A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

How it has been..

Posted by Pepper on April 9, 2012

It has been quite a while, hasn’t it?  I thought I would drop by here and talk about how life has been since we landed in India.

India! What can I say? She is that captivating entity, that overwhelming power that leaves you breathless. There has been so much of action in our lives, we’ve hardly had any time to sit back and soak it in.

We landed in Bombay a few weeks ago.  It was 2 am, my harrowed parents and sister had been walking around listlessly, waiting for us to come out of the terminal. As usual, we had to encounter a few things that delayed us, and we came out an hour late.

The first thing that hit us the moment we stepped out, was the heat. I found myself sweating, and this was in the middle of the night, when the heat is supposed to be minimal. Since when did heat start disturbing me, I wondered. All along in the US, I whined about the cold. I told people around me how much I yearned for the Indian heat. And here I was, wiping my brow in discomfort, a few minutes after landing. Oh well, I think by now I am used to it.

The next few days were all about meeting people and catching up. The maids were the first ones to greet me the next morning. They couldn’t get over how thin I was. Well, I have always been thin, just that the world expected me to pile on the kilos the moment I got married. So what I keep hearing now is, “You haven’t gained weight at all after marriage”. Umm, why is weight gain related to marriage?

I went to the salon to fix myself, and the women who were waxing my arms were thoroughly amused by how tiny my arms were. And when they found out I was married, their amusement turned into shock.  They asked me if I had a love marriage, I said yes. And then they concluded saying, “that’s why you got married so soon”. So soon? I told them I didn’t marry *that soon*, lest they had the image of some teenager eloping. In all honesty, I am flattered when I see the shock on people’s faces when they find out I am married, but the other part of me keeps wondering, how married people are supposed to look? This really isn’t about wearing the ‘symbols’ of marriage. This is more about your general appearance. Anyway..

Since my entire extended family resides in Bombay, we had a very hectic social life. In the midst of all the family gatherings, I had to squeeze in time for my friends. The 2 BFFs had been beyond excited to catch up. We spent a night with friends, drinking some vodka, playing taboo, chatting, laughing, fun times!

After a joyful week in Bombay, we flew to Chennai. I share a ‘love-hate’ relationship with that city. The first two days were fun, after which I fell ill and spent my time feeling sorry for myself in bed. It was extremely boring. My cough wouldn’t let me sleep. My abs hurt, my lungs ached, my fever would leave me cranky, I felt uncomfortable, and to add to my woes, I spent all my time swatting off mosquitoes, unsuccessfully. By the end, I had a million tiny, red spots all over my arms. Never have I been faced with so many mosquitoes!

We flew out of Chennai after a relatively dull week there. I’ve been on campus with Mint since then. Our days are filled with dinner events, induction programs, social events, etc. It has been fun, but stressful all the same. Probably because socialising isn’t my cup of tea. I can’t be myself in a room full of 200 new people, offering corporate handshakes, making small talk, sipping out of a glass with sophistication. I did meet a lot of interesting people though, and this one year should be fun. I hope to get back to Bombay in a few days.

And to answer the one question that almost everybody keeps asking us, ‘How does it feel to be back?” I say it hasn’t really hit us yet. It just feels like we’re in India for our annual vacation. Maybe it will hit us eventually. Right now, I don’t feel any different. Other than the periodic reminders I get when I plug in an electronic device and forget to ‘turn on’ the power switch.

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52 Responses to “How it has been..”

  1. R's Mom said

    yayayay! you are here..and we will meet

    Hope the health is better now!!!

  2. R's Mom said

    Did you get my comment? *wonders whats wrong with WP*

  3. Ashwathy said

    You haven’t gained weight at all after marriage”. Umm, why is weight gain related to marriage?
    I think the idea is that once you get a mate, you lose interest in keeping yourself attractive (for others). And hence pile on the kilos. :P
    Although I do vouch that the initial months result in piling on the kilos…. with all the hogging on those free lunches and dinners.

    Mint is already on campus at the beginning of his course eh? Time is flying, literally!

