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NRI Bride

NRIB..

Category : Uncategorized

This blog is for all the women from the Indian origin who are about to get married to, or have already married, a guy living abroad and are away from home presently or permanently.

Starting by sharing my experience in articles and short stories my blog aims at bringing the NRI brides together and provide them a room to share their experiences, express themselves, inspire and guide each other, even help and support small start-ups for those who want to do it.

I would try to keep the matter light and fun, as this blog is not about the stories of women who have suffered by marrying an NRI, but this blog is about learning together how to make the most of our situation, how to deal with changes that will be brought forward, how to prepare yourself for being an NRI bride and finally being that NRI Bride..

Are you are a soon-to-be NRI Bride ? Or are already abroad? are you abroad and pregnant? Would you like to read some experiences from some other NRI Brides and  learn from their stories then this site is for you.. Feel free to ask questions in my Connect section by clicking on Ask NRIB, I will try to answer them and I would appreciate if you would take some time out and answer the questions from other NRI Brides, you never know when your advice or your shared experience can help someone, what goes around comes around.. So let’s all join hands and together and rock the life of an NRI bride.

This site is about women and our life and our survival instinct, supporting each other and most importantly being that fabulous NRI Bride that everyone looks up to.


  • 0

Taking that flight

Category : Uncategorized

Taking that flight is not as easy as it appears one has to go through many emotional turmoils, win over many mental games with thy self, and then can one take that flight.
Story coming up!


  • 4

About me

Category : Uncategorized

NRI BRIDE

I am also an NRIB..

I am from Delhi, a software engineer by profession and married to an NRI. My darling hubby also belongs to Delhi, but was settled in Switzerland(Zurich) before he found me, it was an arranged marriage, we found each other on Bharatmatrimony.com …what followed was a proper Punjabi wedding with all the flash and glory, amidst all the mithai and mehandi, ladoos and lehengas, all the relatives and rituals, I knew one thing.. I was going away.. taking that flight and going far away. All my friends since childhood and friends that I made at work, my awesome job, my much loved Delhi life, everything was going to be left behind but most importantly my family, my dad, my brother and supremely importantly my mom, who has been my life line. I was supposed to leave them all. Not that I didn’t have any choice in doing all this but it still was a giant leap.

After we found my DH on bhartmatimony.com, my mom suddenly became the envy of some auntiji’s in my neighbor for having found such a nice groom for her daughter, my dad was being called the ‘Zohri’ for having found the diamond in my husband. Many people who were worried about me, worried about my continued unmarried status, my ever increasing age, and the multiple rejections on my matrimonial CV were oddly upset that their worry was over. From red to amber to green my matrimonial project status was fast changing, and soon people concluded that my new status was ‘seeking advice’. So loads and loads of advice followed, but only little proved helpful because all these people who were giving me advice belonged to a spectrum of those who had never been abroad to those who had not seen the sun rise for more than two weeks in a land other than India, and if they had, it was with a group of fifty other Indian people and back in the third week.

I was getting all the pleasant teasing from everyone. Awww Switzerland, wow!, Extended Honey moon !! Heaven on earth!! The movie location! The land of chocolates!!.. and what not. This all was true but there were also other things that no one told me about, that no one warned me about, the things about the life of an NRI couple, and an NRI woman.

So I reached here and looked for a job and settled, I also had a baby here, a lovely baby boy. The journey from that flight to this day has been full of learning, the thing that I learned the most is that one needs company and guidance, for starting a new life in a new country, and being the NRI bride. So I decided to start this blog for all the women like me, for those who are about to be an NRI Bride, who are already abroad and for those who are abroad and pregnant. As I have been through all these stages, I want to share my experiences sometimes as an article and sometime as a short story, look out for new posts on my site.

During my last few years and all this fetching someNRI BRIDE life and making something of it, there was something about that free spirited Delhi girl that I was missing, I was missing that writer instinct in me, the part that I always loved about me, this is also to revive that side of me and not letting go of my dreams. Keeping that spirit alive, I want to motivate other women and stand by the fact that  we can do all that we want to do, so join hands in my endeavor and together lets ROCK the life of an NRI Bride…


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Language DJ NRI BRIDE NRIBride.com

Language DJ

Yesterday, on my way back from work I was sitting in my regular train that takes me home from Zurich, my journey in this train every day is no more than 20 minutes, I still closed my eyes trying to get some sleep because it had been a very tiring day.  Before I could really fall asleep I heard someone talking in Hindi.  Right behind my seat another Indian girl was sitting and she was talking to her friend on the phone.  The conversation was interesting, the topics varied from movies to fashion to books. I could hear it all very clearly.  Actually it was not really the conversation that was important for me but the way things were being expressed, the language, yes it was the language that really drew my attention, after all they were talking in Hindi.  When you are abroad your ears become this perfect magnet for your own language. (All NRI brides/NRI please nod your head in approval) But it was far from the Hindi that I’ve learned at school, or should I say far from the Hindi we have all learned at school.

The Hindi that I heard during my unintentional eavesdropping session had a minimum of three English words per each small-sentence.  Suddenly it struck me, maybe I also speak like that! We, the new generation from the English medium schools.  Then I looked around and  saw there were two Swiss and one Englishman sitting next to me.  Now I don’t know about the Swiss guys, but the Englishman apparently understood most of the things, I could tell because he also laughed on one of the jokes. I was wondering whether this Englishman was thinking that our language is so weak that we have to borrow so many words from another language to express ourselves.

Hindi is such a rich language, very vast and extremely beautiful.  It has a tremendously strong grammar base.  From nouns to adjectives, comparatives to superlatives, synonymous, antonyms, phrases it has all the literary tools that one may require to express ones ’self.  Great novels and epics have been written in this language but a small casual conversation cannot be completed without the help from another one.Language DJ NRI BRIDE NRIBride.com

I quickly revisited the labyrinths of my mind only to realize how really it has become a part of our normal way of speaking, in our daily lives. I remembered right at that moment how an auntiji in my neighborhood always used to say to his son “Beta hand and mouth wash kar lo, kitne dirty ho gaye hain” and one of my friend always says “We are tou the khaata peeta types na”. Also conjunctions like “you know na”,  “I swear, sachchi”, “haan obviously”..and many more like that just pop-up on our lips and we just keep using them without even realizing under how much language debt we are by just borrowing these words nonchalantly.

I was thinking, when did we become such language DJs ??  Suddenly the announcement for my station was made and I started to collect my belongings to get out of the train.

Have you also felt like this sometimes? A slight moment of guilt for this language adulteration we are indulging in everyday, can you think of some English words you always use when you talk?… leave me your comments..

PS: Article 343 (1) of the Indian constitution states “The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script.” (1949)


  • 8
Reflection

Poem : My Reflection

Reflection

गुड्डियान अते पटोले,

तू क्यों छडते खेल सलोने.

जिस दिन दी तयारी रोज़ करां

उस दिन तों ही दिल क्यों डरदा

 

लाडो पुछ अपने कंगने तों

किस पिंड मुकलावे जाणा है

तैनु समझाँदी हाँ चिडिए

ईस घर ना तेरा दाना है.

 

दाना माँ मेनू दे, ना दे

खंड तीलेयाँ वांग ना कर मेनू

वीर नू दित्ता तू नाम अपना

और मेनू देस निकाला क्यों ?

 

पुत्तर नू बस नाम दित्ता है

दिल दी आस तेरे नाल लाई है

तू देस रहे, परदेस रहे

तू ही साडी परछाई है..

 Poem : माई रिफ्लेक्षन…

 

Guddiyan ate patole,

tu kyon chadde khel salone.

Jis din di tyaari roz karaan

Us din ton hi dil kyon darda

 

Lado puch apne kangne ton

Kis pind muklaave jaana hai

tainu samjhandi han chidiye

Es ghar na tera daana hai.

 

Dana maa menu de, na de

Khand tilyan wang na kar menu

Veer nu ditta tu naam apna

Aur mainu des nikala kyon ?

 

Puttar nu bas naa ditta hai

Dil di aas tere naa laayi hai

Tu des rahe, Pardes rahe

Tu hi sadi parchaai hai..

