Visiting In-laws and Return of the Bride
It was ringing of the phone that jolted me out of sleep. I saw the alarm beside me showing 1am, I grabbed the phone and sat next to window sill covered with snow on the other side.
My brother-in-law’s voice was loud and clear on other side, “did I wake you up, I’m sorry, just wanted you guys to know that the flight just left the airport now”. I murmured an ok and went back to bed.
That’s when my mind started tracking events from past six months. “Was it already six months” I thought. It is as though just yesterday I bid my parents and in-laws goodbye and flew with hubby to this alien land called USA.
Well, right after we settled in, I went back to my usual jean-clad girl. Seeing me only in saris for a month back home, my hubby was astonished to see me so comfortable only in jeans and tee.
Nevertheless, he didn’t complain.
Slowly I too began to backtrack. My medium ‘red bindi’ got replaced by small ‘black bindi’.
‘Fall’ started and I had to flaunt my new boots, so off came my sacred toe-rings(my grandma would have strangled me if she was here!!).
My long gold earring were replaced with silver studs bought at the mall and my gold bangles swapped for funky beads bracelet shopped at the ‘gems show’; so on and so forth the replacements grew and I was back to looking like some happy-go-lucky college grad.
It was already 6 months of marital bliss when by hubby decided it was time to get his parents to visit us in US.
Expect for weekly phone calls, I hadn’t interacted with my in-laws much during one month back home after marriage, so I was anxious to meet them and above of all I was happy that I will have company during daytime when hubby was off to work and readily agreed to his proposal.
After months of planning and preparation by restless hubby, both in-laws passports, visas, plane tickets and medical insurance was ready at last.
Right after all this the reins of the show were passed on to me.
All I had to do was play the perfect hostess, make them at ease, plan for trips or that’s what I thought. The day I started to make shopping list, panic hit me. Finally I decided to go about in steps to be ready for my in-laws.
First step: Shopping (Hubby whined that shopping seems to be the first step for everything for women and I agreed without tetchy!)
The small condo of our which horded two had to be modified to host four people for six months!
So first and foremost I needed to have a twin mattresses and extra comforters. Even thought spring was about to start, you can never believe the ‘New England’ weather. So it was bedding, bedding and more bedding. Then it was more and more of the crockery and the utensils and the toiletries and the list were endless.
Second step: Jewelry
Out came my jewelry box from the safe. All my silver, funky items were replaced by traditional gold bangles, earrings and I slipped on my toe-rings too. After all I wanted to be the prefect DIL. Third step: Cleaning
With so much shopping and so little space, everything seemed crammed. And the closet had to be let out for two more people.
I began to clear the clutter and veil my lingerie and cosmetics.
Hubby thought this whole episode was very funny, doing more shopping and cleaning up after that. I ignored his comments and went on to tackle the kitchen. When I slid into the bed that night, my body ached but my kitchen shone like picture perfect for ‘Vim’ ad!!!!!
This is when I came back to reality, sat up on the bed and remembered the phone call that had woken me up. I glanced my bedroom which I had tastefully decorated (thanks to Martha Stewart and Kmart items!!) and fell back to sleep blissfully thinking everything is perfect for tomorrow.
Finally the D-day arrived; hubby gave me clear instructions to prepare lunch and rushed to office. I prepared my atte’s(MIL) favorite chutney and mava(FIL)’s preferred ‘rasam’ and got ready. Hubby picked up me from home and we were at the airport at noon. My in-laws arrived and after usual hugs and wishes we drove back home.
I served them lunch and waited anxious for my results. At last my FIL spoke “the food is excellent, it’s so much better compared to what airlines served us”
I was thrilled like I had passed my first subject in distinction and looked at hubby who was happily enjoying his ‘savige’ payasam!
After lunch I took my in-laws for a guide tour around the condo and our apartment. Seems like MIL was impressed with my decorations and I again passed the second subject with a remark,” since only two of you live, it shouldn't’t be much work around the house cleaning”. I didn’t care about the last statement, I was just happy that they were contented.
Next morning was a Saturday. Even then my alarm rang at 7am (it seemed like pretty early to wake up for a weekend!). I prepared the filter coffee (thank god I had remembered to get that madras coffee filter and packets of ‘kwality’ coffee powder from India), served coffee to in-laws and hubby’s face lit up like a chandelier when he got his filter coffee in bed!!!!
We decided to hit the mall and hubby suggested we can visit the temple on the way and give a small tour of the county too. I got dressed as usual in my jeans and jacket and came out to the living room to join everyone. My FIL observed my face for a while and asked “Why don’t you put on a bigger bindi, I could hardly see your black bindi on the forehead”. Oooops!!! I had forgotten that I have to ditch my back eyeliner and return to the red ‘sringar’ kumkum tube.
I was about to hurry back in to change the ‘bindi’ when my MIL spoke “I thought you can wear one of those saris lying in your closet hanger to the temple”. I had forgotten that hubby had suggested temple on the way to mall.
I stepped out after half-hour later admiring myself that I looked gorgeous in the embroidery sari and the colorful bindi that’s when my hubby sneaked up behind me and whispered,
“Thank god, I’m will be getting my South Indian Bride back for a few months at least”…………..