Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stepping on to the 2nd :).... (contd)

Although life in US was getting better day by day....I realised a bitter truth that "Life in US is Great but NOT EASY", as many people back home think. We never experienced difficulties in opening a bank account or getting the driver's license (which is a nightmare here to many people), or filling up our kids with a hell-a-lot of immuisations before they enter school. More so from a homemaker's point of view, however tired you are there are those uninvited guests waiting for u each and every day (cleaning vessels, ironing, vaccum cleaning). Me honesly enjoyed these privilages of having a maid do all these back home. Dosent stop with that. There were carpenters, plumbers, iron wala, milk wala and even the vegetable vendor everyone coming to your door step. But here even a single ounce of milk u need to drive down in a car. This implies that I learnt to drive a car which i never even attempted to do back home but to get a Licence (that too just for the International Driver's Permit).

But it was all a learning, many a times we did not choose to rejoice this learning process, we didnt have a choice. It was more of a necessity. While i mention this learning , i need to mention the people (our own indian brothers and sisters) here in US. The extent they go to help the new-comers is just amazing. We had may such good souls among us who guided us in the right direction everytime we were clueless. Slowly the weather was getting a little chill now.....the temperature dropping to the 60s (u know as im living in US now i need to talk abt temperatures in Farenheit, liquids in gallons or ounces and weight in pounds). It was fall...soon all the trees were looking as if they took a trip to our "Tirupathi".......

Then there came the winter day by day the temperature kept dropping down now we had to shop for winter jackets, gloves, snow shoes for kids......the days were short and nights were loong, we had to wear layers of dressess, even to go out and check our post took refuge in their friends' houses and basements to play. Playdates and pot-lucks increased as those were the only means by which people met each other (poeple barely came out of their homes). The visit to the doctor became frequent inspite a complusory flu-shot.

Then came the exciting part "the christmas holidays". We planned to visit the Disney land, florida. we flew down to florida, spent four days there, had fun in the Disney World. I do not want to write more about this trip here as it would take the whole page...... We missed the first Snow storm of the year in new jersey as we were in florida. While on our way back from the airport we saw heaps and heaps of snow piled up on the road sides. They keep cleaning the snow every now and then for a safe traffic. We reached home only to find that our drive way was covered with ice that was slippery and hard to walk.....we somehow managed to get in the house without falling down. Next morning started the shovelling job...OMG still feel the back pain......snow is cute to watch but not to clean :((....... I felt life here is tuff :)........ Driving in the snow and ice was yet another challenge.....the tyres would not hear to us....we turn right and they go left......funny when i think abt it now.

Then there were snow storms every now and then. Kids played once or twice in the snow...Now i felt a little like the charm was all over for the snow.....we waited for the winter to get over (that is what many people wait here for). february was the shortest month but the winter made it looong, then march marched by. Here came April, the official spring?????, but where was the was still coooold. But all four seasons dawned for me when I met my god mother (smt.Sudha ragunathan), in the cleveland thyagaraja aradhana.......Our first looooong drive enjoyed every bit of it........The major milestone in our life, (bringing parents to the US) came true. Here they are at the close of April. We were kind of used to the chillness by now and could go out without jackets, but they still felt the winter of Delhi here in the spring of New Jersey.

We started taking them places temples, washington, malls and restaurants. Here came the summer, my little devils :) expecting their vacation. Finally, they are here. They started enoying and I started worrying "how in the world am i going to manage these little mischevious kids home full - time?". Thought that my parents would have also felt the same. I know my kids are smart enough to manage their mom, that too mow with the support of grandpa and grandma.

Then the most awaited trip of everyone in the US "The Niagara Falls", it was a dream come true for me. Never in my life would forget this massive beauty. The saying "too much of something is not good" was proved false for the first time ever in my life. TOOOO much water, the niagara, massive, stunning, amazing, maravellous and what not. Scintillating experience that will last till our last breath. Had an untimate experience.

Then there I am writing my journey "to" and "in" the US on the completion of one year in this American soil. Experience is a the greatest teacher in one's life, itteaches us so many things that no books, teachers, parents, friends do not impart. I learnt a lot in this experience, enjoyed a lot, had a few ups and downs...but I feel that all these have develpoed a boost in my self-confidence and let me find "my space" which i had been searching for quite sometime..........

Crossing fingers for a better and fun filled future and an even more interesting journey to continue.. :D

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stepping on to the 2nd :D

The Life in US

It was a totally different environment for all of us, a little not so new for my hubby who had been here on and off on his official trips. Still it was very much different for him also having his family with him and being here long term. The much greener and cleaner environment, american english, the people all were absolutely new. On entering the hotel a very good friend of us invited us for dinner, we were supposed to be there by 8pm but in the hands of jet lag we went to sleep at 3.30pm and woke up only around 8.30pm........still didnt want to get out of the bed....poor hosts they gave us a wake-up call n then we rushed to their place. Had very good food there. Kids hadnt seen food during the whole course of travel so even the curd rice became their "favourite" that day.

