Author: Anita Ayela

Profile photo of Anita Ayela Hug me, Grandma!

Grandma Hug

Reading one article on Mashable today set me thinking. It was about kids hugging adults, in this case, a great grandma. The author was ok with her kid not hugging the 90-year-old great grandma because “she looks like a witch”. Aren’t all grandmas and great grand moms an epitome of love and affection, and also delicacies-cooking experts?! But, this article left me pondering on relationships in general and future human relationships in particular.

In a world, where everyone is hugging everyone in public, and kissing as a gesture of warmth, it doesn’t make sense to me when I read something like this. When you can hug an acquaintance or a friend, why can’t you hug your relative? It is very wrong on the part of the parents to say that even a kid has to have a say in hugging someone. ‘Someone’ sure! But your kith and kin shouldn’t count into a ‘someone’ list.

Back in India too, until some years back, we didn’t have any hugging or ‘fake kissing’ in the southern part of the country. Touch was not a common thing in our community. Yes, grandparents were always exceptional. Grandkids would sit on their lap and listen to stories or talk to them about their school. But then, now a days, since the awareness of child abuse, that has stopped too, in most houses.

In Northern India, hugging is a very common thing, and everybody hugs everybody as a welcome gesture. It is possible that this culture came from the Muslim rulers in that part of the country. In Islam, hugging is a warm way of showing love. But, for me, a girl from south India, hugging and touching seems very artificial between friends and acquaintances.

But, I have never had a problem if I’m blood-related to that person. In fact, I loved to hug and plant a kiss on my grandma’s cheek even when I was a teenager. I loved her smell, and loved the love and affection I felt when I hugged her. Her soft but wrinkled skin was very dear to me, as I knew that this is what would happen when one ages. I should give the credit to my parents for inculcating this sense of ‘belonging’ that we have in our house. And hence, my brothers and I have always been able to connect to relatives and show our care and concern for them.

This care and concern is seen very rarely here in the US. I sometimes see the grandparents come to their grandkids’ music concerts in school, but it seems like an obligation to me. They come separately, sit together and watch and leave separately. They usually shake hands and rarely hug, and both the gestures seem artificial to me. Maybe, it’s just me, but I feel that there is not much bonding between them. I know it is a culture thing, but then, relationships should be natural not culture bound, right?!

Initially, I was scared when I came into this country, that my kids would lose their ‘Indianness’, but no. My kids mingle well with my parents and my husband’s parents, as I did in my childhood with my grandparents. They have a lot of love and affection toward them and show it physically too. Especially, in my house, when my mom hugs them affectionately and my dad pats them on the back, my kids respond very positively.

When I was a kid, we would go to my Grandparent’s house every summer as we lived in a different state, due to my dad’s job. In the summer, from a cool place, we would go to a hot and humid place, and stay for a month or two, just so we enjoyed the company of my grandparents. We never ever felt the pain as it was so much fun living with them and getting pampered and loved unconditionally.

Now, my kids are going through the same separation pangs as we did. My parents and my husband’s parents live in India, and my kids miss them a lot. Every time we go to India , the kids enjoy their grandparents’ company a lot. Occasionally when the grandparents come over to the USA to visit us for six months, my kids love to show them off to their friends. The love that the grandparents bestow on them is forever priceless.

I think it all boils down to the way the kids are brought up by their parents. Every day, I hug and kiss my kids goodnight, and I feel so nice about it. I feel that if we teach them and show them love, they in turn will do the same in their future. Be aloof or just do a thing for them as a duty, then that is what they would learn too. I would sure love to be hugged and loved by my future grandkids as my kids do to their grandparents and as I did to mine!

 

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Profile photo of Anita Ayela Live Life, Love Life!

My Loving Daughter,

Look at the world around you. It is as beautiful as you are, and that’s why I brought you into this world. But then, life here is beautiful as long as we allow it to be beautiful. Today, I entrust this responsibility on you to make the world more beautiful by just being you.

I will not tell you, “be careful about the boys you choose”, no, that is something personal. You need to go through the ‘relationship roller coaster’ by yourself. I would not be able to get into your brain but will share your fears, applaud your experiences and hear your screams! It is your life, and you need to know what is good for you and who is a good partner for you. I trust you, and if you ever need any support or help, I’m always with you, supporting you. But if you ever come across any friend who needs your moral support, or your heart to share secrets, listen! Support them in any and every way possible.

