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Archive for the category “The Newly Married Indian”

Goa Room Fiasco

n6JrLigHave you ever tried to be suave and sophisticated and failed at it?

When my husband and I went on a trip to Goa we had our one-year-old daughter with us. The resort where we were to stay was one of the top-notch ones and we were paying an arm and a leg for this much-awaited holiday.

The hotel took our breath away. It was elite and peopled by staff who seemed creatures of perfection and by guests who were rolling in the bucks.

My husband and I seemed to be very common folks compared to the crème de la crème lounging around.

I told my husband that I was going to be suave and refined and not be my usual gauche self.

“Let us pretend that we holiday like this all the time.” I told him.

We checked into our cottage in the far end of the area and walked to the restaurant for high tea.

After a sumptuous meal we came back to our cottage and when we tried the key, it would NOT open. My poor husband tried every bit of maneuvering but the key just would not turn.

We summoned the room service man for help who while giving us disparaging looks, taught us how we had to the slide the key in side ways and while turning it, push the door open.

“That’s one black mark against us. Naïve couple not knowing how to open locks.” I said, my plan of acting like a sophisticated lady gone awry.ouOzbXc

Inside the room I put my daughter to sleep while my husband went into the loo.

Suddenly my mobile rang and the caller was my husband from the restroom.

“I say,” he whispered, “the toilet door is not opening from the inside”

I pushed and shoved the door from the outside. Still it did not give way. I had to now ring up the room service and their guy came with some tools and released my husband from his offensive confines, while politely warning him not to slam the doors.

I started giggling while my better half hurried to clear himself of all blame.

“Hey, It is not my fault this time. The doors of our cottage really hate us.”

“Lets not make any more mistakes. Already the hotel staff must be thinking that we have come from the backwaters of some remote illiterate village. I am sure they think we are country bumpkins.”

After sometime it started to rain and pretty soon it became dark.

I had with me an electric  bottle sterilizer where I arranged my child’s feeding bottles.

mfeb3aCMy husband stepped into the bathroom once more and said cleverly, “See I am not closing the door. If we call the room service one more time today they will black list us”

To be doubly safe he kept the dressing table stool pushed against the door.

He plugged in his electric shaver. Just as he switched the shaver on, I switched on the bottle sterilizer.


The electricity circuit breaker tripped and we were plunged in darkness.

For a moment my husband I looked at each other in dismay and then we began to laugh.

We stood in the dark cottage and laughed and laughed, till tears rolled down our eyes.

Then showing the electric sterilizer out of sight, we rang the room service for help for the third time that day.

So much for trying to pretend to be like the jet setting, globe-trotting crowd!

Story by BA. Written by Gulsum Basheer@ talkalittledo

Photo Credit:

Snowed In With Only Zee TV

ID-100208492Do you know what Diaspora means? Diaspora means movement of a population from their home country to foreign shores.

Our large Indian population settled in the US is a good example.

Diaspora communities  always maintain strong ties with their homeland and  sadly many of them do not get fully assimilated with their  host country.

A friend of mine visited us from the US after 12 years. She had many interesting stories to tell us relating to Diaspora communities.

For instance, take this Indian woman settled in Michigan. Let us call her Lata.

The young woman had been in the US for the past year and a half. But she still pretended that she was ‘back home.’

She chatted  incessantly online with her relatives in India. Though in the US, she watched ONLY Indian television channels. She was friendly with just the Indians in her city and made no attempts to mingle with the other nationalities settled in her area.

She had an Indian friend Sapna, who lived a few miles from her house who was just like her.ID-100128966

Once, the two women decided to meet at Sapna’s house.  Lata forgot to inform her husband about her intended visit. It was after all for a few hours and she would come back by the time he came home from work.

Lata dressed in her beautiful sari and drove to her friend’s house. The two friends chatted, cooked, drank umpteen cups tea and watched Zee TV which telecast Hindi sitcoms.

At 4PM, Lata said, “Your area seems very quiet. Not a sound of a vehicle outside”

Sapna replied, “It does seem kind of quiet and much too dark for 4pm.”

“I think I better get going, “ said Lata.

The women opened the front door.  A whole pile of SNOW greeted them.

Snow had been falling silently all afternoon and the roads and everything around was covered in a blanket of snow two to three inches thick. Even Lata’s car was under a sheet of snow

There was no way Lata was going home that day.

