There’s Always Scope For Improvement: Shadi Ke Side Effects.

Due to current social media trends and my deep-seated insecurities, I had spent almost the entire last two months of 2018 trying to hype my wedding in a way only national news channels could manage for Ranveer-Deepika. Fortunately for my wife, I failed at my attempt, then we successfully managed to coordinate our steps around holy fire seven times and the pundit pronounced us ‘Man and what-were-you-thinking-madam?’. The day marked the fulfillment of approximately 9 years of love and my long-standing wish to be able to go out of India for honeymoon.

Since coming back from Europe*, I have spent the past 15 days enjoying marital bliss and learning how to tuck in the bedsheet in the correct way. Yet, that is not be the only thing I have learnt or has changed in my life:

1. My refrigerator is now a much cleaner place, as compared to the biohazard it was till november. I helped the wife clean it while simultaneously realising that there is nothing common between Lizol, Mr. Muscle and Harpic (other than the fact that you’re not supposed to drink any of those, which I already knew).

2. My grocery list now runs longer than list of UPA government scandals. For ease of remembering, I have made sub-classifications like: a) things I knew I needed but did not know where to get them from, b) things I didn’t know I needed but could be called necessary for basic survival, and c) things I didn’t know actually existed. The prime example of the last category is kitchen-slab wiper.

3. I akso learnt that hand towel, face towel, bath towel and kitchen duster have to be four separate cloths. I take bath with a loofah now so I now realize how rich the bollywood actresses and SRK must be feeling in advertisement for Lux soaps.

4. It is a punishable offence to wipe your hands on the bedsheet after eating something. If your heart is pure and you listen with intent while reading this, you can almost hear the missus shouting at me for not following the law of the land.

5. It is an amazing feeling to live with a partner who will improve you as a human being and make you realise the importance of small things in life, such as putting one good point in your post after making fun of your marriage for four consecutive paragraphs.

I hope you all agree.

*Click and read humour posts about Prague, Nice and Barcelona.

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The Travel Post No One Asked For – III: Barcelona

1. What Canada is for people of Punjab (or as Canadians call them, ‘present or future Canadians’), Spain is for people of Pakistan. Of course after 6 days of maida and cheese, having Lentils and Rice (Dal-chawal, my desi brethren) made me believe that a Pakistani chef might be the second best import of Spain, right after Lionel Messi.

2. The south-east Asian population also helped in having some conversation finally, since most of European people speak their own tongue, rather than English with a heavy Indian accent and lack of good grammar like me. So, it was very easy to bargain over price of souvenirs and complain or bitch about lack of water jet in the toilets.

3. There was a protest visible in almost entire city of Barcelona asking for release of the Catalonian political leaders. The protest, unlike India, had real issues. Also, it did not include burning buses and effigies and asking for severed heads and noses of movie personnel. They simply painted their windows with protest ribbons and banners. I’m sure their mothers beat the hell out of them for spoiling their windows.

4. Barcelona is famous for football, beach parties and architecture. La liga football season was on winter break, it was 5 degrees so the only beach party I attended was throwing rocks in the sea with a bunch of kindergartners covered in 8 layers of woolens, and architecture was the last thing on my mind because I was on my honeymoon trip and not a student exchange program.

5. On the Turkish Airways flight (famous for interrupting your movie with advertisements and announcements in a language you hardly understand) back to New Delhi, there was a detailed advertisement for the same airlines where a girl goes to the airport in an extremely confident walk with a luggage bag to travel to an exotic location and find herself. I guessed we were supposed to get motivated by this and book more flights to exotic locations so that we can do some deep introspection to find ourselves. That would take about 10 minutes, and the rest of the trip, we can take about 3.2 million selfies and then look for cafes with WiFi to upload them because we all are ‘Travel bloggers’ now.

6. Your interest in tourism is dependent on your personality, and hence it is no surprise that my entire purpose of going to Barcelona was to get drunk and pass out at the beach and then be dragged to the hotel room by my wife. Yet, our tour guide thought it was a perfectly good idea to make us sit in a bus to appreciate buildings designed by Spanish architects with unpronounceable names for two hours, and then continue the same on foot for two more hours. Someday, I hope she comes to New Delhi to appreciate the architecture of the big dump of garbage near Dilshad Garden, designed by MCD, which is a much cooler name than Gaudi.

You can read my worthless notes on Prague and Nice too.

My posts about my Europe honeymoon are over. Promise.

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The Travel Post No One Asked For – II: Nice

Let’s get one thing straight first, Nice is South Bombay of Europe. That is, if Mumbai suddenly developed a better fashion and civic sense. It has a long pedestrian and cycling stretch at the sea called Promenade just like the Marine Drive, with minor differences like no looks being given to couples doing couple things at the beach and that the sea doesn’t smell of crude petroleum. Here are a few other notes:

1. They eat a lot of sweet savouries in huge quantities. Yet, there are more lingerie shops than gyms and none of their public workers have a paunch. Stupid unfair metabolism genes.

2. Every food item which is not sweet has a lot of meat and cheese. So if you’re a lacotse intolerant Jain from India, you’re screwed.

3. The standard and cost of living is obviously higher here than India, hence I had my own share of fun enjoying fainting spells everytime I tried to convert a price tag into rupees.

4. Nice has next-generation scooters that look like hybrid motorcycles that go at 25 miles-an-hour on the Promenade stretch but make noise as if they’re about to achieve escape velocity.

5. French is a beautiful language, and I learnt a few words myself too. However, most of the local people switched to English with me because they said I pronounced ‘merci’ like I was choking on something, which is what I honestly think their accent sounds like.

6. Approximately 30 minutes away is the town of Monaco, famous for luxury houses and boats owned by celebrities, casinos, and cars like Rolls Royce and Bentley. It was a refreshing trip involving day dreaming and reality checks. I asked around for real estate rates there, and they ranged from a few thousand euros per square meter to HAHAHAHAKyaKahaBhaisahab?

7. Almost 80% of population owns dogs, the sizes of which range from ‘small enough to accidentally step on while it pees at your ankle’ to ‘I am sure this dog drives its own car’.

Side note: If you are a married man, Nice is a good place to feel single as you are third on your wife’s priority list, right behind thinking of buying all the stores and barely remembering that she is married to you.

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