 

Poem : My reflection

 

 


  • 13
nri bride

Un-Romance-d

Where is the romance? Where is the attraction, we should look it could be just under the rug!

August, 2014.

Dear Diary,

Today I was talking to a friend, another NRI nri bridebride and she confessed how she feels that romance is fading out from her marriage. “We are always arguing on simple stuff, basically home chores” she said “and I see all these European people around me walking hand in hands, kissing in public, sitting close and I can see they are in love..what about us, what about us Indian couples? 

She got me thinking, but the more I thought the more clarity I got, I went from couple to couple in the labyrinths of my mind, I met all of them, old, young, beautiful couples also the fight-ful ones. I realized that romance varies from couple to couple even from generation to generation, we can’t copy-paste it across couples and definitely not across cultures, the point is romance should remain, in some way or the other, little or more … but it should stay. In this fast life sometimes we change so much, we lose the magnetism that once really attracted our partner sooo much that we got married, and at that point we start thinking just like Neha thought at that moment. Mind starts to think that ‘love is fading away’ or ‘there is no romance in this life’. Sometimes in married life we do get lost in our jobs and home chores, it’s normal and happens but it doesn’t mean we have stopped loving each other, it only means we can’t find a good time to express it well. Specially living abroad where we do almost all the domestic duties on our own and life is full-up with jobs, household tasks and responsibilities, in this sort of setup the importance of getting a nice relaxed and romantic time with your partner cannot be over-emphasized. (NRI Bride..knock knock)

Romance is not just a thing of the movies, it can happen in our very living room over a cup of coffee or can spark with just a slight brush of hand. We must rejoice the youth and the life-time that we have with each other as a couple, because what’s the point of living a cold, practical life full of work. What’s the point of not loving and not being loved, love is one thing that looks beautiful when you reveal it. If you got it, then flaunt it. When you are capable of giving so much love then why live a life so un-romanced..

** I want to thank Neha for letting me use this feeling that I captured during a conversation over a cup of tea with her  and letting it become the NRI Bride’s diary page.

 


  • 0

NRI guy who deserted wife after honeymoon

Our guest Sachin asked this question and [email protected] team has answered.. read on..

Question : A quick engagement, followed by a massive wedding, a huge dowry and a honeymoon, after which the NRI husband flies out of India while the wife waits for her visa. I read somewhere that there are over 20,000 brides in India that have not seen their husbands after their honeymoon. Is this really as big an issue as it sounds?

Answer: Hello Sachin, Thank you for your question. Indeed this is an issue, no denying this fact that lives of many brides are spoiled in a process like that.  This is the dark side and one white truth that we can’t blink away from.

Before I say any more, let me have your agreement on the fact that these men who do this to the brides they are taking their wedding vows with, ARE JUST SICK!  As sick as rapists, or even more…

But to be honest, the answer is partly in your question if we read carefully. “A quick engagement”, “Massive wedding” and “Dowry”. Don’t you think that this is already a formula for disaster when the groom in question is unknown. I am assuming this guy is ‘unknown’ because if he was a known person or from a known family then there would be ways to track him down. He would be answerable in the circle and so on. People instantaneously say yes to a good prospect from abroad without much thinking and rush up the things just in case this good match might slip away. Is this attitude not an issue? Behaving like this, are we not giving these guys the guts to do this?

Now in the Indian matrimonial world, full of Internet matrimonial sites my point earlier can stand subject to argument, this guy is then expected to be an ‘unknown’ but then if we are choosing a groom from an Internet site strong background check and frequent meetings with the groom and his family are undismissible and can give us the much-needed hint about the guy in question. Are we really doing this? Or do we just get blinded with the outer shine and the idea that having our daughter married abroad is like a Gold star on our own life progress chart? Ignoring obvious signs, tolerating undue demands, taking things for granted and not asking for ‘information that matters’ are the things that give these guys the idea that we are not that careful with the life of our daughter and they can mess around with it.

A proper risk projection needs to be done in our mind before we conclude any such proposal, we must not forget to look at the NRI proposals with a slight doubtful eye, we have to think once ‘what if’.

There is no harm in asking for a copy of work contract, proof of residence, copy of passport and so on. There is no harm in asking for references… it’s not a job won’t it look bad if we asked all this? Wouldn’t it give a poor impression? What would the groom’s parents think?  We must shun these inhibitions and ask for information. Don’t you agree marriage is in fact a job for life! When we take job interviews so seriously, why are we showing leniency and loose attitude towards this?

What happens? How can we be fooled by these sorts? Why these men get away? How can they dare to leave their fully wedded wife and never look back? Why don’t we include the right consulates when things go wrong? These are all questions and topics worth a thousand words.

This is undeniably an issue and needs to be addressed.

NRI bride is actually just another bride most similar to any other Indian bride, so what can happen to a bride marrying an NRI guy can also happen to any other woman. This case should be handled exactly as we would handle any other case when the is guy located in India. In fact even stricter steps can be taken against an NRI person who behaves like this.

The NRI bride is different only due to this whole wide distance between homeland and new home and it brings along a different set of challenges, at the same time the bride in India is facing her own challenges, too. So, everyone is fighting their own battle and my blog is about these challenges and how to make the best of our situation. It’s not only for the women who married an NRI man but also for the wives of expats who are living here, they are here on projects or long term work assignments.

Having said that, I am not saying I don’t stand by this cause, this is actually the elephant in the room I was trying to avoid so that I can focus on the constructive side of the coin and add value to the lives of the NRI brides who are already abroad. However, I did have a post in mind around this topic and after I have answered you, I will surely start working on it. I wanted it to be more than just a post that’s why I was taking my time.

Before I close, I have to say undeniably it is really unfortunate for a marriage to have a start like this. It’s unfortunate that brides end up getting married to men who have no idea what marriage is and what its sanctity is, it’s unfortunate that these men exist and that some men don’t understand the concept of an arranged marriage and misuse it, trying to take advantage of their location or position. This kind of fish is making the whole pond look dirty.

 


  • 0

Choosing Epidural

Let’s talk about a possible painless delivery

I SKIPPED my Labor pains, really!

I wanted to start this post by telling how painful labor or child-birth is and for sure I can express this I have recently had a baby. ..but hold on …I don’t remember the pain.. I don’t remember any of it!! In fact if I look back I forgot most about it in around 2-4 days and I forgot ‘all’ about it shortly after that. How can I forget all this excruciating pain?? You know how…by totally skipping it …yep! Keep reading to know how I did that…

The labor pains

For most of the people the understanding is that labor pain is extremely agonizing and unbearable, especially in the first time. Well the truth is  labor pain could be different for different women. Many factors influence this discomfort like weight of the baby and its position, even the hormones that body is producing to deal with the pain count, but the most important one is the pain endurance of the woman. What could hurt you at 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 could be a 7 or 3 for someone else, but it would be already 15 for me, as my pain endurance is super low!

One of my friends whom I have known as the most soft-spoken person confessed that labor pain really got the best of her and she was not only shouting and screaming on people, during her 9 hours long labor, she was saying all kinds of swear words and held her husband by the collar and said to him “do something, or I’ll kill you”..hehe. Yeah this can happen too. But for some women it’s not that www.NRIBride.com harsh and they dilate so fast that the duration of taking pain is lowered up to quiet an extent. I was the first child of my mom and I was a breach baby, she tells me that she had me in her hands in 2 hours, while I had around 12 hours in labor. That’s another thing that I signed up for total medical intervention and had a super easy delivery, some people might say that it’s not like the ‘real’ natural process and maybe I haven’t proven a point of being that ultimate powerful woman who can take all that pain and give birth but it really is a matter of choice. It was clear  for me that pain endurance is not my forte and I wanted my delivery to be as tranquil as possible, at least I wanted to take measures to make it so. Since years natural deliveries are happening, women are doing it so, it’s doable but this fact doesn’t reduce the pain for any woman. I have not just respect but also lot of admiration for women who choose/have to take the full pains and have natural birth but I couldn’t have been one of them and I have no guilt of having used the options available to me.