Lata got terribly agitated and called her husband.

When her husband heard that she was at her friend’s house, he was upset.

“Why did you go out, when an impending snow storm had been announced?”

“Snow storm?”

“All the TV channels are relaying the news, every few minutes. Did you not catch the news?”

“The news?”

“Did you not switch on the television the whole day?” Lata’s husband was amazed.

Lata, did not reply. How could she tell her husband that the Idiot Box had been switched on the whole day at Sapna’s house.

But the two friends had watched only Zee TV – their favourite Hindi channel.

PS: We did not know whether to laugh or feel angry with Lata who had made no attempt to check the local weather reports before setting out of home.

Story By : Saira. Written By: Gulsum Basheer @ talkalittledo

Photo Credit:Boians Cho Joo Young @

Photo Credit:debspoons @

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What Is In A Name?

ID-10087533This young girl did not know whose name she was shouting out aloud in the  street.

My mother was very young when she got engaged to my father, barely sixteen years old.

At that time they were living in a large ancestral house in the village. They had a manservant working for them. Everyone called him “Said-am-li.” Mother did too. She had always assumed that, that was his name.

A few days after her wedding was finalized, she was standing outside her house calling out to the man to run an errand for her.

“Saidamleee…saidamlee” she shouted loudly.

An old woman from the opposite house walked across and asked her,

“Why are you SELLING your husband in the streets?”

My mother said, “What?” not understanding the woman.

“You are calling out your future husband’s name, standing in the road,” the lady said.ID-10047052

“Saidamli is not my husband’s name” my mother refuted vehemently.

“It is,” said the old dame with a toothless grin. “A contracted version of your husband’s name”

Then it hit my mother that, ‘Saidamli” was indeed a shortened version of her fiance’s name and she had been loudly shouting out that in the street, at an age when Indian women  did not tell or call their husband’s name OUT aloud.

My mother was so much overcome by shyness that she closed her face with her dupatta and ran into the house, while the old woman cackled delightedly.

My father’s name is indeed ‘Saidamli’ which is a shortened version of the name,  Seyed Ahamed Ali!

Story By: Fouzia. Written By : Gulsum Basheer@talkalittledo



Poetic Justice.

This fiancé’s poems were highly expressive. How did he come up with such a composition week after week?

My parents fixed my wedding to a handsome young man. As was the custom in those days, we could not meet till after the wedding, which was to take place six months later.

There was no Internet then nor did we have mobile phones to surreptitiously contact one another.

We had to languish in our own houses looking at one another’s photographs and weaving dreams.

One day I received a letter from an unknown person. Yes, a hand written letter posted to me with postage stamps and all.

It was a letter from my fiancé.

On opening it excitedly, I found a long poem addressed to me. It was full of mushy stuff. My fiance was serenading me by post.

I was so thrilled that I read it over and over again. I feel embarrassed to reproduce the verse here, but it was typical filmy stuff, comparing me to the moon and my eyes to the stars and how the thoughts of me were keeping him awake all through the night. You get the idea?

I sent him a coy  reply thanking him for his lovely composition and adding delicately that I was looking forward to more such rhymes from him.ID-10070349

Our correspondence continued like this, with my fiancé sending me a letter with a poem every week.

A month before the wedding, the letters stopped coming. I was restless but could do nothing about it.

We got married on the appointed date with pomp and fanfare.

On my wedding night, when my husband and I were alone together at last, I could not help blurting out immediately:

“I loved all your poems. Why did you stop writing them?”

Looking very sheepish he replied:

“The poet who was writing these poems for me, had to go away… I don’t know how to write poems”

Story By : JR. Written By : Gulsum Basheer@talkalittledo

Photo Credit: Idea


Cooking Disasters

ID-10078236What happens when a young bride tries to cook  for the first time, alone all by herself? Naturally a cooking disaster!

For the first 20 years of my life, I made no attempt to learn cooking, brushing aside my mother’s dire threats and warnings with a casual shrug. Then I got married and entered the real world.

Three days after my wedding, my mother in law had to go away in the morning.

Before leaving, she told me, “Cook the rice and keep it ready.”

“How much rice to cook?” I asked shivering all over.

She pointed to an utensil on the kitchen counter and said, “In that vessel, about 250 grams.

Seeing my bewildered look, she pointed to the kitchen cupboard and said,” the measuring cup is in there.”