Preaching about sex, talking about taboos in the society, or telling you about ‘what the society thinks’ is not my cup of tea. You should love your life and live happily in all situations possible. Nothing is ever right or wrong, it is just our perspective. Live life for yourself, definitely  not for the society. But remember one thing, whatever you do, whichever path you choose, if you are able to talk about it with anybody, then you are doing it right. If you feel that it is something you cannot share with anyone, then think again. Is it worth it to live such a secretive life, suffering all alone and not being able to share it with people who love you? Certainly not! Share your feelings with people you love, build camaraderie wherever you go and smile all the way along.

I will not tell you to become ‘this’ or become ‘that’. I will not ask you to take up this major or that. The freedom to choose your future is all yours. It is your capability and interest which you would know better. All I would say is to study hard, and excel in whatever you do. Whatever be the profession you choose, you should love it and enjoy the job you take up. The best colleges are waiting for you, as I always believe that you deserve the best, for you are the best. Having said that, maybe not everyone would be as intelligent as you, and so might need your help.If someone asks for your help with their studies, go out of your way to teach or tutor them. Skip your favorite serial for a difficult math problem, or give up your ice cream treat to buy a book for someone.

It is very cliché to say that dream big and fulfill your dreams. Everyone is born to dream and make them come true, as much as possible. Ambition means different things to different people, but for sure everybody has aims and ambitions and most of us strive to achieve them. I’m sure you will too, as you are capable of achieving anything if your heart is set on it. And whenever possible, try and help others around you realize their dreams too, and lend a helping hand to the needy to achieve their goals.

As I write this letter to you, I would like to share something very important with you today. We pass this way only once, we may not travel this road again, so scatter humanity as you walk. Help people whenever you can, in whatever way you can. Not everybody is as privileged as you are who grew up in a secure and happy environment. Support at least a handful of the underprivileged and show them a new light. Make friends, not enemies wherever you go. Love is not rare, your heart is filled with a lot of love; spread it as you go forward in life. Every time you step forward, you should leave a path for others to follow. Whenever anybody ever thinks of you, they should have a smile on their face. Be that smile to everyone you meet in your journey of life.

I am proud of you, and will always be. Be good, do good and love Life!

With love and only love,

Your mom for life!

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Profile photo of Anita Ayela Miles to Go Before I Sleep!

“Age is not measured by the number of candles on a cake but by the good moments you have spent so far ”- a saying I read long ago, but it seems so true when one is growing old or rather growing young! Yes, I suddenly felt very young today! I felt on my birthday today that I’m not old, and there are a lot of years ahead of me to dream, to pursue my dreams and make them come true too! As the clock struck 12, and my birthday began, a new trail of thoughts began, young and fresh thoughts, indeed!

I remember when I was a kid, until a certain age, I always thought that I would be a doctor one day. Though I didn’t share my dream with anyone, I knew that this would only be a dream, as I grew up. And for all this, I would blame the Biology textbooks, the difficult terminology they had, and the grouse frog-cutting experiments we did in the lab. No offence to any doctor in the world, I respect doctors a lot! But, becoming a doctor was not for me, and good that I was smart enough to realize that pretty early in life.

Teaching was the last profession that I ever thought of, and ironically, I am a teacher now! I thought that it was boring and stressful job on the face of the Earth. Well, if students felt so bored of the teachers, wouldn’t the teachers be bored of the students too?!! Or so I thought back then! All of a sudden when I was in college, one day when my teacher was explaining a Shakespeare’s sonnet, I fell in love! No, not with the teacher, but with Shakespeare! And that love made me concentrate more in English classes and I was hooked for a lifetime.

After that, all I wanted to study was Literature and all I wanted to do was teach. Now, when I look at children, I feel that I was so wrong when I was in school. It gives me so much pleasure when I’m teaching; sharing knowledge is so gratifying that it reaches the point of addiction.

Today, when I see the kids in the US, I feel that they are as confused as I was when I was their age. But, they have more reason to be confused than I had. They have so many more options here, in this country that it is really a task to decide what to do. I find it amazing that a Commerce student can go on to do his Engineering; an engineering student can become a doctor too. English major can take up Psychology, and a Psychology student can finish his degree in Math. The way the education system is designed in the US, you get to do at least one subject from all fields in your college.