The painless delivery

“Painless delivery” we have heard about this phrase in India, but really how many of you have seen in your family or amongst your friends someone really having this? No no ..please don’t start counting the C-sections, we are talking only about ‘Normal delivery’ right now. Well there could be another reason why you don’t know anyone in India who had a ‘Painless normal delivery’ because many doctors these days are only indulging themselves in the benign(read lucrative) process of C-sections and not bothering themselves or the patients with a long process of normal delivery, but that’s another topic all together. In the meanwhile, if you do know a woman who had ‘normal painless delivery’ please call her and take her doctor’s number, many other women need it! In India normal delivery means taking the full labor pain and then the delivery part combined, because Epidural is not very common.  Epidural ? ..ah what’s that…

What is an Epidural?

For me it is the god of all ‘Pain relievers’ during labor and delivery. The ‘Epidural’ is like a Brahmastra in the child-birth arena. Epidural is a kind of local anesthesia that delivers continuous pain relief to the woman in labor. It works in a way that only pain sensation is subdued in the lower body but you are fully awake and conscious, you can talk and totally participate in your delivery process, just your belly area and legs would be numb from the medication.

What is the procedure?

A very thin wire like tube is inserted in the small of your back, outside the spinal cord membrane and secured with a tape, medication is then delivered through this tube. The tube secretes the medication slowly to spinal nerves and reduces the sensation. The doctor can control the amount, type and flow of medication that you need. This procedure is completed within 10 minutes but the whole preparation and start of effect can take around 30 minutes. After delivery the tube is removed.

So, what is the theater about Epidural?

Since this procedure is involves activities around spinal www.nribride.comcord many people have a fear that it can mess around with the nerves which is a very very rare thing to happen, but since one in a million chance, it can, epidural enjoys the status of taboo in many countries. Another problem is that not all women are potentially good candidates for it. Low blood pressure and/or a history of an infection from anesthesia previously can take you off the anesthetist’s list. Also some women have reported about lingering back pain after the use of epidural, but so many changes happen in the body during pregnancy and delivery that you never know what triggered it, such fast gain of weight in pregnancy can cause that back pain but epidural gets the blame.

But at this point we also cannot deny some potential risks around epidural, such as:

–   Epidural can lengthen labor because the woman doesn’t feel the final strong contractions and doesn’t get much help from them and has to push entirely using her own effort .

–   Chances of perineal tear increases as the right hormones are sometimes not produced because the stretching receptors are sitting numb.

–   The chances of instrument delivery increase (forceps, vacuum pump etc. to pull the baby out) 

The doctor mostly also explains the possible effects and what you are choosing, they might even make to you sign a paper which tells about the possible negative effects of epidural. However at that time in the labor, one is not in a situation of taking much education, so the point is women should make themselves informed of unintended effects of epidural clearly in advance. Do your homework ladies. Read. Consult. Discuss.

Why I chose to take the Epidural?

  Well.. because I also don’t go for a tooth extraction without an anesthetic..

I have said this before that I can’t boast about my pain endurance. So before my delivery I decided completely in my mind that I wanted an epidural, if something can save me from  all that labor pain, which had been my biggest concern about child-birth, why not! I read about the epidural and discussed with my doctor that I wanted to have this and she totally supported my decision and she literally said ‘We are not living in 20th century or older that we must take this pain, now we have solutions’ this sentence made complete sense to me. I thought, when we have a headache we do take a pain reliever.. or when there is pain somewhere in the body we do use pain relieving methods then why should we say no to a medication that can bring us relief from the biggest physical pain known to woman kind. I held the feeling that my baby needs me to feel good as soon as possible so that I can draw all my attention and energy to him/her.

To be honest,  I am happy epidural totally worked for me, I am happy that I was well-informed and clear about it in my mind and I am happy I took it very early in my labor. I relieved myself from pain quiet earlier on and saved my energy for the ‘push-time’ when I really needed it.

Saying ‘Yes’ to the epiduralwww.nribride.com

Saying yes or no to an epidural is purely a choice, this process is completely elective. Now be clear in your mind there is nothing wrong in taking it or not taking it, because it’s your choice if you want to accept this method of medical intervention for pain relief.

In case you do say ‘yes’ to the epidural below are some best practices that I can suggest, that I followed and can swear by:

 –   So three weeks before my due date I went to my hospital and created my birth plan. No, I am not a very finicky person and I didn’t want to wear a special gown when I delivered or a special sort of lighting. My birth plan had only one thing in it ‘I want an epidural when I ask for it’ (meaning, no arguments with me at that time).

–    This is very very important, I did this and so should you, ask for an epidural when you are 2 cm dilated, by this time you have seen pain and experienced the kind of pain that you might have to bear for hours in case you don’t take one. Usually the hospital staff nurses/doctors would ask you to wait for 2 more hours and be more dilated or keep going on the natural track., but hello! If I wanted a natural birth I would go to a forest and sit in a squat position, but I am in the hospital and have signed up for intervention. So why not give me the intervention that can relieve me of all this pain?

–    Keep your husband prepped up for standing by you when you say you want the epidural, you will not be in a position to argue with or convincing the hospital staff. Your hubby should do all that talking. I told my husband clearly that in case I want the epidural and they are asking me to wait and all, you have to talk to them and get me one.

–    Don’t be confused or double-minded when your turn comes and the anesthetist is available. Seema my friend said ‘no’ when then anesthetist was around thinking she could probably handle a bit longer until she’s slightly more dilated before taking the epidural but later in about half an hour she was done with the pain but the anesthetist had four other women in the queue to handle and the she could reach her only after two hours. So imagine 2.5 hours of pain of additional pain just because of being unsure at the right moment.

–   When you are being given the epidural the doc will ask you to sit in a crawl position or a cat curve, just hold tight to that position and don’t make any sudden movement, at this time usually they stop the contractions or make that area numb so that you don’t have the contraction pains when the epidural setting is being made. Once that’s done then you cannot move around the room, but the trade-off is that there would be no pain after that, so you can relax or even sleep. I was literally cracking jokes lying on my delivery table and laughing. I asked my mom and husband to go and have dinner and take it easy because I was feeling so well, when they went I just closed my eyes and slept for two hours, nurse was coming to check on me every now and then, but I was literally sleeping on my delivery table!

A note to the NRI Bride

 We are not living in 20th century or older that we must take this pain, now we have solutions, nothing bad in looking at your options!

I do not know when will the taboo be raised from the name of Epidural and when will it be considered a good pain reliever during labor in all the countries, but in the mean while our lovely NRI bride might have this advantage of being in a country where this is a commonly used method of pain relief, and if it is, I would say with all motivation from my side to you that you should read about it and consider it, start with a small reason “Because its available!”

If you are in India and your hospital has this option, awesome! Discuss about this with your doctor, collect a couple of reviews about the anesthetist if you can.  When you decide in your mind that you are fine with it, definitely say yes!www.nribride.com

Be informed, make your choice and win

This post is not meant to give medical advice,  I am only trying to create awareness about Epidural. I am just expressing my views and sharing my experience. Epidural is a purely elective intervention, there is nothing wrong in deciding ‘for’ or ‘against’ it. The key point is that you should make yourself well-informed about it and make a cognizant choice.

 May you have it really easy. Happy Motherhood!


  • 1
Announce your pregnancy

When to announce your pregnancy

Can the NRI bride hold this secret?

So you are going to be a mom!! girl-shhThe biggest news ever!!!! How are you going to share it? Are you going to hang a banner just outside your window so that everybody reads it, or you are going to spill the beans slowly and hold on to the secret for a while? Whatever you do, let me tell you right away that you are signing up for the most amazing and beautiful part of your life. The excitement starts right from the point when you start to announce your pregnancy, telling people over the phone, in person, or sending hint-cards and stuff.. but did you ever think that you can even have a plan for this? Ya sure ‘taking life as it comes’ and ‘why plan everything, life is not a project’ and all that emotion, I duly respect all that but just think ..why not take control when you can..