The following day we went to have a look at our house along with another friend of ours and met the landlord a very good lady, only then I came to know that i was once more going to live in a calm, cleaner and greener "Mini India." The people in our community were mostly indians, actually all parts of india. We were not aliens in this community rather the Americans were aliens here. Wow, was the word that I felt on looking at the house, but the devil in me said "ha ha u will have a tuff time maintaining such a big one", very true (that too for indians who are used to the maid culture). It had soo much space in the front and the highlight was the beauticul backyard. We  did the "milk boiling" ceremony stuff and were going to get into the house in a week.

The day continued with shopping the essentials for a household. I felt as if a newly married ;p getting into a house shopping right from a door mat to LED TV. Our packages rom india were waiting for me in a corner of the house asking me "when are you going to open me"? Lack of sleep and improper food timings were making me an even more lazy person than I was. But the best part was all of us were feeling the same, so i could do all those at my own pace without having to haste. Slowly we were getting used to the timings, neigbhours, even the cooking range, which was very much new to me.

We started making friends. There are so many kids here so my kutties were having a great time playing around. The worst (best) part was the day was sooo long here by the time i start to feel that i have to make dinner, it wud be already 8pm. Luckily kids were co-operative so cud do something to fill the stomach.We started to get to know people here. My hubby's few good old tamil friends got in touch, i must mention this set of people to move with had and have real fun. We understood what pot-luck was all about and we went on an outing to delware and pensyvannia areas with these people, our first sight seeing in the US. Had fun time.

The school system is something that i was amazed with. In india we used to consider govt school to be the so so moderate ones. Here the majority of kids are the govt school which is called the public school kids. But they wait till 5yrs for hte kid to get into K grade. My son was put into the home school (the school alloted to our are) and my daughter to a near by play school. Do i have to mention that we got into a routine?......

To be continued....... :)

First Year :)

Jul 11 2010 - 5pm
Here i am doing the last minute packing, double checking the huuge boxes, attending phone calls from kith n kin wishing us a happy bonvoyage......thrilled, excited, confused, many more inexpressible emotions changing every minute as the clock keeps finally around 5pm i was a little confident that i had almost done with my packing....zipped up two boxes after sooo many follow ups from my hubby who wanted me to be done with at least one box as we were supposed to leave in another 5hrs. The thought of going to be in a different soil altogether and the pride in going to be in an international flight still take the first place..the feeling of missing the near and dear physically was taking its kids were even more excited not even knowing where the country is. All they knew was the were going to be on a Biig flight to the USA.

Jul 11 2010 - 6pm
Hey "gayathri, gayathriiiiii"..........people crying out frantically for me"..................what is happening?........i came rushing to the room only to find my little one throwing badly......and almost exhausted. Oh my God!!...what in the heaven is happening?.....we are supposed to leave in a few hours....i told myself "keep calm,think, then act"......back to my senses, i cleaned up the kid pacified her and gave her the medicine only to find that she was throwing again and again.........Now we made up our mind to rush to a doctor. The pediatrician advised us to rush to the hospital and have her checked and administered with medicines to help us travel with this kid.....we were in a position where in we cudnt cancel or postpone the trip. Took the kid the hospital, poor one was given an injection and was fully drained. she was running temperature but was not throwing anymore.

Jul 11 - 2010 - 11pm - 3.30am
Waving bye to all the people at home we left for the airport with our parents accompanying us, crossing fingers and hoping things wud get better. We bid adieu and entered the queue for the boarding pass. Suddenly i felt someone pulling my dress, my elder one was standing behind me closing his mouth with his hand which made me go pale in fear. "Yes he was throwing". With a big question to God "Why this to me?" i cleaned him up and proceeded for the immigration, security check, and were in the lounge waiting for our boarding call. By now both stopped throwing up but were exhausted, tired and sleepy. Still caught by the excitement and thrill above all the fear that the kids shud have a safe travel we headed to the boarding gate at 3.30am.

Jul 12 2010
With the kids not being well and all the mixed feelings still dancing to their own tunes we were here stepping out from the flight in the "John F Kennedy airport, New York". Ahhh!! we somehow made it till her inspite of all the obstacles me and my hubby told each other exchanging a big Hi 5. It was a loong wait in the customs and immigration line and all of us were already in the hands of the monster called "jet lag". Finally, we made it to the exit and boarded the car to New Jersey. The drive was great, everything was new, greenish as it was just the start of summer here in the US. We reached out hotel where we stayed for a week before our home was being handed over to us.

We landed in the US, puzzled with the question lingering in our minds "How is our life going to be in this altogether a new land where we dont know anyone but for a few colleagues?"......All we did was said to ourselves "Lets make it better and enjoyable"........

DID WE? ......

Will tell you all in my following post as this one is getting a bit toooo long :P

Friday, July 8, 2011

Marriage :)) - what is is all about?

This is a mail that i received ......i enjoyed reading this stuff....hope you all also enjoy this......

In a relationship, married or not... YOU SHOULD READ THIS!
When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.
Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.
She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?
I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!
With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.
She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.
The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.
When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.
In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.
This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.
She requested that every day for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.
I told Jane about my wife's divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.
My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outsidethe door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.
On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.
On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.
On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.
She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.
Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.
Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.
But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.
I drove to office.... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.
She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.
Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.
At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.
That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead.
My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.-- At least, in the eyes of our son--- I'm a loving husband....
The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!
If you don't share this, nothing will happen to you.
If you do, you just might save a marriage.
Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.