Kids in the US who are really interested go on to fulfill their dreams by following the right educational avenue at any point of their life. It is so amazing for me, how I wish we had such facility back then, back in India. Then, I would have done Math and English together and majored in both. Because, I love Math, but English is my passion! Someday maybe I will make this dream come true too, that is, of doing another Masters in Math!

Well, all said and done, I have still not stopped dreaming! My dream is yet to be realized …my dream of becoming an author of short stories! Another dream of owning a unique school with a different curriculum! Or, another dream of inventing my own recipes and publishing a cookbook for my children and theirs too! A dream of travelling to all the beautiful places in the world with my family, and blogging about them! Dreams! Dreams and more dreams!

As age advances, new enthusiasm dawns, and new wishes erupt out of the mind, and a trail of dreams follow! I feel young today; I want to feel young tomorrow and in all the years to come. All people who know me dearly, my close friends too, know that it is so true of me to be saying this. For, only young at heart can dream and wait for a day for them to be fulfilled.

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep. “

Profile photo of Anita Ayela Love is in the Air!

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“Everybody, and everything has a time and place, ours is here and now!” someone special to me had given me that card while we were relishing an ice cream.He had confessed his love there and then! Love has been in the air since then,for sure!

Valentine’s Day was not known to us in my growing years; at least not in the place where I grew up, neither in Orissa nor in Andhra Pradesh. It was only when I was in the University that it started to dawn on everyone about this day, and that too when we looked at the greeting cards in the shops.

When I was in school and in my undergrad years, I never had any kind of ‘interest’ in boys whatsoever. For me they were just friends, some very close and some just acquaintances. I had a lot of friends, both boys and girls, but that’s all they were, friends!! While doing Masters,I knew the looks of the boys, I realized the feelings some developed, but I always had the ‘ignore’ button!! Not until he came along that I realized ‘Love’!

Valentine’s day would have been just another day for me, had it not been for my beau back then, now my husband. I received beautiful cards from him and I sent out equally beautiful ones, thus celebrating our togetherness, though far away from each other. That day and today, things haven’t changed much, but our relationship has! So glad that I’m after all married to ‘My Valentine’ that I had met 23 years back.

One Valentine’s Day that I’ll always remember is the one that happened to be two days before my wedding day! All of us, my family, my relatives, his family, and relatives, all of us were in the same wedding venue place , though put up in different rooms. I had long been wishing to celebrate that last one as a ‘valentine’ valentine, before forever becoming a ‘wifey’ valentine. Definitely not the same for sure! I thought that since we all were in the same place, I would get to have a quiet moment with him, but it never happened! So, I thought of sending him a card at least, which I had bought lovingly to hand it to him personally.

One of my cousins’ was the ‘cat with the bell’ and she went to give it to him. She came back to give me a shock! She delivered the Valentine card to my would-be mom-in-law as she couldn’t get to him! I just kept my fingers crossed that since the red envelope said in my handwriting ‘To Prasad, from Anita’, she would give it to him, after all !! It was a day after my marriage that my husband and I found the open envelope and the card in it, obvious that someone had opened it. And guess what, we found it in my mom-in-law’s handbag!! Rest is left to one’s imagination!

After coming to the US, I was so smitten by the big deal Valentine’s Day is for everyone. Pink and red flowers, pink and red dresses, beautiful Valentine cards, yummy heart shaped cakes, everything so very romantic! You feel the ‘love in the air’ everywhere, at least a week from Valentine’s Day, and it feels amazing! Even in schools, kids share valentine cards and candy shaped like a heart. Kids wear either red or pink to school and give out the cards to their friends and teachers. The meaning of this day has taken a new meaning in the hands of these little kids, as ‘love for anyone and everyone’ day! Sweet, indeed!

 

Profile photo of Anita Ayela Another New Year!

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Another year passed me by. Another year came into my life today.

Every year on January 1st I feel nostalgic.I don’t know if it is because another year has passed by or because I’m older by another year! Jokes apart, I always have this strange feeling on new year…. I feel as if I have just opened a new dairy and all the pages in it are blank. Scary thought, right? But, it is so true!