    Other than the periodic reminders I get when I plug in an electronic device and forget to ‘turn on’ the power switch.
    What?! Didn’t get you…. As far as I remember in UK as well I had to turn on the power switch. How is it different in the US?

    • Pepper said

      So, why is it that men are not expected to gain weight after marriage? And I might be generalising here, but from what I have seen, not too many men bloat up, the way women do. The men are subject to those initial lunches and dinners too right? :D

      Yes, Mint is on campus. Time is flying indeed. Just hope this year flies and that we reunite soon!

      In the US, you just need to plug in the device for it to work. There is no concept of turning on any switch for it to power up :)

      • Ashwathy said

        Who said men don’t gain weight?!
        U obviously haven’t met my hubby dear…. he was as it is about 5-6 kgs on the heavier side when I met him. Now he has gained another 10-12 kgs post marriage. Now part of my duty is to chase him to the gym everyday :P

        • Pepper said

          When did I say men don’t gain weight? I said, “not too many men bloat up, the way women do”. Obviously there are some men who do. Your hubby for one, Mint for another :P

    • Jack Point said

      Biolgy plays its part as well, I think there is a natural tendancy to gain weight with age and post marriage. Think its part of the signalling process to indicate that one is no longer ‘available’.

  4. scorpria said

    There are no power switches in the U.S.? :blink blink:

    Well, Bangalore — supposedly, the all-time weather capital of india — is blazing hot. I can only imagine what Mumbai must be like. Aaaand Chennai of course. Mumbai at least has the hopes of torrential rains soon :D Here, nothing :D

    Good to know you’re having fun for now. Hope it just sinks in, and does not hit you, that you’re ‘back in India’ :)

    • Pepper said

      There are no power switches in the US :D
      Bangalore is blazing hot? No wonder I feel I will pass out in Bombay and Chennai. Can’t wait for Bombay rains!
      Hope you’re right!

  5. It’s so true about women being expected to ‘look different’ once they are married, I too had faced similar reactions – and it wasn’t just weight or symbols of being married.

  6. Reema said

    Once we had reached Mumbai at 4 am and I thought it would be cool..but no!! I simply hated Mumbai’s weather. welcome back to India :)

  7. Abhivyakti said

    Good luck pepper! great to know that all is well.

    Though I did gain weight post marriage :( and I don’t think I look very young, I do hear a lot of ‘ you don’t look married’ when we visit India. I do not identify myself to be a married woman in a traditional sense ( with all the symbols of being married etc. ) but i think a lot of it is also in the way you converse and interact with your worse (better) half :) I think there are a lot of layers to that definition. Even when I am dressed traditionally in a saree and all, I feel like its some interesting role-play that is going on, temporarily. I think that there is a new generation of not-married looking women, even in India these days :)

  8. Tanishka said

    Hey peppy…. Its soo good to see you back after so long…. :)
    Get back to Bombay soon….. :)

  9. You are having fun girl, I told you that you won’t get time to think and you settled down even before realizing it. That’s India.

    We are still having cold mornings and nights and waiting for warm weather :(

  10. Smitha said

    That heat if Mumbai hitting you- oh yes! I have definitely faced that:) Husband is like this- he misses the heat if India when he is here, and hates the heat when we are in India!

    That married look. Sigh! I get that so much- esp when I at husbands place. People assume I’m not married. After almost 12 years if being married, I’m not sure why.

  11. hannah said

    hey pepper ….. glad to hear ur setteling down in india …. india n US … both share a very special place in my heart too… both the countries have soo much to offer in two different ways …..

    however, i always feel a negative energy …. whenever u mention about chennai ….. which makes me uncomfortable to read .
    Every city is different .. chennai has been my home for 23 yrs … its a modern city with strong traditonal roots, this city has accepted me as one among them … ( i am not a tamilian)… the people here accept everyone with a warm heart n smile. they have never made me feel like an outsider … i agree … it may not be the most happening , fun filled place to live … but its a simlpe city with some good hearts .

    i i understand ur stay in the city has not been very pleasant ……… hope it will all change …. n u will feel more comfortable.

