Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dekh Lakh Lakh Pardesi Men

My life has been reduced to a series of events lately.

The scenes unfolding below are the dramatic representation of what is happening currently in my house. I am officially warning every body that this is going to be a long post. Impatient people with no flair for drama can leave immediately.

Starring Role : Aparna, (moi)

D (husband )

Ayushi. ( baffled daughter)

Ishita (foodie daughter)

Anand ( D's friend from IIT)

Lady (Anand's wife)

Jai and Veeru ( aliens who claim to be Anand's sons.)


It's almost evening. Aparna rigorously cleaning bathroom. Enters Ayushi.

Ayushi - Hi mom, how come you are cleaning the bathroom now? It's almost night.

Aparna - Baba's friend and his family are coming tonight. Just making sure every thing is in place.

Ayushi - What's that roll of paper you are keeping? Is it for my craft?

Aparna - No honey, that's a roll of toilet tissues.

Ayushi - What's that for?

Aparna - Uh, that's for, ahem, wiping.

Ayushi - Wiping what?

Aparna (feeling flustered) Baby, I don't have time for all this, just go and get me a bottle of mineral water. It's kept on the table.

Ayushi - ( absorbing, dissecting and analysing information...she takes after her mother)

Well whatever it is for, may be you should replace it with those wet wipes. It will at least smell better. And here's the mineral water. Why are you keeping it on the counter?

Aparna - (exasperated) Because they will need it for rinsing their mouths. Now go and let me finish my work.

Ayushi leaving scene, dissecting and analysing the information that baba's friend needs mineral water to rinse mouth though there is enough water flowing from the tap.


Aparna stocking food in the kitchen. There are some bread, fruits, (imported) eggs, sausages, milk(in cartons), butter, cheese (imported) , juice (imported) and cookies. ( Not biscuits). Enters Ishita.

Ishita - Mom, what's all this for?

Aparna - For baba's friend and his family. They probably will be hungry when they arrive. Just keeping things ready.

Ishita - ( Not wanting to miss any opportunity) Can I have some too? I am awfully hungry. ( She always is...takes after her father.)

Aparna- Not now, may be later. Just clean up your room and make sure everything is neat and tidy.

Ishita - What time are they coming?

Aparna - Midnight. That's the time most international flights land. Please help me clean up the guest room. They will be very tired once they reach.


Almost 2 am. The bell rings. Sleepy eyed Aparna opens the door. A beaming D enters with friend Anand and his family. They have arrived from the Swargalok. ( If there ever is a paradise on earth, it is there, it is there, it is there.)

Aparna - Welcome. I hope you had a pleasant flight.

Lady - We did. Thank you. You have a beautiful home. Jai and Veeru, please say hello to aunty.

Jai and Veeru mumble something, that sounds vaguely like 'hey how you doin'. Aparna can't be sure. She is too busy noticing the wires dangling from various parts of their bodies. A lot of gadgets also seem to be permanently attached to them.

D - ( feeling jubilant, after all he is meeting his friend after a long time). Can I get you something to eat or drink?

Thankfully the guests decline the offer. They are tired after the almost 18 hour journey. Though not before Lady expresses her gratitude once again for hosting them. She also does not forget to praise the decor, the furniture, the curtain and the bed linen. Everything is great (with a rrrolling r) and beautiful (with a rolllling l).


Next day morning. Every body lazing around the dining table. Jai has an i-phone fixed to his palm. Veeru has a contraption called PS 2 attached to him. He is probably busy sending data to outer space though he claims he is playing some game. The contraption makes beep beep sound intermittently.

D and Anand are having heated discussions on various subjects. Lady periodically praises the show pieces scattered around.

Anand - So next year, come and visit us. Back home, I have a beach front property. And recently I have renovated my house and have made a mini auditorium in the house. It has a big screen and some comfy seats. We will watch movies and have fun.

D- What movies do you watch?