When I was young as in when I was in school, or rather when I was a teenager in school, I would start writing in a dairy on the 1st of Jan. A dairy that my dad always bought me or gave me one of those that he would get as gifts from his friends, or colleagues.I did not have much to write, but write I did! I simply filled it with things that happened with friends or about my favorite teachers.

As I grew older, all I would write in my dairy were poems, and short romantic stories. I used to write quite a lot of them back then, more than what I do now. And then, when my special friend , now my hubby, entered my life, all dairies were filled with things about him, and about us.

One day, some years back when I saw my daughter writing in a dairy, I was surprised. I was surprised, not because she was writing one, but because I had long forgotten about dairy writing. I had stopped writing in a dairy when after marriage, I promised my husband that whenever I felt like writing something in a dairy, I would instead tell him or talk to him about my feelings. Sounded very romantic then, but later on, I realized that it is not possible to share anything and everything with anyone! And so I took to expressing everything through poems.

I think in every country, every girl has the same feelings..when there are things she wouldn’t want to share with everyone , she takes the help of a journal or a dairy. It also gives you that smug feeling that you have some secrets to yourself. I have never tried reading my daughters’ dairy nor would I ever want any parent to do that to their kids. Trust is important and so it should be!

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Profile photo of Anita Ayela To Do, or Not To Do!

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I have been thinking to write something right from the beginning of the year, but somehow, it got delayed and time just passed by… How could I have done this? Procrastination and me?!!! ‘Hamlet’ was never a part of me for sure! I have never procrastinated this way ever before and that’s what makes me think back today!

When I was in school, doing everything on time was the ‘in-thing’. All the teachers in the school were very strict too. If no homework was done, then one couldn’t sit in the class. And believe me, standing outside the class in the hallway, was the most embarrassing thing. Even though I was never in that situation, a lot of kids did go through that, but did come out alive to tell their tale!

It is good that kids here in the US are serious about their studies too. No procrastination, whatsoever! No late submissions, no skipping homework either, as all work is graded which shows up on the final report card. The teachers don’t accept late submission of assignments, projects or homework, unless the student is on a sick leave. Every student, well, almost every student, (there are always exceptions everywhere, right?) takes his or her studies and assignments seriously and does them regularly on time.

I have seen my older daughter, now in 11th grade; sit up till the wee hours of the night last year, to finish her homework, no matter how sleepy she is. No matter how early she has to wake up in the morning, (she wakes up at 5:30 AM), she never goes to sleep unless all the homework, all preparations for the class next day are done and all her books are tucked away into her backpack. Though, as parent, out of concern for her health, I do scold her for sitting up late, but deep down, the teacher in me admires her for not skipping her work just to have a good night’s sleep!

My younger daughter, when in elementary last year, would get a project to submit the next day, the tension she would go through to complete it would cost her and me to sit up late. She would only sigh with relief when her work was done, and was done perfectly!

As a teacher, I have seen this kind of enthusiasm in all students in all schools. From the brightest kids to ‘Oh-its-okay-to-get-F-grades’ kind of kids, all of them care for and respect time and deadlines for all their school work. I wouldn’t vouch for their chores at home, which they might not procrastinate but ignore altogether, but I would definitely vouch for their work at school, and sincerely appreciate them for it.

I don’t know how it works in schools in India now, but I am glad that my kids are studying in USA and have learnt punctuality and value of time!

Profile photo of Anita Ayela Today and Always!

She is innocent and naive, she is warm and affectionate, she is loving and amicable, yes she is always described by double adjectives, as a single wouldn’t suffice or rather emphasize on her true form! Her determination is as strong as she herself is. A winner of singing in her college, a short story writer, she is always with a smile and whole-hearty laughter as she binds the family together! Never a tired look on her face, never saying no to any of her kids’ demands, never differentiating between her kids and their spouses, and never caring less for anybody, even if she is not treated well enough by them, she is perfect!

Some cook to eat! Some cook as a duty! And there are some who cook with passion and love! She is of the third kind. From soft idlis to yummy aloo parathas, from bisibelahulibath to spicy pulav, she has her own recipes and finesse. When the family members and the relatives alike, praise her food, her kids sure feel proud of her. With all the ingredients, all the aromas and fragrances, she adds her love to all the food that she cooks. Her bhel puris, or her vadas, her cakes or her mysore paks, if she makes it, they taste ultimate!

