When you are pampered silly

TCG’s mother is here for a few months and we are being spoiled royally. Routine seems like a vacation and weekends seem like one big party. Evenings are filled with healthy banter and our tummies with delicious food that she dishes out each day. Gone are the days when I had to think all day long what to cook for dinner. TCG and I go to work and by the time we come back, everything is taken care of. House is dusted and looks spic and span, meals are cooked, and lunch boxes packed. What bliss! We haven’t seen laundry pile up in weeks. It gets done magically before we even get a chance to think about it. Not just that, it gets ironed and stacked neatly in the place where it belongs. This must be every working person’s dream. Having nothing to worry about in the evenings, after a long day’s work. We just plop ourselves on the couch, put our feet up on the ottoman, and RELAX. It feels like such an indulgence and undeniably gives us a guilt trip.

We have told her several times not to busy herself in kitchen, not to go around cleaning after us, not to stress, and just sit back and relax; she is on a vacation after all. But she likes being active and there is nothing much for her to do by herself when we are at work.  So she busies herself with household chores. TCG and I feel terrible about her doing everything for us (although she does that of her own accord). So we have worked out a pattern and reached a mutual agreement as a family. My MIL cooks Monday through Thursday. And TCG (my very own dishwasher) does the dishes, while I plop my feet up on the table, bark orders at him (Ramu, kaam theek se karo, plate theek se saaf karo nai toh tankhwa se kaat lungi ) and scroll mindlessly through the world wide web. Friday through Sundays, I bring out my apron and don my cooking hat, while my dishwasher continues with his designated job and MIL gets to plop her feet up on the table and command what she’d like to eat.

TCG and I have lived by ourselves for the better part of last year, in a new city with hardly any friends to socialize with. So it feels awesomely great to have another human for company. We look forward to our evenings with her, where we talk on a variety of subjects ranging from politics to culture to science, and society over steaming cups of coffee. She is well read, intelligent and aware about current affairs, so it is always refreshing to know her views and thoughts. My mother-in-law is very affable and easy to get along with. She is sociable and makes friends easily. I have hardly had any settling-in issues, thanks to her loving and accommodating nature. She has a strong character and is driven by her convictions. She is rational and reasonable in her arguments. What amazes me the most is her flexibility. She is ever ready to try out anything new, be it food, or adventure. It is not easy to try and like all kinds of exotic food at 52 that you have never eaten before. She does it effortlessly, and willingly. Her energy and enthusiasm is infectious and it warms my heart to see someone enjoying life to bits. (Does it read like essays we used to write back in school? :P)

TCG and I used up all our leaves in December for my BIL’s wedding. But we are trying to make most of the weekends and public holidays. We have been showing her around every chance we get, albeit a little sporadic. Last month, the three of us took off on a road drive through North Island in New Zealand and had a whale of a time. We covered quite a few places in 4 days, stayed in a cute, little Bach by the lake, went on nature trails, soaked up some sun, struck few things off the to-do-adventure list and had loads of fun. On weekends, we pack off a picnic and go visiting nearby markets, beaches, cool places in the city and botanical gardens around Wellington. We have a big trip planned to South Island during Easter (3 weeks to go yay) and are looking forward to it with growing excitement with every passing day. This is a first for me as well, so I am very excited. But if TCG’s account of these places and those thousands of unreal photographs is anything to go by, we are in for a big, big treat. New Zealand is breathtakingly beautiful. Have I said that lately?

My MIL is here till the first week of June. It is going to get extremely lonely without her. Every day spent is one day less, and it saddens us to think that she will be gone soon. She has pampered us silly and getting back to ‘life’ is going to be super challenging. What I will miss the most about her is not the comfort and order she has brought in to our lives, but the cheerful and smiling face that greets us everyday we get home.

 

Home and back again

I know this post is long due. I know you have been good and waited so patiently to hear about my big trip home. I hope that each one of you has had a relaxing break and that each one of you has a great year to look forward to.

Truth be told, I have not only been extremely busy on my return, I have also been a bit scared about doing this post and confronting my feelings. Because there is a truckload of thoughts to process.  My mind is a landmine at the moment, ready to explode, if only i’d rock it a bit. But I sure can attempt to share a few highlights from the trip. It was one hell of a whirlwind trip.