Why should you, an NRI Bride, ‘plan’ at the first place to announce your pregnancy? 

Well, because you are far from home, you somehow have an edge due to this reduced proximity from family, a comprehensive control over Pregnancy test4your situation. Psst… When you find out, your in-laws won’t find out automatically because you are not in the same house, living with them! Now when you come out with two pink lines on that pregnancy test kit your mother in law is not standing outside the bathroom to see the results.This is actually applicable to anyone who is living away from family but being in another country is the edge that I was initially talking about. Being away also means you can choose when to announce your pregnancy, whom to announce your pregnancy to and whether to announce at all! So why not bring this advantage to some use?

 Point is, can you hold a secret?

Of course, let me give a disclaimer right at the start that it’s really a personal decision when to tell whom to tell and so, I am only sharing my opinion, but I have seen this model work the best, especially for those of us living so far from home.

When should I announce my pregnancy to parents?

So IMO, when you have the first scan in your hand and you have heard and/or seen that little heartbeat. When the doc says it’s clear that you are having a baby.. this is the time to tell your parents not before that. At least save the news from other relatives at this point if you can’t live with NOT telling parents right away. If you tell  them before that, unnecessary advice will follow and they will be following your baby twitter page even before its fully ready to be followed. So how long should I wait before I announce my pregnancy to my parents? The answer is around 8 weeks.

Now actually the first 4 weeks you don’t announce pregnancy to parentseven know that you are pregnant, then you take the test Oh god! I missed the date, its been one week, could I be pregnant? I should take the test tomorrow morning. So you only have to keep this secret for 3 or 4 weeks. These 3 or 4 weeks will give you a lot of time. Time to think about how you are taking this pregnancy, how you are feeling about it, both of you get time to register it in your system. You are anyway gulping the news still and can use the peace of mind for this while. You need to buy time especially if this pregnancy was not a planned one.

 Benefits of telling parents after 8 weeks :

 – Gives you time to prepare yourself for the BIG life change coming your way

– Gives you time to think if you are mentally and emotionally prepared for taking this new responsibility

– Gives you time to see if you are financially announce your pregnancyprepared for supporting the new addition to your family

– Keeps you at bay from fully loaded advice sheets way before you need it

– Hormones level are high at this point you don’t want anything anyone says to get you down

– Gives you time to think if you really want to continue at all (for those it is still a question)

– You will not have to take awkward condolence calls in event of a loss

So should I tell no one at all, in the first 8 weeks? 

Well if this is your first time, and you are abroad without any help from home, find a couple around you who have had a baby lately, and if you can, tell them. This Announce your pregnancy to a friendcouple will give you the right advice and reference points that you need and can use. When I was pregnant I told a friend who lived in my state and had had a baby recently, she guided me with much-needed information. She gave me reviews about the doctors in the hospital that I was going to, gave me tips around the health insurance questions that I had in my mind, she explained to me about the first ultrasound and what to expect here in Switzerland with my first visit. These things no one will tell you, specially family in India cannot guide you clearly about your local facilities and arrangement abroad, your situation is different. My friend also told me about free places to use in our local market in case of a ‘Pee emergency’ (when you are pregnant, you know what I am talking about)

 When to announce your pregnancy at work?

Then answer is not before 12 weeks, once youannounce pregnancy at work4 have crossed 12 weeks your doctor will also confirm you that you have crossed the danger/risk zone when the risk of having a miscarriage reduces to quite an extent because after 3 months the full anatomy of baby is in place and its sure that you are going to have a baby! This is good time to tell your colleagues with chocolates or wine or something nice. Of course, you have to disclose earlier if the first trimester is very hard on you and you cannot make it to work because of a bad morning-sickness spell. You should check out the company maternity benefits policy and take note of how much time-off you will get from the company when you deliver the baby, do your homework.

 In which cases to announce pregnancy late would be a good thing:

–  You have a known risk pregnancyAnnouncing at work

–  You have a history of miscarriages

–  You want to wait for the result of the genetic test, to be sure

–  You want to sidestep any advice or criticism in the early days

– You think your manager might take important tasks off your plate

When to announce your friends and rest of the world?

After 12 weeks (or the 3 months mark) you can actually tell whomever you want to, you can shout from the rooftops if you are the kind or post it on Facebook. Another way
is to just tell close friends and let the others come to know only by vision (when they see your grown belly bump). Some people host a small party at home to make the announcement, there are ways to do it. But it’s altogether a different experience when someone sees you after a long time and are surprised to see you preggers, the look on their face and that fresh-off-the-oven reaction is a nice thing to have as well. I have enjoyed this look on some people’s face, it’s absolutely enjoyable.

I am pregnant

How have you announced your pregnancy ? Is there an experience you can share? Got another point to add?.. Feel free to pen it down, your opinion matters! I am happy to receive comments about the article.


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Challenge

10 Challenges that NRI brides have to face

Challenge for the NRI bride, would she take it?..

Challenges make up the third and most sought after part in the series ’Why you should not marry an NRI’, before I go any further let me specify here my disclaimer again that neither am I promoting nor demoting the NRI groom I am just sharing some facts that I can stand by.

In this post I want to tell brides-to-be, and some other people who might be interested in knowing, about some major challenges that NRI women/families have to face living abroad.

1. Loneliness :  This is the first thing that strChallengeikes you, unless you have come here on a project and/or start with a job almost as soon as you arrive. If you are joining your husband who has a job and you don’t have one at that time, loneliness would strike you hard, before you had planned. This demon will keep visiting you on festivals on some lazy Sunday afternoons, on special occasions, your birthday or when you are home alone doing the job search drill or in your maternity leave when you have the task list of a baby and home and whatnot, in the middle of all that workload around you, this can be very painful. You may feel alone even as a couple, when there is hardly anyone else that cares about you, shares your happiness and so on.

2. Language : If you are coming to a non-English-speaking country (like me, I am in Switzerland) language would be aChallenge monster,  it will follow you everywhere, it will become the first biggest challenge for you, bigger than loneliness and adding to it exponentially. So your option is either to start learning that language, it could be fun don’t get me wrong, but let me know 3 months after you started learning.. if you are continuing learning, if you are getting there, or can you speak fluently already, then kudos to you. Language is a vast subject, it’s really hard to cover it in matter of days, you can become a basic speaker fast but the bitch is getting to the advanced level. Business communication in a foreign language is very tricky business. It’s hard, but it’s doable, many have done it so can you. Just mentioning it here so that you can mark it in your mind as a major challenge. Some of my friends have moved to an English speaking country where the accent got the best of them. Sure, in the long run you will get the accent, you will understand it and may even acquire it but it would be quite a challenge at first.

3. Culture : Yes the vulture of the culture is one god challengeyou will have to bow your head in the awe of. To understand a new culture is not just demanding but also indispensable. And if you have plans to settle in a foreign country permanently then you don’t just want to understand its culture, you will have to adapt to it. Culture is a deep-rooted thing; it’s a way of life. It relates to experience, beliefs, values, concepts, the way you communicate, the way you react to something, it’s how your mind is programmed. Now if you see all these words separately you will find that each in itself is much complex and has value of its own and if you add all these together it makes up your culture, it is the basis for all your behavior. Now changing these complex chattels is not easy, adopting is not a cakewalk consider this as a big big challenge, be ready to face it.

4. Local integration : This is just another side of the multifaceted challengecoin called ‘Culture’. To integrate with other people from a different race and background, to accept everything and to be accepted is a challenge that just cannot escape my list. It’s for sure fun to know different people and talk to them, be friendly to them or be treated friendly by them but to be really friends with them and be invited over and be made a part of their society, and become a happily accepted part of their society, where they happily involve you in their lives, their society, in their country is not a breeze. You look different, speak differently, style differently (and sometimes also strangely), your ways are poles apart, then how can someone just let you in? It takes time and much-needed effort. Many of my friends that live abroad, have a good life, no problem there, but their only friends are the other Indian families. They haven’t integrated locally in the new country, not that they don’t want to, just because it’s not easy!

