Hey y’all I’m finally going to tell you about my trip to India and my experience traveling with my husband from Atlanta to Hyderabad. But you see it wasn’t just us that traveled on Tuesday night from Atlanta together. You see about two months ago when I booked the tickets for our India trip, I found the Indians in Atlanta Facebook group and posted on it that I was traveling to Hyderabad from Atlanta on November 27. Another member of the group, Ramya told me about her friend (Sindhu) that was looking for a traveling companion for the friend’s 86 year old grandmother. It seemed that she was a little scared of traveling by herself because she has memory issues and has forgotten where her seat is after getting up to walk around or just go use the restroom. She also had language problems because she didn’t speak or understand a speck of English. Luckily I’m fluent in English and Telugu so I was able to translate to her whatever the air hostesses and wheelchair pushers said in English. I finally met her for the first time on Tuesday evening around 6:20 at the time that I was extremely stressed out. You see we left the house to go to the airport and right when we got to the airport my dearest husband realized that he left his backpack that had his passport and itinerary in it at home. So for the next two hours I was freaking out about if we would be able to travel to Hyderabad as originally planned that evening at 9:05. My dad and husband finally made it back to the airport before the cutoff time of 8 so we were able to go ahead and check in our bags. I was a tad bit annoyed though because I didn’t get a I’m sorry from my love but mom definitely got one. Thank God security was a breeze for me but Hubby and Ammamma beeped through security. We were the last ones to the gate but the first ones to board the phone. It was really cute what happened when we boarded the plane and met the air hostesses because Ammamma surprised them with hugs and kisses. My husband exchanged seats with Ammamma so that I was able to help her throughout the first flight. I made sure that she ate and kept herself hydrated so she wouldn’t get sick. The love that she showed me throughout our journey made me feel like I still had a grandmother even though everyone that knows me knows that I lost my Ammamma back in when I was in second grade. I had a great time helping her and spending time with my husband throughout the journey. The first flight was great not really that much turbulence and we got to Heathrow after 7 hours. At first she was hoping that my husband and I would sit together but we were waiting to see if anyone would sit in the other seat but nobody came and then all the seatbelt signs were turned on. In London at the wheelchair assistance place we met some people who were traveling to Hyderabad as well and we helped everyone reach out to their families to let them know that we all safely landed in London. Security in London was a breeze we didn’t have any issues unlike the last time I flew to Hyderabad through BA. You see the London security took Sudhi’s makeup and lipsticks and boy was she angry. One uncle helped us out by switching his seat with Kiran’s seat and letting me sit in his seat so that I was with Ammamma. I had a great time and actually got some sleep which is a first in all the years that I traveled to India. While walking around the flight I met one of my cousin’s neighbors and had a wonderful conversation with them. When I helped Ammamma walk to the restroom we had two men waiting in line and I would love to thank them even though I don’t know their names because they were perfect gentleman and let Ammamma go ahead of them in line. I got to talking with them and boy was I shocked to find that there are people in the world that haven’t ever heard of Tommy Hilfiger before. I opened and closed the door for Ammamma and took her back to the seat. I then went for a walk to get some ginger ale and pretzels. We landed in Hyderabad around 5 am on November 29. Immigration and customs were both a breeze. We picked up all our luggage and Ammamma’s three bags and then met up with my friend Sindhu’s dad who came to the airport and picked her up. It was sad saying bye to Ammamma and she gave a couple of hugs and kisses. She kept thanking me and told everyone in her family how well I took care of her. When I first met her I touched her feet in respect and when I said bye to her outside the Hyderabad airport I touched her feet again. Even though I was born and raised in America I was raised with Indian values instilled in me. Whenever I meet elders for the first time I always touch their feet. Even though my husband was born and brought up in India he doesn’t believe in touching the feet of elders. I’m so tired of the stereotypes that people have of Indians who are born in America because you know we learn how to speak our languages and we know our Mahabharata and Ramayana. Or you know what really hurts me is that on Saturday I had a customer tell me that I wasn’t Indian. Really i’m 100% Indian, I speak the languages, I eat the food, I go to the temple, I watch our movies, I pray to all our wonderful gods and goddesses! Just because I have a very fair skin tone doesn’t make me any less Indian then anyone I know in my family or friends. Even before I got engaged my fiancé thought that just because I was born in America meant that I didn’t know Telugu. I speak fluent Telugu for your information. Please don’t make judgments without knowing anything about me. I wish I could have told that lady customer I dare you to go to the Hindu Temple of Atlanta and ask everyone about me. I already know what they would say. Because my HTA Ohana loves me and majority of them have seen me grow up as a devotee and a volunteer from the age of 5.
