Off To India!

For all us NRI ‘Desis’, going to India, once a year, or at least once in two years, is a must. And as we have left half our lives their, going to India means meeting everyone we know and everyone our parents know. So obviously, due to our Indian culture, we cannot go empty handed. So begins this quest to fulfill the needs of every single friend/relative. And obviously, we kids don’t get involved; we leave it to our parents. Then it starts! A week before our due departure, the biggest possible bags are lowered from the topmost shelf. These bags, wrapped in rolls of plastic sheets, are then removed and laid down to be filled with chocolates, not clothes. So obviously before all this, our mothers make a trip to the mall and purchase a bagful, no sorry, bagfuls of chocolates and other possible gifts that our humble Indian friends will be fascinated by. Along with the chocolates, all the ‘give-away’ gifts we receive are added to the pile to well, give away. Then the sorting process begins, and bags are made for each relative and friend. The gifts are then distributed equally amongst our beloved friends. Remember, this is all a week before we are actually supposed to leave. So basically, what I am trying to tell you is that don’t enter our house one week before we leave for India, because it literally turns upside down. Clothes, chocolates, suitcases and plastic bags are lying everywhere. Ultimately, when these ‘necessities’ are carefully placed in the bags, we NRIs realize that traveling with 6 large bags, and 4 overfilled hand bags, is going to be pretty tough. But we somehow manage, and the whole journey is like a workout, we feel good about ourselves. The elation on the faces of our loved ones when they meet us makes it all worthwhile. The gifts we give them does satisfy them, but it’s the pleasure of our company that they all seek. And we realize just how humble and fun they, and we remember why India is our home, away from home.

After the memorable stay, the journey back home is quite like a cake walk. Three out of the six bags are empty and the other three are pretty light too. Our worn out souls finally receive some rest from the sheer energy and excitement of India.

Well, I haven’t reached India yet, but I am sure we are going to have a blast there. After all, Indian family marriages, which are more like family ‘get-togethers’, are the most exciting.