Standing in front of the large bathroom mirror, Ruhi combed her long thick hair. Should I leave it loose or braid it? Should I put on makeup or go bare? Should I wear all my bangles or just a couple of them? So many questions! Why don’t all men come with a user guide.
She braided her hair, glossed her lips, chose a pair of gold bangles for each side, and figured she was done. Then she offered a silent prayer, thanking God for the absence of her mother-in-law.
Tea and breakfast.
What? Herbal raspberry tea bags and Cheerios! And this man expects me to eat? Her spirits taking a dive, she put her head down on the table and mournfully longed for a piping hot refreshing cup of masala chai with cauliflower stuffed paratha on the side…Mama!
“Still off in neverland?”
She sat up, startled, to gaze dolefully at him while he smiled cheerfully at her, looking handsome and crisp in casual white shirt and jeans. Why was she always at a disadvantage?
“Care for some hot pizza?” He swept a large colorful cardboard box in front of her nose. “Authentic Neapolitan from our very own Tony’s. My favorite!”
She didn’t care for it, too cheesy.
He frowned at her while she pursed her lips together feeling helpless.
“This is crazy! If you don’t eat, you will disappear in no time. Then there wouldn’t be anything left to send back home!”
She glared at him acutely hurt. They had just reached here, and he was already thinking of sending her back home? What did he take her for?
“I guess I’m homesick.”
“Ah! I see. How stupid of me! Your parents must be terribly worried!”
Getting up immediately, he dialed her home; and yes, they were in a state of panic.Hearing their voices, she nearly broke down…wanting to reach out and touch the loose end of her mother’s sari.
“Accha. All right, I shall hang up now,” she said and handed him the phone, just as a tear threatened to roll down her cheek. She rushed to the window—the purple flowers had taken on a silver hue.
Imagine how much a new Indian bride has to deal with—
A husband who is practically a stranger, in-laws—and if she is accompanying him to a foreign land; new living conditions, new culture, and a new way of life.
As someone who has been through a similar experience I can tell you the task is not easy. These are the times when memories of home hurt the most.
In my book ‘Inconvenient Relations’ I have through my protagonist Ruhi tried to elaborate on what it is like to be a new bride in a foreign land.
You can find out more about my books here.
Masala Chai: Spiced Indian tea. The spice usually consists of cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, black pepper, star anise and cloves.
Paratha: popular Indian flatbread prepared fresh from whole wheat dough, and served either plain or stuffed with a variety of vegetables like radish, cauliflower, potato, methi (fenugreek leaves) or paneer (fresh Indian cheese.)