Hi Y’all hope everyone is doing great. I’m doing well. The picture on the top is from last Wednesday when I went to the Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy to have my best friend Ro Ocampo cut, color, wash, and style my hair as one of her 50 models for her course on hairdressing. We had decided on golden caramel highlights and they were the best thing that happened to my hair! The second picture is of most of my Tommy Hilfiger Ohana during our store meeting on Sunday November 18. Everyone that lives in America and the world know that we just celebrated Thanksgiving last Thursday. Well everyone that knows me knows that last Thanksgiving weekend I wasn’t able to work since I took almost a week off to celebrate my niece’s wedding in Dallas and the Jala side of the family had a wonderful family reunion and triple surprise Twenty-Fifth Anniversary celebration. Well this year I was scheduled to work the whole weekend. Luckily I got Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Eve off so we were able to celebrate mom’s and my birthday’s a little earlier. And since Thanksgiving Day was also on Karthika Pournami we went to the temple and did the Karthika Deepam rounds for both temples. As soon as we came home at 11:30 pm I hit the bed since I had to get up around 3:45 to get ready for my shift at 5am to 5pm. Woke up, got ready, and went to work to find a cop at our work arresting some dumb person who stole from our store. As soon as I got to my throne room aka the Fitting Rooms, I was beyond shocked finding clothes piled high on the large table but I didn’t lose my cool and just folded down all the go backs and separated them into men’sa women’s piles and organized them onto the bakers racks. Since it was Friday we still had to go to the bank to deposit the money so around 11:30 one of my friend’s and I got in her car to drive to the bank and we had a mini shopping trip to pick up lunch and then we were back to work. When I came back one of newbies took over Fitting Rooms and he was getting so overwhelmed that I was like ok I will come and help you in a few after I took my break. The lines at our store were crazy and packed all day but before I clocked out my Fitting Rooms were spotless and free of any go backs. Then my sister came and we got some coffee and then we got home and I had some lovely Hyderbadi Chicken Biryani and drove to my bestie’s house so she could blow dry my hair straight since my Swaminath aka handsome hubby was finally coming back to Atlanta for good the next day. It was 8 when I left her house and drove to the movie theater to watch Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald with my sister because even though the Harry Potter movies are finished we’re still Harry Potter fans. It was around 10:30 or 11 when I got home and I slept early and woke up around 5:30 to go back to work and open from 7 to 3:30. Had a blast working on Saturday and my bestie did a few touch ups on my hair before I headed home to my husband! I just relaxed for the rest of Saturday and slept in a little more and got to have a wonderful brunch at Panera Bread with my soulmate. Then it was off to work and I closed from 1:30-10. Then I went home and relaxed. I’m so glad that our store is number six out of all the Tommy Hilfiger stores in America! Tommy Girls y’all! I’m so glad that I was able to help make customers happy during the Black Friday weekend. When I was finishing my last minute packing for my India trip some of my Tommy Ohana FaceTimed me and wanted to talk to me and say hi to my mom. I really think everyone is going to miss Siri Pie for the month i took off for my India trip. Nickname was given to me by one of my sisters at work Genesis! But more about my India trip in the next post so stay tuned y’all!
How are y’all doing today? We had a really wonderful event for the first time during our Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations this year! First time ever biggest event only at Hindu Temple of Atlanta, Riverdale” Ganesha Homam by 108 Kids” All children were welcome. As we all know, Lord Ganesha is the greatest scholar, Pundit and known for intellectual capabilities and determination. It is believed that devotees of Lord Ganesh will excel in education and grow wise. Ganesha is known for many things including his love and respect for parents. We all did Ganesh Pooja as a child. Remembering those days, parents brought their children for Bala Ganesh Homam. The week before, children were taught how to make a Ganesha from clay. This time, we taught kids how to worship and pray to Ganesh. This was for children of all ages and even some young at heart people! Involving the kids is the best way to stay close and connect with parents, community and culture. Jai Ganesha!!! It’s not only for kids because for the first time I was able to do the homam as well! It was really interesting and fun to be able to do something that normally only priests would do. When I was first asked after I helped set everything up for the homam I was like but I’m not a kid I’m an adult and everyone said that’s ok. I’m really glad that I ended up doing the homam because it definitely gave me the strength to get through being alone from June to November. Here’s a late post from Saturday September 15, 2018. That day was definitely a long day, I had work from 10-2. Then from 3-9 we were at the temple! Y’all know me that every time I go to the Hindu Temple of Atlanta I find myself helping out and volunteering even if I didn’t sign up to volunteer that day. Well that wonderful Saturday was definitely one of those days! I helped sign the certificates for all of the participants who were dancing and singing in the cultural programs. I also helped hand them out to some of the participants that were apart of the cultural programs! I got to dance with my girlfriends and Anna’s during the Ganesh procession! The picture of my pseudo Vadina and I you know the one with my face having Holi color on it well just let me tell you that one of my friend’s sons had fun putting blue and purple Holi color on my hair!