January 29, 2013

That New Year!

Look who's here!!! Today, I have the pleasure of hosting Rachna Parmar who needs no introduction. I was skeptical on asking her for a Guest Post as this is the first time someone is writing a guest post for this One Year old baby of mine. I wasn't even sure how to approach her. However I did, she did accept my request without a question and has given it to me way before the Ddate. I just couldn't wait for the blogaversary.  Many thanks to you, Rachna for accepting my request. Now, let me tell a couple of words about her. 

Rachna is a content-writer by profession and an avid blogger with passion. She is the super mom of two super-duper kids, a doting wife and a person with fire in the belly!! Whatever she does, she makes sure to leave her stamp. Let's see what she says at Rachna Says..

That New Year!



The year was 2000. After my wedding and a few days spent at my in-laws place in Hyderabad, my husband and I flew off to the USA. He had been recently employed there. We were going to stay in a motel for a few days till we got our apartment in Fremont in about 10 days’ time. Our flight took off from Ahmedabad, India, on 31st Dec. I cried bucket loads. The tears would just not stop. I don’t remember crying like that in public ever. It had finally hit me that I was leaving my precious family and country, all my loved ones and going away with a man still strange to me. My poor hubby did not know how to console me, so he kept quiet. Something that he has now mastered over the years :-). He knows I will get a hold on myself if left alone for some time.

We had a stopover at Hong Kong. For the first time, I saw real Chinese food. It deflated me. It was so bland! I could barely gulp down that tasteless noodle soup. To add to the misery, I was vegetarian.When we took off from Hong Kong, it turned New Year as per local time. There was loads of joy and wishing Happy New Year in the flight. Many hours later at San Francisco International Airport in the biting cold, it was evening on 31st night. It was already dark, as sun sets early in these parts. We waited to take a shuttle to our motel. Shuttle is a shared transport with many others and hence cheaper on folks like us with lighter pockets.



I was peeling my eyes and staring at everything --The huge airport, weird signs, and no noise. We had to wait for a long time till we got a shuttle going to our area. Finally, we managed to reach our motel quite some time later very close to midnight. It was almost deserted. A sleepy man checked us in and gave us our keys. We had to lug our luggage everywhere – load them and take them out. Our first experience in learning how to carry our own weight. Much later, while shifting houses, Gurdev even drove a U-Haul Truck himself! Anyhow, we got some coffee from a machine. It was the yuckiest, most bitter coffee I had ever had. I put in as much creamer as I could find but the taste did not get any better. I gulped it down to warm myself.



Hubby went to find a calling card to call back home. We were wide awake. We came back to our room, crawled in the huge covers and then ate some khakhra with pickle that my mom had lovingly packed along with so much other food. That is the best khakhra we've eaten. We still recall it fondly. We even had it for breakfast the next morning :-). After calling both our families back home, we spent our first New Year’s Eve in a motel sitting up and chatting excitedly like two little kids. This was our third New Year on the same day – Indian, Chinese and US :-). This was among the best New Year’s Eve I have spent in my life – filled with excitement, no frills, in an alien land that became very dear later and with a man who is now my best buddy and lover :-).


  Pics courtesy: Freedigitalphotos.net

P.S from Latha: I want to thank all my readers/friends who have been with me from the inception of this blog and have given your encouragement, support and honest criticism through this past one year. I hope and wish that you continue to do the same in the years to come. 

94 comments:

  1. That is such a lovely post. The initial first days of marriage are very precious and in your case Rachna since it was a new beginning in a new country it became more so.
    happy anniversary Latha

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    1. Thank you Bhagyashree! Yeah a new beginning in a new land. Beautiful cherished memories.

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    2. Thank you Bhagya for always being there and many times for being the first one to comment :-)

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    3. First to comment..oh yes, just shows how jobless I am :P

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    4. Oh come on..don't say that..you know when I started a blog? when I had a job and was workless :P

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  2. Lovely post Latha,Rachna.Wish you many more anniversaries Latha,you have done wonderfully for a newcomer.
    Rachna you had to adjust to so many quick changes-it must have kept you busy.This was a very interesting description of your arrival there.

