*NEW* Recent blog entries

March 12, 2009

Love and the Holi mess

I really don't understand men. This was supposed to be a nostalgic post on Holi, some cooking, Lucifer the cat and a sort-of-expose on Gaudiya Vaishnavites in Melbourne (if you're going huh, we'll get to that later in the post)... TILL Partner called. Now you get two stories in one post.
(Pic = http://www.zazzle.com/great_perfume_insult_t_shirts-235957917253053515)

Story 1: Men are weird


It could have been a usual checking-on-you call, but what makes this call significant was that Partner did it again. Him doing it again also goes to prove that despite age difference, cultural differences and the bloody Indian Ocean separating Australia and India... ALL men are alike. Partner and my father are so similar in so many ways that if I wasn't losing hair, I'd be pulling my hair out. You'll soon read why...

Partner announced a couple of evenings back that we were to go for dinner at this couple's place. (It's so my dad) Of course it is no big deal -- I could live with being 'informed' instead of being 'asked' -- and I was/am only happy to go out for dinner. Except that I am further informed that the "boys have decided" that the dinner is supposed to be a curry-cook-off between the "girls". As in the other bloke's wife and I are supposed to cook curries. Since I love cooking and all, it was/is still okay. So I called the lady this morning (it's 1.07 pm now) and decide on what I will bring to the table. Please note that other than 'informing' me that I am supposedly cooking a curry, Partner has given no inputs on what, hot curry or not (this is Australia), preference for meat, Indian or other curry etc. I let him know nonetheless about what is being cooked -- I've offered to make dessert as well -- and go off to the supermarket to buy the requisite items and am in the process of tying the apron... When Partner calls.

His opening words, "Do you realise how all you women are weird?" Since I am thinking gosht and not Gucci, I go "huh". Then Partner explains how he had been walking around this huge department store when he happened to pass the perfume department. With absolute incredulity he says, "And there were five women, all strangers to each other, all standing in a line SNIFFING at those silly perfume cards and behaving as if it was a cocaine hit. Women are weird," he says.
(Pic= http://www.liewcf.com/blog/archives/2004/06/perfume/

Point to be noted here is that Partner does not usually walk around department stores. He avoids them like the plague and visibly pales every time I even mention a department store. Even if it were to buy him something. Now Partner was at this department store because he 1) needs to buy a wedding present and 2) needs to buy a suit to wear to the wedding. Before you think I am throwing a fit for no reason, please let me tell you that said wedding is day after tomorrow. After repeated reminders about buying a gift, it is again at the last minute. After repeated suggestions about going to a store and buying a suit -- and him throwing tantrums that he doesn't need one -- it too, is at the last minute. And women sniffing perfume cards are weird?

Once I point out the fallacies in his "women are weird" theory, Partner scoffs and asks me what I am up to. So I tell him I am about to cook at which point he does it again. "Cooking? Oh yes, the dinner. Just cook something okay, you don't have to spend the whole day cooking the best of the best," he says. Right. WHAT THE HELL DOES COOK "SOMETHING" MEAN AND THAT TOO WHEN I DID NOT ASK TO COOK? AND SINCE I AM BLOODY HELL COOKING I COULD DO WITH SOME FRIGGIN' APPRECIATION.

(That felt good) (Hmm) (Do you think I'm being unreasonable here?) (Anyway...)


Story 2: Did Krishna do yoga?

So yesterday (Wednesday) was class and we were all sitting outside the Victoria State Library lawns -- a minute's walk from uni -- bitching about the redundancy of a Masters course when all they do (so far) is make us do silly grade-10-exercies when I hear, "Hare Krishna, Hare Rama, Hare Krishna" accompanied by the sounds of the dholak and manjira. I turn around and see a group of people, a couple of Indians and majority white, dressed in saris and dhotis and dancing away to their chants. For the first time in my life, I was very excited to see the Hare Krishna people. The Hare Krishnas are also called Gaudiya Vaishnavites and are followers of the Hindu god, Krishna. It is known to most (in India at least) that Holi is a major Vaishnavite festival and is celebrated with great aplomb by devotees of Krishna.

