Singapore has been like a home away from home for me with many of GSB community friends and having those frequent meet-ups which is always fun. By being an active member of the GSB community, the new families that you meet back from India always adds up to the spice :) Its always that amazing feeling of meeting a Konkani person or for that matter anyone from India in some other country! The feeling that “Oh, our people are here as well”🙂 Amazing feeling to get when you are far from your loved ones.🙂
June being holidays for schools in SG, my friends here were planning to go on a vacation to India and a get together was being planned since quite long with various ideas of BBQ party, Pot Luck etc were flying and as usual I was just being informed on the developments by my friend or rather now I can say a sister(Ambica Kudva) and Bavaji (Vidhyadhar Kudva). Ambica is my best friend Namrathas cousin and hence ever since I moved here to SG they have been a part of everything🙂 I was in middle of a project delivery with the roll out being planned for 28th of May. A get together was planned for 22nd May and I obliged with the dates as my roll-out would not interfere but little did I know the roll out would get pre-poned due to some month end freeze. There I was stuck with 2 events to attend to and none I could miss. I must say, 3 as the third one was a T20 game which I would talk about in separate blog post all together🙂
It was going to be a touch and go situation for the noon get together as always these implementations are scheduled on Saturday night and running overnight until almost 9am. If no issues are found during the implementation then it usually ends up earlier. Lucky for me there were no major issues during the implementation (pats back :P) but the sign off did take time and went up to post 11am in the morning. Yes, from previous day 9pm to next day 11am! Ambica was really hell bent on me attending the get-together and little did I realize all through out that there was something cooking behind closed doors. This is what happens when you are in middle of a project deployment😛 You tend to forget your very own existence but I must say, the amazing feeling you get post the rollout is absolutely mind blowing.🙂
I reached her place around 11:30am to be greeted by the cute lil prince – Vinayak🙂 He is such a darling with the amazing smile that he has and his love and affection towards me is immense. Its been like a second home for me with at-least 1 weekend a month I spend with them savouring some amazing Konkani cuisines which she happily prepares for me. [Remembering the stuffed karela when I am typing this😛 Slurppp!!!] Sometimes there will be these bonus calls coming from her – “Come home for dinner, I have prepared something! If I say, I have some work and may not be possible, she starts giving me the menu list so that no matter what work I have I make sure I go and gulp those”🙂 Yes, coming back to Vinayak – he is two and half years old and as I keep visiting them often the bond between us is super strong now. “BAPPA” is what he calls me – konkani word for uncle! Yes, I am an uncle now. (Aunt is on her way to SG :P) I don’t understand the language he speaks – doodle doodle wala cutie language, but the way he talks with all his heart you will get drawn towards him, such is his love🙂 A moment here and there, he calls “Bappa, come”, “Bappa, doodle doodle doodle” :) Every visit of mine, he comes and shows me all the new toys that he has got post our previous meet and the explanation about those toys – Don’t event ask me! You should experience it :) – he is such a cutie.
Shopping! The word itself lits up many eyes specially for the ladies out there but not necessarily for all😉 (let me play little safe here :P)
Wedding dates rushing super fast and there had to be a short trip back to India to complete all the shopping! By look of it, it seems a simple task but when you really get into a wedding shopping then the list is humongous. Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends. The list goes on and on!!
Thanks to parents and my master mind brother, we could chalk out a list with what things needs to be bought, where and how many. Sometimes, if you have a plan and act accordingly then it’s as simple as it is. So was our wedding shopping. Trust me, with everything set prior to my touch down, one and half days we winded up almost everything.
Bengaluru is just an amazing place to be and we got to buy few saris from the Weaver’s themselves. Big brands buy from these and we end up paying double the price for just the brand. Some beautiful sari from these Weaver’s were very pleasant to the eyes. Also, we ended up in one wholesale shop for sari known to my fiancee and end to end sari selection was completed in record time of 4hrs🙂 Even though I wasn’t very actively involved in it, but the way these guys sell those is magnificent. By the look of it, you can’t say which is what and unless and until you have in-depth knowledge about silks you can be caught off guard and duped easily.
Always during those childhood days, specially for those who were born until the 80’s, one of the favorite evening entertainment would be the long bicycle rides all around the town🙂 Miss those days and just wanted to revive it somehow!
Ever since I moved to SG, one of the major things that I could see all over was, hell lot of bicycles🙂 It was indeed a very good change to see these unlike that in Bangalore where the majority of the roads are clogged with vehicles. The excitement to buy one was very much there but due to various reasons it never happened and always would have to rent one of them and ride along the lovely beaches of SG.
