Saturday, January 2, 2010

When the in-laws visited

Pras and I had found that BIAS-8 would take us to the airport about 30 minutes before the landing of the jet on which my in-laws were coming. We woke up by 5 am, made lunch ready, munched a quick breakfast and walked to the bus stop. The bus was supposed to be there by 9am but came by 9:20am. We then bought 2 tickets, 150 rupees each, for the airport. We reached the airport at 10:40am. Now, we had to spend over an hour waiting. For a while, we walked up and down, had a hot chocolate, read some papers, took another walk, commented on the number of muslims who had come to welcome their kin who would be returning from Haj, cleaned bird shit off Pras's tee and went to the loo. The flight was about 10 minutes delayed - my in-laws had boarded the flight at Coimbatore. They seemed very content and relaxed when we saw them - I thought they may be a nervous wreck - as it was their first time on a flight. We got onto a taxi and we were on our way home. On reaching home, they were impressed with my cooking - except for less salt and the rice a bit under cooked by their standards. They then took a nap while Pras and I watched TV. In the evening, we went to the mall, where amma bought a saree. Now, I must tell you that amma can never say "NO" to a saree :) For dinner that night, I tried my hand at "Kerala Parotta". Well, it came out quite ok - except they would have been softer had I used some egg while making the dough. The next morning, we had aloo paratas for breakfast and then Pras and I went off to buy NSC certificates - I need to submit investment proof between Jan 5th and 15th, 2010. My mother-in-law made sambar while we were away. When we got back - Pras was a bit taken aback that he would have to have sambar on the second consecutive day - but I must say, the sambar made by my experienced amma was really good. The same was had for dinner.
Now, you must understand that my in-laws don't really know what to expect from me cause of the difference in our cultures and the way I've been brought up. It was a welcome surprise to them that I was able to cook and that I would keep the house clean and all that. Amma has just recovered from a broken right wrist and hence, can't do too much cooking. Achcha helps her out and due to this, he has become less particular about the taste of food - thank god. I was really worried as I always use less salt and achcha had once gotten very angry when the salt was less in the sambar made by a relative after my wedding.
By the second day, things were really cool and going smooth, especially since there were not too many expectations.
On the third day, we went to watch Avatar. We had an awful lunch at the food court in Swagath Garuda Mall and I must say - the cinema inside a mall is a real no-no - there was not enough aisle space. We got our 3-d viewing glasses and had a nice time watching Avatar - this movie is a real must-watch - for the graphics as well as the message - "You can not keep screwing with nature". We returned home, had a light dinner and went to the bed.
The next day, we woke up early, had a tasty upma for breakfast and embarked on our tour of Bangalore. We visited the Bannerghata National Park, LalBagh Botanical Garden, Sankey Tank, ISKCON and Shiva temple. BNP was a welcome surprise - I loved the drive to there and the place was nice. The Royal Tiger was so majestic and I just could not get enough of it. Amma and Achcha, though, did not seem too satisfied with this. LalBagh also did not impress them. Sadly, LalBagh did not impress me much too - it has changed so much since when I used to go with my cousin sis and sit on the rocks and chew on roasted corn. We had lunch at "Woodlands" and got to know that ISKCON is open to public only at 4pm. Hence, we went to the park near Sankey Tank - very beautiful and spent some time there. We then went to ISKCON - which is now a "COMMERCIAL TEMPLE". They asked us to buy a special ticket worth 150 rupees which also entitled us to books worth 50 rupees when they actually don't have a single book worth 50 rupees there. So, eventually, you need to pay more :P
We then started back home and on the way visited the Shivan temple at Marathahalli. Well, Pras and I were not very interested in waiting for an hour in the queue and hence stayed in the car, had a chai, bought a small piece of cake to celebrate amma's missed b'day. It was Amma's b'day, the day she landed in bangalore but they never told us :( The next morning, Pras went to IIM. I made chutney, sambar and dosa for breakfast and for lunch, we had sambar and rice. I had a long chat with amma and achcha and made them realize how corrupt even religious institutions have become. We cleaned the house after which Achcha and I bought fish and amma made fish curry with fish fry that day. The next day, we went shopping again and Achcha bought Pras and me a top each :) Achcha insisted I buy a jean too but I refused as there were no offers on. The rest of the day, we relaxed and talked.

I must say, it was really nice to have my in-laws over. I was a bit tense in the beginning and so were they but when they saw that I was at ease doing the work, they relaxed. Yes, I did get a bit irritated when they stepped on my feet while I was cooking but that is ok - I need to get used to having someone around me in the kitchen. Staying alone and being independent has its pros and cons - you learn a lot but makes you so independent that any extra help seems like an interference.