Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Great Indian Kadhai or Dutch Oven ?

Ok. So am almost borrowing the title of A’s TV show. But there really is no better way to describe this.

It probably all started many moons ago when i took the plunge. Went one early june night to meet the Cookie Baking company. Or Bon Bon Babes Inc. Or the Desperate Housewives, always desperate, not necessarily House wives. Took my friend M's advice, ignored the highbrow intellectual advise from well meaning Men-tors, dementors whatever.

There I was, breaking bread in Den Bosch. Be it souped up dinners, pretentious picnics, wild pub nights, I had a life again! It was fun to be the new flavour in this melting pot. To amuse and entertain, and change perceptions about the little Indian girl! Not so much fun trying to clarify for the nth time, no my partner is not Dutch, not American, not English, and definitely not Norwegian. And agreeing heartily, oh yes, he has an unpronounceable name; you know what they say about for bet...or worse and for worse. Just call him U Haul!

In this newfound vacuous existence i actually found myself living, and letting others too! I used the V word because one afternoon as i chattered away excitedly to my sister about a particularly insane, inane girl’s night out, she reminded me ' who has a vacuous existence now? ' I'll bet revenge was sweet. For not so long ago I had dismissed her evening coffee meetings with her numerous friends as 'such a vacuous existence, what trite conversations', while i laboured on in endless and such meaningful meetings!

Yeah. Whatever. There have been weeks when my most pressing concern has been ' oh dear, what shall i wear to J's cocktail do'. Or times when i have have found myself concocting exotic Indian recipes - as a food ambassador. Imagine my delight when in this crowd of English, American, Danish, Dutch, Russian, Swiss etc. girls - i found someone not very different from me! An Indian girl from South Africa, who incidentally has never been to India, but looks, breathes, cooks and eats Indian!

There was the beginning of a Grand Diwali Dinner. No efforts spared. Everything imaginable was on the table. While the Brits claimed to be stakeholders for the Saag Aloo, the Americans insisted with great fervour - Josh Rogan, Rogan Josh was theirs (It even sounds like the son of an ex President!).

But if you think dinner is all this melting pot is about - you are absolutely wrong. There are wheels within wheels. There is the Book club (with plenty of intellectual pretensions) featuring the Smarties. The Fashionistas. The mums’ n tots. The Hate mums n tots. Most importantly - the Critici van het Nederlandse. Aka - what you don't like about the Dutch!

And so it goes. Every time you are at a party, and have stopped tearing to tatters a pretty girl's green disaster (a short, shiny green dress the men are eyeing), and are running short of conversation, it's pretty easy. Just switch to the topic of typical Dutch toilets. Why they are designed the way they are. Know what i mean? If not, you will have to visit!

Yep, this is the new life. The pot. Melting pot. The women's club. The house elf's hermitage. Aha, yes, also the Vacuous Life. A good life?

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