Thursday, January 8, 2015

Our joint-family vacation to Hyderabad


This trip to Hyderabad (a city which I consider to be our second home) was entirely different than my previous trips. I don't know if it is because I'm getting older, or the city keeps getting bigger, or I just keep having new experiences there. 

This was my fourth visit, and Maya's first time going. I was quite nervous for her to go, and was unsure how she'd handle it. And me...how would I handle it this time? Whenever I go to India, I never quite know what we're getting into. This was the first time I returned back as a parent. Would relatives criticise me or give me space, regarding parenting? And how would they be towards my daughter?

About a week before I left, I decided that I was going to go into this trip with zero expectations. I decided that I was just going to spend time with husband-ji and our family, with us all being on vacation and off work. I wanted to spend a lot of time with relatives because I wanted Maya to bond with them and get to know each other. Basically, it was all about family. We had such a great time in Venice over the Summer that we made this trip into another joint-family vacation and my MIL and my mother both tagged along.

To sum it all up, it was a fantastic trip. Maya had no problem with the 22 hour flight, nor jet lag, and she was ecstatic to have Indian food every day. She bonded with so many relatives and was everyone's pet. She is such a global kid. Many relatives remarked that she "didn't seem like a foreign baby" which meant they felt a closeness to her.

On the long flight over, as I was looking at my boarding pass, I realized that we had left for Hyderabad exactly - to the day - 8 years earlier. Major deja vu. I boarded the flight with a sense of subtle defeat. Going again to see these relatives, after nearly a decade. Will they ever accept me? It's now or never, and I felt like I couldn't be bothered if they did or didn't. Kind of like a "take me as I am" attitude. And to my surprise, during the month long trip, I had relatives coming up to me who had previously given me the cold shoulder for YEARS who suddenly decided to make an effort for me. And I mean, really make an effort. Even going out of their way to give me compliments - which as many Firangi Bahu's know, it a rarity to say the least. In Indian families, compliments are not just given for free. They are earned. Did I finally just earn it? 

Maybe it had to do with how Indianized I became in terms of my clothes and dressing - sindoor and all. But I really had the mentality that I was just going to be myself and enjoy the time with my daughter and husband-ji. And this time, I had a warm reception - just for being myself. So it meant a lot to me. More than they will ever know...

In the upcoming weeks I'm going to tell you a lot more specific detailed funny stories from our trip. Stay tuned!

For now, some of my favorite pictures....














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14 comments

  1. I am so glad that you had an awesome trip. I feel your relatives attitude changed because -

    1. You have a kid now. That makes a hell lot of difference. Indians tend to respect mothers more.
    2. They know you guys are in it long term
    3. You focused more on having fun than bending backwards pleasing them. It is amazing how people change when they realise you are okay with who you are and are not going to bend backwards to please them.

    You are an established Indian mummy ji, so qudos :)

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    1. Totally!!!!!! You are so on point! I have a certain "status" now...weird, but I'll take it! LOL

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  2. I think the fact you have a child and the fact you were focusing on having fun rather than bending their way to please them made a huge difference.
    I stopped trying to please anybody in my in-law family ages ago. Yes I am not Indian...deal with it, not going to become so anytime soon. My MIL is the only one still having problems, but it is her problem and not mine. I don't even go out of my way to dress the part anymore. Interestingly, the trip we did last Diwali was the first one that MIL didn't try at all cost to find ways to belittle me, or even corned DH to lecture him on me being a bad wife behind my back. Both DH and I were surprised by it.

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    1. Totally, and it is so weird how other people can feel that shift as well. I really wasn't interested in pleasing anybody and just going to do my own thing....I think people respected that.

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  3. You all look so happy in the pictures ! What is husband-ji wearing on the group photo, a saree ? I'm happy you all had a good family time... makes me want to go back immediately. Take care xxx (Padparadscha).

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    1. Ha ha, no he is wearing a black t-shirt with an asymmetrical print pattern. He designs them for the store, he has about 15 of them now!
      It was amazing. We won't go back in 2015 but I hope we do get the chance to return soon.

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  4. Alex,
    Soya glad you had a great trip and you did not have to bend over backwards to please everyone. Maya looked like she was having a good time with everyone. They were smiling, having a good time with you and this was a excellent trip. So glad to see your pictures of everyone, Sandhya and your father in law looks really good. Everyone looked happy in pictures and they loved Maya. Husband-Ji looked like he was happy too.

    Melissa

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    1. Thanks Melissa,
      Yes she just had the best time and she really bonded with everyone, it was so sweet to see. Great to be off work with the whole family! I'd def do it again :)

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  5. I agree with the comments; it's like they've realized that they better start creating relationships with you because you're here to stay and also because of your child! Glad you all had such a wonderful time and Maya is looking so cute in all the photos!!

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    1. Ha ha, totally! Finally after 9 years they realized I am here to stay...hey better late than never! ;)

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  6. Oh wow I was just in Hyderabad too. I was staying a friends-of -friends family, so when I was out with host momma and family everyone treated me like the foreign wife/bahu. No matterhow neat I tied my saree or attempted to speak Hindi I never received such nice treatment as a "tourist" . So even without a child, firangi bahu is still better than tourist status!

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  7. hi Madh Mama....i have been a silent reader of your blog since quite long! i stay in hyderabad and i had to reply to this post. maya looks super sute with the bindi on :) and, congratulations that finally people have changed perceptions. i know how difficult is it to have people who think negatively about someone without even knowing them or talking to them, no matter the origin. even though it is easy not to care about it, it does hurt somewhere!

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! We really had a fantastic time, the weather was perfect, Maya loved her idly-sambhar every day! Nearly every day we had to drive all the way from Jubilee Hills to Nagaram OMG! Can't wait to return, it was wonderful.

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