It's been a fun vacation time, yet I've still been really busy. Moral of the story: Vacations and calendars don't mix.
Long story short: Arrival – Cousin’s wedding – Get back – Stay at family friends’ place – Go to different cousin’s place – Family Lunches and Dinners – Own friends – Shimla – More friends – New Year’s Eve.
The wedding was really fun, just as weddings always are. The get back part was tough for two reasons: Dial-up and stupid old TV. It’s an ancient TV –good for all the saas-bahu crap for Mom to watch, but devoid of the frequency ranges for the following channels: Star World, Zee English, HBO, ZMZ, [V] and National Geographic.
One thing I really hate about vacation breaks is the “Family Lunches and dinners”. That’s when they take me out for family get-togethers with little-known “family friends”. It’s really very awkward:
Uncleji: Aao beta, aur batao tumhari engineering kaisi chal rahi hai?
Me: (not recognizing uncle and faking a smile): Haan ji, uncle, theek thaak hai.
Auntiji: Arey, beta, bahut kamzor ho gaye ho?
Me: (surreptitiously look down and find “kamzor” belly still staring right back): Kya karen aunty, Madras ka khana!
Auntiji: (to all around) Haan, bechara beta! Tsk tsk tsk!
Mom: Nahin, kamzor nahin, “theek” ho raha hai!
Auntiji: Nahin, nahin kaisi baat kar rahi hai?
Me: (fuming inside and wanting to throttle both the ladies, hoping Aunty has a son): Aur aunty, bhaiya kya kar rahe hain?
Also, in the face of the so-called MMS scandal, the IIT-DPSRKP connection inevitably kept coming up:
Auntiji: Arey, tum to IIT se pehle DPS RK Puram mein the na?
Auntiji: Tsk tsk tsk. Aajkal ke bachche!
I especially hate the future career plan thingie at such parties:
Uncleji: Aur beta, aage ke bare mein kuchh socha?
Me: Haan uncle, waise to ... (interrupted)
Uncleji: Who sab to theek hai lekin ... (half an hour later) Garble Farble Warble!
There should be a law or something!
The Shimla trip was a welcome change after this drab period of forced politeness in the face of criminal stupidity. But also slightly disappointing. You see, it traditionally snows (don’t ask me how, it just does) in Shimla on Christmas day each year. It’s been this way for the last fifteen years or so, except maybe once about three years ago. And I haven’t seen snow since I was a little kid (I thought never, but my parents have a picture of me playing in the snow from a time I can’t recall). Seeing snow after staying in Madras would be so cool (no pun intended). Or so I thought. I stayed there till the 29th. No snow :-(. At all. Also, I first heard about the tsunami in Shimla on TV. Such depressing news.
Since then, I’ve been back, met my own friends, and had a good time. Oh yes, all that in two days. And with a flight leaving on the 3rd, this is the first time I get to be not on the train on New Year’s Eve. I was hoping it’d be fun as well.
Only now, I’m stuck here in my room with nothing to do, while Mom watches SRK serenading with assorted babes on Sony. And occasionally surfs the news channel that shows what they’re doing in Goa. Worst of all, those still in the hostel are having a better time.
Wish you all a happy new year.