5. Added Child Challenges : For those who arechallenge coming abroad with kids, or even those who will have kids in a foreign land and would raise them there, it’s always an added challenge to keep the kid aware and trained for understanding two different cultures. Many belief, reasons and values clash when you are trying to follow two cultures together, it’s like travelling on two boats at the same time, as much adventurous as it might sound, you will have your share of complications. If the kids are born abroad, the first but not the only challenge would be language. You want your child to be able to speak to everyone in India (your local language) and you still would want the child to be perfectly comfortable in his current environment. If the kids are bit older when you shift, the problem of uprooting them from their lives and planting them elsewhere is quite tricky, the education format might be different the language in which subjects are taught might be different. From finding friends for your kids to making them travel in the new transportation system all could be small challenges to face every day.

6. No Family support : Just as I was writing challengeabout child challenges this one came to my mind and has to be in the list. Going through a pregnancy when your mother is not around to help you or see you or to long for a hug from mom or dad in those times can make you feel like crying, err.. will make you cry! Sometimes you are having your first delivery and parents cannot fly to be there. Sometimes grandparents get to see their grandchildren only after months. There would be no family to do shagun (good luck or baby shower) ceremonies for you. Raising children without the rest of the family means that children will never be able to receive their share of love from their grandparents, no uncles spoiling them with candies, no aunts pampering them with gifts and everyone misses the childhood of your kid. The family integration for these kids takes a total toss. I don’t know which cost is bigger, paying for high crèche charges or devoiding your kid of all the love and care from the family but living abroad you will pay both these costs. Growing the kids alone, with small or no help and guidance from family is a sad challenge we all have to face.

7. Job Search : Yep, let’s talk about the elephant in the room now, you are here, you are well challengeeducated/skilled and you want to work. Job search could be a seriously difficult and disappointing task when abroad. If you are looking for a job in a non-English speaking country, the challenge doubles itself up. If this is a desk job(programming, testing, finance) still chances of you getting it exist, but if it’s a client facing job with lots of meetings and negotiations or includes being the face of the company and go outside company for presentations and stuff, these people want natives, really! Unless you speak their language fluently and have a pleasant personality according to them and come with an edge that they have been missing, you stand low chances. One time my friend, who is a very smart and intelligent girl but soft-spoken and petite looking, got through a couple of rounds of interviews for a job, but she was not selected. In the end the management thought the kind of people that she has to deal with will eat her up, it’s her culture to be soft-spoken, it’s her genes that make her so petite but in the middle of the wall street wolves what has a soft-spoken petite person got to do. Sometimes language, sometimes seasoning or skills or market situation and sometimes native competition make job search a true challenge.

8. Dressing up : Imagine a girl who always challengewore just salwar kameez or who has never been allowed to wear any western dresses, she’s suddenly in a European country where its summer and other women are wearing skimpiest of dresses, looking like calendar girls. Won’t she feel out of the place? Won’t she feel weird and feel that she doesn’t belong here, might even feel complexed. On the top of it if husband criticizes her for having a poor dressing sense, it’s quite a scathed situation for her. Then to try these different styles and adapting doesn’t come easy. In the beginning many Indian girls cannot carry the western outfits well, exactly the same way that many European or American women cannot drape and carry a Saree as gracefully as an Indian woman. Believe it or not many many Indian women abroad vouch that altering their way of dressing was one of the biggest challenges for them.

9. Understanding Choices : Some people have strange pets, like a snake, or a dchallengeuck/chicken, a chameleon, this is so unlike India(especially in the cities) where a pet mostly means a dog. Shrieking in disbelief “Oh my god, how can you have a snake for a pet” doesn’t help! People do whatever they like, there is much less social stigma, they eat whatever they like such as meat from ostrich, peacocks, reindeer and what not. We don’t usually do that in India but that doesn’t mean no one is doing it. We have to understand this. Other challenges include understanding that some people live alone, some people live in tents, some people live in caravans, all are acceptable even if they can afford normal homes, they choose to live like that! Some people don’t get married at all, if they are married they never have children. These are all choices people make, the challenge is to understand that they are just following their wishes and not see them with India-coloured goggles on your eyes.

10.  Rules of the west : Learning Social rules and challengeunderstanding laws from the new country top this chart, a vast subject again but one has to know and learn. For example, stopping at zebra crossing for pedestrians, driving and parking rules of the new country. Some of my Indian colleagues in the office told me that keeping noise levels low and minding children according to rules in Switzerland also is a challenge for them. Another one is being accepting towards ideas and things that also exist in India but remain hidden like sex before marriage, live-in relationships, gay partners, cross-dressers, teenage pregnancies and so on.. Things that are crucial for many of us in India are non-existent in many foreign countries like horoscopes, following gurus, taking off shoes before entering a sacred place like a temple, taboo of eating cow’s meat, wearing gem stones and many other topics. Things no one discusses with us or things that our elders have been looking down upon and mark as ‘unacceptable’ in India are sometimes totally ordinary abroad. Understanding all this is challenge, challenge , challenge!

Don’t forget to leave me a comment, it’s very motivating to read comments from you..


  • 12

Things you would miss about India

So, let’s start with the first category where I want to just inform the ‘going to be NRI Bride’ about some facts that might seem trivial but are significant topics to be aware of. These in some way or the other have been a part of your life, these might not be a deal breaker but knowing these will help you prepare even more for what lays ahead. And mind you these are some things that no one would warn you about. And yes, if you are marrying an NRI guy this all is what you are signing up for.

Undeniably you will miss your family and their support, your siblings, your friends and all your close relatives. You are much aware of this and don’t you agree it’s that one obvious thing which in the midst of all your wedding preparations probably everyone is needlessly telling you anyway. No amount of words can completely express ‘How much you will miss your mom’ so I am not even including it in my list. So a few days ago I ran a survey amongst my fellow NRI Brides to know exactly from the horse’s mouth, precisely what were the things they were missing the most about India, sitting so far away from homeland. I got a really good response and many said similar things so I can definitely count them as mutual denominators for us, let’s see what these are.

**As promised, I will share my first-hand experience about all these things, next to each point, may be it touches a chord.

  1. Street food: Yes, no more Paani-poori/ Golgappe, Golgapperight from that stall, no more Chole Bhatoore from that authentic place you have always been in love with, all that Chat Pakodi and stuff, which takes just Rs. 25 to buy but takes hours of cooking time when desired in perfection, you will have to eat at the compromised, meet halfway sort of restaurants (owner is usually from another part of India and/or cannot make the snack properly). There are Haldiram’s packets for some of these street foods but no ways even next to the REAL thing. So ladies be ready to miss all this fun food, or be ready to cook these at home (Pain!)

NRIB Byte : i just completely lovvvve Aloo Tikki and my best friend loves Gol-Gappe every evening after our tuition class (yes after every class, reason why I was so fat in my olden days) we used to go to this shop and take one plate of each snack and share! Neither do I get to eat with this friend anymore nor do I have any easy access to any Chaat joints like that, now I call her and we only ‘Chat’ about that ‘Chaat’.

  1. Festival celebration : Holi, Diwali, Id, Onam, FestivalsDurga Pooja, Navratri,  Karwachauth ask anyone how they celebrate these festivals in India and they will sketch in your mind beautiful pictures beset with color, vigor, fun, food ,dresses, feelings you name it, it’s all there. However for our lovely NRIBs this is just a day when you trying to make the most of how much ever you are allowed to do, depending on the country.  The countries abroad have some Indian associations which arrange big/small events around these days but we cannot, just cannot match the full spirited enjoyment of these festivals, as being celebrated in India.

NRIB Byte : Here in Swiss some Indian festivals just come and go and we miss them, we have to keep an eye on when is the Navratri beginning, it’s not obvious looking at the high in the atmosphere or by decorated markets (although Facebook, the new newspaper is doing a good job). Whatever Indian festivals we witness are smaller and altered versions of our king size celebrations in India, and sometimes not even on the exact day of that festival. It’s okay to mark that we celebrated but the crazy fun and real stuff is lying back home. On Diwali we can’t have firecrackers, and on Holi hardly any color.