The moment I saw my family at the airport is the moment I realised how much I had actually missed them all long. I was seeing them after almost a year. That’s a loooooooooong time. We didn’t bother to hold back our tears. And a few hurried hugs and kisses at the airport pick up point certainly didn’t seem enough. Hasn’t Karan Johar told us that it is all about loving our family?

The chief reason for this big trip home, as you already know, was the upcoming wedding of my brother-in-law. An event we were all looking forward to for so many months that we were tired waiting for it and just wanted it to arrive soon. We were a bit jetlagged, no doubt, but the endorphins kept us going. The first few days of our arrival before the wedding obviously had us running from pillar to post: to the tailors and to the salons and to the market and the caterers, the decorators, the photographers, and what not. Running zillion errands, last minute shopping, fittings and trials, bringing the whole mad house under control made us completely lose track of time until the day of journey to the far, faraway destination was finally upon us.

And how did the wedding go? Oh, it was beautiful, the journey, the venue, especially the gorgeous bride, the arrangements, the food, the dance…it all surpassed our expectations and had our guests grinning from ear to ear. No major hiccups, no glitches whatsoever! And what a big task that is to achieve when you are travelling with the entire baraat for two days non-stop. A few sparks are bound to fly, someone bullies, someone gets bullied, but it was all in good humour.

Soon upon my arrival back in Mumbai, we had yet another major wedding to attend. That of my first cousin. It wouldn’t be wrong if I said that in the past decade or so we have literally grown up together. We lived in the same neighbourhood, which obviously meant catching up with each other on a daily basis and sharing all kinds of stories, secrets, clothes, moments and many, many jokes. It is the kind of bond that only sisters can share. It was hard to see her go. I was simply not ready for that. And the knowledge that she would be moving to a different continent altogether was no comforter either. Thanks to Skype and what’s-app once again, we will survive. Thank God for technology.

Then came my first wedding anniversary. Looking at our busy schedule, I didn’t really expect it to be a biggie. But I was wrong. TCG whisked me away to one of the most exotic and classic hotels in Mumbai for the night and pampered me silly. Between gifts and hugs and over a 3 glasses of bubbly, he said all the right things that I wanted to hear so badly and made my day. I know I should have given him more credit than I did. Looking at our busy time, I really didn’t think that TCG would go to such lengths to make that day so special for us. That will remain to be the most treasured memory of this trip.

Soon after this, we braced ourselves for the big trip to Kutch. By this point, yes we were a little tired, yes we were sleeping very less, yes we were constantly squeezing in time to meet all the people we wanted to really catch up with, yes it got painfully hectic, so much so that we had to literally stick to a timetable to be able to squeeze in all. But the endorphins kept us going. This was my only chance to purely ‘family time’ and I wouldn’t sacrifice that for anything. TCG’s family and mine were together on this trip and I, for one, had the best time of my life. We visited the breathtaking ‘Kala dungar’ (Black Mountain) and the enchanting ‘Safed rann’ (White desert) and marvelled at the beauty that nature is. If you haven’t been to these places, I would definitely encourage you to go there. Several hundred photographs, entertaining conversations around bonfires that we had going every night to keep away the chill, awesome food and treasured moments with my families are the moments from this little trip that I have locked away forever.

After this trip was my last week in India, which I planned to spend at home in Mumbai. But I have two homes now, the house I grew up in and my in-law’s. And I was torn between the two. This was my first trip home after the wedding and sub consciously whenever I thought about home I thought about the home I grew up in, and not my in-laws. And that I think is natural. Even when I was visiting my parent’s home, I had so many things to do, and there were so many guests who visited that I never found any time at all to sit down peacefully with my folks alone, undisturbed, forgetting the new responsibilities that come with being married and asking them how they really were doing without me. I couldn’t ask them if they missed me, I couldn’t ask them if they were doing fine, I couldn’t ask them about their health, I couldn’t ask them about the new developments in their life. There was no time to do any of that.  It pained me to think how marriage has changed the nucleus of life. I know that my parents had been looking forward the whole year to spend some quality time with me, but that could not happen.  There always were people around; there always were things to do. The part that hurts me the most is that I could not find one private hour to spend with my mom and to take stock of her health. And imagine my guilt when I found out, soon upon my return to New Zealand, that my mom was admitted to the hospital. I felt terrible.