For those who don't know, yesterday (Mar 11) was Holi, the Indian festival of colours. Being my first Holi away from India -- and spent studying! -- I was very excited to see the Hare Krishna people and was sure they would either have some colours or would at least wish me a heartfelt Happy Holi. When I saw them, I gave an excited yelp -- to the surprise of my Aussie classmates -- and ran over to the chanting group to wish them Happy Holi. As I ran towards them, one of the Hare Krishnas, this white girl in a green cotton saree with sandalwood smeared on her foreheard came running towards me...

"Happy Holi!" I yelled jubilantly with a big grin on my face... Only to have a business card -- Urban Yoga -- thrust into my hand. I stopped mid-sentence, looked at the card and then looked at the girl who - in a very Aussie accent -- had launched into the efficacies of 'mantra meditation and philosophy from ancient Indian scriptures." I mumbled I was not interested -- by now she was holding my hand -- when she pulled out another business card and handing it to me said, "Every Wednesday night, we have vegetarian dinner for $ 5." I could not think of anything else to say so asked her if they were celebrating Holi...
(Pic = Holi 2008, New Delhi, India)

"Holi? What's that?" she said.
"Holi. HOLI! It's the Indian festival of colours," I replied looking at her and the rest of the dhoti-clad, choti-flaunting, yoga-with-cheap-dinner selling frauds group.
"Oh is it now. Sounds good. You should come for the yoga," she added, pulling out a third business card.
"You DON'T know about Holi?" I asked, refusing to take the third card now being waved in my face.
"Naw, we don't celebrate it," she responded, throwing her arms in the air and adding, "Sing with me Hare Rama, Hare Krishna..."
I just turned and walked away. Vaishnavites who don't know about Holi but know how to sell yoga.

That was my reaction yesterday, but I had to find out more. How could they not know? I did some research and found out that the day of Holi is also the birthdate of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the founder-father of Gaudiya Vaishnavites. He is also seen as a reincarnation of Krishna. Apparently, Holi is a major day with the Vaishnavites. Today, I called the Melbourne Hare Krishna Temple; the phone was answered by a lady with the name of, Sarva-Mangala Devidasi. I asked her if they celebrated Holi, she said they didn't. I asked her if they weren't Vaishnavites. She said they were but that their sampradaya celebrated Holi as 'Gaura Purnima', more as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's 'appearance day' than as the festival is popularly celebrated. Oh well. So I was wrong and the Gaudiya Vaishnavites don't celebrate Holi as I know it. Duly chastised. However, shouldn't the woman dishing out business cards have explained what they were doing instead of simply selling yoga?

Sigh. My Holi would have been absolutely colourless -- and I was secretly quite despondent -- except for a miracle. It was 7.30 pm, the sun was still up in the sky, there was a light drizzle and I was walking back home from the station. My head was down and my thoughts were in India... on Holi the previous years and imagining how friends back home would be all drunk on bhaang and dirty in all shades of the rainbow. I turned on to our street when I heard a familiar I-know-you mewl. It was Lucifer, the black cat who lives 500 metres from our house and always welcomes me.

So I bent down to pet him and talk to him, when he suddenly looked right into my brown eyes with his green-gold ones and looked up at the sky. I laughed because it looked as if Lucifer was trying to talk to me. I looked up. Right there, on my street, next to two railway lines, above our houses was the brightest, most perfect rainbow I had ever seen. All the colours. It was amazing.

PS: The pictures are small and crap because I forgot to change my phone-camera settings. Sorry, wish I could show you'll, it was really beautiful. My heavenly Holi, up in the skies.

17 comments:

Sree said...

wow.loved the last bit.the gods knew u deserve to be colourfully happy after all.

Born to farm said...

eve,

Please do something about the terrorist L.K Advani (google)ads which are there on your blog.

Arent these characters the same as Mualana Azhar ??

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

I share your indignation about the cooking. I guffawed loudly at the GV's who sell yoga but don't celebrate Holi. And I was awed by your heavenly Holi.

Make sure you're here next year!

Eve* aka JB said...

@ Sree: finally, reappearance. Where have you been? And yes, that rainbow really made me smile.

@ Born to farm: Arre, i am jobless, have to try something!!!