  1. Bollywood movies at PVR : Are you a movie buff, are you the animal that’s found on the first day, first show of a good release, then you will be supremely disappointed as not all countries have Indian movie releases. Sometimes they release the movie but in the theater which is sooooo far from your house that either it’s too expensive or too stupid to go there for one. So either you wait for DVDs, Blu ray discs to be sent to you or wait for an acceptable print to be online ..Yikes!

NRIB Byte: We wait.

  1.  Indian  Dresses : So you look like a complete doll wearing an Indian Churidar dress, you have a collection of fabulous Sarees from your trousseau, you  think our chiffon and tissue Dupattas are the most ultimate accessories?  Basically if you are a fan of the Indian attire, then my friend let me tell you, you will have to let go of this Indian style addiction. Sometimes weather, sometimes culture and sometimes your lifestyle will slowly put most of your Indian dresses in the back shelves of your wardrobe, and slowly migrating to the guest room wardrobe. If you have a job, especially a job in an office, one day all you see in your closet is black tops, black skirts, white shirts and work dresses.

NRIB Byte : I brought some suits and Sarees when I came to Switzerland, my husband and I didn’t discuss what should be in my luggage when I fly, so I have all these dresses. Very beautiful dresses bought from expensive stores in Delhi, most of them have not been used more than once and some I haven’t touched at all. And Sarees, hardly ever! Priya my friend also got some Sarees here, she was a newbie at Saree draping anyway and now with lack of practice, her Sarees are enjoying extended hibernation in some cabinets.

  1. Domestic help :  Your old trusted maids who used help to ask you “baby room saaf kar doon” (may I clean your room), “baby dinner mein kya khaogi” (what would you have in dinner). These are all gone. Vanished, yep! You are the cleaning lady, you are the cook, you are car-wash guy, you are all-in-one multi-talented worker at your home sweet home and the bigger the house is more bones you should be ready to move. Oh.. so the NRI guy you are about to get married has a dishwasher at home, trust me still you are the dishwasher too. Hear it from the pro, many things need a hand-wash like big cooking vessels, cookers, casseroles, and some plastic containers and more.. In the dreams of your lovely life abroad all these responsibilities are an overhead. It’s a package deal darling!

NRIB Byte : Sometimes I tell my colleagues in the office about my life in India where we have two cars and my brother has a bike too.  Every morning two guys come and take a bucket of water from my home, then they just wash the cars and the bike, then a maid comes and washes the dishes, another one comes and starts cooking, the one who was doing the dishes cleans the house now (dusting, brooming, mopping) then another woman comes and dips the clothes in some soapy water, the clothes lady comes again in the evening for washing these clothes and spreading them outside. A chauffeur comes to pick me up and drops me back from work, right at my door step. Clothes are being ironed and dropped at the doorstep, groceries delivery service and what not.. And I was just a middle class girl, the rich are having even more luxuries than this. You know what my colleagues reply to this.. they want to swap places with me and want to go to India to live my life, they say it was the life of a princess. Hehe.

  1. Beauty parlour : ever done your eyebrows yourself,beauty parlour your own facial (so boring!), your own waxing(big hassle!) and other such beauty treatments? If not then better get your hands primed up for doing all this, unless you want to spend a fortune on these services. Everything from a haircut to a facial is expensive abroad, because cost of manual labor is more, well this point can give you a tip for a potential business plan if you think about it. But I bet you are going to miss your favorite salon.

NRIB Byte : I have said this before, when I was in India, I was a girl who was earning lots of money with no responsibility. So what was I doing with all this money, some I was saving but some I was consuming (let’s say I was utilizing it, makes me feel good). So I was spending some of my money for these luxurious beauty treatments, in all these wonderful beauty salons, VLCC, KAYA, Affinity, others …actually all. Confession – I was going to a beauty salon almost every week (yep!). The trip could be about anything getting a manicure, pedicure, haircut, facial, clean-up, hair spa, head message and by the end I went to such lazy levels that sometime I would go even for a shampoo. Thank god I got married else I was going to be a beautiful but broke woman one day. But boy.. I miss my beauticians and they miss me too, for I was a generous tipper. And here I am in Switzerland looking for Groupon deals cheapishly (pun intended). I do many things on my own and hardly get a haircut, because I have reached point where I strongly believe that these European hairdressers (at least those I have been to) do not understand Indian hair and its fall, screw them all! Anyway gift in disguise, I have lovely long hair now. Women around think I am game for long hair, truth is, they are just growing!

  1. Temple : If you are a girl seen with pooja ki thali everyday, okay that’s a bit extreme for today’s generation… but smaller versions still exist and still many of my friends were running to Shiv temple every Monday with mobile phone in one hand and milk for the Shivling in the other, after all who doesn’t want a good husband. So coming back to the point that if you are very religious and like to give the lord a visit at his home regularly, then also my dear you are signing up for some disappointment because abroad these temples are either not present or are not easily reachable. Whatever you are going to miss your own temple. Consider yourself lucky if there is one around your home.

NRIB : I used to go sometimes to a Gurudwara back in Delhi. I miss the sound of gurbani, the beautiful decoration in the Gurudwara, the peace all around. Touching my head to the prayer floor in a small surrender like moment, I got a lot of solutions just by closing my eyes in that very Gurudwara. Aww.. getting too nostalgic right now, but I sincerely miss the Karah Prasad. Now the closest Gurudwara is 1hr 30minutes drive from my home, so I can’t just go when I want, one has to plan such trips, specially with a baby at hand.

  1. King size Indian weddings: The splendor and NRI weddinggrandeur of Indian weddings in India are just unparalleled. Sure, Indian people are hosting wedding parties in other countries but more often than not it’s either a smaller version or adapted form of the same. Many miss the enjoyment and magnificence that’s usually seen in the Indian weddings, in India. The food, décor, entertainment, themes, the works! When abroad, you will miss these random weddings that you always get invited to. Weddings like your dad’s friend’s daughter’s wedding or your neighbor’s wedding, or that big fat wedding reception of your Richie rich aunt’s son .. all of these. But the pain point is you might miss your favorite cousin’s wedding, may be also your own sibling’s wedding, not because you can’t afford it (may be you can’t at some point, while you are paying mortgages for 10 things) but let’s say you can, thing is you/ your DH might be too busy at a project at work, have too less vacation left on your holiday account, or you are pregnant and can’t fly, or your baby’s too small for that flight journey, or just kids are not allowed to take time off school when this wedding is happening. So you are going to miss it ..

NRIB : I personally have missed many many weddings by now, and I lllllovvvvve Delhi weddings, they are just terrific! I have missed them all, missed my best friend’s wedding too. Parents from both sides keep telling me about the wedding invitations they receive and at each, I keep thinking about the good food and how many people I could have met in that wedding and keep thinking I could have worn one of my Indian dresses to it, from this big collection that I keep splurging upon and are now sleeping in my closet.

 


  • 0

What clothes should I be Packing in my Luggage

Are you wondering, what clothes should I be packing in my luggage when all your travel arrangements are in full force. You have your Passport and Visa ready, you are mentally prepared to take that flight and the only thing remaining is packing your bag. My dear Indian bride coming abroad, hear it from a PRO what should be in your luggage when you travel for a long-term stay or shifting permanently. Nope, I am not talking about the airline security guidelines, you have to follow that anyhow. What I have for you is a special list that will really help you be organized and ready even before you fly. Let’s see:

Major part of luggage is clothes : Categorize, Group and label .Do it, really.

