This was a weekday sometime last month, out of the blue – I wanted to cook Biryani (Indian Rice Pilaf or something similar). It is a dish that my husband loves(though not necessarily the veg version).
So, I mentally devised a plan where in I would try and make my husband ask me to cook biryani. That way, I figured I could use the guilt points to my benefit some other day.
How it transpired in my mind:
Me: I feel like eating Biryani.
J: Why don’t you cook some?
Me: Sure. If you say so but you do know the amount of work that is involved…blah blah.
How it transpired:
Me: I feel like eating Biryani.
J: Let me take you out for dinner tonight. You pick the restaurant.
He couldn’t stop laughing after I confessed my plans to score some brownie points by doing what I was going to do anyway. I told him that I merely wished to cook biryani and not actually eat it. That is alright though, I shall get him some other day(evil laugh).
PS 01: Veg Biryani is a thing. It is not necessary for biryani to have meat in it. If you believe otherwise, let us choose to disagree.
PS 02: Yes, I made Veg Biryani that evening. It was yum, if I may say so myself.
PS 03: We(read I) love playing such games on each other.
I am not a vain woman but I do have some weird tendencies that might make me seem like one. I would never share this story were it not for a friend who said that the trait is not unique to me and his wife possesses a similar tendency. With just a few discrete inquiries, I found out that several of my friends (or their wives) share this trait. So here goes nothing…
Whenever I get my eyebrows shaped, I expect my husband to notice and compliment me (however undeserving the situation be). Almost every time, he doesn’t notice. So, I get offended that the love of my life does not take an interest in my appearance. He says it is trivial enough not to matter on the grand scheme of things. Things usually go downhill from there.
I would never in a million years have expected this to backfire as I enjoy these debates that we have so much that I look forward to them. One day, I think It might have been post the ‘No Shave November’ month or so, I was out in the living room watching Netflix and my husband comes out of the shower and we discuss our Lunch Plans.
Five minutes later, in an angry tone
He: Don’t you ever … ever talk to me about the 1-2 hair that you get removed along your eyebrows again.
Me: Huh? (*Confused now)
He: (waits a minute for it to sink in. Starts Laughing)
Me: What are we talking about again?
He: I had a full beard a while ago and you did not notice that I now have a clean shave.
Me: But J, I don’t think that counts. I love you however you groom yourself. You know I find you very good-looking….
He: (*Interrupts my explanation laughing uncontrollably now) Nice try Sam. It is not going to work. I think we can end this topic for good. Never ever ask me about eyebrows again.
Since then, as tempted as I have been, I dare not speak of the topic again. But in my defense, I am in love with the person and not his appearance…
As an IT Consultant, getting and giving the right requirements mean the difference between success and failure. This is one example where my requirements weren’t as specific as I had hoped it would be.
Growing up in India with my big family, cricket was a religion. It was sacred. When Team India played, everything else took a back bench. Everyone would gather around the television and the entire day was spent watching the match (sometimes 5 days in a row) and then the next few days will be spent dissecting the match. Though, at one point in time, I did enjoy the game – this utter dedication drove me to the brink of craziness.
As I grew up and the thoughts of an ideal husband started evolving in my mind, 1 thing kept coming to me recurrently. I will under no circumstances marry someone who was so crazy about cricket that he won’t notice if the world around him just ceased to exist. This was one constant throughout that I held on to tight.
A few years, I have a friend on whom I have an insane crush. He has every single quality that I want in my life partner. To this day, I can picture the conversation we had quite clearly. It was a group of us having coffee and the topic was cricket. I asked him ‘What about you? India is playing today. Aren’t you curious about the outcome of the match?’ He shrugged his shoulder and said ‘Not really. I do love cricket and Sachin, but I don’t follow it crazily’.
Fast forward a few more months where we announce to our friends that we are in love. Our cupid (That is what I call the person who introduced the two of us), comes to me, congratulates me and says, ‘You better start learning about Football’. I was stunned, I had no idea what he was talking about. He looked at my blank face and started laughing. He walked away saying ‘You will know soon enough’.
And yes, I did know soon enough. My then Boyfriend and now husband is crazy about football (soccer if you are in the Americas). So crazy in fact that I now have a healthy respect for all my brothers and uncles back home who watch cricket. His obsession with football is unlike anything I have ever seen. Luckily for him and me, I am way too head over heels in love with him to kick up any fuss now(not that it would lead me anywhere).
Moral of my Story: Make sure your requirements are clear, crystal clear!!!
It was a couple of years since I had bought my house. The interest rates had dipped since I had taken the Mortgage. This was a perfect time to utilize refinancing options. Luckily, one my close friends is a lender. I discussed my options with her and agreed upon a refinance plan. She said she will send a list of documents that are required for the process in an email. She warned me that the list would be quite an extensive one. A day later, she sent me a professional email including her colleagues with the following list.