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    1. Thank you Indu! Yes the adjustments were interesting and were there for both of us. We started our new life with a sleeping bag, suitcases and some utensils. But we had each other to make mistakes and learn! A fun journey :).

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    2. Thanks a lot, Indu..someone is beaming with pride :P

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  3. Wow its almost same as like my story. Took me to my old days. Its a lovely post.

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  4. congratulations on your first blog anniversary, Latha! And, Rachna, that was such a sweet post!! Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Thank you Roshni! I had fun reminiscing :).

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    2. First of all, a very happy blog anniversary Latha! Wish you loads more. Thank you for having me over on this special occasion and for your warm words about me.

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    3. In fact, I should have given the first comment to thank you. I feel so special to have you on this occasion. You deserve a lot more, thought it would be flattering if I say all of them here...so kept a reserve for future :P

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  5. A lovely post... Depicting love and the dilemma that aranged marriage carries...

    This post also depicts the friendhip that Latha and Rachna carries...

    Let the love and friendship last a lifetime...
    And Latha... Happy birthday to the blogger in u!

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    1. Ours was not really an arranged marriage :). Glad you liked the post.

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    2. Thanks for the blessing Satya. And thank you for the wishes too :)

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  6. Happy first blogaversary, Latha! May your blog see many more such anniversaries :) This is post by a friend on another friend's blog! Rachna of course is one of my favourite bloggers and whatever she writes, is straight from her heart. And this post was no exception. Loved the idea of you celebrating New Year's even in three time zones :D

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    1. Thank you so much! The triple celebration happened by chance :).

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    2. Thank you so much, BM!! Sure, she does write from her heart..that's why I am a big fan of hers.. :)

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  7. Congratulations on your blog anniversary, Latha. And thanks for your walk down memory lane, Rachna. We have a few khakra and pickle moments too, so I can so feel how special it must must have been!

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    1. Thank you Subhorup! Do share your khakra moments too. It is these special memories which makes things special,not the other way around, don't you think?

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    2. Thank you Subhorup. Actually, it is today here..so I'm still celebrating the moment :)

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  8. That was such a sweet account, Rachna! I can understand how special that New Year must have been and celebrating in 3 time zones, truly an awesome and a unique experience!!
    A very happy blogoversary, Latha! Wishing you many more wonderful blogging milestones! Cheers :)

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    1. Thank you so much Shilpa. It was quite a unique experience for sure.

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    2. Thank you so much Shilpa!! cheers :)

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  9. First, congrats on the anniversary, the first is always special..for me..I do not even remember the dates properly.... :P

    So kudos to that!

    And Rachna, what a cute post! I can only imagine the fear and timidness that comes with going to an alien land...I felt the same when I had gone to the UK ..But now that all is settled, I hope you guys have many more scintillating new years to come!

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    1. Thank you so much, Priyanka. I have some great memories of the US. I loved my stay there. The beginning is always with apprehension, isn't it?

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    2. Oh!! I am gifted in remembering dates that way. Yep. Isn't 1st milestone special for all of us? Thank you again.

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  10. Wow Such a lovely endearing post it is :D No Wonder Rachana is such a Celebrity :D also FIF you are awesome to be hosting her :) Superb :D

    Loved the entire post :)

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    1. Thank you for such kind words, Ramya! I definitely don't deserve them. Thanks for liking the post.

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    2. Thank you so much Ramya. I will always remember you as the person who gave me my first award :) And I didn't pass it on yet..I will, I will..promise..

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    3. Hey Rachana :D and this simplicity is what we all like in you :D


      FIF: yeahhhhhhh you dint pass it on yet :D now I will wait for the post on that too :D

      Anyways ;) constant nice posts on all that comes in your mind is wahat I am looking forward :) so its ok take your time :D

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  11. Happy Blog Anniversary Latha!
    Nice going through your experiences in China and the US Rachna.