Anand - Generally the latest Bollywood blockbusters.

( Aparna, laying the table wonders why she would go there to watch bollywood flicks when she can watch them here on bigger screens.)

Anand - The weather here is miserable man. Back home it is now very pleasant.

Jai- Dad, I have been sneezing. I think it is the pollution here.

Veeru - ( To Ayushi). Where do you play? The garden here is awfully small. Back home we have a tennis court and a pool in our house.

Anand - ( to D) So do you drive? I have to drive almost 30 miles to my office. But back home roads are not like this, the drive is very pleasant.

Aparna - (mentally converting the miles to kms) Why do you have to stay so far from work?

Anand - We wanted to stay in that school district. They go to an excellent school. Back home, the schools are different.

Aparna - Please come every body, the breakfast is ready.

The wonderfully laid out table has different kinds of bread, fruits, juice, scrambled eggs, bacon, and some sausages. Every body almost runs to the table. After a long flight where they were given bird food, they are ravenous. They are almost ready to attack the food but suddenly come to a screeching halt. Nobody moves. Facial expression sombre. Appearing crestfallen.

D- ( jubilant as ever) start every one, I thought you would like to have the typical American breakfast. This is what you have every day back home, right guys?

People are still standing, gaping at the spread and not moving at all. Jai and Veeru are almost ready to cry. Lady tries to look polite. Anand seems shattered.

Aparna, taking a leaf out of Ayushi's book, analyses the situation. The Bharatiya sanskriti, mother's teaching, good manners and some common sense forcefully decide to kick in. Atithi Devo Bhava.

Aparna- (Stepping forward) If you can give me 15 minutes, I will rustle up some luchi aloor dum (puri sabzi) Would you prefer that?

Their smiles could have illuminated the whole house readers. The joy was unbridled. There was a sound of relieved laughter.

Anand, the sons and Lady - ( in unison) That would be grrreat!

Really people, Ain't Nobody Like These Desi Men!



Ajit Ray said...


BlueMist said...

Desi is desi and it rocks always !!
and thanks for dropping by. :)

Sakshi said...

Hi from a broken winged Apsara from the Swargalok you mentioned. That was amazing..never knew you were a Director that too of theatre?? Me honoured to have come across you through this Blogville. That was one hilarious account. Laughed all the way while reading Ayushi's wet wipes funda.

Aww Jai and Veeru comes under my definition of kids on life supporting system in an ICU. ROFL at Aparna wondering why she should fly all the way to Swargalok to watch bollywood movies...U rock guru!!!

Nupur said...

Hmm.. Well described ! So that's the scene back home for these folks who are totally desi internally ! Even those wires and gadgets could not change their tastes :)

Nona said...

From Act I, the sausages were nagging me (and teasing my appetite)! I was critical about the efforts you put in making an All American breakfast. Looks like you learnt a good lesson. Next time (vi)desis come home, be prepared with desi khana!

I enjoyed reading this. Your descriptions are very funny.
- Contraption aka PS2! :)
- Rolling rs and rolling ls (Everybody picks it up fast!)

Neha said...

very witty post...we desi will always remain desi no matter what...we simply love our food...everything else can still be managed...very nicely written...:)

SJ said...

hhahahahahahahahhaaaa...this was hilarious. But my nut case aunt (who has been rotting in this country for 20+years) served us a lavish breakfast of...toast,jam,apple,3 varieties of cereals, orange juice (its hep-ly called OJ), peanut butter. Both of us looked at each other looked at my aunt and uncle gave a big, toothy albeit fake smile and picked at it like birds. Came back home the next day made dosa and chutney and stuffed ourselves!!! Some will always be desi at heart the others are more american than the americans themselves. Don't tell all this to the NRI aunties !!!

ZB said...

superb, i felt it unfold before by very eyes, if Shakespeare or G B Shaw reads this they would bow.Superb, you have a flair for are talented, i can smell talent.for sure. Cheers:)

ZB said...