@ Mamma mia: (crosses fingers) hope so love, hope so...!

Shaaz said...

Belated Happy Holi :D

Eve* aka JB said...

@ Shaaz: thanks so much! How have you been?

Swati said...

who's the drop dead gorgeous hero in your lap? :)

Espèra said...

Hey. It has been long since I've commented on your blog. Remember moi?

It's good to know that you managed a colourful Holi.
I do wonder what you meant by your partner doing IT again. Was it the informing and not asking?

Sree said...

I'm all around,jb.Just that my fingers refused to put on more graffiti on jhoomur street.

Because u asked,ur man isnt weird.Appreciate his effort of getting into that dept store and then calling u to say something so random he found weird.hehe.And oh yes,he need to start appreciating ur cooking too.BIG TIME!GET THAT,MISTER?

Now dont bite me for this.

SIM said...

Was thinking about you randomly and then the blog update popped up.
I am so happy you two are going strong, cos he wouldn't be able to get away with this behaviour otherwise. You deserve the love, and the randomness is always a welcome overture. Trust me :)
As for Holi, sorry you missed it. Wish you lots of colours nonetheless.
Hope to see you soon.
D

Eve* aka JB said...

@ Swati: :D It's a she! Her name was Safira... belonged to a couple in Delhi... dunno where she is now because the couple left Delhi. but she was bloody cute.

@ Espera: Of course i remember you; been long eh? What've you been upto all this while? As for Partner doing 'it' again...referred to his "dont cook for so long" comment. ;) Just generally piss taking.

@ Sree: You are SO my Positive Thinking Conscience. Always wondered why i lacked positivity; now i know...because you are supposed to do it for me. Heh, heh. And yes, I DO appreciate it in him, but won't tell him NOT till he compliments me for everything i cook, even making coffee. haha.

@ SIM: Long time lovely. Saw your Holi Cow pics...you look gorgeous. Whats up back home woman?

Silvara said...

Ahhhh beautiful. Happy Holi JB :D

They have a Holi festival every year at the Sri Vishnu temple in Carrum Downs and I think it's on this weekend. Haven't been for years but it's quite fun :)

I saw that rainbow too!!!! Actually I have a great story about that - will post it now :D

As for the cooking - you're very right to be indignant. Don't worry - your curry will knock the socks off everyone - no matter the lack of info. :D

Am seriously considering having u over for dinner and getting you to cook. :P

Eve* aka JB said...

@ Silvara: Dinner sounds a very good idea and would love to cook something and bring it over. I will supply the curry/dish and you can do the rice/roti/bread/whatever. How about sometime next week/weekend? Waiting to read your rainbow post...it was so beautiful.

Espèra said...

Ah. You did sound pretty pissed. So how did the dinner go eventually?

And, thanks for asking, but I wasn't anywhere really. I just stopped reading your blog after you moved to Australia because I preferred your Delhi stories. And the relationship stories. =D

But, I'm back.

SIM said...

Long time indeed. A change in career and life paths led to near non-existent writing :)
Thanks for the compliment, it was the bhaang, not me. Holi was fun and awesome. Same old Delhi madness. I might be coming down to Oz in April... You got any plans to visit home?

DewdropDream said...

JB that photo of you with the pup is utterly cute!!! As is Lucifer :)

Belated Happy Holi... I'm not much for the festival since am allergic to colours but I missed being at home too. Oh and I've seen just such a rainbow as the one you saw... thrilled me to bits!!

Dinner party and the surrounding bits made a very entertaining read.

Eve* aka JB said...

@ Espera; the dinner was a lot of fun... laughed about this and that, discussed the economic crisis, some surprisingly candid moment with the hostess; played with the baby... and shared some funny stories about india.

@ Sree: i know what you are saying. i DO appreciate him but its much more fun poking fun at him sometimes. And good for his ego for me not to be giving him adorable, puppy-dog looks.

@ SIML:: a change in career?? What have i missed?

@ DewDrop: how are you pretty? allergic to colours, eh? never you mind though, hopefully, enjoy the spirit of holi when you can. home becomes so much more special when we're away, isn't it? And thankyou for the compliment...the pup made the picture special.