Funny first-things people said on hearing about my new job:
1. What? They only pay 9-month salary every year? What kind of a job is this? (Ma)
2. No vacations during Durga Puja? Why not? (Grandma)
3. Thank God my chauffeur will be back in the country. (Close friend and my road trip buddy who hates to drive)
4. You owe me $75-80. I prayed and donated money at every temple in Seattle this past year. My mom did the same in the Chennai temples. (Religious close friend)
5. So you will be working under a professor now?
Me: No, I am the professor. (Friend who does not get it)
6. I collected kitchen utensils for you for a year, hoping that this would bring you back to us. (Hoarder friend; I have no idea what am I going to do with a huge box of utensils now, I didn't even ask for any)
7. I'm so excited you will be back.
Me: You didn't even ask me what job it is.
Oh sorry. Didn't strike me. I'm just so happy you will be back. (Close friend)
8. Good you got a permanent job. Now you can work less and just relax. (Friend who does not get it and cannot differentiate between "tenure-track" and "tenured". Permanent job? Relax?)
9. Just relax in Kolkata for 3 months every year from now and enjoy the mango season. (Ma)
10. The first day I saw you in class 13 years ago wearing dark eyeliner and a green kurta, I knew that you are very smart. (Old and close friend and classmate from Calcutta with amazing memory)
11. Is there a Sephora store nearby? (Sister)
12. Is it a one-year position? (Gentleman with a mysterious sense of humor)
13. Just imagined you wearing a sari, going up to the board and writing with chalk while your students giggle behind you (Childhood friend with a Main-Hoon-Na sense of humor; we used to giggle together back in the days)
14. I'll show you a lovely, 3,000 square feet house. You totally deserve a nice place now. (Local realtor who doesn't get it and is getting no business from me)
15. I'll show up at your place with a tiffin carrier full of idlis, sambar, koottu, and kuzhambu every weekend. (Close friend who will not be entertained henceforth)
16. Now you will not have trouble finding a guy and getting married. You can comfortably settle down. (Concerned person who just doesn't get it)
17. I am coming now. With your dad. For 6 months. No one can stop me anymore. (Ma, who sounded like she is going to reach the US even before I do).
18. You will not be my school principal! (7-year old Baby Kalyani. Since she doesn't understand professor, I told her that I will be her school principal, and the first thing I will do is make it compulsory for all her teachers to learn Bharat Natyam, Bhangra, and Carnatic music)
And the list grows ...............