Thursday, September 21, 2006

Trin Trin Trouble.

Well, you always want to talk to your folks back at home when you are thousands of miles away. But then, sometimes this could be emotionally draining, sometimes weird, and sometimes damn funny. It took me a couple of days after I came here to get myself a phone and a calling card. And the moment I punched in the numbers and heard mom's voice at the other end of the line, I knew what I was in for. I must have guessed it anyway. People are always shocked when you call unannounced, and that too right from the other end of the globe. Somehow I couldn't decipher why she kept speaking so fast. When I asked her to slow down so that I could actually understand what she was saying, her first reaction was...."But it must be costing you a fortune."
Ah, so this is it. And all this while I wondered what dialect of Bengali has she picked up recently that 10 days I am gone and I am unable to understand what she speaks.

Its okay mom, I can afford it once in a while. So you might as well slow down.
Hereafter, the conversation got down to such a speed that I could at least understand what she was saying. But guess what she asks me the first thing?

I hope you haven't put on weight. And I hope you are having the low fat double toned milk and are not hogging on chocolates and meat.

Mom, this is what you have to ask me the first thing? For all you know, I might as well have had a hand to mouth existence, eating one meal a day.

Ah, but I know you too well for that,
she says confidently.

Sighs. Its true, the way I have been eating the chocolates and the fruits and the desserts of late, I might as well join a gym before I am due home.

So the conversation goes back to normal chitchat, including the regular What do you eat? When do you get home? I hope you aren't into late night parties and dating. I kept on sketching a cartoon face as I tried to feign seriousness. For little did she know how lonely and how unsocial I felt here. Not that I was planning to tell her anyway.

Yeah, don't worry mom, I have decided to join a nunnery here. And I am already on my way to join the vegan club.
So that's my mom. And just before I am about to hang up, I give her some latest updates on my recently upgraded standard of living.

You know mom, I got a cell phone with a camera. Quite unlike the one I had back at home which I could use in self-defense, so heavy it was. 
There are not many eve teasers here. So I might as well use the phone strictly for conversation and communication purpose instead of going around hitting people on the head.

A phone with a camera? Don't tell me you have been seeing me all this while.

I did not know what to say.

So that was the gist of my conversation with mom. And then I decided to call up grandma. Well, I should have at least let her know beforehand. The poor lady almost had a heart attach on hearing my voice.

Hello, hello, but you are okay? Are you in trouble?

Of course I am okay. I just called to say a hi.

Well, if that was my intent, I should have kept some ear buds handy. Perhaps she thought that I was calling from somewhere in Pluto, the way she kept screaming at the other end of the line.

Relax, and be a little less loud. I can hear you fine.

Hellooo, helllooo, but it must be very expensive. You keep down the phone.

Ufff, but I can afford it.

But I was just talking in the air. Even before I had had a chance to tell her that I was fine, she had hung up. I looked at my phone. 2 minutes 44 seconds. 

The moment grandma is done conveying the basic information on a long distance call, she hangs up on her own. So after she had asked me if I was doing fine, and telling me that her fever was better, she kept down the phone. Sighs, she never even gave me a chance to say that I myself had fever last weekend.

So that's my family. You call, and the first thing they ask you is if you have put on weight.

Thankfully, dad was the only sensible man around to talk to. But then having said that, I wish he didn't take so long to figure out who I was. And that goes for Munnu as well. What, does it get so difficult to recognize a voice from the US?

I wish the next time I call home, my folks talk to me more normally. And grandma doesn't slam down the phone on her own.



V said...

Hey Sunshine,

Over the months reading some of your posts, I used to think, "Man, she thinks just like I do!" :D
I don't know about yours...but u do speak my mind aloud!
Wish you good friends and high spirits in this land!

Anonymous said...

"For little did she know how lonely and how unsocial I felt here."
Welcome to seattle, there will not be no sunshine (sorry for being over puny,cant help it),it rains all the time. Especially, If you are just moved from India to here, let me tell you, this gloomy weather will be the worst place to start your inning, as far as my feeling goes. I'm missing all my friends and fam so much.
by the way, As usual an awesome post. For phone calls, did you notice people always shout so loud knowing you are calling from US, even though you can hear them just fine. Once I told mom that its takes 5$ to talk for 30mins, and we are using messenger ever since...
Let all those experience coming,I am feeling a strong nostalgia reading your posts.

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

When I call my mom, I can repeat an exact sequence of 5-6 sentences that open all our conversations: are you ok? are you eating ok? do you have enough money? ... you know the stuff. And I too have my share of "stingy-philanthropic" relatives (Sidenote: nice term that you coined). But calling home is always fun: especially when you are asked to describe what the place is like :D

cliche said...

how about a nice blog on ur large hearted host??????????????

Scorpion King said...

Hope U hav not put on weight ;)
U were SICK ?? So r u OK now ;)

Scorpion King

chaos said...

Now that is really should ask Munnu to give you a huggggggggeeeeeee treatttt next time you are back in india...........zaraa sa time hua nahin aur woh apni dost ki awaaazzzzzz bhi bhoool gaya......laanat hai....

Abhi said...

Oye meri galti nahi hai uss 'whos that' non recognition delay mein .Something has happened to your voice.You were sounding like a mix of an angry dharmender and a little less angry Jitender on the phone.Get that phone repaired , it seems to do quite a bit of 'masculinisation' of female voices.

Inder said...

haha... the all familiar trin-trin trouble... it is omnipresent, i guess :D

Dreamcatcher said...

:D this happens ALLL the time. when my sis called the first time after she reached the US, Ma's first question was 'ki kheyechish" and then the entire eating saga pretty much continues even now...its been 5 years. now its 'ki ranna korli?"

sunshine said...

v- hehe, thanx.

aashun- but what exactly are you doing in seattle?

sudipta- yeah, seems the situation is the same here.

cliche- this i beleive is a lovely surprise. yeah, you just wait and watch.... err... wait and read.

scorpion king- yup... am better now.

chaos- munnu, are you hearing?

inder- yeah, seems so.

dreamcatcher-id specifically asked mom ki if you ask me that question, ill simply slam down the fone. and guess what? she beleived me!!

abhi- you won't know how frustrating it is to call up your best friend and say...... hi, recognise me? i am your best friend. or to call up dad and say- hey old man, how r u doing? remember, i am your daughter.

Anonymous said...

What am I doing here in Seattle?
Assuming that it's not a philosophical question....They put the cold barrel of .45 in my mouth, and make me "work" @ microsoft. Every day, day after day, same story and same gun…

Anonymous said...

lol ... it will take time to balance this struggle of one side trying to put the phone down ... incumbent's unconcious mind converting dollars ...
would the scenario reverse the day u start earning ... ??? ...

ME ... !!!

Anonymous said...

by the way !! ... dad, mom, nani, munnu and ... sis ??

ME !!!