Then she was gone.

I was alone in the kitchen, like a babe in the woods. It was in the days before rice cookers came into vogue. People boiled the rice in abundant water and drained away the water after it was cooked. I was going to carry out that feat, alone.

“250gms of rice. Okay how difficult was it going to be to measure that.” I said to myself trying to be confident. I opened the cupboard and I gaped.

There were three measuring cups, in thick aluminum, sitting there, seemingly laughing at me. Not one of them had their quantity written on it.nOp6RY8

I took all the three down and scrutinized each, like an archeologist or scientist might have done a dinosaur egg fossil.

“Now which was the 250 gms, the big, the bigger, or the biggest cup?”

I gauged the volume of the vessel in which my mother in law had asked me to cook the rice. It seemed big enough and so I settled on the second measuring glass.

The water was set to boil. I cleaned the grain as I had seen my mother do, on the rare occasions when I had stepped into the kitchen. I dumped the rice into the boiling water, feeling pleased as punch.

I stood in the kitchen surveying my first attempt at the culinary arts simmering on the stove. The rice started to boil.  Then it frothed and bubbled and began to overflow out of the pot.

The darn vessel was too small for the rice to cook in. Cooked rice was spilling out the pot, all over the stove, making an unholy mess.

I was in jitters. I pulled out a big serving spoon and started to scoop out the rice as it boiled over and threw it into the dustbin.

I had to repeatedly throw away spilt rice, till the remaining rice in the pot was fully cooked

There was more rice in the waste bin than in the receptacle. I cleaned up the mess as best as I could and hoped my mother in law would never find out.

When my mother in law came back, and saw the cup I had used to measure the grain she asked in a shocked voice:

“Did you measure with this? This is a ½ Kg measuring cup.

And you cooked ½ kg rice in THAT small pot?” she exclaimed looking at the container I had used to cook the rice. Looking at me suspiciously like a police investigator she asked:

“Surely half the rice would have boiled out of the vessel!”

PS: I am not going to elaborate on what happened after that. Suffice to say, my mother in law trained me in the kitchen from that day onwards and I cook reasonably well now.

Story By: Mahmoodha. Written By: GUlsum Basheer@talkalittledo




Newly Married Indian – Bride’s House

marriage-323346_640A delightful story of a shy bridegroom who is ragged by his sisters-in-law. In India, that is how a groom is welcomed into the family!

My mother’s cousins and sisters were a boisterous lot. When my mother and father got married they thought that it was their wont to tease the new groom. In fact it was the done thing in small towns and villages to play pranks on the groom as a way of welcoming him into their family. You see it in Hindi films like “Hum apke hain kaun?”  

My mother’s naughty cousins’ non stop banter was a little too much for my father.

They really went over board after dinner. They spread crisp pappads underneath the cover of the diwan on which  father was invited to sit down.

When my father sat on it, the pappads broke, sounding very much like as if he was passing wind. The girls closed their noses and laughed, 

“Hi, I think the groom ate too much lentils today.”

My poor father was embarrassed and angry at the same time. Luckily my grand father came in and shooed them away and saved him from further humiliation.

That night when he entered the bridal chamber where my mother was waiting, he was convinced that the girl behind the covered dupatta or ghungat was a boy dressed up as the bride. When that doubt was cleared to his satisfaction, he was positive that there was something under the bed sheet. He had to remove the sheet and dust away imaginary grime and dust from the mattress.

At last they were settled for the night and just when my mom was beginning to think that her wedding night was going to get better, my father got up and switched on the light. 

He peered under the cot and said:

“I think one of your cousins is hiding under the cot!

P. S : When my mother recounts the story to me, she laughs and adds, “And that is why you were not conceived on my wedding night!”

Story By: SB – Written By: Gulsum Basheer @ talkalittledo




Newly Married – Lost In London

How would you feel if your husband left you stranded alone on the roads of a new city and you did not know your way about?

 Immediately after our wedding my husband and I settled in London, where he held an engineering job.

My better half said that the pre requisite for  life in London was knowing to drive a car well. He had lived in the UK before and had an international license. I knew to drive a car but my husband thought that I was not good enough to pass the driving test in England which had strict rules. It was decided that he would try to polish my driving skills.

Easier said than done.

The minute we got into the car, we became cat and mouse. My partner would get exasperated with me for everything. We were squabbling all the time.

