Thu, 19th Jan '06, 12:25 pm::

Word of the day: Hectic! Fifteen more guests flew in today. The guest houses are now being occupied and we have twenty or so guests coming in tomorrow by train. My dad has tabulated the arrival dates, room allocation etc. for all the guests so it's quite well organized. My Alpesh Mama (mom's cousin) will be coming in too! It's been years since I saw him.

Yesterday we didn't do much except go out for dinner to a Rajasthani Restaurant: Teej. The decoration was simply unbelievable. All the walls and ceilings were finely hand-painted - took them six months to complete the paint job! The food was exactly what I was craving for - tasty, spicy, and very filling! It was so heavy that today I'm not gonna eat anything, maybe fruits at most.

Tomorrow is the first official day of ceremonies - Grah-Shanti in the morning and Zara Hat Ke Quiz Show & Dance Floor in the evening. My dad's working so hard it makes me wonder where he's getting all his energy from. As for me, it's very different than what I was once used to. He had trained me to organize activities & events, deal with different types of guests, salesmen, workers, and of course put forth the best show possible. Now though, I feel quite incapable of executing everything up to his standards. I think the synchronicity of event planning and execution between him and myself peaked about six years ago when we organized the Yagna. Ever since I moved to US, I've slowly lost my people-skills, I guess because I'm no longer working daily in the market face-to-face with all sorts of people.

Ok back to present. My dad & cousin are setting aside the gifts for tomorrow. Every time a guest arrives from outside the city of Kolkata, they get presented with real leather wallets and purses with their names etched in golden ink. The initial few guests also received flower bouquets. As my dad is getting the gifts ready, I'm making multiple copies of the important phone numbers list - from the cell#s of all the six chauffeurs to the contact numbers for the five venues, guest houses etc. I didn't really expect my little sister's wedding to be on such a huge scale. So it's quite overwhelming.

One thing I realized amongst all this chaos (especially when you sleep in a different bed every night and shower in a different bathroom each morning) is that little things you never thought much about previously, now make you feel at "home." Like the Woody's HeadWax Web that I've been using for months now (no, this isn't paid product placement, I just LOVE it that much). Or the familiar menu system of any Nokia cellphone that I use in US, also extremely popular here in India. Little things like this, make me feel comfortable when so many unfamiliar things happen at the same time.

In addition to all the fun things, a lot of things obviously happen that make me go what the $^$#%?! For instance, I don't know or remember many of the guests that are arriving because I probably met them when I was 12, but they know everything about me. So of course, they force me to play the guess-game. You know, they come up to me in front of five people and asked "Guess who am I?" And I stare at the 70-yr old grandma point-blank and do my best to not say "Laquisha?" It's tough holding back sarcasm and substituting it with respect when you know for sure that they know you're not gonna recognize them and are doing it just to make you feel embarrassed in public. Of course, it's just harmless fun but sometimes I really want to speak my mind. But then I have to stop myself because I'm not in Florida right now. And in India, you NEVER speak your mind to elders, especially if they're older than your parents.

Lunch time now, fruits for me. I really can't eat any more Indian food. I want milk and cereal!

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