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  12. Hearty Congratulations Latha on two counts.One on the admirable completion of one year of active blogging and secondly on getting the great blogger Rachna do a guest post on this memorable occasion.
    Thanks Rachna for the interesting post.The first trip to US is always bewildering,awesome and confusing.But once there you start loving it for a variety of reasons.

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    1. KP Sir, you are most kind. A trip to any new place is filled with its own apprehensions. I had a great companion who made every experience worthwhile. I absolutely loved the US!

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    2. Thank you KP Sir. I suddenly remembered something. Do you know how I came to know your blog? From the guest post you did for Rachna :)

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  13. Starting a new journey with a stranger and that too on a new soil, with air flights, boring alien food, bliss of home made food and new year everything thrown in. It must have brought lot of excitement and anxiety. I made a delightful read.

    Congrats to Latha for her first blogging aniv. I wish her many more happy milestones.

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    1. Thank you so much Meenakshi! Yeah, real life stories also have their twists and turns :).

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    2. Thanks a lot Meenakshi. My MIL's name is also Meenakshi :)

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  14. Hearty Congratulations on your Blog Anniversary Latha garu..Loved the post.Sweet write up Rachna..:-)

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    1. Nagini, garu anakandi first.. :)Thanks a lot. Malla emai poyaru? sudden sudden ga mayam ayyipotu untaru :)

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  15. Rachna,

    First New Year spent three times with loved one. What else could one ever ask for! Fond memories well narrated.

    Take care

    Found In Folsom,

    Congratulations on first blog anniversary. Hope to see you for many many years to come. I will visit you soon to catch up with what I have been missing so far.

    Take care

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    1. Thank you so much Jack. Welcome here and hope this space doesn't bore you. :)

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  16. A beautiful post Rachna and thank you Latha for hosting a prolific writer like Rachna on your lovely blog!Wishing you many more years of happy blogging Latha:)

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    1. Thanks a lot, Rahul sir. I am glad, thrilled that she has accepted to do it for me. :) I am scared with so many wishes coming my way. Just afraid if I will blog as actively as I did for the past one year :) Thanks a lot for being there always.

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  17. I always love to hear what rachna says :) Hey hi latha glad to find ur blog.

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    1. Welcome here Kala. Me too.. I love what she writes..

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  18. Congrats on the anniversary, FIF. I passed your hometown sometime last month, took a picture of a signboard and sent it to my bestie. Remember I told you, she used to live in Folsom. :)

    Rachna, Lovely piece. You reminded me of the day we arrived here. (Although mine's a different story. I was already married a couple years and it wasn't exactly a new workplace for hubby, just a transfer. :))

    It's fun to explore a new place as a couple, right?

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    1. See, you should shout FIF..where are you on the highway 50 and I would come running...hehhe
      Thank you Divya.

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    2. Absolutely Divya! A new place and a new couple -- great combination ;-).

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  19. I had the similar experience of problem with the food when I boarded Korean airways. You can read it here:
    http://www.thomasabeesh.com/2012/07/14/memoirs-of-south-korea/

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  20. Happy Blogaversary, Latha - and what a great way to celebrate by having the lovely Rachna over!

    I enjoyed the post, Rachna :-) I remember, with my wedding anniversary just around the corner, how weird it felt to immediately move to a different city and settle down. Great memories though, over the years. Thanks!

    Hugs to you both, Latha and Rachna.

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    1. Thank you so much, Vidya! Don't we all go through this? Leave our homes and start a new life sometimes in a new city and a new home. The process seems intimidating to begin with, but the journey is so much fun as it unfolds. Hugs back, Vidya!

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  21. Rachna:

    I was so eager to read the post that when the excerpt ended to a "Read more . . .," I was like, "Oh no! Now I have to go over to someone else's place to read this." Nevertheless I did come to read more. I was so excited reading this lovely memory. A new life with a complete stranger in a strange land with home-made food soaked in love and affection - this IS definitely a wonderful New Year to cherish and treasure. How long you have come since that New Years!

