My husband Desh has been unwell since the weekend, down with the flu. So it’s been introspection time all over the weekend and beginning of the week. Why introspection? Simple, isn’t it? He’s unwell and needs to sleep it off as much as he can. When he’s awake I am chewing his brains non-stop and that leaves us both with little or no time for introspection and reflection. So here I was, tending to my wonderful husband; and while he slept like a baby thanks to the amazing medicines and cough syrups, my mind wandered off to places far away. And finally halted at what I would call the topic of the millennium. What a lucky woman I am to have married him. I kept looking for reasons to substantiate my luck and here is what I came up with.
Macho yet gentle
I distinctly remember telling off a friend who was teasing me after I got married. I told him that if he had heard of the ‘Sunny Deol’s dhai kilo ka haath’, he shouldn’t even mooch close to my husband, because the weight just doubled dude! The dhai kilo is five kilos here and I am making no bones about it. Each time we go shopping in India especially, to get him a shirt; chances that he will get one are dim! Reason? None fit his bicep area. Even the wedding suit that we selected had to be tailor-made thanks to the paanch kilo ka haath! But macho that he is, perhaps he the most gentle-man (pun intended) I have come across in my life and I really mean it. Chivalry is one thing, but to be gentle is another, and my man has oodles of both!!
Talking about being mach; man, these Punjabis have amazing amount of stamina. Okay, let me not get into the nitty gritty and let’s just say, you will have one heck of a ride in your life! Punjab Zindabad!!!
Foodie turned brilliant cook
Hmm, while I am letting the cat out of the bag, I do hope this remains intact for the rest of my life. Everyone knows my love chronicles on the art of cooking. I never did it while I was living with my family in India. When you move to the United States, welcome to reality darling; everything is DIY here and that includes the good old cooking too. Well, I do cook. But more often than not my foodie husband who is always out to impress me with his culinary skills lands up making his favorite statement, “Honey, let me make something interesting for you today!”
Were my ears just subjected to some brilliant music? I guess they were. Now, it isn’t a secret anymore which words are music to my ears. Let me tell you, my man is a brilliant cook. Just don’t ask him any recipe please, because none exists. It’s all on the go.
Ramu kaka with an élan
Thank god for this one. And here’s where I thank my lucky stars even more. Typically Indian men rarely help out in the household work because guess what, their job is just to make the moolah, right? But here it is exactly the opposite. My husband is so used to living abroad that along with culinary skills, his household skills are also at the peak. There has never been a time when he hasn’t helped me with work at home, whether it is cleaning the dishes, washing clothes or just cleaning the house. Did I also mention that he has amazing carpentry skills too? Most of our home décor has been done by the two of us together, because you know what? We live in America – the holy land of DIY!
Love for travel
I think either me or my parents did some great deeds in punar janam (past lives). I always wanted to marry someone who was passionate about travel. But you know what a bitch life can be. If your man is good with house work and cooking, to expect him to be a travel freak as well is a very big ask. And I have seen spouses of some friends who refuse to travel. OMG! I would never have been able to sustain a relationship like that. He loves to travel and I can proudly proclaim that there are times when we plan our next destination in half sleep. Ofcourse for detailing out the trip, we ensure that we do it when fully awake.
Honeymoon abroad with chuda and shorts
While I was standing on the stage during our wedding reception, I remember one aunty gently caressing my chuda (the typical red and white bangles worn by Punjabi brides which by the way had our names engraved in them with diamantes too) and asking me, “So Archu, honeymoon kahan?” And pretending to act all coy, I (the sweet bride) told her in almost the Mumtaz way, “Aunty, Hong Kong aur Macau.” She replied, “Shorts vorts le jaana haan, bindaas.” This time I decided to do a Rani Mukherjee on her and said, “Already packed aunty.” (rapid fluttering of eyelids followed by the innocent virgin look).
Oh yea! Dream come true blah blah blah, isn’t it? Honeymoon in HK and Macau wearing hot pants and the Punjabi chuda. Now that’s what I call the real time benefit of marrying an NRI – the Punjabi kind!
He breaks into a Hindi song each time there is a situation! Boy, has my knowledge of Bollywood songs of the yester-years (okay let me be precise – of the 40s to the 60s) been enhanced. It is a great example of the glass full full, no halves any more buddy! I am as good as a walking and talking Stardust and Filmfare (not sure if these exist anymore though). With the songs come details of the film, the lives of the actors, production team, singers and their saga, cinematographers and choreographers. If I missed out any important person, help me God!
But, I swear he is an amazing singer and if you listen to him singing some specific Mukesh numbers, you will be enthralled. He is that good! And guess what, I now understand the Punjabi bit in Hindi songs much better.
More Lahori than Dilliwala
At first I thought he had lived for some time in Pakistan or atleast visited Lahore if not Rawalpindi and the others. But, it’s much later, after almost a year and a half of my marriage (meaning now), I have realised that the man has NEVER travelled to Pakistan. In fact his grandfathers – maternal and paternal moved back to India before the Indo-Pak partition. But the Paki blood I tell you kicks more than the Dilli wala red water! Sometimes I almost feel that Lahore is in my backyard… sigh!
Glorious Punjabi swear words become a household item
This one takes the cake my friends. Ullu ka patha has become ullu de pathiya (pa pronounced with a double aa and a heavy American accent please) and the rest is better kept under wraps lest you may assume that my sense of humour is now warped. It is so much of fun to hear some hilarious words that he speaks. I have learnt a few and throw them in as bait whenever the opportunity presents itself. Actually, to be honest Punjabi swear words are so much cuter than sounding mean and nasty – for example ‘jchg’udu (which needs the perfect pronunciation combination of j, ch and d in Hindi). If its tough for you to say it, just call me. 😉
Endearing rustic humour in Angrezi
Ever heard of this one? Well I have experienced it first hand and have learnt to appreciate Punjabi humour in a much better way. And when Punjabi turns angrezi (don’t forget the NRI in America bit duh!) the scene is a total riot. All those “okay – kanna palo koke” (kanna means ears, palo means put and koke means earrings) which have no meaning whatsoever suddenly seem so endearing that there are times we repeat it atleast 15 – 20 times in a day in any goddamn conversation.
Immaculate driving skills
I’ve already openly professed my love for travel and how it would be difficult to be with a man who did not like to travel. Now, being in America, a place which does NOT thrive on public transportation, most folks become ace drivers. And man, does he drive well? Driving well is an under-rated, pathetic and almost disrespectful understatement for my husband. He drives non-stop for 10 hours ainveyi. He can pull it off upto 16 hours on the US highways and country roads.
There was this one time when we were on a 13 hour long drive from Houston to Atlanta, which turned into 16 thanks to the unending traffic congestion at Baton Rouge near New Orleans. The first 13 hours went off smoothly and without any issues. But I swear he literally drove the balance three in half sleep, sometimes sleeping off on the wheel too. There is a reason why I call my stars lucky because exactly during his sleepy and ‘sleeping on the wheel’ moments were when I happened to be awake. Call it whatever you like but for me the man is no less than Superman himself!
And one more for the road (weren’t you expecting this already?)
Last but not the least and he knows that this is what got me hooked cent percent. His voice! Ever dreamt of marring someone with a better and deeper voice than Big B himself? Well, I have been lucky enough to marry one. For details on how to get hooked with a man who has a baritone voice, you know who to contact!
Zor se bolo, “Punjab Zinadabad”