As per our discussion, the following are required for Home Loan Refinance
- Last 2 Pay Stubs
- Tax Returns for current year
- W2s for last 2 years
- Homeowners Insurance
- Title Insurance
- Current mortgage statements
- Home equity loans
- Credit card Statements
- Auto loans
- Student loans
- Checking Account Statements
- Savings accounts Statements
- Stocks and Bonds
- Mutual funds and CDs
- 401K statement for past 2 years
- A Pound Flesh
- Your First Born
- Our real estate logo as a tattoo of allegiance *
Not to be outdone, I replied:
I am working through the list of documents and should have everything consolidated and sent to you shortly. I do not wish to add any delays to the process and am currently on my way to get the tattoo. Are you sure that you don’t want me to sport a Mohawk? I believe the last person I spoke to had mentioned that it is needed for processing refinance loans. Awaiting your response
* Anyone who has had to refinance their homes will know that the list of documents required is slightly more extensive than this. If you are in USA on a Visa of some sort, more documents will be required.
** This did not happen to me. It is a slightly modified version of what happened to my friend. Thanks to JG for letting me write his story.
*** If you did not get it, look at the list of documents numbered 16-18.
This past Friday, a friend and I volunteered\participated in a Shuttle Badminton Tournament. We expected the event to go on until around 5-6 pm in the evening. However due to many participants, it ended much later in the evening than we expected. We had our lunch at around 12:30 pm in the afternoon and we got busy with the volunteering activity and our matched post that. Food wasn’t really a priority.
After the event ended at 10:30 pm, we stayed back to help with cleaning the place. At 11 pm, while driving home, exhaustion hit us bad and we decided to stop for food. We stopped at Eddie’s Place Restaurant. I ordered a bowl of lobster Soup and my friend asked for a plate of pot stickers and Wings.
My food was served with a Soup spoon, 2 pieces of bread and 2 packets of butter. I used the spoon to smear the butter on the bread and dunked it into the soup bowl and relished the amazing food. After my first piece of bread had disappeared along with half a bowl of my soup, sensibility started to set in and that is when I realized that the silverware and napkins had been lying next to my plate the entire time. Laughing it off, I picked up the silverware and continued with my dinner.
A couple minutes later, I heard an expletive from my partner. I looked up shocked and asked ‘What happened?’. He held up his hands with which he had just finished eating half a plate of wings and said ‘I just realized that I did not wash my hands and the last thing we did was pick up trash’
As a rule, a bunch of colleagues head out for lunch on every Friday. We try out different restaurants in the area. There is this one restaurant that most of us love and pretty much have our ‘Usual’ defined. Today, we had been to this restaurant.
I asked for my favorite – Cashew Nut Rice. Stir fried veggies in a special gravy, rice on the side and golden brown roasted cashew nuts on top. When we were served, the cashews were no where in sight. I called the waitress and asked her about this. She dismissed me and said they are below the veggies. Surprised that they had changed the way they serve their food, I took my fork and shifted the veggies around searching for my much loved cashew nuts. But Nope, no cashews were to be found in my plate. I called out to the waitress again and pointed out that there were no cashew-nuts anywhere around my plate. She looked at me, with no expression and said ‘ I shall get you cashews’ and much to my surprise, she was back in a minute with a small bowl of non fried cashews. She set it on the table and walked away without another word.
I guess this restaurant wont be on my to-go list of restaurants for anytime in near future.
Before coming to the USA, I had always been prepared to face difficulties related to accents. As difficult as it is for me as an Asian-Indian, to understand other foreign accents, it is equally difficult for the others to understand the distinct Indian Accent. But more than the accents, I faced difficulties in the way words are used and so did many others with whom I had a chance to discover my adventures. Here are a few of my experiences:
1. This was at a local Store near my place and was within the first week of me landing in the US. I wanted a couple of postage Stamps as I had to mail something to another part of the USA. I walked to the counter and asked for couple of stamps and when I asked how much it was, the man at the counter said ‘Dollar Ten’. When I looked up at him blankly, he repeated ‘Dollar Ten’. I was still getting used to the Dollar to INR Conversion rates and thought that the stamps were outrageously expensive. I reached into my wallet and gave him a 20$ note. He gave me a 10$, a 5$ and bunch of coins. That is when I realized that ‘Dollar Ten’ means 1 Dollar and 10 Cents. I walked out of the shop with a smile on my face.
2. I was at Chipotle having dinner with a few friends when there was a need for an additional Bowl. I walked up to the counter and this is the dialogue.
Me: Can I please have an extra Bowl?
Lady at the Counter: A What?
Me: An additional BOW-LL
Lady: Excuse me, a what?
Me: A B-OWL?
Lady: (Calls another person and they are now trying to decipher what I am saying)
Me: Bowl, BOW-L, B-OWL?
