I came to this country as a total stranger. I had no friends in US, not even in this continent. No close relatives. Nor did Jay. The only contacts we had was the couple of friends Jay made in his one year of stay in US between our engagement and wedding. We moved in to an apartment in an Indian community. We gave a dinner to his friends soon. All of them were bachelors. Our first guests. We had lots of fun that night. They pulled his legs, shared lots of “bachelor life stories” of Jay – ofcourse with the added masalas. 😉 His friends became mine too.
One evening, I saw my immediate neighbour outside with her son. I thought that was the right time to say Hi. We exchanged smiles and started conversing. She asked me out for a walk to the nearby park. And that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Now she is my closest friend here in US. She is from Tamil Nadu. A very down to earth, cheerful and positive person. A wonderful mother to a three year old. She does magic with the kids – there are so many kids of her kid’s age in our lane. She manages kids so well. I am learning a lot from her about parenting. I have never seen her raising her voice at her kid. She convinces her kid when he throws tantrums. She wins the heart of kids and solve the issues smoothly when the kids fight. We exchange recipes, cooking tips, tips to organise the house, utensils, tools, news about the Sale in neighbourhood, what to shop from where and what not. She introduced me to some Chettinad dishes and I , to Kerala dishes. Any special dish cooked here will immediately go to her place and vice versa. We go on walks together. We think alike on almost all matters.
One of his colleagues’ family moved into the nearby apartment in the next month. I got another friend here, A. She has soooooo many friends and relatives in US. She introduced me to her cousin’s family. And we three families gelled up pretty soon. The other two families became the default guests for all special occasions/ festivals of one family. We go out for dinners together. We visits temples. We do BBQs. We did our 12 hours drive Las Vegas together, in which we discovered that we both are as crazy as each other.
We did a potluck and picnic to Del Valle Lake with Jay’s friends at work. The day ended with a promise to meet often. And we kept the promise.
This weekend was fun. So was the last weekend. And the ones before that. Last Saturday, Me and another friend arranged a dinner for a colleague of our husbands’ who is leaving for India. Next day another friend of ours called us for lunch. Not only did he prepare my favorite prawns roast and Jay’s favorite fish curry n fry, the leftovers were neatly packed and sent home in dabbas and dabbas, which ran through the week. The lunch was followed by non stop chatter along the poolside and then by Thani Oruvan, a wonderful movie.
We, ladies, did a potluck for Friday’s lunch. This Saturday also we had an impromptu lunch get together, which made us think that instead of lazing around at home on weekends, we all should cook, eat n chatter away at one place. Yes. We did it again on Sunday. I got up to a call from my friend asking me not to cook lunch. Saturday, we, 13 hooligans went to watch Everest 10 pm show. There were just a couple of people in the theatre apart from us.
I think the friends like this and such get togethers are making up for our family back in India. We do miss our family eventhough we talk daily, especially on special occasions. It’s comforting to know that we have a group of friends who can be called “family” here. A strong family, neighbours we can rely on, and friends who make the hours pass quickly, are worthy investments I would say. 🙂