BTW, cut on Bacons and scrambled eggs, in case you are feeding D. I remember your cholesterol post. In case.:)

Meghana Naidu said...

other than the storyline (which is kickass ofcourse) i loved the narrative..
scriptwriter's (notes) ruled the lot!
and ayushi is my favorite character :D
you should go all out and write an entire play...
contraptions indeed!!
he he he

PS: entertaining spwans creativity too nice ;)

Kavi said...

Applause. Encore. For the puris ofcourse.

damn..when can they invent technology for sampling the puris on the blog...

Just sampling ok !!!


Lovely !! As usual !

AnjuGandhi said...

athithi devo bhava

Aparna said...

Thanks Ajit, thought I'd surprise you with a Shaw this time!

BlueMist, Desis are hip and happening!

Sakshi, first you were a Rekha, now you are an apsara...woman you must be a beauty!How's the weather in Swargalok these day? And no pollution, right?
Glad you liked the post. Was a bit worried about the length. Thought it was too long and wondered whether it would hold the interest of the reader.

Screenage Scribbler, nothing can take the desinesss out of these Umrikans.

Nona, lesson well learnt. Next time I am going to bombard them with parathas, butter chicken and rasgullas.

Neha, how can any body resist desi food, its yummy.

SJ, nothing beats dosas and chutney, my absolute favourite. We were in France and went all the way to a Sri Lankan cafe to eat idlis. 1 idli 1 Euro. But we considered it money well spent. Never had a meal more satisfying.

ZillionBig, thanks a lot. GB Shaw is probably turning in his grave. About the eggs and bacon, D is not the guy with cholesterol, I am, remember? He happily tucked in the puris, which were no less greasy.

Meghna, hey I love the term kickass! Glad I could entertain. Ayushi is a funny girl and the entertainer in the family.

Kavi, I think puris are the universal favourites. I generally make them for my girls' dabba every morning. Becoming quite a pro at that! Thanks.

Anju, true. Anything for them.

Sharmila said...

Too good Aparna ... as usual. :-)
I liked the fact that they were honest enough to say yes to your offer of luchis. :-)

NR said...

Amazing it was really a small!!!I really enjoyed reading it!!

Any change of mind to watch bollywood flicks in his "mini auditorium"!!

Atithi Devo!!

ani_aset said...

superb aparna..loveddddddddddd this one with a rolling D :P

ani_aset said...

Awesome script waise :)

Sucharita Sarkar said...

I totall-lly admi-r-r-r--e your ener-r-r-rgy levels! Rustling up luchi-tarkari and then this superb script! The 'back home' touch was so r-r-eal!
And BTW, I too have a fetish about cleaning bathrooms if there are guests coming!

Sakshi said...

lolz a beauty me?? All I have to say is this is how I have ended up by watching too much hindi movies while growing up...yeah I have a run away bollywood imagination! next time I might be a Anu Agrawal la Khalnaayika ishtyle...

BK Chowla, said...

So well written and very expressive.Surely food plays a very important part in our lives.You have covered from Sausages to Puirs..what else?
And above all is the India hospitality.Cheers

Supriya Dutta said...

woow..wowww...wowww...did this rolling work!!!!Length didnt matter at all..the flow was superb....going by the flow, i could have read more....that was an amazing post...
Luchi..alur dom...loveeeeeeeeeee

Smita said...

hehehe..this is such a well written post :)

And I can understand what u must have gone thru when u had to make breakfast all over again!!! Happened to me few days back!!!

Hope the rest of the visit went ok ;) for u I mean :D

Smita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meira said...

Well, funny they praise their 'back home' so much when they've created a mini 'this home' there :D
Awesome writing :)

Shankar.Nash said...

wow.. amazing flow...grrrrreat piece of writing.... felt like reading a sujatha's(renowned tamil writer) short story authors short story....

on going thru, i was able to visualize how things would have looked.. llllloking for more from u...