I know in my heart that ever since marriage, I have prioritized my marital home over my parent’s. I tried my best to give neither side a reason to complain. And I know for a fact that if anybody at all; it is my own parents who would have received a step-motherly treatment from me because I was always prioritizing my new family. But I guess that happens. I guess that is the called being ‘grown up’. I guess that is part and parcel of marriage. I went out of my way to make things happen seamlessly and to supervise and coordinate all the wedding-related and other arrangements. But I may still have fallen short. Some things may have slipped my mind, given the fully-packed nature of this trip. I may have overlooked a thing or two and I may have hurt some feelings unknowingly. And often the things you miss are the things that people take notice of. Right?  What can I say? I did my best. But I really hope I have given my fair share of time to all who matter. I think, every married Indian woman living overseas and visiting home once a year would be facing this dilemma of dividing her time between two homes. It sucks, doesn’t it? Being all grown up and responsible…not fun!

One of the most irritating and painful lows of this trip was a bad case of my dental health. About ten visits to the dentist, two ceramic fillings and one root canal is definitely not something I had on my itinerary at all. It took up a lot of my time, my mindspace, money and patience. And even upon my return to New Zealand, I still have one rigidly sensitive tooth that has just stopped obliging and behaving. And that it will cost me a bomb to get it treated here, is not in the slightest way comforting. Buying a ticket back to India and getting my tooth treated would be cheaper. AND I AM NOT EXAGGERATING!

The hero of this trip was my brother, silently slogging, chauffeuring us through heavy traffic, taking us around, helping us shop, lifting our bags (not literally), bringing us things, and overall just helping us with everything possible and treating us like we were the most important people in his world. He never once lost his cool. Vishal, you are the most amazing person in my world, and I miss you the most.

And since I am in the mood of giving credits, special mention of TCG is a must. He single handedly overlooked all the travel, all the wedding arrangements, all the coordination, and in addition to that all the very boring documentation work related to our visas. He with is Zen-like qualities is the epitome of patience and calm. I wish I could have a part of that at least.

It felt like the month raced past us in a blink of an eye. Waking up in Wellington felt unreal.

Daddy’s little girl

A few days ago, while at a friend’s house, I was a witness to a beautiful father-daughter relationship being played out in front of me. This friend is a new father. And needless to say, his 7 month old cherubic daughter is the apple of his eyes. The new mother said that he can’t bear to see his daughter cry. When they take her to the doctor for the vaccines and injections, his eye well up when his daughter lets out a sharp cry at the poke of needle. In the short time that we were there, I saw him playing with her, gently stroking her head, rocking her, comforting her, singing to her, feeding her and even talking to her. I was choked with emotions and transported back to my childhood days; reminiscing the little wonderful, moments that I spent with my father.

How lovely a father-daughter relationship is, isn’t it?

Like father, like daughter

Like father, like daughter

What I find truly fascinating is how naturally the new parents are able to process this whole set of new, complicated emotions that comes with being a parent. How naturally fathers start doting on their daughters! How these seemingly tough men, who have hitherto always shied away from sharing their emotions, become so gullible when it comes to their daughters! How he discovers a whole new side to him when it comes to his daughter! How he becomes a puppet in his daughter’s hands! How he would do anything to hear her little giggles or to see her jumping with joy! How disturbed he feels when she looks sad! How vulnerable and sad he feels when she is sick! How protective he feels when she steps out in the real world! And likewise, the biggest grief in a daughter’s life would be to see her father cry.

“A daughter is a day brightener and a heart warmer.”

I am sure parents love their children dearly, irrespective of their gender. But there is something just so beautiful about a father-daughter relationship. It is extra special. Why most daughters, including me, even look like their fathers!

No matter how old she gets, she always remains her daddy’s little girl.

I love you dad. I couldn’t have had a better dad. (Things I am grateful for: Reason #24)

I cried at the wedding not because mom cried. I cried because YOU cried.

The reason why daughters love their dad the most is that there is at least one man in the world who will never hurt her.

Growing Homesick

You can take an Indian out of India, but you cannot take India out of an Indian.

Having lived away from my beloved home for more than half a year now, I can’t help but nod in complete agreement to the above. May be it’s the distance that is making my heart grow fonder, but the fact is…it is growing fonder.