Finally last week, the muhurta was right I can say and I did manage to buy one of it which had Gears too!🙂 Yes, a proud owner of a bicycle😉 Gear cycles were never there back then during my childhood days and it only came into market quite late with ‘Swing’ being the first one which I still remember
Flashback to childhood days, I had a small mini cycle first which was utilised to the max possible extent and due to the very thin tyres that it had, it would fly off in a jiffy. Speed was a thrill back then and I think there is nobody left in my neighborhood that have not complained to my mother about those speedy rides I had.🙂.
After hearing quite a lot of those, my father had a very smart idea and gifted me one of the bigger bicycles🙂 My excitement had no bounds. The size of the new bicycle was atleast 5 times the one I had before which goes on to tell how much excited I was🙂 The brand was Hercules MTB! Amongst my friends circle, mine was that amazing one which stood out and it added on to my excitement. My height did not permit me to sit on the seat and ride it but just had to manage by some way of riding called ‘Monkey Peddling’ whereby, I would have to put my legs between the horizontal rods in order to ride the bicycle. Even though it looked odd, I did not care and I was only happy about having a new bicycle. The smart thing that I spoke about my father was that, this bicycle had huge tyres and very thick ones which meant that, no matter how hard you peddle, for my strength it just wouldn’t run faster😉 Even though he had to shell out 1,800 Rs for the cycle, yes it did cost so less back then, overall he won the battle and I was confined to slow rides thereafter.
- It is mainly by word of mouth that the news spreads that such and such a guy is eligible and is ready for marriage amongst the community folks. But with Internet and social media these days, there are few community websites where you can upload the details for the rest to see or rather portray about the girl or the boys current status. Mine wasn’t uploaded anywhere and we chose the traditional ‘word of mouth’ strategy – slow but always effective😉
- Girls parents usually contacts the boys side for the horoscope and exchange of the horoscope along with probably the pictures takes place. Usually, these are shared via mails these days but if we go back not more than 10 years back, the girls parents used to visit the boys side in person and hand over the horoscope in person.
- Post the horoscope exchange, the astrologer from each side matches the horoscope and based on his Green flag talks proceed.
- Once horoscope matches, parents from both sides decide upon the family and the respective girl/boy having a good character, job etc etc in other words, whether he/she is capable or not of entering the wedlock.
- Post which, the ball is in the boys/girls court with a meet being set up and then confirmation/rejection happens.
During my final week of stay or rather I can say it was 3 days until my flight back to Singapore when one of my mothers cousin called up stating her brothers daughter is working for TCS, Bangalore and they are willing to give the horoscope. The horoscope exchange happened with my photograph being mailed across and they sending her one. These days, astrologers are quite busy and with their schedule running very tight, it is very difficult to get their time. When all this was unfolding, I headed back and my normal life began here at SG.
November 28th, 12pm IST, I had set up a call with her and due to my over night implementation back at work, I woke up close to 11:55am IST🙂 after suddenly realizing that there was a call I managed to get some 15mins buffer after texting her. She obliged with a smile🙂 The call eventually started at around 12:20pm approx which lasted for around an hour and 10 minutes. I did not meet her face-to-face but that skype call was enough for me to agree and wave the flag back. :) What we spoke for an hour plus ten minutes is something that I would not like to disclose but it definitely was something that struck a chord and I was happy and smiling post the same.🙂 I guess she too was :) Post that, I spoke to my mom and I did not have to say anything to her, she herself knew my answer🙂
Arranged marriage was something I always wondered as to how it would even happen and go through during the initial stages of getting to know someone unknown and here I was experiencing the same. I used to ask my parents, specially mom about the experience she had when she initially met dad as during those days there were no mobiles, no messages and even calls were very less and expensive. We are lucky to be in the century where communication between any corner of the world is possible with even very less amount to pay for.
Thus began our initial round of whatsapp and calls with texts being thoughtfully sent, calls made but words being carefully used but the bridge was built quite fast with frequent calls and messages. It did not take long to know her, at least some of her likes,dislikes etc if not in-depth. With the time difference of 2.5 hours, I had to quit a little bit of sleep time in order to get adjusted to the call timings but overall, it was quite a wonderful initial start.🙂
The first meet was something I was working on with December being a month of block leaves for most of the employees and me having taken my share early in November there was a bit of cover up to be done back at work and hence until January 8th, I had to postpone my first meet with her. December month went across in a jiffy with my parents meeting her and her parents and from the pictures I could say that parents were very happy after the meet.🙂 Sometimes, when you see your parents happy, the feelings says a lot and we don’t need to think twice about the rest.