    Thanks Latha for hosting this lovely lady.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. Thank you so much, Susan :). Doesn't the feeling grip you just before you are getting married. I had the mad impulse to run away though I had waited like crazy for the marriage date to draw near. It is such a dichotomy of emotions. Compared to friends and family whom I had known a lifetime, he was a stranger. And, I was mortified going to a new place and setting up a home from scratch. But what an amazing journey it has been across continents and multiple homes. You are right -- I have indeed come far! Thank you so much for your warm words always, Susan!

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  22. A very cute post Rachna. And what can be a better way to celebrate the first birthday of the blog :)

    Lots of wishes to you Latha and lots of love.

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    1. Thank you for the Sweet wishes Jas. Love you back too, dear :)

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  23. Wow, three new yeas packed in one...like they say celebrate one get two free... Great read. Thanks

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  24. Wow... I want to plan a similar new year now - 3 countries!! That was a good start to your married life :)

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  25. You and Gurdev make a lovely couple.Both of you have my best wishes for many more anniversaries to come

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  26. A new year in 3 different time zones- that's rare and interesting. And the first new year that you spent after marriage, and in a different land- that must be one of the bestest memories for you both and a special one too!!!

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  27. @Jas Thank you sweetie.

    @desitraveler You are absolutely right. Something to that effect :).

    @Nisha haha I guess I didn't care back then :).

    @Chowlaji Thank you for your warm wishes and blessings always!

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  28. :)
    nice .. some good memories to share !!
    (I guess out of India for first time every one has same kind of experience )

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  29. Congrats Latha on your blog anniversary. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. Wishing you many more of such wonderful years :-)

    Rachna, nice post about your special new year. That too for the first time away from the doting family and all by yourself just after your wedding . Nice to look back at the days gone by right? ;-)

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    1. Thank you Little girl. I find pleasure in reading your blog too. You are so wise for your age :)

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    2. I loved reminiscing, Ashwini :). Glad you liked the post.

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  30. a lovely post... can imagine how tough it is to leave the family for shores unknown.. especially lands as culturally diverse from our own as possible.
    Unlike what we imagine it to be from our Indian restaurant experiences, most people have infact seconded your opinion on the blandness of Chinese food.. I was initially really surprised by that.

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    1. Thank you Roshan. It is a scary process to begin with. But US was really lovely. Every experience was beautiful. And California is crawling with Indians so one doesn't really miss home in that sense :). Yeah, our Indian Chinese food is another entity in itself. If they see our manchurian and cornflour laden dishes, they will kill themselves :).

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  31. after marriage you guys moved to US .. you are damn so lucky for your husband ma'am :P

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    1. We are lucky for each other, Rahul :). We came back to India later.

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  32. Your post reminded me of the initial days of my marriage. :) We too moved to a foreign land just after getting married and now that I look back, it was for the best. It was a great one year.
    Lovely post Rachna
    and Congratulations Latha for completing a year in blogging. :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Amit. Whenever I need a dose of humor, I now know where to go.

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  33. That's nice to hear, Amit! The stay there was really wonderful -- some fantastic memories alright!

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  34. We found love in a lonely place~~~

    The coffee may have been bitter but the love compensated for it :-)

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  35. Must have been a wonderful experience. You have narrated it beautifully, Rachna. :)

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  36. Congrats FIF !! Wishing you many more years of happy blogging...:)

    Rachna, Superb read.. it is a treat to read your posts!!

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    1. Thanks so much Panchali. I feel similarly when I read your writing which is way superior than mine.

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    2. Thanks a lot, Panchali. Hope I continue to do the same..

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  37. Congrats on your first anniversary Latha. And what a lovely anecdote Rachna. Some firsts remain etched forever.

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    1. Thank you, Alka...This year will be my third year already :)

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