I have decided to come home before 9 pm every night… stop eating out… restrict movie watching to once a week… blog more… talk to KC as much as possible… join the gym…

Anyways… good night!!!