Desi Fahmuhlee

13 Dec

I am halfway through my India trip and am ready to embark on the second leg. This time with my family. Yeah! To be fair, this first leg without the husbadoo at his place hasn’t been terrible but it obviously is not the same as being home with your parents.

I have met so many of the husbadoo’s relatives this time around, ones he himself has hardly interacted with. Most have been really nice and welcoming. Of course desi style detailed gossip is a part of these meetings. Here are some general themes and tidbits.

Why do we live in rented accommodation in NYC, unlike so-and-so’s sister’s daughter’s uncle who lives in a palatial mansion with a backyard in the middle of Iowa or some other mid western state.

Several pitiful sighs at my grey hair and weight loss and lack of nutrition in general. When I mentioned I had 7 more pounds to get to my pre marital weight and was planning on buying an elliptical, an older aunt almost wept in agony.Aren’t dry fruits plentiful and cheap there? Why don’t I eat and nourish myself?

Surprise that we don’t have house help in any form. Why don’t we make use of the lovely desi dabba services you have in NYC, a well traveled aunt asks. Because I enjoy cooking and we don’t eat Indian food everyday – my answer surprises the room as they now visualize their prince (the husbadoo) starving on cornflakes and bread.

Ohhh this one opened my eyes the most to how a large part of modern India still lives. So on this trip, I had the opportunity to hang out with a bunch of the husbadoo’s second cousins. Ones he himself had little to do with growing up. Our kids are the same age and I spent an evening with these women. We are maybe similar in age but their upbringing and living situation is so different from mine. They grew up in a joint family, married into joint families and now live in two bedroom apartments with in laws and their spouse’s brother’s family. They spend mornings in the kitchen from the crack of dawn and afternoons with their kids and evenings with a large social circle in the apartment complex. They appear to love their life, as I do mine. They shook their heads sadly when they heard I manage Bandar all alone most days, and cook and clean and work! I on the other hand on this trip, have learnt that this joint family system works even in this day and age for some women and if they appear fairly happy and satisfied, all is right in the world.I am just a total misfit for this kind of arrangement and hope and pray that if the time comes I can escape it or mature to do it gracefully.

Comments that I am surrounded by ‘radiation’. Radiation from my laptop for work, from my mobile and tablets.I have stopped trying to explain this one.

General sadness that we don’t get time to go on a pilgrimage each year. What do I even say to this one?

Shock that Bandar isn’t potty trained. Again if we lived in a joint family in India, she would be now.


9 Responses to “Desi Fahmuhlee”

  1. Dil On The Rocks December 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    Just like you, I can never live in the joint family accommodation. I need my privacy very badly.
    LOL. Radiation. Hahah. 🙂 This is similar to what I had to endure during my last two trips. Sigh!

    Hope your rest of the trip goes super awesome. Have fun. 🙂

    • popgoesthebiscuit December 15, 2014 at 11:12 am #

      Guess we aren’t conditioned for it. Hope I change with age and get more open and accepting to something like this, but in a huge house, rather than a two bedroom apartment:)

  2. Zarine Mohideen December 15, 2014 at 5:28 am #

    My in laws frequently imagine that I starve my husband by not serving him fresh, hot Indian food and they look at me with pity! So I totally get what you mean! Also, “prince” hahaaa!! Isn’t that what all mothers think their wonderful sons are!

    • popgoesthebiscuit December 15, 2014 at 11:12 am #

      Of course!All boys are their mom’s babies and can do no wrong:)

  3. Little Fingers December 15, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    My mother in law was always worried that her son will starve and die as I don’t cook food when we got married. First question when I call used to be abt food, slowly I stopped calling. Even today she is worried abt same . I wish I cold tell we all eat what we like .

    I liking your India gossips and stories.

    • popgoesthebiscuit December 23, 2014 at 11:23 am #

      Moms, sons and food! ughhhh.. when my MIL visited we had a desi nannny/ cook and she made her cook such rich,fatty food everyday that my husbqnd developed a cholestrol issue in one year.

  4. princessbutter December 15, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

    Bwahahaha! Radiation part cracked me up! All aunties are like that. Will always have the choicest of comments.

  5. Deepa December 17, 2014 at 3:11 am #

    Like you, I can never live in a joint family set up, I fiercely guard my independence and privacy. I cook what I want and can, I set my own rules and boundaries. The ladies may seem happy outwardly, in reality, that may not be true. I faced the same things like you when i went to India for the first time. The comparison with DH’s other rich relatives who lived in single family homes just did not end. Bah!

    • popgoesthebiscuit December 20, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

      The comparison thing is so damn silly ,yaar. I just laugh it away now. Hear you on the joint family thing.

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