One day, our fight accelerated and went out of control. In annoyance I blew up and said that I was not going to learn driving from him. I parked the car in the side of the road and got out, meaning to get into the passenger seat.

But my piqued husband moved to the driving seat, turned the ignition and within a second had driven off, leaving me stranded on the road.17512747-the-elizabeth-tower-big-ben-in-london-unitied-kingdom

I waited, thinking that he would come back to pick me up.

He did not.

I was new to London and did not know my way about. Those days we did not have a mobile phone.

The only thing that I remembered about the locality where I lived was, that there was public library close to my house. I walked to the library asking directions every few minutes. It was quite some distance away. As my purse was still in the car, I was penniless. I could not use any form of transport. Tired and angry, I entered the library and sat among the books for nearly four hours, too proud to walk to my house just a few blocks away.

5474436-happy-studyingWhen it was almost closing time at the library, I swallowed my pride and my tears and found my way home.

On ringing my doorbell, I expected to be met by a distressed and repentant husband or maybe even an angry one.

But the nonchalant man in the house showed no signs of having missed me or worried about me.

He let me into the house and went back to watching television.

I went in to prepare dinner.

It was much later when I had cooled down, I asked him if he had not got perturbed about my long absence.

I am not sure if I should be happy with his reply.

“You are a very confidant and intelligent woman. I knew that you would find your way home.”

PS: People who hear about this incident, chide him for abandoning me in an unknown place like this. Then my husband tells them that he did come looking for me after sometime and was just in time to see me enter the library. Knowing that I would be safe there, he had gone back home.

But I never bought that story even though he repeated it a hundred times.

   Story By : Sk –  Written By : Gulsum Basheer @talkalittledo


Lovey Dovey

What is the first gift your fiancé gave you? Was it as unique as this?

nVDZuT2This is an old tale and took place in the 1970s. The setting is rural and the protagonist are my cousin and her then fiancé and now husband of many years, Mashood.

My cousin got engaged to her neighbour. The wedding was to take place after eight months. I think she spent those eight months peering out of her window into her neighbor’s compound trying to attract his notice.

Her fiancé was a smart guy and immediately befriended his future brother-in-law who was just ten years old at that time.

Mashood asked the little lad, what his sister’s favourite sweets were. I think the boy reeled off the names of all the sweets he preferred. “Laddu, Mysore Pak, Halwa…”nDwwpAk

The fiancé asked the boy to come back in the evening and he would have a box of sweets to give his sister. He spun a big tale of how he was going to town especially for his sister’s sake and he was going to buy all her favourite sweets. The boy was not to tell his parents about it, as this was to be a big secret between the three of them.

But the kid could not keep a secret and it was all over the house that the future son-in-law of the family was going to the city, “just to buy sweets for the bride.”

That evening, as arranged, the boy went over to their neighbour’s house to fetch the first ever-present my cousin was going to receive from her fiancé.

In those days sweets from bigger shops were packed in containers made of palm leaves cut into reeds and woven together. The containers were square-shaped and deep, with enough room to hold a kilo of gooey sweets and had a lid that went all the way over and around the box. Between the palm leaves were small gaps that let in air, and prevented the sweets from getting moldy.

The boy soon returned carefully bearing the offering.

My cousin wanted to open the sweet- box in private but her family would have none of that. She had to uncover the box in front of a motley crew.

She removed the lid slowly and extracted the paper layer at the top.

Everyone peered in eagerly.

There was a rustling sound.

And out popped the heads of two grey DOVES.

There were no sweets in the container. Just the two lovey dovey birds!

The released birds jumped to the floor and looked about in a dazed way. Tied to the legs of the birds were tags bearing her name and his.

The gathered assembly laughed uproariously while the birds just went, wuk… wuk… wuk…

What a unique present!

I am sure our modern youth with all their gadgets and gimmickry could not have come up with a better way to woo their loved one.

14122516-blue-bird-of-happiness-sits-on-a-branch-symbolical-imageOr to coo to their girl!

PS: It is a different story that my cousin had to safe guard the birds, till their clipped feathers grew back and they could be released into the mosque that acted as a sanctuary for doves and had been their home in the first place.

Story By : SB. Written By: Gulsum Basheer @ talkalittledo

Photo Credit:

We Indians – In Love.

 14597579-hiding-behind-this-sunny-flowerA secret rendezvous gone awry. The couple is in a quandary. But then, all is well that ends well.

