Deciding to Return to India was very easy for me. All I had to do was make up my mind and let DH plan it out after promising him a zillion things that he knows by now will never be executed. Eventually, he decided to plan our return and after a few initially hiccups and a postponement, we made it back! We started the New Year with a Bang by landing exactly an hour past mid-night on Jan 1st 2008, quashing my Sis’s New Year eve plans for the second time in as many years.
As expected, many friends and well-wishers had warned me about all the re-adjustment issues to expect back in India after staying away for sometime. I came with the expectation that it would take me months to settle down completely. I didn’t look forward to the tough few months ahead. I remember friends KG and AJ having bets on exactly when I’d return to the US. I can remember many friends and well-wishers telling us, especially me that I’ll not be able to forget all the luxuries in the US easily. I even began to worry that I’d not like it back and of course DH had to spend some of his precious time, which he would have rather spent on his R2I planning, counselling me and encouraging “MY” decision to return. Of course, I had convinced DH and the rest of the world that it was all my bright idea. What people fail to recognise is that all the bright ideas are mine but the execution genius is of course Dearest DH!
So we landed in Bangalore.
What I felt at the time we touched down was something I’ve experienced only a few times in my life. I felt very confident about being back. I felt like it was a good decision to have come. I think I really felt like I’m “HOME”. That’s a feeling I never got flying back to the US after spending time outside the country.
And then, to everyone’s surprise, the three of us felt great being back. I’ve never felt better. I’m ecstatic to be back. It feels like I never left this place. We fit in instantly, into the crazy mix of traffic, chaos, still incomplete apartment with lots of work to do etc! The simple pleasures are what I’ve missed the most about Bangalore. So what if the roads are bad and the drivers are reckless, I want to stop driving like a robot and have some fun on the road myself! So what if there are vendors all over with no pavements left, I want to eat the Pani Puris that I so dearly missed! So what if people promise to show up, the first thing in the morning and end up at your door only at 11.30 AM, I want to wake up late. So what if the maid is aggressive and I’m at logger heads with her every single day, I changed maids and got a good one! The best part is that I have the luxury of having a maid every single day. So what if the Iron guy shows up with your clothes 12 hrs late, I want my clothes ironed and it gets done! I’ve not touched the iron at home, yet.
Mom was here waiting for me when I got here. Even now, I pick up the phone and call Mom and Dad every morning and evening to just “Catch Up” and then as soon as I hang up I call MIL and have another session. I really love being able to do that. Sis and BIL are here 24/7 if I need them. She is in the middle of an important meeting and steps out to take a call from me; I’m calling to find out what’s for dinner! I’m sure she is going to loose her patience one of these days and give it to me. He drives to every nook of Bangalore with us! I remember driving myself to Labour and Delivery to get myself admitted (twice) during my pregnancy with K, in Houston. Despite their busy schedules, they got my kitchen interiors completed before I got here. And of course, Mom got it stocked to the brim! Her stock calculations are so accurate that I have enough rice until I get back to the US for a month’s vacation next week. I remember running to Wal-mart hours after landing to stock up for the week ahead. MIL and FIL are here now and it’s a pleasure to just gossip with her! I remember yearning to talk to someone while DH was away on a trip and the little one too small to communicate.
I think the silver lining is the fact that Sis and BIL are always around. I needed appliances and BIL’s friend owns an appliance store. We got nearly all our appliances from there with minimal issues! And best of all, thanks to improved customer service, each item was installed by the relevant technicians. There were hiccups with them not showing up for days together to install it, of course, but they came and fixed it for us. I needed a pull and dry to dry clothes and BIL made sure it came home and was installed the same day. I needed a car and BIL took us around and made us test drive every available car in the market. BIL does have a car dealer friend so it was possible. I needed rides to go shopping, see friends and go out and BIL was around. We all needed rides, to stations and airports and BIL of course, dropped and picked us up. We needed phone/cell phones/ power/internet blah blah and BIL got it for us.(Don’t ask me how, I don’t know.) All this is possible with complete moral support from Sis of course 😉
And they are great baby sitters! K needs a bath, sis will do it. She will get her ready for school too while I’m supposedly extremely tied up in the kitchen! On days that she is not around, I’m miraculously free to get her ready on time. K needs to play, BIL is there. The decorations and cake ordering for K’s B’day party is anyone’s guess. BIL drove with me to get return gifts for the 30 invitees that K felt were her best friends and could not be left out!
I have a feeling that by the end of it all, BIL will be ready to relocate to the US!
K just fit in here. She feels great. She had a B’day at our apt three days back and had 30 kids show up for it, all of them, her friends from the apartment complex! She loves her school. She loves the fact that her aunt spends all her precious free time with us. She loves throwing tantrums when her aunt leaves. She loves her cheriachan(my BIL). She wants him around every single day. She loves playing in the park, everyday. She enjoys shopping in Comm St and all the Malls. And of course, she loves eating all the junk I want to eat. She loves picking up the phone and calling my Mom the minute we have an argument. She loves the fact that she can see her grandparents for every special occasion.
Dear DH is such a sweetheart! He had no complains what so ever. Sometimes I feel K has taken after him. Ganga jaaye toh Ganga das, Jamuna jaaye to Jamuna Ram! Like this old hindi saying(which I hope is correct), wherever they go, they fit in easily. After ensuring we were well settled he left only to call me everyday to “CHECK” if I’m still not missing him!
Well well, all said and done, anyone reading this will feel that life is a bed of roses back home. I definitely had my downs(I don’t even remember most of them now). I’ll leave that for “My Struggles Back Home” write up!
I had a busy three months getting our interiors done and getting a zillion other things organized but I’ve got it all going thanks to BIL and Sis and moral support from both our folks.
Overall, I’d say this…
The sights and sounds of Namma Bengalooru are not the same anymore but the place still has its charm intact that I would identify with any day! I’m Happy here and won’t trade good old Bangalore for any other place on the planet. I really have to Thank DH for returning to B’lore for my sake although his first love is Chennai.