Saturday, October 21, 2006

Diwali Joys

Here is a list of things I love about Diwali:

1. I loooove the sweets. Although I love salty stuff more, Diwali time, I just love the sweets...Besides there is a valid excuse to stuff my face with motichur laddos, sandesh, gulab jamuns, ras malai...ummmmmm...And best of all, thanks to the adulteration, I end up with loosies the very next day. Pooping it all out means never putting on the extra calories. If anyone of you know better, and want to contradict me out of my beliefs, stay away!!!

2. I hate crackers and the noise they make. I made the casual remark to my fiance, a 4th generation Canadian Indian, and he was perplexed and very worried. He kept asking me how I would survive in Canada if I hated crackers. I thought lack of sleep and math exams were robbing him of his sanity, till I realized that "crackers" is what they call white people in Toronto...Well well, the things I learn thanks to Diwali.

3. I love dogs and I hate how they start crying because of the damn crackers. I want to bring them all into my house, but they poop and pee when they are scared..Damn...Who'll clean up the mess?

4. I love having the excuse to buy clothes and jewelery. I turn into a total female and love getting beautiful silks and gorgeous heavy Indian jewelery...The rest of the year, I never wear it, because I hate it so much!

5. I love watching all of Delhi crowd the markets. No matter which market you go to, its totally crowded...And Delhites are obsessed with creating bigger impressions on just about everyone. So you have people carting around HUGE giftboxes...You'd think they'd be heavy and full of stuff...Then someone gifted one to us. It looked big enough to fit a mini TV into it...When I opened it, it had a big shiny plastic box, with 6 teeny weeny compartments filled with 3-4 cashews and raisins each! Rest of the box had air. Hmmpff!!! I prefer those heavy Haldiram boxes instead. Refer to point 1 for any clarifications.

6. Diwali gives me a holiday. Except on those horrid years when it falls on a Sunday or something. I think pandits should have a secret agreeement to always declare Diwali on a Friday or a Monday. That way, I get a 3 day weekend.

7. I love Eid also as it comes just after Diwali. My office has to give a Eid holiday too, coz otherwise we accuse them of being partial to the minority religion. Thats how we got a 5 day weekend this time!! Yay!!

8. I love watching lights. I think diyas look nicer than those blinky lights. I wish everyone would go back to diyas...You know what looks wonderful? Houses decorated with diyas and mango leaves and marigolds.

9. The holiday gave me a chance to download 6 Harry Potter books. I'm reading them all on the lappie now and preteding to my mom that its office work...har har har.

10. I love my mom. She's too smart for me. She figured wizard and magic talk wasn't a part of my office work when she snuck up on the lappie and read over my shoulder. I've been drafted to clean my room, pack away extra clothes, go shopping for curtains, and visit ALL my relatives.

Oh well, I still love Diwali. Have fun you all. Be safe.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Performance Anxiety

No bride-to-be worth her weight in salt, and that is a LOT of salt for this bride to be - its all the water retention you know, ok veering off topic...let me start again.

No bride-to-be worth her weight in salt, will ever confess, that secretly she doesn't want the wedding. Oh no, its not that she doesn't want the marriage, although in some cases that may be it, but its just the whole wedding hoopla.

Ever since Sooraj Barjatya inflicted that Hum Aapke Hain Kaun flick on us, he's set up umpteen Indian families for failure. Everyone expects multiple functions, a perfect family that stands in one line, dancing with an ever smiling papaji, mamaji, buaji etc. They also expect fluffy dogs that can play cricket, and sensing family tensions, can convey messages between unwilling-to-wed jeejas and saalis...The only fluffy dog in my family is psychotic and likes to bite everyone. He even pees in the house at night when everyone is asleep.

The pressure I tell you is immense.

Mr.Barjatya has made it so that all families are expected to turn in dance performances at their weddings. Somehow, the bride's younger sisters are always roped in for this task. My younger sisters have far to much self-respect to do that. And yet, societal pressure has had numerous family friend "uncles" asking them what song they are performing to. I had to hold them back when they almost named songs like "Tu Cheez..." and "Samundar mein naaha kar..." To say that would have incited a couple of heart attacks is an understatement.

I also have a set of uncles, none of whom are anything like Alok Nath, smiling beningly at one and all. No siree. Mine are more like Prem Chopra. They love their whisky and can drink an Irishman under the table. They cuss enough to put the Haryanvi guys who drive my office cabs to shame. They abuse each others mothers and sisters, even though they may be married to each others mothers and sisters. The women look fondly, and in some cases, not-so-fondly on.

I feel like I'll be walking this tightrope at the wedding with Alcohol-Hating-Seriously-Religious-Mother-In-Law at one end, and Alcohol-Loving-Ciggie-Smoking-Cussing-Uncles at the other.

Then there are my aunts. Every single one has a unique neurosis. One aunt loves looking at prospective boys for her girls, and then promptly rejecting them. She's gone through more boys for her girls than Liz Taylor has gone through face lifts. She once even rejected this great guy, who is now in and out of the Indian cricket team, and plays county cricket in London. My sister could have been giving Reed Thin Spice a run for her money. Instead she travels from Ghaziabad to Gurgaon, crossing 3 state lines twice a day. I know, marriage isn't a way out (it's usually just a way to turn yourself in). But still, where will you find the perfect man?? George Clooney is too happy with his pig you know. But what is really scary is that my aunt has now set her sights on my poor single brother-in-law. Don't even get me started on my other aunts. Thats a blog on its own.

Mr.Barjatya has also espoused the concept of the perfect bride. He obviously hasn't heard of the "Bridezilla" concept. His brides blush demurely at the first glimpse of Daddyji, Mummyji and ofcourse "Prem". Brides today are a tad different. They gripe in their blogs and bitch about relatives.

As if Sooraj Barjatya wasn't enough, we then had Laxmi Mittal, getting his daughter married at a goddamn Palace in Paris for God's sake! Then that Sahara Parivar dude took over all of Lucknow for his sons' weddings. He chartered all his guests to the venue in private jets. Last night, my uncle told me, we needn't book the Indian Railway sleeper coach for our guests, as everyone is making their own bookings. I even heaved a sigh of relief at that one! Yeah yea, so I'm cheap.

I know some of you may think that comparisons are odious. After all, I'm getting worried comparing my shing-a-ding to movie weddings and multi-millionaire baraats. But isn't this what happens to normal men and women when they start comparing themselves in bed with digitally enhanced porn stars? Maybe I should get Wiagara (Wedding + Viagara). Get it...haha...I'm funny at 11:27 in the PM.