Before marriage, when my husband and I were in love, we hid the fact from his parents. We were both colleagues in a MNC and had known each other for quite sometime.We were both engineers and were twenty-five year old grown ups.

 But we Indians! When it came to telling our parents about the one we love, we really had to move cautiously.

I had dropped in at his house a few times before, with other friends. His parents knew me a little and had  always been  friendly towards me. But I was not sure how they would react if they knew that I was planning on marrying their darling son.

One Sunday, my boy friend and I decided to meet for lunch at this big hotel, Savera in our city. I arrived on time but my guy was a little late.

I waited in the reception area, looking expectantly at the entrance.

A man entered and on seeing him I got the jolt of my life. It was not my man, but his father who walked up the three steps to the hotel. He gave a start on seeing me, trying to see whom I was with. I turned the other way, pretending I had not seen him.

My hand was busy texting my guy. “Don’t come. Your dad is here.”

His reply came with a ping. “Too late…have come… he has seen me.”

I turned very slowly and saw that my sweet heart had got off his car and was checking it in with the valet-parking chauffeur while his father stood watching him with a questioning look.11407914-color-hands-pointing-in-different-directions-symbol

I saw out of the corner of my eye, that my boy friend walked up to his dad had a conversation of sorts with him. Then he walked casually towards the eating joints in the first floor, completely ignoring me. After a decent time had elapsed I sauntered up to the lift, pretending I had not seen either of them.

On the first floor, we had a discussion as to what to do.  I wanted to scoot. Run 100 miles away. But my beloved would have none of it. He had told his dad that he was meeting some colleagues for lunch and anyway it was too late to get a table at any other decent place on a Sunday. He said that his father always frequented the  dining hall on the ground floor and we would be safe if we kept to the first floor restaurant.

As we waited for our table, hoping for the best, his father walked right in with two friends and tapped his son on the shoulder. I stood stupefied waiting for fire works. Nothing happened.

His dad was wonderful that day.

Pretending that he did not find anything amiss with his son taking a lady colleague out to lunch alone, he made us join his table and treated us to a sumptuous fare. But suffice to say that I hardly ate anything at that meal and was like a cat on a hot tin roof.

Later that night at home, father and son had a man-to-man conversation and my dear one convinced his dad that I was the girl for him.

11515439-like-thump-upHis papa gave the thumbs up to our love. Apparently he only laughingly quipped:

“I hope that the next time she bumps into me at a public place, she won’t pretend  that she has not seen me!”

Story By : CA – Written By : Gulsum Basheer @ Talkalittledo

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Rich in Love

Newly Married Indian – After Marriage

2dzFX3TTwo amusing stories about Newly Married Indians

Story 1:

My daughter got married to an engineer working in the US. We lived in a small town in Tamil Nadu. A few days after the wedding we took my son-in-law and his family to a newly opened restaurant just outside our town.

We were strict Muslims and ate only Halal Food. So we wanted to ascertain that the restaurant used only Halal Meat. My husband called the waiter to the table and asked him, “Is the meat cooked here, Halal Meat?”

The waiter who had been over joyed to see such a large turnout of customers was too eager to clear all our doubts on this point. So he rattled off:

“Sir, everything here is Halal. The mutton is Halal, the chicken is Halal. Why, even the COOKER here is Halal. His name is Iqbal!”

The poor fellow meant that the CHEF was a Muslim man. But in his excitement he over did his sales pitch.

My son in law was very amused at the incident. Every time he sees my daughter using a pressure cooker at home, he says: Halal Cooker, right?”

(Halal is a term  used to designate food, action or object seen as permissible according to Islamic law)

Story By: Mrs.Shahul Hameed. Written By: Gulsum Basheer @ talkalittledo

Story 2:

15470102-funny-wedding-symbol-with-speech-bubble--game-overThree of my nephews got married in our native place on the same day. They brought their wives to Chennai on their honeymoon. The three couples spent a whole day in my house. As I was busy cooking an elaborate meal for them, I wanted to amuse them and keep them from getting bored. So I called up my father asked him to rent some film VCR (like our modern DVDs) and send it across.

The movie which my father had rented was a big hit with the brides. The movie’s title was “Pondaati Sonna Kettukanum ” which broadly translated means, “Heed to your wife’s advice” or quite literally, “Obey your wife.”

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