Friday, December 16, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen....Bhabi Has Left the Building!

So after the major argument I had with hubby that I wrote about yesterday one of our resolutions was that I could leave the house. Part of his not wanting me to go was because:
  • Someone may harass me (eve-teasing)
  • I may be humiliated (I think he meant someone would make fun of me)
  • Someone may try to hurt me
Now, I didn't think any of those are good enough and I responded that there is danger everywhere, including inside this house and that I managed to live in a country much more violent than India for 18 years without any serious trouble. I've been in some really, really bad US neighborhoods and never once had an issue in any of them. During the course of the argument I did tell him that I had done my best to be patient but that it's now getting to a point that either I was leaving the house once in a while or I was packing my bag and waiting for him in the US whenever we were able to make a visa work. So naturally he decided that he would make things work out with his parents so that I could leave the house. I can't say he was happy and things didn't end completely well but every newly married couple has to face challenges and this one is really testing him. His parents and grandparents were much tougher and stricter than anyone here has ever been with me so this is quite different for them.

Then today after waking up I got showered and got dressed. I ate my breakfast and tried to figure out what I wanted to do. Part of me thought it would be best to just go to the temple right behind our house completely alone and enjoy the solitude. Then another part of me really wanted to go out to the store just because I can now. I kept thinking about it until lunch which gave me time to check in on my work and get some things done. Then I started to get nervous.

What if hubby was right and things out there were as bad as he had said? What if someone did try to mess with me. So I decided against the temple as my first outing and decided to go to the store. I started thinking about what I wanted to get and I decided on buying the supplies for a Merry Christmas banner. Then I thought I better get niece to go with me in case I needed a translator. So I texted hubby to see if she would need permission to go with me and he called and told her to go with me lol. Well, that settled it...there was no turning back. She got all excited and come to get me.

Off we went. I had the biggest smile on my face after closing the door to the house on the way out. One of those ear to ear grins with full teeth showing...something I haven't done in a long, long time. I did decide to only go places I had been before though because I didn't want to screw up anything on my first outing and give anyone a reason to say "see I told you so!" So we went first to Sunil's store. There niece and I talked over what we needed for the project (because I fully intended on her helping lol). We picked out some things together and found out where to get the things Sunil didn't have. Then it was off to the paint store. We sifted through the paint selection, purchased all the gold glitter paint he had and next we were off to Jagdeeps shop (this being Jagdeep the man that we turn to for everything because he has connections everywhere....even though we know his prices are unnecessarily high lol).

Hubby, being the worrier he is was texting me and stressing himself out that something may happen. So when I got to Jagdeeps shop I proudly texted him back that I was spending all his money. Right as I was paying for my purchase he told me to go home hahahaha and then tried to say it was getting dark and being out at night with the kids is not good. Then he called Jagdeep lmao. That was too funny! I was on my way out of the door so I just laughed and we headed home.

After coming home I started sewing the border on the banner and when I finished that niece and I started painting. Turns out she had all kinds of ideas for how to make the banner even better so 3 hours later we still weren't done. I will post a pic if we ever get this monster completed lol.

Oh....and before I forget! It turns out hubby was partially right. Literally EVERYONE was staring at me hahaha. I'm not surprised because I must admit I've been a well guarded DIL for 11 months now. I'm sure they were surprised to see me out with just niece. I've only been out twice with MIL and Chachi in this 11 months and even though they all know I exist and that I'm here, I've been quite the phantom. Hmm...that may have a nice ring to it "Phantom Bhabi ji."


  1. Oh White Bhabhi I read your last two posts back to back and I'm so glad you're setting out more. It makes all the difference. I landed in Chicago in the middle of winter and almost drove myself nuts for the first few months because I refused to get out. 

    How sweet that Rohit kept texting you! Hope you have a wonderful festive season. If it means anything, I'll be thinking of you whenever I see a fabulously decorated house :)

  2. Thank you! Lol. I love Christmas lights!!

  3. i am somewhat surprised. i would have sworn my hometown is more conservative than Amritsar (now I am not terribly sure). but my mom/chachi/aunts/grandma/sisters/cousins/etc have never been under such restrictions  as to always leave the house with a male escort. they take the usual precautions if it gets dark, but during daylight even my grandma wouldn't worry about her daughters going to the markets alone ... or a group of women going to the movie once in a while. i have anecdotes of my mom doing so with my aunts/nieces. and i am talking of a time before i was born.

    i guess, even though my hometown is more conservative (which it most certainly is), it is a lot safer than punjab. if true, I would understand the concern of your family. actually, i am learning quite a bit about punjab from your blog.

    on a different note, you are probably correct that India is much less violent than US. my native region even more so. after living in Mumbai for a few years and getting used to it with some initial difficulty, i used to be greatly amused at the way people in my hometown argued (with all the contorted - and peculiarly Indian - honorifics/appellations/courtesies intact) when they were offended. Calling someone as "tum" or "tu" is probably the biggest offense they inflict on each other. Mumbai is much rougher, not to speak anything of the American cusses.

  4. I'm slowly figuring out this mess. Apparently in 1980 there was quite a bit of violence here and that is right about the time my MIL married into the family. The streets weren't safe and she was not from this town so she is only carrying on what she has learned. It will take time but I'm confident I can achieve a peaceful resolution on leaving the house.

    I'm pretty confident that the US is much more violent than India lol. I lived in 6 different US states and there were always serious crimes going on. I am also a criminal justice professional and just following the news and local gossip around here I can tell it is a much more peaceful place - even Amritsar which seems to have seen a lot of violence.

  5. oh yes. how did i forget this ... punjab's violence was the darkest bleakest time of India's history

  6. Of course in the 80s there was horrific violence in punjab, due to operation bluestar and the anti-sikh pogroms that followed indira gandhis death, but all over punjab these days i see groups of women of all ages out and about, i dont know of any family where the men do the shopping! dont know any woman that would let them!

  7. Lol well now you know one! My MIL does go out and buy a few things in the street but FIL does about 95% of the shopping for groceries and food. I think the only things she actually goes out for are her clothes and any fabric that is needed. Everything else she has FIL or me and Rohit pick up for her. I really think with the family rules and the violence they put too much fear into her. I'm not sure about Chachi because I never really see them do grocery shopping till they all go to Best Price once a month but that's a fairly new occurrence. As for me and Rohit I swear he shops just as much if not more than I do lol....of course he was a fashion model in a past life and now he's trying to be a master chef so it's actually fun to watch him shop.

  8. I'm happy for you :o)