Thursday, May 17, 2007

Family fun

At the same time this circus was on in my comments space here, NO thanks to Neihal, Sakshi, Aarti and the Smiling Girl, [Shek, I know you tried, I appreciate it] I was enjoying a different circus at home, the tgfi family circus. My folks arrived late friday night after making necessary and unnecessary stops to meet all and sundry on their drive from NJ to here. By then, I had cleaned up, hidden the alcohol, kissed the boyfriends goodbye and hid all their lavish gifts accumulated over the years, because of course, I could see my mom and sis poke around stuff and go "from where did you get this???" with more discussion and guess-work following that.

Saturday was the commencement ceremony and I took my parents for a grand tour of my lab before that. My mom, always the keen observer, came up with "this is your desk? everybody else's desk is so neat". and suchlike. Hmm. They got to meet the parasites and my advisor and other friends for a small party before the graduation ceremony, and then we went to the hall. The graduation robe and hood has got to be the funniest costume EVAR and it was almost surreal being a large room surrounded by people all wearing similar funny looking clothes and sweating away to glory, fanning themselves. Finally we were herded into the seating area, and were called up row-wise to the stage. Ever since I defended successfully and announced the good news, I've been told by various people how my hard work had finally borne fruit, how great it was, etc. etc. The speaker at our graduation ceremony was the first African American to graduate from my university in 1962. Listening to her speech and the travails she went through, the barriers she broke, was very inspiring and humbling. Soon it was my turn to go up- I think striding up the stage, getting hooded, shaking hands with the provost and walking off was my real moment of high. If it hadn't sunk in yet, it finally sunk in then. My family was in the stands, cheering on, and my niece also yelled "pinni!" (means maasi or aunt) as I walked past them. I am just relieved she wasn't traumatised from seeing me in that outfit. :-)

The next couple of days we spent exploring town- taking my family around to all my favourite places and hang-out joints (no, not the bars, there are other places I frequent) and showing them around was a lot of fun. My niece absolutely loved the outdoors and we had great weather. At home, we broke all noise rules and I was rather worried about my chinese neighbours' reaction- we were never on the friendliest terms, especially since I once went to their apartment and asked them to turn down the infernal pounding of meat at 2 am. Since then, they had called cold war on me. But my niece kavita won them over with her charm, as she sat outside my apartment on her little chair and yelled "Hi!!!!" everytime they passed by, never giving up until they smiled back and said "Hi". :-) My sister, parents and I were together as a family after more than 4 years- this was truly a treasured time for us. My sister and I realized that some things never changed, as we noticed our poor dad's reaction to our giggling fits, which were very much the way my poor b-i-l has reacted to them. It only instigated us further, as my dad looked on to little Kavita for support and company, totally not impressed with the display of juvenile behaviour by his grown-up daughters. :D. My mother's moment of trauma came when she discovered that I used a public laundry, shared by everyone in the building, and she never came to terms with that. :-)

Of course, nothing beats the trepidation with which they made the transition from my sis and b-i-l's nice car to basanti. As my mom sat in it and I started, she went "Oh my god,so much noise" and my sis snickered on. I had earlier shared the good news with them that I found a buyer for the car and was very happy. A few minutes into the ride my sis goes "So who is buying this car?". Very funny. As I had to drop my b-i-l off to the airport and cross across lanes on I-85 (ok, I made some rash last minute decisions) I heard an audible gasp from my dad. His BP shot up by a few notches after that car ride, as we found out when we went to get it monitored. :). My mother got out of the car and her only comment was "Akka drives nicely". My glare ensured that no more comments were passed and the drive back home was spent in silent prayers.

On the eve before they left for their drive back to NJ, I called a bunch of friends over and my mom made her world class sambaar, chutney and idlis. My sis made paneer pakodas. I was a Ph.D, so I just sat back and enjoyed :-). My friends, desis and non-desis alike lapped up the sambaar and totally enjoyed kavita's company. She got foot massages and chocolates and a ton of attention from all the twelve people in the room.

The apartment seems terribly empty now. I miss my little niece running to the door every fifteen minutes and yelling "bus!" everytime a bus passed by (My dad and I had the honor of taking her on her first bus ride ever and she enjoyed every bit of it), and all the hustle bustle that was going on. As soon as they left, I got folks to come in and buy off my furniture so the emptiness is more pronounced. But I still have tons to do in terms of packing and lab work, so I am going to be very busy all over again. I am really glad this trip happened. For me, it's the perfect exit from my little town, as I got to look around my favourite places for one last time and relive memories with the people most important to me. And yes, comments are enabled as long as you promise to behave! :-))))


Shek said...

I god-damn miss my family. Thanks a ton, Ipanema Girl! ;)

I remember leaving Gainesville for the first time, my little red sports car crammed with all kinds of stuff. I was starting a fresh move to Jacksonville and was excited about it but leaving gainesville gave me a butterfly-in-the-stomach feeling. Unlike you, I was doing it all alone, really alone!

More than a year has passed by as I sit back for tomorrow when I take my brother to Gainesville to show him the university. Every time I go back there, those butterflies appear like clockwork. I am quite settled now and I wouldn't go back to grad school again if I had to. But something back in gainesville satisfied me that Jacksonville simply can not.