    • Pepper said

      Hi Hannah, I am sorry my writing about the city sounds negative to you. Are you sure though, you are not reading too much into nothing? I don’t remember speaking ill about the city or it’s people :) Even now, I spoke about how my stay in Chennai was dull, I never said the city was. It was unpleasant for me mainly because I fell ill. Other than that, I have my own personal associations that make my experience there a tad negative. It doesn’t have much to do with how the city is.

      • hannah said

        hi … pepper .

        i know u are not having any problem with the city itself ….. but u have very dull experiences during ur saty…
        just give it some time… becoz i had my problems tooo … lot of cultural differeces with my in-laws … (they r form another state) …….. time is the only solution …. as years go by we will learn from our experiences n cope up with them better .
        trust me, things will only get better. :-)

        so , next time … stay healthy when u visit the city ;-) n explore the place, n share some joyful ,beautiful memories .

        • Pepper said

          I guess you are right. Time is the only solution. Right now I have too many problems that I need to cope with every time I am in Chennai. Linguistic, logistic, cultural, it goes on. I am sure it will get better with time :)

  12. You are back! And Mint already in campus? Can you not stay with him through the year instead of just for a few days? That way-time WILL fly :-)

  13. skasturia said

    Welcome Back.. and Hope you get well soon… to enjoy even more here.. along with all kinds of chaats :)

    Enjoy your Stay @ the Campus for as long as you are there.. I have heard its an all together different world.. :D (I think I know where you are :D)

  14. Your visit is so typical of anyone visiting India….rush to meet everyone and do everything in a short time. Its the same with me also, my two visits so far have been all an olympic race

  15. Anu said

    Hi Pepper:

    Great to finally hear from you.

    1. Get the whole sweating in India thing. I promise you, I did not curse the heat when I was in India. I pined for it, in an air conditioned building that was cooled to freezing point in the US. But, the moment I landed back, I too had noticed that I was sweating…

    2. Marriage and weight gain. You have no idea as to how lucky you are to remain the way you were. Enjoy it. :)

    Till later

    take care

    Anu

  16. chandni said

    Heres’ to a lovely time in India! Hope you enjoy yourself and come to Delhi and see me :D

  17. Reena said

    I discovered your blog recently and read most of your posts. Sorry to be blunt but you were very selfish in making the IIT- educated Mint give up his American dream just because you wanted to be a little girl and continue staying with your parents. Grow up!

    • Pepper said

      Whoa! I am surprised you believe you have the right to decide what is right and wrong for people around you. For you, I might seem selfish for making Mint give up his American dream. To me, people who choose to leave behind their aging parents for their own comfort might seem selfish. To you, wanting to stay close to your parents is a sign of not growing up. To me, growing up means shouldering responsibility and doing your bit for the family that brought you up. Who are we to decide what is right and wrong? Different strokes for different folks. Let’s learn to respect differences. And next time, you might want to be a little more polite while commenting..

  18. Deboshree said

    Welcome back to India, Pepper! :) Enjoy your stay and watch the periodic reminders get more frequent, until you don’t need them any more. :)

  19. I’m glad to see that you are settling into Bombay, and I’m sorry you fell ill and had that rotten week. Your blog is always a favourite go-to of mine, I wish to read more of your writings! Also, happy 2nd anniversary, however belated it has been. Much love:) x

  20. Chiquita said

    Happy to have you back Pepper…I keep wondering how it’d be if I would bump into you in Bombay and not know it’s you :) and I keep guessing where’s Mint off to….is it Hyderabad?
    I’m sure you’ll get used to the Bombay chaos in a bit and fall in love all over again. I hope you’re having a great time with the family.
    Do visit my space sometimes miss socialite :)

    • Pepper said

      Fall in love with Bombay? How is that possible! I am so much in love with it already. It’s a city that has always been the closest to my heart. Will hop over!

  21. Scribby said

    https://thisandthatmomentsoflife.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/about-being-married-plump-and-happy/ this is why weight gain is related to marriage ;)

    Welcome back! and I’m waiting for you call,remember? :)

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