Saturday, November 30, 2019

Thanksgiving - a new meaning

Written on 11/28 evening and 11/29

As I await for our guests, two wonderful families, listening to Ustad Rashid Khan singing Poore se Zara sa kam hain.. On my favorites play list I couldn’t be more thankful than ever.
Today for a change, my dinner is ready, food is in the oven and my saree is ironed. 
I am thankful for small blessings. Anand helped me in setting the table, did the dishwasher and is reading in his room happy. Ajey is on his way from airport after dropping a dear friend and Ashish is enjoying his quiet time with fire and Netflix in the basement. I know he will be a wonderful host after this break. I am thankful to those ladies who offered to bring something from their kitchen and I am thankful to have that wisdom to accept the help. I did cook the way I do and the table will be over flowing and we will have lots of leftovers but the feeling that there is help was enough to keep me going. I am happy that I listened to my body and took a nap.

We somehow don’t have a tradition for thanksgiving, when we were settling here in Franklin, the shopping was biggest thing for thanksgiving. For years we had no set plan. We did go to some friends some years, hosted couple of time but nothing as tradition. It was just a get together with Indian friends over Indian dinner. We were building our circle of friends. Then I met one of our distant relatives and for few years we were their guest on TG. It was something new we experienced, a traditional TG with Turkey and all the fan fare. After a few years they had their own families to celebrate with so one year we were just not invited. Our dear friends had build their traditions during that time.  That year was a really tough year for me, all of sudden we had nothing for TG. But today I am grateful for that experience as I learnt a very important lesson of “what not to do” with people who love you. Some people walk into your life to teach you something, thankful for that lesson.
Since then it has been a very flexible thanksgiving. Our friends with whom we had celebrated couple of TG are away this time and I decided it was my time to start a new tradition and I thought of families who are like us in many ways. Away from home and trying to build their village. Who don’t have a tradition of TG, who are settling in new place or just building their village.
It just started a few days ago when the idea of inviting families from my village struck me.I wasn’t sure how would it go and if I can manage. Finally I decided I should start small and having just a couple of families sounded wonderful. Phone calls were made and here we were to off to a new start. The morning was just a reminder of the excitement. One of the moms texted me how excited one of her son was -"The grandparents were informed about vegetarian thanksgiving".

I had to stop my thought process as the alarm reminded me to boil the rice and get ready as the guests were on the way. 
 As I got ready our first family walked in with a beautiful daughter and even better, the Saree clad Mom in a beautiful baloocheri. Soon the other family came with both their boys. 
The dining table was another fun. It was such a mix of South Indian, Maharastrian and Jaya cooking. We had more dishes than the number of people. Everyone had something from their fav list. Kids were well fed and parents were happy. While we were having dinner another mom walked in. Being a Doc she had no TG off but was so happy that finally she could make it. Such small incidents make life bigger and better.
The dads had their time, kids got busy, the daughter got settled in Anand’s room with keyboard and Anand was OK with it. For us it was another big deal. Anand on his iPad and T on the keyboard. They both were busy in their own worlds and being OK with having each other around.
The other boys found things to do on their own and my first born adult was kind of every where.
I could see how Moms and dads found their rhythm in this small home. It was amazing to see them sitting, chatting, enjoying a drink and just simply laughing and smiling. 3 dads, 4 moms, 5 kids.. our home saw love, joy, happiness, gratitude and support - everything that night.

I am grateful that we could enjoy the evening, the kids ate and enjoyed the meal and all of us overall had a great time.
I am thankful that boys are old enough to clean the kitchen the day after and even more so to have a fridge full of left overs .. the lemon rice, the sambhar, roti and eggplant are the reminder of how wonderful the “ breaking the bread together” concept is.

We wish you all have something to be thankful of, life is not easy but easier if you have your people in it. Be happy, pay it forward and build your village.

The table really sums it up -Sambhar and Lemon Rice from S, Roti and eggplant from A, I made chicken curry ( was on the stove, away from vegetarian table), Chana dal, Spinach and corn, Cauliflower - peas, Achari Potatoes, Shahi Paneer, white rice, Salad and Papad. Pie was a TG gift from My American mom Marge.

 Best Black Friday Deal - Ajey dealing the Dishwasher shopping, he went beforehand to research, picked one and finally off we went to buy. It was amazing to see the man going through the process and handling well while Dad could rest and relax at home.