Onkar said...

You have tried a very different format on the blog. It is longish, but very absorbing.

Anonymous said...

Oh lord! Didn't think there'd be a positive turn, in this story...

These NRI's and their Nakhras!

anamika said...

You said its seems as if flicked my eyes and it got over...u really r talented...u know as far as food is concerned i can eat anything and everything wether desi or pardesi...:D

Kavita Saharia said...

Standing Ovation...Aparna.

P said...

a fresh outlook to ABCDs! these creatures used to annoy the crap out of me... but now i simply empathize.. its no their fault!

NRIs are more annoying than Foreigners! Seriously.. atleast the foreigners have an 'no' interest in comparing things constantly to assure they did good by moving away!

Sandhya said...

I enjoyed from the first line to the last line of the story, Aparna. Beautiful. You wrote every sentence, with feeling. Ayushi is great!

Thanks for giving us a good and happy reading. Really, very nice! In the end, the original desi Indian wins!

sHiNiNg sUrYa :-) said...

India Rocks...
Loved ur narrations.
Perfectly Awesome!!!
Keep writing............. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh God My neck hurts. But this was so interesting, I couldn't stop reading. I could really visualize this. If this unfolded at my place, my hubby would make sure to bring such friends home often. The house would be spotlessly clean and I am aditi ddevo bhava type only. The locals at home can eat whatever they can find at home.;-)

Insignia said...


I was laughing throughout.. LOL!! still laughing...Hilarious(with a rolling 'l' and a rolling 'r') :-P

Superb narration. I visualized as I read.

Kudos!! and thanks for dropping by my blog. Keep visiting :-)

Sai Charan said...

This post is just wonderful and though little lengthy, it is thoroughly entertaining from start till the curtain drops :)

I have been sleeping for longer time these days, so missed a couple of posts on this blog, will catch up with older posts soon :)

I'm glad to have become the 60th follower of this blog :) At your leisure, read my post "I'll Pay, Wait I'll Pay...", it'll make you smile :)

Aparna said...

@ Sharmila, I think dishonesty flew out of the window at the mention of luchi-torkari!

@Nazish, thanks buddy. I have absolutely no intention of watching hindi movies in the auditorium. The nearest mall with multiplex is only 3 kms away!

@ Ani-aset, thank you soooo much with a rolling everything. You didnt think it was too long? I was a bit worried about that.

@ Sucharita, ever wondered how your name would have been pronounced if you had migrated to pardesi land? Thank you so much for appreciating this.

@ Sakshi, so now you are Anu Agarwal? I think you need to visit D's friend and watch movies at the auditorium.

@ BK Chowla, thank you. Indian hospitality rocks.

@ Priya, thanks. Was a bit worried about the lengthy post.Luchi beats bread any day, eh?

@ Smita, making breakfast twice was not really a problem, mother in law helped. But the expression on their faces was priceless.

@ Meira, what is wrong with these people? They crib about India and then cling to this country when abroad.

@ Shankar.n, thank you so much. Do you think people will read if I write on this family again?

@ Onkar, thank you.

@ Unsung, pardesi de nakhre soni lagde!

@ Anamika, haha, you are like Ishita then! She also loves food ,desi or videshi.

@ Kavita, thank you.

@ P, I think you have touched a very valid point here. They need to constantly justify their moving away, specially now when they see people having a pretty good life here.

@ Sandhya, thanks. The original desi wins everytime.

@ Surya, thanks. BTW I shortened your name to simply Surya. the Sun always shines, just that sometimes clouds get in the way.

@ Jyothi, my husband and kids also loved the food. For them, desi- videshi all are equally good.

@ Insignia, thank you. I hope now you will drop in regularly.

@ Sai, wondering where you had gone. I would like to read your opinion on my earlier posts, specially the poem that I wrote.

Sandhya said...

I came back and read it again, this post is really very good, aparna.

