India – The Return.
Before the trip:
If you are a F1 or J1 or any student whose been in US for quite sometime, then definitely you would be excited atleast a couple of days before your first trip to
Maharaja & Granny of Air
Any typical Indian who has been to USA (be it even in the worst part of the states living on table cleaning, serving steaks to students, why not cleaning toilets) would say that Air India has got the worst service in an airline industry. They would complain about everything they see in the flight. They would point that there is no proper smile or a ‘your welcome sir’ reply from the air hostess. PS most would say, ‘how come they recruit such ugly looking people as hostess’. But I loved the flight to my delight. Leave the service and courtesy. There was this sense of going to
I had this 89 year old granny as my besider. Initially she dint care about me. I spoke in telugu with Mr. Banu from ONGC (first time overseas business flyer) who was concerned about immigrations stuff. Later I was chatting in tamil and English with these students behind me. Then the fun started. I called Abhay a good friend and spoke to him, ‘Kaise ho Bhai?’ the result of this line: The granny was shocked. She had this puzzled smirk on her face. Then we spoke for a while. Initially it was hard for me to understand her Hindi (I accept that I am crappy with my Hindi) but later I realized that she understood English well and so used English as my line of defense.
The fun part was she started reading a book on Sree Krishna Charithra when the flight took off. Later when I switched the TV and was watching Krish, she was interested in the movie and once I made her wear the headphones, she started humming the song ‘Dhoop Nikalthi Hai Jahan Se’. She was one pretty cool Granny. I liked especially when she was served food. Her table manners were excellent and perfect. Later I found out from her grandson that she has a royal bloodline and that she did her academics from
This is an interesting thing I noticed in
Mumbai – Synthetic but Patriotic
When I say synthetic I mean synthetic. No offense to mumbaites, but I do say that the way of living in Mumbai is not what
I had to stand in queue for boarding my next flight to Chennai and one person in front of me asked me to look after the queue coz he wants to go out and return to the same spot. I was smiling with my heart when I heard those words. He returned back with a cup of coffee. This cup was unusual for me. It was small, white, paper type, open top and was steaming. For a guy whose been drinking coffee from starbucks, this was strange. But for a guy who had spent his life in
A ‘weighty’ judgment:
Now comes the big part of meeting my parents. Landed in Chennai, collected my luggage and was walking out into the receiving crowd. Hands waving, people smiling, parents hugging their loved ones, grandmas lifting their grandchildren and there was this odd face with grey hair covered all over the face. There was this pain in the eyes of the person, a puzzled forehead, a shocked body language hands stopped waving in the air but there was this curve in the face diverted directly from the heart. There he was my Dad, shocked by the way I looked. I went to him, hugged him and to prove to him that I am fine lifted him and held him for a while. He was happy then. Now I had this big fear of confronting my mom. She was waiting for me at home. As expected dad asked me questions regarding my health and about my food. I did put some sense in my answers. Now he was feeling not happy but confident in what I had.
Reached house and there I saw mom running from the hall towards the door. Footsteps slowed, laughter turned to smile and smile turned to shock. This time it was more serious. Eyes concentrated on me, hands stopped moving and her body stiffened when she reached the door. She didn’t open the door. She just stood inside watching me through the grilled door. It took at least 10 mins for her to start speaking. Hugged her too, lifted her and then kissed her on her forehead. Now she became real angry and stared at me. I just smiled at her and then came the hard stuff from her. Tears started overflowing. More laughter from me and then another hug. Finally she understood what has happened. (It wasn’t intentional of me to lose weight. Change in diet did everything). The saga of explaining my weight loss continued the whole day with relatives, neighbors and friends.
The rest of the day was all normal except for one thing. Mom stuffed me every half an hour with some kinda food. I was made to hog on all kinds of food. I had to keep her happy and so had to eat whatever she gave me. The end result: I was sick. I was so sick of the food I had that I couldn’t sleep. I fear the next 25 days. Mom is gonna stuff me like anything. Lets see what happens.