Quality of life is good inside our bubble after our return to India (R2I), January – March 2011

Waiting to enter the Jahan-e-Khusrau outdoor music festival in Humayun's Tomb PHOTO: Waiting to enter the Jahan-e-Khusrau outdoor music festival in Humayun’s Tomb

I’m going to do something in this paragraph that’s a strict no-no for husbands. But I’m going to break the code. I have to – she was always less skeptical than me but I had stuck to my guns before moving to India. So here goes – I was wrong Meenal. You were right.

What did I do so wrong that I feel compelled to ruin it for all husbands? Before shipping out, I was convinced that our quality of life after returning to India was going to suck. In fact, I was so convinced that I bought the best noise cancelling headphones that money could by. I was naïve, what can I say?

Here are some of the things of 2011 that makes our quality of life not just better than crap, but pretty darn good.

Music, art and theatre after we R2I Delhi

  • We watched 8 plays and enjoyed 4.5 of them. All of them were screened in the central Delhi area, about an hour from our home in Gurgaon.
  • The idea of attending a real Sufi Qawwali concert in a Darga has always sounded very cool to me. So 10 days ago, we left our expensive shoes at Meenal’s parents house and wore cheaper footwear through the depths Nizamuddin. Attending the qawwali concert at the Nizamuddin darga was fantastic and we are planning to go again in 2 weeks. Watch the audio slideshow of our visit.
  • We attended the Jahan-e-Khusrau outdoor music festival for 2 evenings in the beautiful Humayun’s tomb. The yearly festival celebrated the 14th century poet Amir Khusrow and featured some of the best Sufi artists from India and Pakistan!
  • I found myself thoroughly moved by the Anish Kapoor exhibit at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi. I’d never seen anything like it before – accessible, clever and scientific art. A business idea for Mr. Kapoor – please mass produce your smaller sized works and sell them to poor souls (like me).

Having household help and a driver

  • We have really enjoyed hosting 10 barbecue parties at home – grilling seasonal vegetables in various marinates, trying 2 homemade vegetarian burgers, stuffing fresh figs with goat cheese and more. What was I thinking being skeptical of having household help when we moved to India in 2010?
  • Since we are usually passengers on Delhi roads, I keep up with Marketplace, This American Life, On Point and all the other wonderful shows of NPR. I really should start donating again. Argh, the guilt.
  • Having a good internet connection at home in India and a cellular data card for the road rocks – we are productive whenever and wherever we need to be. This was a big fear before R2I.
  • All you delicate stomachs out there – we have not fallen sick even once after returning to India by following two golden rules: No raw food outside of home and only bottled water/ice. And no, alcohol doesn’t kill germs.

People, people everywhere – some even for us!

  • While Steve was busy talking up his iPad 2, friends in Delhi (Sidharth and Puneet) were jail breaking and unlocking my AT&T iPhone. Thank you for spending so many hours on it and making my life better!
  • Family members have gone out of their way to make us comfortable – going shopping for home décor with us, having their furniture delivered to us, hooking us up with business contacts, and countless other ways
  • An old school friend and her husband (the Nayyars) donated their old TV for my housekeeper because I was too cheap to buy one. In my defense, I did buy him a cable connection after the fact.
  • So I’m confused about this one since Delhi is not the center of the world (New York is). But many of our friends have either visited Delhi or been in transit and we’ve met quite a few of them. Odd and wonderful.
  • Ultimate loser advert – new couple in Delhi seek cool people. But we weren’t reduced to this. Thanks everyone for putting us in touch with your friends in Delhi. Scheduling even on weeknights has been easy.
  • We’ve visited several of our friends and family – in Ajmer, Bombay, Kolkata, Kurukshetra and even Tokyo! A good Delhi Airport and a direct metro from home to the Delhi station makes travel a tad bit easier.
  • Because of people visiting us and our trips out of Delhi, we are around to share their life events – new births, new jobs, birthdays, anniversaries, wins at business, etc.

Husbands of the world – Sorry about breaking the code earlier. But these were low hanging brownie points with Meenal and I slipped.


3 local comments so far.
  1. Meenal Bagla,

    @Sonal, we went with Seemi! It was awesome. We are definitely going again.
    @ Askhay – you were part of the friends that visited us and we visited 🙂 Make a trip to Delhi again please!

  2. Meenal Bagla,

    Sonal, we went with Seemi. We knew about it, and then Seemi offered to take us there so we jumped at the offer. Planning to go again soon.

  3. Hbasraa,

    There go my hopes of you guys returning :), happy for you nonetheless!

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