I am invited to dinner...by a very formidable lady. I get there, she looks me up and down, from head to toe. And I was kinda looking around, waiting for someone to say something, wishing I could run away, or disappear into thin air. Uncle asks me some thing, I answer, silence again, again some inane question and answer. I ask Uncle and Aunty how their flight was, how do they like it here so far, you know the usual pleasantries. And this goes on for some time. Then we all head to the dinner table.
I try hard not to head into the kitchen, and warm up the food and do my thing. I had to really restrain myself. She looks for some things in the kitchen, muttering where did it go, looks at her son, where did it go, he looks at me, and all I can do is smile. I know exactly where it is, but I am not supposed to know, so I just watch in amusement.
We finally sit at the dinner table, and she asks me,
खाना बनाती हो? (Can you cook?)
क्या बनाती हो? (What do you cook?)
रोटी, सब्जी, दाल, येही सब... (roti, curry, daal, etc)
कौन सी दाल? (Which daal?)
Holy shit! I know their colors and how to cook them. I know a few names, but I cannot always link the name with the shape and color! I bet her son, who had his head down and was eating quietly, was dying to burst out in laughter! Coz I knew HOW to cook daal, but I hadn't actually done it in at least 5 years. He probably must be thinking, "Maggi, frozen food, more maggi". But I digress...
So I blurt out a few names...
मूंग, तूर, मसूर, उड़द, और वोह तेल वाली दाल.... (A few random names of daals, and finally...oily daal)
तेल वाली? वोह कौन सी होती है? (What's oily daal?)
And I mentally say a BIG thank you to my mother who cooks that oiled yellow daal every day at lunch (Kanan, do you know what I am talking about? Is it tuvar daal?). So I give aunty all the gyaan about this very special oily daal. She is content that I know what I am talking about, and, me, well, I am happy that she doesn't know exactly how much I know ;-) And the ice is broken :)
This, my fellow bloggies, was my first meeting with my MIL. We got along quite well after that, but man, was I nervous that day!
Earlier that evening, as I got ready to go to meet them, I felt SO alone, I so desparately missed my parents and my sisters. Weren't they the ones supposed to go meet them? Why just me alone? That was the first time in 10 years that I absolutely HATED being in this country, so far away from my home, all alone going to meet my future in-laws for the first time. This was a very big deal, and I was all alone! I had spoken to my sister much earlier in the day, and that soothing voice had already been forgotten, replaced by mammoth butterflies in my stomach. I called my best friend, even she didn't pick up the phone. I had the strangest of emotions that day. My dad was coming to meet them a couple months later, but this first time was just ... I don't know, just wanted to run back to Daddy and let him handle the important things.
Thankfully, today, I have "aunty's son" by me through everything, and I know I am not alone :)
Friday, October 24, 2008