You should keep in mind the weather in the destination country in the next couple of months. Don’t plan your luggage(dresses wise) to support you for longer than 3 months, because you will go places and will buy stuff that suits your new lifestyle. For a start you can create the following categories in your mind:

***Weather         ***Occupation         *** Lifestyle          ***Hobbies

a. Weather: Yep the most important, be prepared to encounter the new wind, if your destination country is cold bring some sweaters and jackets in colours that can go with different dresses but remember you need only moderately warm clothes even in the extreme cold and snowy times, ask me why… because of room heating systems installed everywhere. Of course when you step out you need a warm coat(if you don’t need one right away,skip it, buy it there as per the new trend in the new country). Also, a couple of stoles or a shawl can come in handy for covering the neck. A well covered neck and chest can give you a good warm feeling when you most need it. If you are going to a warmer country buy some nice cotton dresses and skirts, I personally like them in the color white, they look just amazing! Don’t forget to take some tops or dresses with paisley print, everyone abroad loves that print, be sure of bagging compliments when you wear that, however keep the bling to the lowest, it won’t come handy. If you like bling, bring that on in accessories. A tastefully placed brooch or a nice bracelet can give the effect you want, without going OTT.
Note : you should keep in mind the temperature of the transit country if you are not flying direct, its best to dress up in layers when taking a flight, so that you can remove layers when needed.

b. Occupation : Are you going via your software company/bank for a project and going to be working almost as soon as you arrive, pack your formals and some smart casuals for dress down Fridays. If you are going to start from scratch and are going to search for a job, it’s also a good idea to keep one white shirt and one formal dress to be prepared for an interview just in case, you don’t want to be running to a store to buy formals just before an interview day. There could be various other occupations, it’s always a good idea to bring dresses that go with your work life. One friend is a professional yoga trainer, she brought lots of yoga outfits in her first luggage, a few she uses and the rest she gives to her students. Another one gives dance outfits for rent, she has a good collection of Indian dance clothes here because she needs it for her shows.

c. Lifestyle and culture : If you are going to be mostly at home bring comfortable clothes and some ballerinas. If you like to work out bring your workout outfit and running shoes. If you are going to be traveling a lot, you can pack a pair of comfortable shoes and pack a backpack in your luggage. Think about your lifestyle, talk to your husband about what plans he has for you, then you would know what to pack. It’s important that you know the culture of the destination country and get dresses that help you integrate, sure dressing up is not the only thing that matters or the only thing that can help you integrate, but what you are wearing gives a lot of people a first impression about you. Yes, at times when you are wearing an Indian dress, people say nice things to you and admire the dress so keeping it for occasions is definitely a good idea. However, If you feel comfortable and you feel up for it then get clothes that fit well in the country you will be living in, remember “when in Rome be like Romans.”

d. Hobbies: Pottery, cooking, tennis, football, clay modeling, dancing whatever your hobby is, if it requires, bring the necessary attire to go with it. If you plan to buy it overseas it might not be easy to get it, it might not be the kind you want, or might be way more expensive than back home. When I came to Switzerland I didn’t know how to swim but I wanted to learn. So a friend suggested that we go together to have a fist impression of how I feel in a pool before signing up for a proper class. Now ‘I needed a swim suit’ so I went to store after store and didn’t like any, the not-expensive ones were either too tight, too low-cut, too this, too that ..every time I tried. After a lot of scowling in the fitting rooms, I bought one that looked nice on me, my last frown was on the counter when I paid a fortune for it! When I reached the pool my friend was wearing an awesome swimsuit, she said she bought that it in India for Rs.500 some time ago, and it was this perfect swimsuit with a nice print, adjustment gear and a small skirt like thing on it (no, not the frill like stuff) to give you that extra confidence. At that moment I wished I had bought one in my luggage. A side story, this exact friend with the awesome swimsuit loves to dance, she’s so good at it, that eventually she got a chance to do a Bollywood Dance show, and she didn’t have the dance dresses! Needless to say she got them delivered here with a courier as expensive as an air ticket.

Note : Never keep expensive jewelry in the check-in luggage.

Lastly try not to keep luggage packing for the last moment, and keep some space for the last-minute goodbye gifts that people might give you. Also, there would be so many people who would come to meet you and there would be so much emotion and other stuff going on that the stress of packing should be the last thing bothering you.

Having said that, pack your bag baby because you are about to take that flight!

Don’t forget to come back to NRIB for more posts and don’t forget to leave me a comment. Feel free to add to my list, your experience and suggestions could be so useful for us !

Click here to read : 10 Things You Should Pack in Your luggage

                             Things You Should NOT Pack in Your luggage

 


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5 Things You Should NOT Pack in Your luggage

 

Things You Should NOT Pack in Your luggage

1. Too many medicines, you don’t need them, they will expire soon or look old and you won’t feel like having them. Just bring for the next 6 months and how much would you need in just six months. Shun Shampoo bottles and body wash gels etc.. Remember you are not going to a stranded island(unless you are), and there are real people living there as well.

2. Too many Indian dresses or shoes that go only with Indian dresses. They will sit in your wardrobe taking up major closet estate, and will not be used much. If you are going to be wearing a lot of Indian dresses, say at home or even around and about, then keep the flashy ones to minimum, keep the bling to the lowest. Basic cottons or rich fabrics with good tailored cuts and small details work the best for everyday life. I have learned from my mistakes.

3. Heavy decorative items, you will get them all, wherever you go, there is no dearth of decorative items anywhere in the world, plus this is the era of plain lines and modern minimalist style decor, but each to his own. The point is why give precious luggage space and increase your luggage weight (bring the light one if you must).

4. Kitchen gadgets, leave that sprout maker at home, you might never use it. Your favorite onion chopper, and peelers and what not. Girls try to bring all this stuff, but seriously if something has to be done in the Kitchen, an appliance for it would be available in that country and much suiting to its usability. some electronic appliances would require an adapter because of different shoe on the plug . Some electronic apparatus do not match the permissible voltage. Avoid the hassle.

5. Other electronic items, which you can live without. Drop them too. Your old hair straightener? Again the power allowance and the switch style and size matters. EU has a standard of 230 V, major difference in current can damage your electrical equipment. Check this link to find information on the electrical systems in use in most countries of the world.
http://kropla.com/electric2.htm

Have you read : 10 Things You Should Pack in Your luggage

Don’t forget to come back to NRIB for more posts and don’t forget to leave me a comment. Feel free to add to my list your experience and suggestions could be so useful for us!

 


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10 Things You Should Pack in Your luggage

Here are 10 Things You Should Pack in Your luggage, apart from your fabulous Indian dresses. Following are some tips for stuff you might not want to miss taking with you, else you miss them later:

No.10 is definitely important!

1. Few(strictly few) basic medicines that your body is used to , for me its ‘Saridon’ for headaches, ‘D-cold total’ for cold and ‘Honitus’ for cough.   Nothing else works on me, I always pack these in my luggage. It’s always Good idea to bring one for upset stomach.

2. Your Acne cream, if you have one, don’t take the risk of using a new one and getting a full-blown pack of new breakouts, change of weather and water can trigger these things.

3. Mithai, the Indian sweets, you won’t get it abroad in the same taste as your favorite shop back home, take some flavor for you and hubby, it would also be a treat for his friends who would come to meet you in the first few days.

4. Spices, ask your DH what’s not available in his nearby Indian store, is there an Indian store near him at the first place? My friend always brings the special Garam masala made by her mom, she swears by it. The same girl also brings her mom’s pickle,I tasted it last Sunday, now I can swear by it.

5. Your favorite cosmetics bring them, seriously.When I came to Switzerland I realized all my favorite cosmetics were either not available, or not in the right shades or thrice the price.

6. Bring some family photos, this will come in handy, when you are decorating your new home you can place them in a frame and or hang them somewhere, I don’t have to explain what pleasure family photos will give every time you see them.

7. If you are religious, bring your deities with you! Any small status and photos that you can pray to. You can bring incense sticks in mild flavors, these are not only practical for prayers and ceremonies but can also eradicate the odor of spices from your house after an intense cooking session. I have a friend from Kerala she brings plastic banana leaves whenever she goes to India, because banana leaves are not available here and she uses that for Vishnu pooja and some other ceremonial situations. One misses these things when not available, really.

8. Pack your epilator in your luggage, pack batteries for it, if it requires them. Be ready for a first few days till you find a good salon for all this, or may be that’s your normal way of hair removal, then you don’t want to forget that.

9. Global adapter, will come in handy for some appliances that you might want to carry. Ask your DH, he might have one already. If you two are flying together or for the first time, you will feel proud of yourself for having brought this.

