Over the last few years, the term ‘home’ has more emotional value to me than physical. I move a lot. I pack my belongings in a suitcase, and with every move, I try to create memories at my new address. Earlier it was emotionally taxing. Now, I have conditioned my mind to adjust to these geographical changes. One thing that has helped me to maintain my sanity is my routine. My modern friends find it very out-of-date. Well, I do all the chores in conventional Desi way. For some, it may be a little regressive or going over-the-board. For me - it’s a religion which I follow quite strenuously. So, here are a few things I do in Desi Style -
Cooking Proper Indian Meals -
It has been close to five years that I moved out of India and I still cook proper Indian meals. No, we don’t eat cereals for breakfast. We don’t eat frozen food. And, I don’t cook and store food in the freezer. I prepare every meal in proper desi style - parathas for breakfast, salad and raita with every meal, and dal-chapati-papad for dinner. Cooking a proper Indian meal is something I take pride in. Also, I feel like a Sampoorna Grihani, who serves as a laughing stock for all her friends.
Dusting the Home Every Day -
I have to dust. It’s a need rather than a requirement. Many would argue that there is no need for dusting in the US. Well, nothing can convince an old-outdated housewife. And, I do it the Indian way - with my husband’s used T-shirt. I arrange everything in order and dust my way through - from the bedroom to kitchen. Yes, there is a system and sequence to everything.
Special Care for the Whites -
Many get a shock of their lives when I tell them I use Neel for my whites. I hand wash white clothes and in the good old Indian way, use Neel to keep the whiteness intact. My friends make fun of me as I seem to be the only one buying this product overseas. What can I say - Mein safedi ki chamkar ko kaayam rakhna chahti hu!
Diwali Cleaning -
Just like foreigners indulge in spring cleaning, like a true Indian homemaker I do Diwali cleaning. Each and every corner is dusted, cleaned and arranged. Each and every item is washed before the D-day. Mind you, there is a proper way to it. First cupboards, then walls, then furniture, and after all this is done - comes washing and ironing. As far as Diwali Cleaning is concerned, I can enlighten Martha Stewart with Indian Safai Gyan!
Brand Loyalty - from Painkillers to Sprays
For a homemaker, a trip to India is not complete without a bagful of masalas, delicacies from the local sweet shop, OTC medicines, and clothes. My trip is extra special as I pack cleaning supplies in my bag. Last to last year I packed Hit in my luggage, and my family teased me. In my defense and to defend roaches - Nothing beats Hit. It’s a trusted household name. And, I am very loyal to brands. If a product proves worthy once, I stick to it forever. Plus, I am a little crazy too.
From parathas for breakfast to using Hit on videshi cockroaches - I take pride in my routine. It’s like I am preserving the Desiness wherever I go.
So, what are the rituals and routines you stick to? Don’t be shy, share your wackiest ones!