Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The water management issue is a whole science in itself, one that only my mom fully comprehends. The rest of us are best off if we follow instructions to the letter and not ask any questions. I was given my introductory lesson the day I set foot in the apartment. There are two sources of water: Manjeera river water, which can be used for cooking purposes wonly (and is supplied every alternate day so has to be collected and hoarded in every container possible) and bore-well water, which is hard water and can only be used for dishes, in the bathroom etc. Bore-well water is supplied 24 hours, but every alternate day or so the pump breaks and then we don't have that water till it gets fixed. So that has to be stocked too. Now of course, to the layman's eye, water is water, but god forbid you end up mixing one for the other, as they say in telugu, your forefathers will descend upon you. So these two kinds of water have to be stored separately and used appropriately when the need arises.
Now all types of water is collected and stored in the kitchen and tiny surrounding area, between kitchen and bathroom, for lack of any other space in this matchbox apartment. So this zone is what I refer to as the high stress zone. If any piece of plasticware or metal used in either kitchen or bathroom crosses across the divide, the sky will fall down. In the high stress zone the buckets and respective mugs are color-coded. Red mug for red bucket and yellow mug for yellow bucket. The red bucket sits in the kitchen and is used to collect hard water. There isn't enough space in the tiny bathroom to store an water there, so one has to carry water into the bathroom, using the yellow bucket. The red mug can be used to transfer water from the red bucket into the yellow bucket, but only for that, and constantly ensuring that it doesn't actually make any contact with the yellow bucket. Yellow bucket sits just outside the boundary of the kitchen while the transfer is in progress. This yellow bucket can be carried into bathroom and used to pour water into smaller yellow bucket inside the bathroom, and then has to be brought outside and left to be refilled. It cannot be laid on the bathroom floor under any circumstances. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in dire consequences, mostly high pitched.
During my first few days here, my mom had very little confidence in her daughter, Ph.D., to be able to follow these instructions correctly. So every time she saw me hovering in the zone of stress, she dropped everything she was doing and came to supervise me. I was able to extricate mom from her favourite saas bahu serials and also compel her to hurriedly hang up on important phone calls (the kinds that call and ask for my date, place and time of birth and photograph) , all to ensure that I was using red mug with red bucket and yellow mug for yellow bucket, never mixing the two. It didn't help that I badly needed to pee and the nervousness from her watching over me wasn't making anything easier.
Now finally the trust has been established, I can pee without duress and mom doesn't have to miss another "jo hua woh theek nahi hua" type scene. But simultaneously, the probability of me getting hitched to a "nice" Andhra boy who is a software engineer and lives "there only" (some random state in the US) has gone up by a notch. Such are the trade-offs in life. Sigh.
P.S. Answering comments made me want to come back to blogging! Who would've thought? (OK, no need to spam, shameless people).
Monday, June 18, 2007
When I left lutom I was taking comfort in the fact that one thing that would remain the same would be the blog, my comfort zone to vent and rant and suchlike. However, now that I am no longer a grad student vacillating between highs and lows of grad school, am no longer in that apartment, sitting on my futon avoiding work and blogging, it doesn't seem the same anymore. I cannot relate to blogging anymore, and have lost interest in both writing and reading other blogs. Perhaps it's because I am mostly vegetating at home, and have nothing to rant, bitch or talk about. [Actually I do, but don't feel like putting fingers to keyboard and typing it out]. I feel like a selfish friend to my blog, using it when I needed a vent and now I'd much rather talk things out with my mom and dad, close friends that are in the same time zone and a phone call away, or just let things pass. May be I'm taking the lazing thing much too seriously. ;) May be it's plain and simple ennui, or may be I've outgrown the whole blogging phenomenon and am ready to move on to something else. May be it's simply because I have no more impending deadlines and hence no need for distractions. May be it's all of the above. May be it's none of the above.
May be it's time for a break, or perhaps even a new avatar. I'll be back.
Or may be not. Either ways, it's been a fun ride, thanks for sharing it with me, all of you. :-). Be good, y'all.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I had vacated my apartment and left the town that was home for six years. Leaving lutom (little university town of mine) was not at all easy. My closest circle of friends had already left over the past year and more, but the hardest part was saying goodbye to the town. I was looking forward to India, so it made things easier.
Bombay, India - the city that was home for 22 years. My brief stopover in Bombay was laced with some confusion. We stayed with old friends, in an unfamiliar area. But I traveled to my old haunts, and underneath the layers of increased crowds, traffic and superficial changes I could still find familiarity everywhere. I was home, again! I met up with old friends and enjoyed the opportunity to just be me, not have to worry about being understood. Because they simply accepted me for what I am, no questions asked. This kind of comfort is priceless and hard to get. I am lucky to have friends like that. Nevertheless, there was a clear disconnect between our lives, and things that I was utterly incapable of relating to. What I considered regressive thinking was just a way of life for them. I couldn't hold it against them, nor could I go preachy on them for how I thought things should be. They had made their choices and my once-in-a-few-years visit and few hours-long talk wasn't going to revolutionize their life. They weren't even asking for it.
I had a hectic three days in Bombay, trying to take in everything, eat all possible junk food, meet all my old friends (and one new 'blog' friend ;)). Even before I could have my fill of Bombay, it was time to get on a flight to Hyderabad, my parents' new home.
My entry into Hyderabad could've been quite depressing. Instead, I was lucky to meet up with another newfound blog friend who showed me around town, easing my entry in so many ways. Finally it was no longer "this city called hyderabad" to me, but a nice bustling city with a lot to offer. Even though the road sense and hyderabadi hindi is never going to sit right with me, I think there's ample scope for fun and a lot of good things my parents can enjoy too. After a fun weekend with the blogfriend I came to my parents' house in a far-flung suburb of hyderabad. I surveyed the new apartment, contemplated the water shortage, and went through all the boxes, trying to see how much of my stuff had made it from Bombay to Hyderabad. I went to bed tired and a bit disoriented. My parents let me sleep in like a queen, and I woke up to the smell of mom's cooking. As I sat at her kitchen table wolfing down her delicious upma and getting royal treatment from my doting parents (I know it won't last long ;) ) I realised that the hindi, the water shortage, nothing mattered. This is home!
P.S: Sorry for the unanswered comments, I am too paranoid to open up my blog from my dad's computer, hence will continue posting via email only. Thanks for stopping by and commenting y'all. :-)
Thursday, June 07, 2007
No concept of personal space
What goes of my baap?
What's in it for me?
Incessant door-bell ringing
Having to regularly report my whereabouts and plans to my mom
Rushing pushing leching staring
Pani puri samosas jalebis pav bhaji masala dosa falooda dabeli
people people people
raste ka maal saste mein
fresh normal sized and tasty fruits and vegetables
I'm home :)