Thursday, October 01, 2009

3 is a Crowd

When they say 3 is a crowd, it really is a crowd! Especially when it is you, your mother and mother-in-law. Today, I am a victim of mamtha (motherly love), endowed generously, doused with extra toppings of paternal advice by 2 of the most highly opinionated, and influential women in my life.

In the last 8 years of my life I have done the moving, packing, shifting, settling and even finding my feet in a new city, on my own. But since the time I have been married my survival credibility has been questioned at every step.

Moving to Toronto has probably been the most harrowing experience of my life. Not because I had any trouble with my Visa or immigration, but because my mom and mom-in-law had taken it upon themselves to help me move and settle. And as the saying goes, there is going to be fire when you see the smoke.

I had to pack a suitcase full of everything my mother felt I would need for the kitchen and home.

Me - ‘Mom this is too much, I have enough vessels to cook for an army’

Mom - ‘What would you know? Tomorrow I don’t want your mother-in-law to complain that I didn’t teach you anything. Dhivya, you are going to need these. Like this size vessel is perfect to heat milk in for 2 people. And please keep one vessel to make your masala food that reeks of garlic and a separate one for our Tamil Brahmin kind of food. Make sure you don’t mix the two.’

During my bachelorette days I only had the utensils my mom never wanted, and I would use them as I pleased.

Me - ‘AAAAaaaaarrrrggggghhhhh what is this?’

Mom - ‘That’s a coconut scraper. You need it to make avial.’

Me - ‘I hate avial.’

Mom - ‘So you’ll starve poor Vivek?’

Me - ‘Like avial was the only food he would ever eat’

My mom and I had a million arguments about my way of life, cooking and house keeping before I got to Toronto. She wasn’t sure if I would pass my mother-in-law’s (who on her part set up the kitchen with another set of pots and pans that she thought I would need to feed her son) scrutiny.

By no stretch of my imagination did I ever see this coming. My mom and mom-in-law helping me settle into my newly wedded life with someone I have known for nearly a decade.

From day 1, I was given a crash course on everything - stocking masalas, making rajma, quantity and proportion, types of rice, laundry, ironing, doing dishes, seasoning, cooking for more than 2 people, tips on what to pack for lunch when I start working, what does Vivek like, preparing grocery lists, oils and their use and how to plan my day. Every other advice that they could find from their own experiences of good house keeping was doled out to me for free.

And if this weren’t bad enough they marched me to various grocery stores from Walmart, Value mart, No Frills, Fair Price, Dollorama, and to every Indian store we could find in Little India, like Ambal grocery and Padma Stores, where prices were painstakingly compared and lists were made on where to buy what for cheap. Now I truly know why Indian advertisers are so desperate to woo the Indian house wife, she knows her deals at the back of her hand.

What’s ironic is, in all this, Vivek seems to be getting all the sympathy votes. The general thought at home being, “poor Vivek has so much to study, what would Dhivya lose if she made one more dish?”

My fingers are sore scribbling recipes and preparing lists and my head throbs every time I am faced with a mind-numbing pop up quiz at a grocery store about the types of rice available, but I know I am settled and these two women are to be credited for it. I may bitch, complain, whine and vent about my predicament, but the truth is they have worked extremely hard to make my transition into Toronto and my new life extremely easy.

Even though I do not know what to do with half the stuff in my kitchen I know I’ll figure it out. And about the recipe book, I hope to add a few pages of my own. Because when my day comes to play the harrowing part, I want to be just as good as these 2 wonderful women.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

After a Hiatus

I am back from my hibernation. The world feels changed (it even smells different, Oh wait! Someone here farted), I feel changed. About the world – Everyday we are losing parts of MG Road to the Metro, India coffee house shut down after a lifetime of existence, General elections were held, there was the IPL and then the T20, Michael Jackson died, and Delhi high court in a landmark judgement legalised homosexuality.

On the personal front – I moved from advertising to brand and communication research (I am loving it), I got married, I am moving to Canada, I quit a job I love, I am a wannabe long distance runner - I ran at the Auroville quarter marathon and then at the Sunfeast world 10K, my new favourite brand of beer is Hoeggarden.

Having said this, Some things haven’t changed – I still love the smell of freshly baked bread, I am still a foodie, I still think my first boss was the best boss ever, I love my current job and am traumatised at the thought of quitting it, I still get excited by social media trends, I still suffer from shoe fetish, above all I still love blogging and this is my revival post.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rains in Mumbai floods Twitter

Twitter saw a flurry of tweets as the rains lashed out in Mumbai for 30 hours. The response was almost overwhelming, as people all over Mumbai and even outside reached out and helped one another by posting tweets (tagged #mumbairains) on water logged areas.

The Mumbai Rain tweets were peppered with news reports and personal accounts. It covered the geographic lanscape of Mumbai and was the trending topic of the day

Twitter Tends