Isn’t it paradoxical that we realise how valuable some things are to us, only when we have lost them? I now realise how I have (like many others) taken so many things for granted back home. Small joys, small conveniences, family, friends, flavourful food…the list could well go on.

In most cases, people get homesick once the initial frenzy of new life, new city, new country, new friends die down. Once the initial excitement fizzles out, they begin to miss the old life, the old country, the old city and the old friends. Old is after all, gold.

In my case, I knew from the start…that no matter how well I embrace the new, the old in me is so deeply rooted that it will always be on the ‘snooze’ mode. It will keep resurfacing time and again, reminding me of what I have left behind. It can get so overwhelming sometimes. You can actually watch movies like ‘Swades’ and go all teary eyed. Because you can relate to the story so-darn-well. Not an hour passes by, without thinking about India in someway or the other. No Kidding!

It is a complex set of emotions. I am so happy to be with TCG, to be experiencing everything new, to be enjoying every bit of it, yet at the same time there always is this longing to be at home. Every time I see something new, get to experience something beautiful, see a picture-perfect scene of the endless sky in the myriad of colours, gorgeously contrasted by clear green waters of the sea, I wish I could be with my family. I wish they could see what I am seeing. I wish they were here to enjoy the marvellous view. I wish they were here to comment on how beautiful everything here is. What I am meaning to tell is, all the beauty and all the new experiences that otherwise should have been counted amongst the ‘best experiences of life’ are not so best without having shared them with my friends and family.

It’s funny but every time I hear the word India, my heart skips a beat. Every time we pass an Indian restaurant and see the locals going gaga over ‘butter chicken and garlic naan’, I feel my heart swell up with a teeny weeny bit of pride for my country, though I have nothing to do whatsoever with the evolution of Indian cuisine. I feel like telling each one of them, “hey that’s our food from our humble country, isn’t it delicious?”  May be because there is something beautiful about seeing ‘other’ people experiencing and appreciating what you have experienced and taken for granted all your life.

Every time I read about India in local papers, I inadvertently feel a small tug at my heart. Every time I hear someone saying positive things about India, I feel good about myself. Every time someone shares a negative experience, I feel sorry about it and feel obliged to correct the misdoing. It’s like that figure of speech we learnt in our grammar classes in school – part for the whole. When something is said or discussed about India, I can’t help but take it personally.

Indian food, Indian customs, beautiful Indian clothes (haven’t wore them for 7 months?! What?!! Really?!), Indian movies, Indian festivals, Indian ways, Indian attitude, Indian spirit, Indian jokes…I miss it all. I have tried to keep it alive here, inside me. The Indian inside me is too proud to let all these things just disappear into thin air.

India might have its problems. Its inconveniences, its issues, its peculiarities. But then, which country doesn’t? It is what makes us who we are.  I am so grateful to be born Indian. Things I am grateful for: Reason # 21

I miss you India. I will see you very soon.

It feels like just yesterday

It feels like just yesterday – my friends and I sipping away some expensive coffee at some coffee shop, digging into a hot chocolate pastry and spoon fighting for the last piece, laughing our guts out at something silly, trying to cut each other’s point and outwitting each other, crashing in on some friend’s door at midnight and giving him/her surprise birthday wishes, giggling over wine and dinner gossiping about hot, new guys on the block, talking about our dating woes and dreading ending up single as all good guys we knew were either married, committed or younger than us.

It feels like just yesterday – dreaming of my Mr. Right and of a blissful, wedded life.

It feels like just yesterday  – living with my parents, that single, carefree, happy, cocooned, protected and dependent life; without a care in the world, without having to worry about duties or responsibilities; without worrying about what groceries to buy and what to cook for dinner every single day; without worrying about paying the bills or making the ends meet.

It feels like just yesterday – rushing through my morning ablutions; taking forever to decide what clothes to put on for office like that was single most important thing to worry about, running around the house looking for my things, my book, my bag to carry to office, sitting at the breakfast table while mom dished out something hot and delicious and steaming while I dried my hair or secured my belt, then hurrying through the breakfast because I was always running late in spite of mom doing everything from making my lunch to packing it; then dashing out of the house and realizing after reaching downstairs that I forgot the bike keys; rushing back up and finding mom at the door holding up the keys for me.

It feels like just yesterday – meeting TCG for the first time and the lightening realization in my heart that this is it; this is the man I want to marry.

