Monday, August 28, 2006

Perippa Perimma visit

I have to apologize to my dear readers (if I have any left, that is) for my inconsistent blogging habits of late. Just saw the date, and realized that its been exactly 1 month since my last post. Things have been hectic at my end. You'll be happy to know that I am about to lose my bachelor status Jan '07 (I'll save the details for another day). So the wedding plans are keeping me busy. Add to that my Fall'07 MBA application process and my marathon training (Chicago marathon - Oct 22) and you'll see why I have my plate full and I'm trying not to choke on it.

My perippa (dad's elder brother) and perimma (his wife) have come over from CA for a few days. Some random events and observations...

Saw Kamal's "Vettayadu Vilayadu" yesterday night in the Chicago area. Apparently, there was a huge screw up on friday night when the movie reel arrived late and then later got inverted or something. BTW, who uses movie reels anymore? I thought they were all DVDs or some such technology. Anyways, so they refunded everyone who stayed late on friday night. My brother-in-law was one such unfortunate soul who stayed up till 5AM to watch the movie. He passed on his unused movie tickets to me and I took my perippa and perimma for the movie on sunday night. The Tamil guy at the booth asked me if I'd been there on Friday night. Me, being the ultimate honesty-at-the-wrong-time kind of guy told him some friends had given it to me. He prompty took the tickets and told me I can't use them. They're only for people who got screwed on Friday. So I ended up shelling the 30 bucks for 3 tickets. I actually felt sorry for the guy because he'd taken a lot of abuse on friday. I entered the shittiest, dirtiest theater I've ever set foot in. And this even included the "dabba" theater in Pilani. I thought the movie was good. The violence was in a different class (think 'Seven' or 'Texas Chainsaw massacre'), but had been handled well. The movie was gritty, but got slowed own as usual by various romantic interludes and melodrama. Overall, a decent watch. My perippa though got full value for his money. Through the course of the movie, he must've tried every seat in the near-empty theater. Let me elaborate a bit... After about half an hour into the movie, he went out for a leak, came back and prompty sat 3 rows ahead of us. Perimma and I cracked up, and so did people behind us. When I went up and tried to bring him back, he said he was fine where he was :) He finally came back during the intermission. But towards the end of the movie, he went out again and did not come back for a long time. Perimma got worried and asked me to find him. We looked around and, lo behold, he was sitting in the last row. I guess this time he didn't even try to find us. It was a hilarious moment in the middle of a serious scene.

Completed my longest ever run yesterday with my ASHA practice group - 15 miles. The previous best was last year's Chicago half-marathon (13.1 mi). Had to get up at 5:45 so I can start running by 6:30. After the 3-hour run, came back to an amazing meal cooked by perimma - onion sambar, lemon rasam, seppankazhangu fry (kolakasia or something like that in English. Sorry, spelling nahi malum!), keerai (spinach), carrot salad and topped off with semia payasam (kheer). South Indians, esp Madrasis, will know what I'm talking about. After the feast, I took them to Sears tower and navy pier in downtown. Drove back home for an hour's rest before we took off for the movie - another 35 miles in a different direction. Came back around midnight and watched some family photos. finally slept at 2AM. It was probably one of the longest days of my life. So today, I can't land on my left foot I'm having a problem with stairs as well. All in all, a good workout.

I've driven 400 miles in the last 3 days showing perippa and perimma around Chicago.

They clean everything. The first day, I came back from work to find perippa in shorts and topless, cleaning the kitchen, while perimma was working on the walls. They'd already put away my clothes for laundry. The kitchen was sparkling clean, and I was taken aback to find my shower curtain spotless. I actually saw what the bottom of my cooker looked like, and there were no empty dishes lying around on the kitchen counter. The next days just got worse. Since they'd pretty much cleaned up everything, perippa took up arranging all my random receipts and bills in increazing size and stapled them. He's also been eyeing my dirty car, but I had to be firm with him and told him I can't really leave my car behind and walk to work just so he can clean it. He's also been asking for paint for my balcony fence and plywood so he can board up my garage. He buys fruits just so he can cut them neatly and arrange them on a platter. Perimma started putting my pillow covers and sheets for laundry. She also made more kozhambu and potato fry for monday's lunch. Before you start thinking I invited them over to Chicago only to clean up my place, let me assure you that they do this all in the 2-hr window when I'm not driving them around. I shudder to think what they'll accomplish in one whole day. Reminds me of that story where your wish gets granted and you get a genie who does everything you order within a few seconds, and you're tearing your hair to think of new tasks to assign.

Perippa is the kind of guys who can't stay away from sweets and snacks. But after his recent heart attack, he needs to take it easy on sweet, salt, spice and pretty much all the good things in life. so perimma's full-time job is to keep him away from all that. We were picnicking in millennium park when he made a plunge for our chips packet, and we had to drag him from the spot kicking and screaming. Well, okay, I'm exaggerating a bit. But perimma did not have an easy time keeping him at bay.

My fiancee and they are getting along famously. She's not tamilian, so they communicate in English, hand signals and giggles. She's getting a great introduction to the world of tamil brahmin culinary delights, and I think she's finally glad she's stuck with me. She already makes awesome north indian stuff. Now, all I have to do is make sure she gets the complete recipe from perimma and replicates it, and I'll be set for life.

As you can see, I'm having a ball with them. They're leaving tomorrow. Can't wait to see what else they do before that...