Lady: Oh, You mean a “BOHL”, of course you can. Here you go.
3. This one was at a Costco . My weighty issues were getting out of hand and I wanted to buy a weighing machine. I went to my nearest Costco and when I could not find it after a couple of aisles, I went to a Costco Associate
Me: Excuse Me, Where can I find the Weighing Machine?
Him: Hmm, Let me see. What is it for?
Me: For measuring my weight…
Him: (With a Smile on his face) Oh, You mean Scales? We have them right here.
For the uninitiated, the Hierarchy at the IT Office where I work is as follows:
Software Developer Reports to the Business Analyst who reports to the Project Manager who takes inputs from the Data Architect, who in turn, may at times consult the Solution Architect.
Software Developer to Business Analyst: For the files I have been asked to build, is there any specific order to be followed or can I start with the easiest one first.
Business Analyst: Let me check with the Project Manager.
Business Analyst to Project Manager: The files do not seem to be interconnected. Can I ask the developer to build the files according to the level of ease?
Project Manager: Let me check with the Data Architect.
Project Manager to Data Architect: I have been asked if there is an explicit sequence in which the files should be built?
Data Architect: Let me check with the Solution Architect.
Data Architect to Solution Architect: Would you be able to shed some light on whether there exists a predefined framework to arrive at the precise arrangement for the files to be built?
Solution Architect: I shall find out and get back to you on this in sometime.
Solution Architect to Software Developer: Do you have any idea if there is a specific order in which the files should be built or do you think you should start with the easiest one first ?
Software Developer: I don’t think there is any specific order and I can build taking into consideration time to build.
Solution Architect: Great !
This is a slightly exaggerated version of what happened to me sometime back !
I had been to Broadway-Cochin. It is a street famous for shopping. It is said that if you are shopping and you find yourself on sale at one of the shops then you are at Broadway-Cochin.
I wandered into a shop selling all sorts of plants. I was looking for a particular variety of plant and I had a hunch that I would find it here. The minute I entered the shop most of the attendants there started helping me at their earnest. There were other customers too, but I got the special treatment and I never really gave it a second thought.
After about 15 minutes, I got the plant that I wanted. I went to the counter and paid for it. He asked me if I wanted it wrapped. Since it was a dried plant, I asked him to wrap it in a paper. He asked me if I wanted it gift-wrapped. I said no, took the plant, put it in my bag and turned around to leave the shop.
They were all staring at me intently. One of them ventured to ask: “Are you leaving?”. I was confused at his confusion. So I just nodded my head and said “Yes”. he asked again: “You mean that’s it? You are leaving?”. Yet again, I nodded my head and said “Yes” and I quickly ran out of the shop. All pairs of eyes were on me till I got away.
It was only when my eyes fell on my reflection on one of the several window panes, that the humor of it all dawned on me. I was wearing a magician’s hat(Well- it was sunny and I thought why not) and had a trench coat on (which is a rare thing in India). I guess they assumed I was one of those street magicians about to perform tricks in their shop. That also explained why they were peering intently at the car parked outside the shop. I bet they were searching for a camera hidden in it.
*The above story is as narrated to me by a friend
You all might have heard the Russel Peters joke where he threatens to call the child services and his dad gets better of him. Well, I have my version of it.
This happened when I was 11 years old. I heard a friend describe how she gets her mom to do whatever she wants. She said she would huff and puff and refuse to eat dinner and go and sit in her room. The mom usually came to her room with a plate of food in a little while and coaxed her to eat while agreeing to all her demands. I being the ‘Smart’ one decided to give it a try. After all it wouldn’t hurt – or so I thought.
I waited for an opportunity where my parents disagreed with something I wanted. I told my sister we would get what we wanted if she just acted along. At 9 pm, we huffed and puffed and we announced that we will not have our dinner and stormed off straight to our room. I should have realized something was wrong when my dad did not even raise an eyebrow and mom did not give any reaction. My friend had told me that she usually had to wait for 15 min. So we giggled away the first 15 minutes, in anticipation of the knock on the door. There was no knock on the door. We assumed that mom would take a little while longer as she had excellent patience.
1hr later, we are still waiting in our room. My sister is starting to get cranky and is giving me “this is all your fault” looks. So I went out to check what was taking my mom so long. The lights in the hall were off. My parents had gone off to sleep. I ran to the kitchen- all the utensils were empty. Mom had cleared the kitchen for the night. My ego prevented me from waking my mom and we thus went to sleep with grumbling stomach and next day we were greeted with wonderful smiling faces of our parents asking ” what happened to your anger? You had decided not to eat right?”
Its one of the most hilarious things that has happened to me. And that also was a lesson well learnt. No matter how smart I thought I was, my parents were one step ahead. It also taught me, tantrums would get me nowhere with my parents, Patience and Logical Reasoning would !