Some are fighters! Some are survivors! And still some are fighters and survivors! She is of the third category for sure! One kid as young as five and the others not too old either, she waving at them out the window of the cancer hospital just before the surgery is not an easy task.  And after a week or two later, walking out the door smiling at everyone needs a lot of courage too. A person who got worried if her kids even sneezed , a person who was too shy to do things on her own, a person when in college needed to be escorted home by her brothers from her friend’s house, that person  fought with cancer with all the strength, will power and determination.

If that is not enough, a diabetics for years and since then she has not tasted sugar nor has got tempted by sweets. A will power so great that she doesn’t feel shy to say ‘no’ to any sweetmeats offered by anybody anywhere. She walks her way to health every day and keeps herself happy always!

She is a role model to one and all. Whoever knows her loves her! She is a mom and only one of her kind!

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Profile photo of Anita Ayela How beautiful is ‘Beauty’?!!

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I would say, “Miss America 2014 is Ms. Nina Davuluri, “…and the Indian Idol is Anjana Padmanabh”, “The Master chef for season three is Ripudaman Handa” in the same breath. For me all these are just reality shows, which I enjoy watching.

I agree unabashedly that beauty pageant shows for me are as entertaining as the film award shows, as in both we celebrate glamour and entertainment in its full form. I have watched these shows since childhood and they have never affected me in any way as a child. Neither did I ever think of going into movies nor did I ever think of ‘how-to-be-recognized’ for beauty! For me, as a child, they were just another type of competition with an iota of entertainment.

Just as there are reality shows for singing, dancing, showing different talents, so are these beauty pageants. There is nothing great about it, but then, it is reassurance of a young girl’s beauty by the world. Young women enter the beauty pageant expecting to change their bodies, and to emerge as good human beings. Winning a beauty pageant is a recognition and confirmation of the self-assessed beauty of the participants. They follow diets, exercise rigorously and groom themselves in all ways possible to become not only more beautiful but become a ‘beauty with brains’!

Reading about Miss America, Ms. Nina Davaluri, a Telugu girl, born to a traditional Indian family settled in the US, an important thing struck me! Her parents and grandparents are highly educated and are in respectable jobs. Nina has been a good student through school and wishes to become a Doctor one day like everyone else in her family. She has learnt Indian classical dance keeping the Indian tradition intact. So for people like her, winning a beauty pageant is just another achievement giving her an opportunity to showcase her talents and brains, along with her physical beauty!

If a kid has a good voice, we tend to put her/him in singing lessons, and if the kid has interest in dance, we put her/him in a dance school to polish their talents. So also, if a young girl is beautiful, and has groomed herself well, some parents think of beauty pageants. After all, a parent always wants their kid to reach heights, earn name and fame in a rightful way. I don’t feel that that is wrong in any way. But, yes, if the parent, right from the kid’s childhood, encourages the girl’s beauty and tells her that she is born to win a beauty pageant, then that is wrong. It totally depends on us as parents to explain to the kids about every walk of life. What our kids become or want to become depends on how we bring them up and what kind of culture we instill in them.

If we put aside the beauty being personified in these pageants, the instant recognition of the individual, and of course, the grand prize money, there is another important side to it. Beauty pageants, like film stars, are always in a position to do charity work and do fund-raising for the society for different causes. Along with their brains and beauty, comes a responsibility to the society they are living in for which they are bound if not forever, at least for one year from the day they wear the crown.

Giving back to the society in the guise of a beauty pageant is fair enough as long as it doesn’t affect the individual’s life in a negative way. Think of it as another form of competition, and so shall it remain! As long as they don’t harm the society by luring all youngsters into it, it is ‘beautiful’ enough!

Profile photo of Anita Ayela My ‘Booker Prize’!(Guest Blog)

A letter of Appreciation!

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I know that ‘Guest Blogs’ are a rarity in Personal blogs! But when this reader approached me and wanted to write a few words about this blog site and another, I was overwhelmed! Hope none of my friends think that I am boasting or showing off… it is just a thank you to my well wisher, the reader whose feedback has boosted my confidence in my writing ability! I feel as if I have won the ‘Booker Prize’ for my writings!

I need to say a few words about this review writer- he is doing his Bachelor’s In Civil Engineering, 3rd semester now.He is basically from Bhopal (MP),India and likes to listen to music and read good articles/blogs. And here is his encouraging review:

Hie My name is Md. Adil and I’m from India.