10. Very Important, pack your ‘Pill’ or whatever measures you take for pregnancy control, if you are not planning a baby soon. You should carry a good supply of this, the pharmacy might not give you anti-pregnancy pills without subscription from a doctor, at times this simple thing can prove tricky, best is to be prepared from the onset. Also bring a couple of pregnancy test kits, I always bring these, in India price of one pregnancy test kit Rs 50, here approx $12.

Don’t forget to come back to NRIB for more posts and don’t forget to leave me a comment. Feel free to add to my list, your experience and suggestions could be so useful for us!

Next read :  5 Things You Should NOT Pack in Your luggage


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What are to-be-NRI brides signing up for?

 

Brides, before any of you say YES to a matrimonial proposal from an NRI boy, it is essential that you know that along this fantasy full idea of marrying our NRI man and settling abroad, along the idea of getting new wings on your shoulders and to take that flight and going in a foreign country, along this new ability to go to some much sought after photo locations and putting those pics on Facebook, comes a package of BIG metamorphosis. Now we have already read the good things about marrying an NRI groom in my earlier post why to marry an NRI groom. Also we have discussed that how location is not a big deal when you have found the right man in my post why not to marry an NRI guy, but now it’s time for some reality check. It’s time you take into account the list of things that might bring you down, don’t we read many reviews about a product that we want to buy, only to know its bad features, and we want to keep striking them off a mental list that reads .. ‘it’s a deal breaker’.
So here on NRIB, it’s time to face the facts. I broadly categorize the no-so-good things about life of an Indian woman abroad into two categories ‘Things you would miss’ and ‘New life Challenges’, click the link below to read more:

Things you would miss about India : Here, I just want to inform the ‘going to be NRI Bride’ about some facts, that might seem trivial, but are significant topics to be aware of. These in some way or the other have been a part of your life, these might not be a deal breaker but knowing these will help you prepare even more for what lays ahead. And mind you, these are some things that no one would warn you about. And yes, if you are marrying an NRI guy this all is what you are signing up for.

New Life challengesIn this post I want to tell brides-to-be, and some other people who might be interested in knowing, about some major challenges that NRI women/families have to face living abroad. If you are marrying and NRI man you will have to confront one or more of these challenges.


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Hearsay, why brides shouldn’t marry NRI grooms

 

So, you have found a very good match, he’s most of the things that you were looking for, he is a lovely person that you think you can spend your life with. BUTTTTTTT…he’s an NRI, he lives in a far off land that you have slight or no idea about. Hmmmm.. now what should you do. Well! For starts if he’s the right man and you have fully made sure with your background check and meetings that he is indeed the right man, the location should really not matter. Are you still thinking? Keep reading to get faIndian wedce to face with the hearsay about NRI grooms.

 Once upon a time I also had second thoughts about taking that flight, but then my grandmother said again her favorite saying “Apne bande naal tan darkhtaan wich vi dil lag janda hai”, this always makes me laugh, I think it’s more the way she says it, anyway that means a woman can stay happily with her husband also in the wilds, she always gives me the reference of goddess Sita, a princess, a queen who lived happily in a forest for 14 years with her husband. So really, if one can live with the one that’s’ loved, even with no one else around, then why have inhibitions?

If you are a brave heart, open to changes, ready to explore and learn, slightly adaptive and /or you prepare yourself properly, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t marry one of the NRI grooms because what bad an NRI can do to you can also be done by someone in your own homeland. Some of the most common fears that brides have about the NRI guys are covered below.

Fear No. 1: He could be an alcoholic, a drug addict, chain smoker, jobless etc.

Fear No. 2: He could take you abroad and misbehave with you, treat you bad, beat you up

 So, the reasons along the fear 1 & 2, are moreno support or less personality related, during the process of an arranged marriage to find out about the personality of a person is quite tricky anyway but this is definitely not location related. You must talk openly about these things when you meet that potential candidate. Be smart, not hazy eyed about the idea of living abroad ‘look for the signs’, how he reacts if you are late, or how he treats the waiter, how he treats kids. Listen. Listen. Listen. Ask him probing, open ended questions to get you the right answers, like what is your idea of fun, tell me about the most embarrassing/most exciting day of your life ‘not work related’ else he will tell you a story of the day he got an award from a his company for having written the code for best process optimizing …bladiblah…involve elders, they have a much keen eye to size up people, listen to what they think about him, and give it a good thought, if you don’t agree with their opinion use straight forward approach to clarify. And girls consider joining the self-defense class now, its handy anyway.

Fear No. 3 :He could have had relationships

Fear No. 4 :He’s done it all lap dances, paid sex, hookers and now he wants to marry you for settling down

Fear No. 5 :He wants to marry you for you will cook for him, clean and wash his clothes etc basically wants a slave

Reasons along the fears 3,4,5  are more or less relations
related to your acceptance, ask yourself how much can you accept, be it his past or the number of home chores you are signing up for, it all depends on your level of acceptance. If you are the kind who gets her eyes burning even to think how he would have felt during a lap dance or how he used to pull his girlfriend in his arms and go crazy thinking what used to happen after that, well my friend sooner you make peace with these things the better, because more often than not your imagination is wilder than the actual hotness of the scene at that time, if ever there was! Also because everyone has a past and you had your share of romance as well, may be small may be big, but everyone has felt that high for someone other than the final life partner. Imagine if you were put in land like that and you had options, its highly possible that you would explore them too. Having explored a couple of options doesn’t make these men all ‘unsuitable for marriage now’.

Fear No. 6 :He‘s marrying you only because his parents wouldn’t accept a foreigner in the family

Fear No. 7 :He’s marrying you only because he cannot manage his life with an American/ European woman

Fears 6 and 7 are family compatibility points, I don’t see anything wrong with taking the family acceptance into account (better now than later) and  nothing wrong in wanting a manageable life, with a life partner who understands! Don’t forget ladies he’s an Indian himself. How its said.. birds of a feather flock together. Marrying someone with a thought that she/he is the best suitable person to be added to my family is really a very mature approach. Himanshu my school friend, met a girl in a friend’s party, she was a DPS school pass out, went to Miranda house for bachelors, very smart and self-assured girl he was toppled over with her good looks and fabulous dressing style. She wore the sexiest of short skirts and looked totally hot in them, after a few dates he proposed to her and they are married now, living separately, resulting from huge arguments in the family, for his family found her ways too outrageous for their acceptable standards and she couldn’t breathe in such a conservative atmosphere. During my own groom search we came across a Rajasthani family, the boy was nice, very intelligent an IIM pass out, fabulous job and everything, but his family was quite conservative, they wanted that his bride should have her head covered all the time, in front of in-laws, and the bride cannot sit in the same level as his father, literally like distance from the floor kind of level, the proposal was dropped.

Fear No. 8 :There would be no family support available at hand when things go wrong.

Fear 8, True that! Well no denying the fact that no support 2you will not have that immediate support from the family. This can be a strength too, for he also has no such immediate support from the family either. You can grow and learn to solve matters on your own. Sometimes its better when the families are not around to take part in the small domestic arguments between a husband and wife, sometimes girls fall back on the support system so fast that no recovery time is given to the natural patch-up process, let me give you an example, Sonika a friend’s sister was married into a very well off family and her parents were even richer than her in-laws. A fully comfortable house with all the possible luxuries, but one day Sonika and her husband had a disagreement over something, the argument grew bigger and she packed her bags and went to her father’s house, her father was a man with a big ego and loved her daughter dearly, matters went so out of hands that parents from both sides got involved in arguments and exchanged heated comments, then it was no longer a matter of the couple but pride and prejudice of the whole family, it all ended near a divorce, after 5 years, with many sour hearts.

Having said that, we have seen that the ball is still in the court of the NRI grooms, and looks like you can go ahead with this proposal, however the importance of a background check cannot be overemphasized and you can’t just marry an NRI without giving it a thought let’s check out a list that we should keep in mind, the things to think before saying yes. Let’s just jot down quickly some things that make your life a bit challenging with these NRI grooms, in my next post What are to-be-NRI brides signing up for?

 


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