Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Post That Made Me Start This Blog

Second blog post! Which means I can actually commit to this blog and announce to the world that I'm blogging. 
Preface: In January of this year, I realized that I was not writing in my journal very much anymore, but I was not ready to give up on the challenge issued me after high school graduation by my tenth-grade English teacher - that is, to never stop writing creatively. So I turned to technology as we so often do in this day and age and thought of starting a blog. Almost six months later, I'm finally biting the bullet and posting, with the original story in full to preserve the original humor. If you could bear in mind that while mostly true, this post is rather tongue-in-cheek, I would be much obliged.

So over winter break, I went to India. It was an amazing trip as always. I've been to India five times in my life, and it is always an adventure. This trip was no different - wonderful to see family and friends that I hadn't seen in a long time, my grandmother doted on me as much as she could (while still asking the hard questions: when was I going to come back to visit? When would I bring her great-grandchildren?), and traveling to beaches, jungles, and other exotic places that I never see in my daily location of Western New York or Northwest Pennsylvania. We visited churches as well, and for the first time I experienced a real celebratory church service in India - there were fireworks, processions (both somber and not-so-somber), and general good times as I watched my parents reunite with school chums and long-distant family.

I always enjoy India, sure, but there are a couple of things that really annoy me that I never noticed until this trip. Everyone always talks about New Yorkers and how impatient they are. Heck, Americans in general are considered an impatient people. But you have not seen impatient until you encounter a churchful of Indian grannies. I have stood in a large church with pious men and women around me, asking for forgiveness of their sins and being thankful for God's grace. This changes as soon as the priest calls us up to bless us - he stands at the steps to the altar and waits with a cross about the size of my head which he will tap on each person's forehead as they come up to him. And then suddenly these quiet and pious men and women are shoving past me. I have watched tiny quiet Indian grandmothers push my sister out of the way in order to get up to the priest first. This astonishes me. It's not like the priest's cross will run out of blessings! It kind of nullifies your blessing if you have to elbow someone aside to get to it first...

But I am not going to make this a religious post, because that's not my goal with this anecdote - I only hope you see the humor in this situation. It continues outside of the church, too. Well...right outside the church. I went to a wedding or two while in India as well, and at the dinner after one of them, there was a table set up where volunteers handed out ice cream. Here's where the grannies started shoving me aside, trying to get to the ice cream first. Seriously?  I mean, it was about 85 degrees, sure, but it's really just ice cream. You'd think it was gold or something!

Still, while it goes against my favorite mantra, "Patience is a virtue," I do love the South Indian culture and whenever I go visit my extended family or go to India and become surrounded by Malayalam (the language of my parents and, ergo, me), my thoughts are filled with one question: since I have a barely passing knowledge of the language (having never been immersed in India for more than a month at a time), how will I pass it (and the culture that goes with it) on to a future family I raise? Now, obviously I have several years before I really have to confront this question, since I still have four to five years of medical school training left before I even get a job and start raising a family, but it still sticks in my head. My parents have never held me to the ideal that I must marry an Indian girl, but rather, their primary wish is for me to find a girl that makes me truly happy, which is all that matters. So the question remains, but only in the far corners of my head: will I find a girl that speaks Malayalam who can teach me the language and make me a stronger Malayalee? We'll see. I am already one of the whitest Indians you'll ever meet in terms of mannerisms, but every year brings change.

In the meantime, if you're a pretty Christian girl who speaks Malayalam, feel free to comment on this post or e-mail me - we should talk about getting married. Or at least set up a tutoring service of some sort. :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Customary Introductory Post

So I've been thinking about starting this blog for about six months now. It started when I went to India and came up with an idea for a rather funny post. My problem was that I didn't have anything beyond that one post, so it would've been a fruitless endeavor. In the last week or so, I have come up with a couple of additional post ideas and my mild case of narcissism has come to a head, so here goes nothing.

I'm holding off on giving you what was to be the starting post just yet. I'm starting this initial post as the opening scenes of "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" unfold in the adjacent window on my computer. It strikes me that corsets must be unbelievably uncomfortable. And no matter how many times I hear "The Black Pearl" or "He's A Pirate" it never gets old.

As today marks the one-week anniversary of my graduation from the University at Buffalo, I could go into some sappy thing about all the people that have made my four years wonderful and amazing. But that's never fun to read unless you're mentioned, and there are way too many to mention all the names necessary.

So what can you expect from this blog? I tend to walk the fine line between good-natured biting sarcasm and a general hope for the world and its goodness. We'll see what prevails more as I spend the summer blogging and playing music before I enter the next step and start medical school. I know this post wasn't incredibly entertaining, but hopefully the future posts are better-suited for that purpose. In the meantime, the pirates are raiding in an attempt to capture Elizabeth Swann, so I'm going to tune in. Have a good day!