My cousin brother J, his wife A, mom and eight month old son were visiting us last week. J completed his MS in the US and is placed with a company in the US. His wife studied in Kerala and was working in Kochi before marriage. They were staying with us so that they could visit relations here and grab a holiday in Kodaikanal before heading back to the US.
During the one week they spent with us, A drove all of us crazy! Before she landed up in Bangalore, she called up my mom and told her that she needed Mineral water to sterilize the baby’s bottles and utensils. She wasn’t too sure of the Aqua Guard water we use in the house! My mom obliged by asking the Kinley suppliers to ensure a continuous supply to the house while they were with us.
What happened next had me boiling impotently! From the time we picked them from the airport till they left, the lady had everyone on the edge and that included her mother in law who accompanied her to spend some time with my Mom!
From the airport to the house, A regaled us with tales of troubles she encountered when she landed in India a week ahead of hubby with the baby. She had apparently flown Lufthansa who were very helpful to passengers like her traveling with a baby. The domestic leg of her travel i.e from Bangalore to Kerala was undertaken in Indian. And the stark contrast in service between the two carriers gave A enough fodder for chit chat for the week she was here and visiting relations. My tart inquiry as to why she didn’t travel first class in Jet or Kingfisher was met with a smooth excuse. Her mom in law mumbled under her breath that A was trying to save money by traveling Indian.
After that it was pure hell. From complaints of lack of oxygen in the air in Bangalore to the crowds and inquiries if the stuff my mom cooked was organic and the content of fat...she had everyone on tenterhooks. My brother countered her questions tongue in cheek till a well placed kick under the table from mom ensured he kept quiet for the sake of family peace.
My mother, the gracious hostess she is, put up with A with the patience of an Indian Electorate waiting for good governance! While A sterilized the babies bottles and washed his plates in Kinley and ensured that the baby ate nothing but the pureed bottle food she had bought from the US, her mom in law ensured that the baby ate rice and fish curry when the parents were out visiting! By the time they left, the baby was refusing to eat the bland pureed food! A almost fainted when she came to know that the baby had eaten the unsterilised Indian food and crawled around the house in her absence! And guess what! The baby never fell sick or had any problems with that! Don't get me wrong. A is a really nice girl. But she seems to have trouble acknowledging the lifestyle she left not so long ago!
This is not the first time we are having visitors from the US with small babies. Most of them are fussy. But A took the cake. Nowadays during weddings and other get together, the joke is almost always on the NRI relations and how soon they forget the India they left not too long ago, like two months in some cases!!
I wonder if it is really that risky for an NRI to live in India after living in the US!
p.s Sorry for the delay in posts and replies to comments but if life were a Ferrari then Schumacher would be my driver. Right now trying to over ride the brakes! *sigh*