Indian breakfast and emotional farewells 

Indian breakfast and emotional farewells 

My parents went off on holiday recently to India. My mum spent 2 weeks buying and organising gifts for the whole family. They even had people trying to give them things to take for them. Even I added a little bit, haha. The night before their departure though, mum was adamant on seeing the girls, so I took them to say happy holidays that next morning. 

Mum made parathas for breakfast and gave the girls a gift of money. Something we Indians do for pretty much any reason, haha.

Going to India still seems a big deal to the elder generation. There’s a huge sense of nostalgia and belief that this is a huge and far out journey. I mean the luggage contents was like a house move and we still get phone calls from cheeky relatives requesting expensive gifts like we live in the land of riches and have gold running through our water taps. Not all of them but there are a few that really do think this.

When they questioned the hubby’s where abouts (he was at work) and why he hadn’t come I had to question the big deal and why such an expectation of grand farewells after all other holidays aren’t treated as a big deal. The general response was but we are going to India, so far away! Challo you kids don’t think like us, you don’t feel it. I mean in a sense India is far away buy then at the same time it isn’t really, especially if you have travelled further east like Japan and Australia. 

Personally I love india, I have family there and it’s great fun enjoying the cultural differences. Hubby on the other hand didn’t enjoy the one trip he made there but I’m working on turning him around for another trip with me. For our parents though there is a deeper connection, most likely born and part brought up there and then they immigrated to the ‘west’ and that was in those days a huge journey so going ‘home’ I guess will always be emotional and packed with memories from all those years ago.

Does it really have to be such a star plus/bollywood style departure? Yes! Yes this will continue… atleast thankfully, in my opinion, we’ve deviated from the huge dramatic airport scenes where the whole family would turn up Just to see them off and there would be tears and all sorts going on. 

On our way out though there was still a huge farewell with hugs and kisses to the girls and a wave of emotions from my mum like she was going away for years and years.

We went home though and enjoyed the yummy parathas mum made with chaa ofcourse.

Do you like parathas too? 

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“No Gifts Please”

“No Gifts Please”

Gift giving is huge in indian tradition and there are so many reasons and amounts people follow that it can get seriously confusing but generaly consists of items of clothing and or money. The clothing can vary but most likely be indian like a salwar kameez but this can be either already made to a standard size or be loose material which can be tailored to suit.

The quality and quantity varies too, which depends on who the giver is in terms of relation, how close you are to each other and even whether you like each other in general. Actions really do speak louder than words especially when it comes to big functions like weddings. My own mother in law though spends ages in time and effort to try and match the gift to the person. Sometimes it take days of shopping around and hours of decision making and there is no exaggeration here. Not sure how she had the determination for it every single time but it’s definitely mentally exhausting.

One thing though that entertains me everytime is the age old act of recycling these gifts. You see when you host an event and receive gifts of clothing, the fact is some people will just not like what you give and its not necessarily your fault its just that some people are very particular in their taste or they asked for no gifts and sometimes they won’t like it just because YOU gave it, even though it is actually something they would wear. Just saying how it is. 

Also the giver sometimes tends to select the gift according to who the receiver is; how much to spend or in case of recycling, shall we give the one from the ‘expensive pile’ or the ‘we need to get rid of somehow pile’. I’m sure these piles vary from household to household but gift giving is so common you end up with a pile no matter how hard you try to avoid it.

On the girls Birthday cards, I had original written a very specific message for deterring gifts to which I was then told to change to “no gifts please” which is a standard message and some people just ignore. It actually also implies no physical gifts but money is fine, haha. You may deny this but let’s face it most people expect some sort of gift be it money or otherwise, because people love presents! I am yet to attend a prayer where literally people attend with out the exchange of gifts and just to be in blessing of waheguru and the sangat.

I mean on one hand I can understand people want to shift things out but on the other hand why do it especially if the receiver does not appreciate it and actually asked for no gifts. Sometimes it comes down to a status thing, where people feel obliged to do it because of their position of relation to the receiver. 

Either way it really amuses me and did so almost annoy me when I came home with a load of suits that I honestly did not need. The actual thing that I got annoy about was that some of the recycled gifts were from a previous function, which I was also attending and received the same gift. So now I had double the same gifts but the cheek of passing me a suit from the recent function and that too the same outfit I had and actually worn already, really pissed me off. Usually though people avoid giving recycled gifts when the same people will be at the next function; that is also a possible recycled gift pile, haha. 

Also how would the mutual relative feel about it as they clearly went to a lot of effort on their function and gave a lot of people a lot of gifts. Bad move peeps, bad move!

My humble advice is that if you don’t want something then donate it to those who will really appreciate it. Some people sell them but personally im not comfortable with selling something gifted to me for my own gain when i know i can actually give it to somebody who needs it, each to their own though. If you decide to sell you can do it on places like eBay, fb etc 

How about though doing a good deed amd making someone happy this weekend? You could do a clear out and give to charities like asha and sewa uk. Also check out your local gurdwara as they are likely to do various collections.

If you know any other charities or organisations that take indian clothes to give to those who need help please feel free to list them below. 

Happy gifting peeps!

P.s. I prefer healthy snacks like chocolate, Wink Wink.