It feels like just yesterday – running around like crazy from one designer to another, getting my wedding trousseau in place, running around doing zillion errands, deciding the jewellery, the make-up, the bridal look, shopping for things that I wanted to bring along with me to NZ, doing rounds of the caterers, deciding the menu, adding, subtracting from the list, selecting the wedding card, writing the wedding invitation and in between all this craziness making time to jog and exercise to look my best on the D-day.

It feels like just yesterday – seeing the house cloaked in the wedding frenzy and everyone counting down to the D-day, radiating nervousness and excitement at the same time; those emotional moments, those tears shining through smiles.

It feels like just yesterday; walking down the aisle clenching tightly on Aarti’s fist, seeing my parents looking at me in a different way, having that sinking feeling in the stomach that this is it, and walking the next few steps to the altar knowing that these few steps are going to change my life forever.

It feels like just yesterday – stepping into my new home and realizing everything is different here and yet embracing all the differences and adapting as quickly as possible to them.

It feels like just yesterday – growing crazy with all the packing, deciding on what things to take to along to NZ and what to let go, weighing the baggage so that it remains under the check-in weight limits, realizing its exceeding, opening and re-looking the whole thing to find out what else can go, letting something dear to me go with a heavy heart and a big sigh.

It feels like just yesterday – standing at the airport with tears in my eyes and waving good bye to my family, knowing that I won’t be seeing them for a year at least, still braving a smile.

It feels like just yesterday – stepping on the soil of NZ and being greeted by a welcoming, cool, gentle breeze and knowing in my heart that I will adapt well.

It feels like just yesterday – making this house look like home, cleaning, scrubbing, dusting, arranging and rearranging the furniture till it felt just right, cooking something new and fancy everyday and waiting for TCG to get back home.

It feels like just yesterday – realizing that the honeymoon phase is beyond me now, that real life is right here, going crazy looking and applying for right jobs and finally, finally, finally lending one. Things I am grateful for: Reason # 20

Life’s come a full circle. Come Monday and I will be back in office. After a five month sabbatical. It feels different, and I am excited. Kiwi way of doing things is different. None of my previous experience is going to really count in the beginning. This is hardly my field and I have to start afresh. But I am hopeful that this will lead to something nicer.

So, I am back to the grind. Only this time, there won’t be any mommy packing the lunch or holding up the keys.

It feels like just yesterday. 

Things I am grateful for: Reason # 6 to Reason #18

I have been meaning to write about these Things I am grateful for for quite some time now. Since a last few months, I have noticed that I have become more grateful and thankful for the things I have in my life. And as a ritual, I have started saying a small thankfulness prayer daily which more or less summarizes all the broad categories of things I am extremely grateful for.

Reason #6

Oh God, Thank you for the wonderful day

Reason#7

Thank you for the wonderful family I am born into. Thank you for my wonderful parents who have given us a splendid upbringing, for loving grandparents who have imbibed in us their values, for uncle, aunt, siblings, cousins, brother, sister-in-law and everyone in the family who I have grown up with.

Reason #8

Thank you for the wonderful family I am married into. Thank you for a wonderful husband, loving parents in-law, and a friend I see in my brother-in-law. And thank you, thank you, thank you once again for the wonderful husband.

Reason # 9

Thank you for the food I eat, the water I drink, the air I breathe, the soil I walk on and for every other your invaluable resources that I use.

Reason #10

Thank you for perfect health. Thank you for every limb, every muscle, every tissue, every cell, every organ in mybody that works miraculously.

Reason #11

Thank you for all those people who unknowingly work for us all and make my our lives easy; the farmers who grow our fruits and veggies, the workers who collect garbage, the construction workers who make houses and buildings in which we live, the people who clean sewers. They all do such an invaluable job and how we take their services for granted. Let me be kinder to them.

Reason # 12

Thank you for wonderful friends I have, who I have grown up with, who I have shared many a jokes with, who I have laughed with, who I have cried with. Friends, without you all life would have been so boring. God bless each one of you and thank you for being my friends.

Reason # 13

Thank you God for the wonderful, new, exciting life in NZ, for the beautiful home, for the car that takes us everywhere we want to go, for scenic, breathtakingly beautiful location and for this fresh, new life.