Ezhilan said...

Interesting events made more interesting by your writing!

JD said...

:-)i told u u can write books.. u write really well..

Shankar.Nash said...

sure... people would love to read more about this family... atleast me...

SG said...

Super blog. Living in USA for a very very long time, I can visualize each and every word you wrote. Your guest's two kids...they are the real ABCD...American Born Confused Desi.

Also, you are very good at writing "dialogue".

Gymnast said...

lol....they sound like some ridiculous bollywood movie comedians.

Ire said...

Lolz. All your mehnat was a waste! I love luchi and aloo dum! Reminds me of my Thakuma's cooking!

Parita said...

Very well written post aparna! hope the visit went good after the breakfast...

ekta khetan said...

I read with utmost patience and amused to see it unfolding to luchi and aloo sabji:)

shilpa said...

i loved the batroom scene how innocent

Anonymous said...

Though it is a lengthy post, I enjoyd the conversation a lot :)

And thank you very much for leaving a comment on my blog :)

Rajesh said...

Fantastic story. You make very good story writer. I did not get bored for a single moment.

JP said...

Wonderful post. I like the way you write this one...keep writing.

Anonymous said...

Wow...didn't feel for a second that it was a long post..
Kudos! We have had more than our fair share of such athitis growing parents believed they were God too...So I can completely empathize!
Rocking post!

Thanks for dropping by by following this one now :)

Aparna said...

@ Sandhya, thanks, your encouragement really helps.

@ Mojo arasu, thank you very much. What does your name mean BTW?

@ JD, may be I'll try out that book one day, who knows?

@ Shankar, I have some more incidents in stock...let me see what I can do.

@ SG, poor ABCDs. They can't help being like that.

@ Gymnast, yeah, like Johnnie Lever. Actually they were pretty serious, I was laughing inside!!

@ Nikki, luchi power rules.

@ Parita, the visit has been an eye-opener of sorts. Fully entertaining.

@ Numerounity,the visit is going pretty well so far.

@ Shilpa, haha, Ayushi is a funny girl.

@ Exposemaximum, thank you and welcome to my blog.

@ Rajesh, thanks a lot.

@ Jarlin Paul, thank you very mich.

@ Choco, welcome to my blog. Growing up, there was such a charm attached to people who stayed abroad. Now we have come a long way and we have stopped being in awe of these people.But I think a lot of them still live in that era.Thanks for writing in.

Miss M said...


And aint nobody like typical bongs! :D

sujata sengupta said...

I was waiting for this!!! You made me laugh the day I landed!! it was wonderful absolutely terrific my super desi girl!!

The M said...


i rly needed a smile. U gave it.



Urmi said...

I appreciate for your wonderful post.I liked it very much and enjoyed reading it.Not even once but I read it twice.Keep it up!

Adesh Sidhu said...

Really funny post. Being a Panju, I have lot of NRI relatives who behave in the same manner.

Dropping here for the first time, hopefully will come here for more.

Toon Indian said...

loved the post..really nice blog keep it up!!

Gautam said...

Hey Aparna! Let me begin with praising your writing skills. It feels so good to read your posts. I very recently got to know about your blog. I read the older posts well and immediately decided to click on the 'Follow me' option. I love reading your post.

Sreehari S said...

wud like to know ur opinions.. i m commenting only gals bcos if i get a gal to comment u indirectly hit d guys hehehe so plz co-operate ;) atleast consider d time i spent on it :D

pradipwritenow said...

I realise why goddess are given more than two hands. The house goddess definitely require as you are having otherwise completion of so many work is impossible.

eye-in-sty-in said...

hee hee - "back home" they still eat puri-bhaji :D

Nicely written... :-))

Sumandebray said...

I am sure lots of movie director has uttered ... "land ahoy” after reading through this. A little bit of description on the settings and costumes... And it would be ready for staging!

A master storyteller... That’s where you are heading .....