I read all the blogs on the website www.lifeintheusa.org and I’m quite amazed to see the work done by Ms. Anita Ayela.

With the permission of the author, I wanted to write a guest blog or rather my review of her writings instead of comments on her posts.

Even though she has been living in United States since 12 years she has not forgotten the Indian ethics, culture and the moral values which an Indian has.

Her blogs are based on factual description and daily events which is good. The blog which I loved the most was “Cyber Addiction” in which she stressed on how the kids are getting addicted to the Internet and gadgets which is true and closes the blog with words:

 “Well, come to think of it, can we blame the kids enough if we are reading this on a blog or e-magazine,on the laptop too and not in a physical book? What say guys?!”  … Which is quite ironic and true too…..

But apart from these blogs, I also read some fiction written by her in form of short stories here: 

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She is a creative writer I must say, “The President’s Life” and “Goodbye” are really one of the awesome stories I have ever read.

Another side of the coin which I didn’t expect from her was poetry. “A Mother’s Concern” and “Wedding Bells” are a true piece of art.

 What to say now, she has mastered the most efficient fields of writing i.e. factual description, fiction and poetry. Even though she is a teacher by profession, she has done a great job in the field of writing.

Last but not the least I want to say that she is great writer and will definitely go a long way! 

Thank You 

Regards

Md. Adil

Thank you so much Adil! You made my day! 🙂

Profile photo of Anita Ayela Leftovers!!

You want mine, then buy it !

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Yesterday I went with a friend to drop off her old clothes and other stuff at ‘Just Between Friends’. I thought it was a donation store like Goodwill, but I was wrong. It was a place where they sell your old stuff for you, keep a percentage of the money and give the rest to you.

I was a little disturbed to see that even newborn baby clothes are being sold there. America is not a poor country, period. The Pontiacs, the BMWs and the Lexus cars outside this place was proof enough! But I wonder why they use used clothes when they can afford to buy good stuff at discounted prices as there is a sale somewhere or the other throughout the year in the US. This very concept of buying used clothes disturbs me as a mom, though it may be labeled as re-cycling by the Americans. Whenever I see garage sales for clothes, this disturbed feeling comes back to me again and again!

I can understand if toys or books are used again, but definitely not clothes. Whenever I go to the donation boxes to drop off old clothes or toys, I stand and think for a moment, “Am I doing the right thing?” I feel that I am giving a chance to those people to resell my used stuff. Back in India, when we donate something, we know that those go to the natural calamities’ victims or to the poor people and are not for sale!

It is true that branded clothes are very expensive, but who wants branded clothes for little kids?!! Even branded clothes can be got at clearance sales which all shops thrive on. I see some of the kids, in the schools I sub for, wear faded shirts and old pants and that too at the beginning of the school year. And the schools I am talking about are the private schools where the tuition is a hefty sum. When the parents can afford the fees, shouldn’t they be able to afford good clothes for their kids? And if they are not able to afford it, then public schools are no less in education, discipline or grooming of the kid. Well, of course, every parent has their priorities and decisions, so I leave it at that.

When we were kids, our clothes were not even passed down to the close cousins, in the fear that they or their parents would be offended. Passing down was only prevalent in the house among siblings. As I don’t have a sister, my clothes were limited and never lasted enough to be passed down. My brothers shared their clothes, and passed them down to each other too. I did that with my kids but only with the perfectly good clothes that could actually be passed down.

Passing down is one thing, buying used clothes is another. Now, how much hygiene is there in that, is a debatable question and so is best avoided. Of course, the clothes that I saw put up for sale in Just between friends place were cleaned and were in good condition. But the fact remains that they were used by some kid in some other family and now if you buy it, your kid would be using somebody else’s ‘left over’.

In India, leftover food and used clothes are given only to the poor people and that too as a donation. The concept of buying used clothes is a taboo or rather, is not heard of. Leave alone clothes, even furniture is not bought second hand by even middle class family. We buy it only if they can afford it. We believe in ‘Save money, live better’ the Wal-Mart way, rather than ‘Casual Luxury’ the Abercrombie way!

Every country has a different way of operating, I suppose. Every country’s people think differently, I believe. Being an Indian is being pampered I think, as we live life king size, a big king or a small king, is immaterial- dignity is what matters! This holds good for Indians in the US too!