Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Pickle Story


I have never been a fan of pickles. Being a lady,  I am assumed to be a pickle lover. So when I refuse to have them when offered, it astonishes many. The only pickles I would consume with some interest is of stuffed chillies, chillies and garlic, chicken and peaches. And I had never thought that I would ever make pickle on my own. Before getting married an aunt-in-law asked me if I knew to prepare pickles, I replied with a smile that neither I eat pickles nor prepare any. But what did I know. Love and care makes you do things you think you are incapable of.

My maternal grandmother (Aita) is a fantastic cook. And her pickles are known far and wide. For my wedding, she prepared three pickles--chillies and garlic, olives, and starfruit. Everyone in my new home loved them, especially the chillies one. The recipe was asked for along with the sample. Then with self surprise I asked Ma the recipe.

Once in Delhi, I was on a mission. A kilo of green chillies were bought. Mummy cleaned and dried them, while Daddy chopped them all for me. Yellow mustard seeds was washed, dried and grounded, garlic and  ginger chopped. The recipe was confirmed and paraphrased from Ma over the phone. Deta was worried how would I prepare it on my own. But everything went on as it should have. Pickle was made and rested. It is still resting, now in the sunshine when available.  But yes, it is being consumed from day one. And so I have not failed I think!

So as I said love and care makes you do things you think you are incapable of. I am now a part of a family who are fond of pickles. A family I am expected to take care of. A family who is me now. And this is what made the first pickle story of all my (future) pickle stories.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wedding Files: Hits & Misses


What is a wedding without a few misses, mishaps and misgivings. And of course, mine was no different. My husband being resident of Delhi, it was decided that the wedding will take place in Delhi followed by two receptions, his from Delhi and mine from Guwahati. We were travelling by train as there would be luggage, plus Ma has aviophobia. Although I had booked our tickets three months ahead of the journey, tickets got confirmed only a couple of days before it. 

Well..everything was going on as planned and expected. Only my mother got hyper and nervous now and then (She has a typical style of laughing when she gets nervous). And while in this state, she either gets mad at people around her or feels sick. In the New Delhi DC office, we had to wait for quite sometime before having our turn of appearing before the Additional District Magistrate(ADM). There were several other couples along with their family and witnesses, all dressed up, and waiting like us. There were others who had come to apply for registered marriage and make their first appearance before the ADM. The registered marriage went on fine but we almost forgot to exchange our wedding rings. Among elders, Ma, Deta and Daddy (my father-in-law) were there. Mummy (my mother-in-law) did not know that we were going to exchange rings that day and was not told that she should come. Later she raised an hue and cry and sulked for sometime. 

In Delhi, it was only my parents, two sisters and myself who had to do all the shopping, preparations and execution. So it was quite hectic and tiring for all of us. Thankfully, there is a full fledged market near to my sister's residence and that reduced our headaches substantially. But carrying all shopped items physically including groceries, consumables, gifts, sweets, fruits, etc., my sister had a bad case of aching arms. 

On the day I was to move to my husband's home, my bags were packed ready and there was an additional suitcase which contained the groom's gifts. While leaving for my new home, I left with Ma in my in-laws' car while Deta and my sisters went ahead of us with the luggage. It takes almost half an hour to reach there. Once we all reached there and got settled, Ma asked for the groom's suitcase we carried. And then we realized, the luggage was not unloaded from the taxi. All hell broke loose. Ma got mad at Deta and my sisters. They thought the luggage was in the car we were traveling in while we on the other-hand knew it was in theirs. And as there was a good crowd to receive us downstairs, the luggage was forgotten in the commotion and confusion. The taxi was taken from a stand near my sister's place. My younger brother-in-law reached there, collected the taxi driver's number and called him. The driver was somewhere else with passengers and they agreed upon a place to meet. So the luggage was finally recovered. Once the news reached home, the family relaxed. 

The rest of the things were more or less on track. In a wedding, you can neither make everyone happy and satisfied nor can you ensure perfect execution. Now whenever Ma talks about any dissatisfaction regarding anything during the function, I just ask her carry the good memories ahead and let go of the negative parts. And with all the experience, we are now better equipped for the next wedding in line.