Swatantra said...

Nice stories!! I like your confidence of presenting the truth so beautiful!!

Beautiful writing!!

praddy said...

liked the way you wrote the whole thing :) very witty. so finally puri sabzi scored over everything :P

MothSmokeLover said...

nicely written :)

Anonymous said...

went thro' the whole thing. it shows how we try to satisfy our husband and his friends, and anything to do with him. But I think, we desis's should start asking these type of guests in advance what they prefer, so that will make life easy.

Lone Survivor said...

Had a good time reading it. Really enjoyed it.

Anrosh said...

i was wondering for whom were you assembling all that food for ? rural iowans ? egg, chocolate milk for kids or cereal, whole fruit - peanut butter sandwich - nobody will say no - it's a spread and you will have a lovable host who is not aggravating inside for all the work that she/he put in!

your narration is beyond words. No amount of maths skills is superior than this art.

Aparna said...

Thanks everybody for writing in.

Miss M, Bongs and their love for luchi...kothai laage er shaamne bread-butter.

Sujata, welcome back. I am waiting for a post on chocolates.

Thanks Manish.

Urmi, thank you very much.

Adesh, welcome to my blog. Hope you will come again.

Rahul, thanks buddy. Welcome to my blog.

Gautam, thanks. Welcome to my blog. Hope you will keep coming.

EISI, back home they eat dal-chawal and butter chicken. Comfort food in pardesi land.

Suman, that is a bit of an exaggeration but I loved what you said. Though I know I am far from a GB Shaw.

Swatantra, thank you.

Praddy, puri sabzi is the final winner.

Jal pari, thank you.

Anonymous, I wish you had left your name .We did ask what they ate, they said 'everything' Moreover they said 'nothing spicy'.

Lone Survivor, thank you and welcome to my blog.

Anrosh, rural or not, most americans have a tremendous capacity to eat. The menu was planned keeping in mind 2 growing boys, my husband and his friend, who love to eat.

Dheeraj said...

Yeh cheating hai... mujhe bhi chahiye loochi-aloo. Abbheeeee....

Aparna said...

@ Tararumpumpum, sorry, luchi aloo reserved for people from swargalok. we lesser mortals have bread-butter for breakfast.
But if you come to my house when you are in Mumbai, will serve you a platter of luchis. Ekdum garma-garam.

SJ said...

71 comments achieved without any weapons of mass destruction. Now thats a sign of a good writer !

I am from this narkalok will i get loochi and alu dum?

Sakshi said...

73rd Comment put gracefully without the need of any kind of threat...Now that's a sign of a good commentator*blushes deep blueberry*

SJ said...

arghhhh kaiko re sakshi, go bug some foodblogger go. I came to this narkalok first.

~PakKaramu~ said...

Pak Karamu reading your blog

Deeps said...

Hilarious!! I'm flat out rolling here laughing,Aparrrrna(that was me rolling my tongue) :))

Aparna said...

SJ an Sakshi, since both of you are from Swargalok, you can come and have luchi aloo anytime at my place.
SJ, my puris in my initial cooking days were no less lethal than any deadly weapon, but that is another post. May be some day.

Thanks Deeps.

Unknown said...

First time on your blog and I loved the story...nothing can beat the Indian food!!

sangeeta said...

hey aparna...i had the patience to read it all...n am happy i did....laughing all the way........luchi aaloor dom...earlier realization could have saved you lots energy....
read the ganesh vandana too in the latest post....hilarious experience you had....

TOSHALI said...

Lol AWEOME!!!!!!!!!!!11

TOSHALI said...

Lol AWEOME!!!!!!!!!!!11

Mystic Margarita said...

Hey! Me from 'swarglok' (sic!) - can I pliss visit you for the luchi-alurdom? :D Lovely, lovely post!

stringOfPearls said...

:) very nice one...

hilarious.. And you are sweet first the sausages then the poori...