Reason #14

Thank you God for all the luxuries, travel, opportunities, fun times, experiences and memories

Reason #15

Thank you God for all the comfort, wonderful clothes and small pleasures of life

Reason # 16

Thank You God for beautiful hair, beautiful skin, warm heart and a wonderful mind that makes me take the correct decisions, makes me understand things as they are meant to be and that makes me grasp and learn

Reason #17

Thank You God for the wonderful education that I have received, for the jobs that I have done, for skills, talents, opportunities, for the learning everyday, for the gift of writing, for the new, wonderful job that I will get soon

Reason # 18

Thank you for many small things in life that I take for granted.

And forgive me God for all the mistakes that I have knowingly or unknowingly done.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am answering a lot of these questions lately and thought that it would be best that I make a list of those questions and answer them here; because frankly it’s beginning to get VERRRRY repetitive and kind of boring to keep answering these over and over again. Now don’t you get me all wrong, I am very, very grateful to have so many friends, family and well wishers back home who want to be updated and know what’s happening in my life and I do love them all. (Things I am grateful for: Reason #5)

Here goes:

  1. Hey, How are you doing?
    Answer: Very well, thank you? How are you doing?
  2. How’s NZ?
    Answer: It is so beautiful, scenic, and serene that every time I look around to take in the magnificence that surrounds me, I have to pinch myself to know that I am not dreaming.
  3. Are you working?
    Answer: No, not yet.
  4. How’s the weather there?
    Answer: It’s the end of Summer. It’s about 15 degrees during the day time and about 13 degrees at night. But it’s soooo windy (WINDY) that it feels much colder. To someone like me who has lived in hot and humid (but wonderful) Mumbai all her life, it feels a lot colder. Day before yesterday, it was so windy that the whole house was rattling up. NO KIDDING. Didn’t I tell you before how windy the city is? And we can rarely keep the windows open. It also keeps raining in between.
    P.S: Don’t know if this is Summer, how harsh the winter will be?
  5. Are you working?
    Answer: No, not yet.
  6. How is your hubby (I absolutely detest this word) doing? Where does your hubby work?
    Answer:  My husband is doing good too. My husband works with the Government here as a Business Analyst.
  7. Is TCG his real name?
    Answer: Oh it’s just an epithet!
  8. Are you working?
    Answer: No, not yet.
  9. What do you do all day?
    Answer: I read, write, cook, clean, exercise, wait for TCG to get back and for my family back home to wake up so that I can Skype with them. In short, living an underrated life of a humble housewife.
  10. Are you working?
    Answer: No, not yet.
  11. Are you looking for a job?
    Answer: Not yet
  12. Do you have work Visa?
    Answer: No, Will apply for it in a couple of days.
  13. How long will it take to get your work Visa?
    Answer: It should take 3-4 weeks
  14. Will you get a job easily?
    Answer: It’s not easy but I am hoping I will get lucky, but  my previous work experience in India won’t count. (I know, I know that is very sad). SO I will have to start from scratch (Sigh).
  15. How’s the climate there?
    Answer: Refer to answer 4.
  16. Are you working?
    Answer: No, not yet.
  17. How are the people there?
    Answer: Warm, friendly and smiling
  18. Did you make friends?
    Answer: No not yet, I made acquaintances though.
  19. How do you spend time then?
    Answer: Refer to answer 9.
  20. Does it get lonely?
    Answer: Sometimes it does, but I am not complaining. Yet.
  21. Are you working?
    Answer: No, not yet.
  22. Are there many Indians around?
    Answer: There are few, but I am sure there would be more
  23. Why don’t you join some social group or community or something?
    Answer: I will do that sometime in future. As of now, I am pretty ok.
  24. Did you play Holi?
    Answer: NO
    Holi is an Indian spring-time festival where you colour your friends and family
  25. WHY?
    Answer: Just
  26. But Why? At least you should have put some colour on TCG?
    Answer: Ok, but I didn’t
  27. Oh, poor you! You would have missed Holi!
    Answer: Now, please rest it. Holi has never been my favourite anyway.
  28. You should probably do this/that/A/B/C/D…etc… in your free time
    Answer: Hmmmm…
  29. Are you working? (Sigh)
    Answer: No, not yet.
  30. But why are you not working? You were always so ambitious?
    Answer: Refer to answer 12 and 13
  31. Ok, but are you gonna stay there forever?
    Answer: I wish I knew, but I really don’t as of now.