January 8th did finally arrive with 4 days of Bengaluru trip planned and this trip was special! The First ever meet🙂 Quite a number of questions were being asked internally, how do I react, what should I talk, how should I behave etc etc. and somehow I remember telling myself enroute to Bengaluru to remain calm and go by the flow. My flight landed at approx 12:45am at BIAL, post which I called up my parents informing about the safe arrival and also texted her about the same. I was supposed to meet her and her family next noon but somehow there was a gut feeling that she had come down to pick me up from the airport! I refrained from asking her the same, but I was constantly bombarded with questions about my immigration, luggage formalities being completed or not which kind of added on to my gut feeling🙂
When I did manage to come out, my gut feeling was true and there she was🙂 along with her father, sister and brother in law! A “HI” was all that I muttered to say(too too cold in bangalore😉 ) as somehow it was a totally different feeling of meeting face to face for the first time even though we had conversations for hours together daily until then🙂 I was happy, very happy seeing her🙂
Saturday was a formal meet with her family along with mine followed by lunch which was sumptuous. So many items that, a little of everything would fill up your tummy. Me and my bro being very less eaters, we managed only little of everything😉
Orion Mall and then the next day Mantri mall was quite wonderful. Tuesday flew off very very soon with the thought of departure that night looming around😦 Akka and Bavaji did come to drop me back again to the airport as I could spend those extra couple of hours again with her🙂
All along, the only thought that went through me was that, how quickly life had changed and there was someone beside me who cares for me now a lot who before a month was someone unknown. I am grateful to malshi to have given me such lovely parents and brother who care for me and love me by supporting me in all ways possible and now one more family added to that with her parents and sister and bavaji, caring equally for me.🙂
Those 4 days were one of the most wonderful moments of my life that I would cherish throughout and with marriage being 7 months down the line, this definitely was a meet that was very much needed🙂 Yes, I always mentioned as “HER” & “SHE” – but here I can happily introduce “Vidya Pai” to you all🙂
Malshi and parents blessings have made it possible to find someone who I felt is ideal for me with respect to her nature, behaviour and also care,concern and respect she has towards elders. Mingling with my family and treating them as theirs is one of the most important and noteworthy thing that I admired a lot in her and I am sure there are many more things I am willing to know as and when time progresses🙂
To this beautiful start – Thank you Vidya for accepting me the way I am and I hope the first meet was equally amazing for you as well!🙂
Who does not love cricket being born in India?🙂
A chance to play cricket through out during childhood every single evening was one of thing that I will cherish through out my life. Grab your cycle, visit each of your friend’s place and give a shout, gather maximum people and then enjoy the lovely game. I always heard my father telling me, if you don’t call your friends going to their house each day, won’t they come to play?🙂 That was part of the fun. Get to bat, bowl and keep and your day is at its best.
I still recollect those days when we cousins used to stay over at my grandparents place. So much cricket that, wake up, have breakfast and play cricket. Come down for lunch, wrap it up in a jiffy and again play cricket. Evening go out to the beach or outside on the ground and again play cricket🙂 No, I really am not exaggerating these above things. This is what we used to do for the whole of summer holidays and trust me we loved every bit of it. Of course, we did not have mobile phones or Playstations to play with like how kids of this new generation have, so we found solace in out-door games and cricket was on top of our list.
It so happened and I am lucky that cricket has been integral part of my life till date. Engineering days playing for your class team, during masters playing for University, at Tata Elxsi playing for the company team every week in week out with the best of the corporate teams of Bangalore. I must thank Chetan Jayatheerta for giving me that excellent chance to be in the team and enjoy every bit of it and on course learn a lot as well. After moving to Singapore, I did have a break from cricket for obvious reasons (read as work :P) but nonetheless, I did play for my boss’s team on a turf wicket and quite a number of those Cage Cricket games where in you hit the walls and you score runs. It is not as much fun as the open ground cricket but definitely if your technique is good then you succeed in scoring🙂 Twice a month we colleagues play over at the ground around Changi Business Park in Singapore and through some recently made friends at client places, I also did get a chance to play in a couple of tournaments as well🙂
The fun tournament was last week at ECP – GSB Samaj Cricket tournament played between 6 teams and each consisting of 7 players out of which 2 were either kids or women. 6 overs a side inside the cage and the fun was unlimited. Being part of GSB community even after coming over to Singapore is one of the best things that could have happened and definitely knowing new people each visit is always worth it. Even though my team lost both the games, the spirit with which each team played was commendable. Looking forward to many more of such tournaments.
I really wished our game were uploaded live on the UC Cricket plugin which has some amazing features which one must definitely try out. Had it been done, my mother would have loved to watch me play each and every game of mine with absolute happiness🙂 http://www.ucweb.com/ visit the link to know more on the same.
This blogspot is part of the Indiblogger Surf it all post.