Rebellion can eat dirt. I got the gold here!

Neihal said...

so Finally a Ph.d.
Congrats once again :D

now the pics pleeeeeeeeeeeese :)
*my mostest innocent puppy face*
(thats the best I could come up this early in the morning).

Sounds like a super fun time you had. Yo dont worry , finish ur work. we will keep this place 'live and kicking' :P


hehe...see since you get mad at multiple coments (which I cannot help, I have to write what I have to write, right?) I have written a looooooong comment. :)

and HUGS TGFI, to fill some emptiness there. Best wishes for ur move. :)

The Smiling Girl said...

Hahaha.. I promised myself just this morning that I wont promise anyone that I will behave myself! :P

And now I DEMAND to know more details about some parts in this post!!

All in all, I loved the way u wrote abt your poor Dad's reactions to your and Akka's antics.. :P
And I DEMAND Kavita's pics.. ;):P

Rebellion said...

Muaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Lajjo jee, for enabling comments >:D<
And NO, now you're gonna be a good host and not gonna disable them, NO MATTER WOT OK? :P
Now lemme read the posht & get back :D

shub said...

:D nice recap.
I'm back from home and missing my darling niece too! *siiiigh*

Rebellion said...

Vaiiiry cute post Lajjo jee :D
Great getting the flashback back. Loved it. Now I'm just waiting for the pics :D

Crazy Dhakkan said...

That sounds so sweet!! Your Mom should meet my Mom and I tell you, your Mom will never complain that you keep your things messy! :P

Aaah, grown up daughters bursting into crazy fits of laughter.. sounds umm.. familiar! :-)

Our neighbours once complained that we didn't let them sleep till late night because Didi and I were laughing! hehehehe! :P :P :P

And yes, my Dad and b-i-l also look at us in mute wonder! Hehehe! :P

Sakshi said...

She's Back!!
And she said Behave, bachcha lok! That's for you -Shek!
Neihal, SG, rebellion and I are such nice girls. We don't do anything here, do we girls??

and TGFI, We demand photoes..
Nahi to wapas spamming shuru hogi!!
*banging on the table yelling Pictures!!*

Rebellion said...

@ Sakshi
hehehe. Cent percent right. Shek, sun lo! :P We are goody goody girls. See, Lajjo also thanked us in the post. Don't read the 'no'. That was a typo. She told me. Her blogger is not letting her edit the post, hence it still stays :P

@ Lajjo
Yep. We need pics.
banging the table...
*in the tone of calendar khana do*
Lajjo ji, photos dikhao
Lajjo ji, photos dikhao
Lajjo ji, photos dikhao

And now I better leave before I'm thrown out! Btw Sakshi & Neihal, if il be thrown out, ul stand up for me na? ;) :P

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

I god-damn miss my family.
Sorry man! :p Yeah- I think that feeling of leaving town, with all your stuff crammed in two suitcases or in a car is going to be a weird feeling. As the day draws closer for me I am feeling a bit nervous too.
It's great that you get to go back to set your brother up. I have plans to come back to this town..may be have a little reunion with all my friends at some point.

thanks babe :-)
Yo dont worry , finish ur work. we will keep this place 'live and kicking' :P
There's shameless people and then there's shameless people. :-)

that's very considerate of you to not write multiple comments, neihal. how sweet. :)
thanks for the hugs. :)

Smiling girl ki bacchi,
WYSIWYG has always been the blog policy. And no personal photos has also been the policy. Now kindly, behaVE! :@

tu besharmon ki rani hai.

yeah! they are the cutest and it doesn't take much to get used to them, no?

heheeh your mom and my mom will probably have a lot to share. :-) Our neighbours have also complained about our laughing. :p

actually TU besharmon ki rani hai! *takes title away from aarti and hands it over to sakshi*
abbe no pics on here. use your imagination. :p

expect bannination

Sakshi said...

@TGFI - I am the queen! I demand pictures then :)
PS- you don't want me to use imagaination, trust me :)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

queen sakshi,
go on, use your imagination. mera kya? :p

confused said...

Hmmm,It is indeed sad that girls from nice families drink daaru and kiss boyfriends. If I was in India, I would staged a protest, for now I just forgive you.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

cho cuuuuteeee confuuuuuseeeeed

Mosilager said...

why is the car called basanti? i thought basanti was hema malini and dhanno was the horse? parasites, hey? now I wonder if I know you in real life?

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

Don't know why the car is called Basanti. The name just came up and stuck, you are right, Dhanno would be more appropriate.

You think you know me IRL? Nahinnnn

Rebellion said...

expect bannination "

Nobody loves me :'(

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

*rolls eyes*

Mosilager said...

ok :) just thought might have run into you at some conference.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

Dude. i-don't-think-so.
:p If that which is on your blog is your real name, and if that photo is your real photo, then I don't remember seeing you.

But just to make sure, did you ever attend that meeting up north where the marine biology labs are? :o

Mosilager said...

it's the real photo and name - the north-est i've been to is wisconsin.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

ok -then-we haven't met. :)