Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Four Leaf Clover :)

I know a place where the sun is like gold
and the cherries bloom forth in the snow;
And down underneath is the loveliest place,
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

One leaf is for FAITH,
And one is for HOPE,
And one is for LOVE you know;
And GOD put another in for LUCK:
If you search you will find where they grow.

But you must have FAITH,
And you must have HOPE,
You must LOVE and be strong and so...
If you work and you wait,
You will find the place
Where the FOUR-LEAF CLOVERS grow!

- Four-leaf Clover Poem by Ella Higginson

The Four-leaf clover is considered a lucky charm everywhere. Which is precisely why I like Metallica's "No leaf clover" so much and have its chorus line as a quote at the footer of my blog. It is the height of pessimism. No leaf clover - no faith, no hope, no love and no luck. Not that I am a pessimist, but sometimes optimists need to be given reminders about pessimism ;-).

So why this poem suddenly? March 17th 2005 was St. Patrick's day. So, you ask, what does it gotta do with me? A colleague of Sriram, David had a party organized on St. Patrick's day. His wife Lisa is of Irish origin and they had invited us. We attended and it was a lot of fun.

Before I talk about the party, let me give an intro to St. Patrick's day (feels like I'm writing an essay :-p).

"What originally started as a day of mourning the death of the patron saint of Ireland on March 17 in 461 A.D. has long since turned into a celebration of everything Irish.

St. Patrick was born as Maewyn in Wales around 385 A.D. At the age of sixteen he was kidnapped by bandits and sold into slavery in Ireland, where he lived for six years, herding sheep and developing a strong faith in God. Upon his escape to Gaul he studied in a monastery for many years, entered the priesthood and later was appointed as second bishop to Ireland—his desire was to return to Ireland and to convert the people there to the Christian faith, a tumultuous mission that lasted 30 years.

St. Patrick did manage to convert thousands of Irish to Christianity; he founded hundreds of churches and, according to lore, "drove the snakes out of Ireland," an act symbolizing the victory of the Christian faith over pagan rituals. In order to explain the idea of the holy trinity to local tribesmen, he used the three-leaf shamrock, its green color signifying renewal and the coming of spring after a long period of winter and "pagan" darkness."

Ok as you can see, I blatantly stole the above history from some website. But what else is Google there for? :-D.

The party history goes like this. We were invited about a fortnight ago. I was pretty apprehensive about it. I mean, Sri doesn't have any Indian colleagues. None at all :-o. Sri thought it'd be a nice experience for me to meet his colleagues and their wives (yeah most of his colleagues are male :-D). I had met a couple of his colleagues previously in our white water rafting trip, but I had met only one woman then. And it was a rafting trip, I was in tops and half-pants, didn't have to worry about dress, make-up etc. But this would be different.

Moreover we were told to wear green. Wearing green, it seems (and lately eating and drinking green things...) commemorates St. Patrick's use of the shamrock to explain the Trinity. Since I didn't have a green top/shirt and I did have a simple green coloured chudidaar which was an Indian party wear, I didn't know how suitable it would be, but it just had to do.

On the party day, I didn't do much makeup, just applied a bit of eye-liner and a touch of lip stick. I did put a bindi on my forehead and was ready. Just as if I was going to an Indian party rather than one with no Indians in it :-D. I did feel self-conscious when I first entered their house, but later felt very comfortable. None of the ladies were dressed in gowns and stuff (thank god!! warna I'd have felt miserable throughout :-p). They were all in casual party tops and pants. Neither too dressy, nor too casual.

David and Lisa had decorated their house with green balloons and irish quotes/blessings stuck on the house walls. I met Jacob, his wife Janet, Joe and Joe's son Joel again (who I had met in the river rafting trip) and it was nice to see them in something other than sports wear :-D. I also met Joe's wife Patricia who hadn't come on the trip. The other people I met were Rob, Michael ( a chinese guy) and Michael's American wife Tracy. There were also David and Lisa's children Michael (too many Michaels :-D) and Zackary. There were some other neighbours of David's and their children that we didn't get introduced to.

As usual, people had lots of trouble pronouncing our names. Sri's colleagues atleast knew him, though they pronounce his name pretty badly. On man, how difficult is it to pronounce Deepthi - Dee as in Thee + p + thi as in thin? But somehow they just can't. Finally I had to resort to asking them to call me "Dip-Tea" or "Dee". After the introductions and some talking, dinner was served.

There was a salad with some Irish dressing, bread and some traditional potato soup. Surprisingly, everything was vegetarian (Sri had told David before that we are vegetarian, but I don't know whether they made the whole thing vegetarian just for our sake. Nope, don't think so :-p). We had dinner conversing with Joe and Patricia. The potato soup was very tasty and so was the salad. But it didn't fill my hungry stomach. But what to do? Sometimes, you have to adjust ;-). Later there was also chocolate cake with whipped cream and chocolate sauce for dessert which was yummy :-D. But again it was too small a piece :-D. After dessert, Irish coffee was served. Now Irish coffee is made of coffee, Irish whiskey, whipped cream and green irish mint (which also has alchohol). So I declined and had a normal coffee.

After dinner, we had nice conversations with Jacob and Janet and later David. Later I also left Sri's side and had a wonderful time talking with Tracy and Lisa, while Lisa showed us their beautiful house which they built themselves. These Americans have the habit of doing everything themselves, so usually they buy a plot and build everything from scratch themselves without any other manual labour whatsoever. They put floor boardings, paint etc themselves. There might be some kind of labour involoved only in kitchen and bathroom accessories. But usually they do those also themselves :). I really don't have an opinion on that, 'cause its kinda nice to do everything on your own, but I am sure it will be very very strenuous.

Anyways we talked a lot and they both liked my outfit very much. I tried telling them its called a "Chudidaar" or a "Salwar-kameez", but as usual they had a very difficult time pronouncing both the words :-D. Lisa is a wonderful painter and she had put up her paintings and sketches all over the house. They were really beautiful and I told her exactly that :). Also, it seems she has never been to Ireland as such, but her maternal grandmother is Irish.

After all the talk and realizing that it was 10:30 PM already, we decided to bid goodbye. Thats when Lisa asked us to read this Irish blessing on their front door:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields
and, Until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand

- An Irish Blessing

Can there be a lovelier way of saying goodbye? :).


Vanditha retorted...

I too read about St.Patricks day when I saw the changed Google logo on its webpage. Interesting to read.

I personally feel such parties are really interesting as you get to meet people from different cultural backgrounds, learn about them. But, as you said it is really important that we are made comfortable so that we are not self-conscious all the time.

Yeah, non-Indians find it difficult to pronounce our names. Yours is much more simple than mine. Even Indians find it difficult to pronounce mine :D

Deeps retorted...

>> Vandu >>

Haan yaar, it was nice meeting all of them. But I was a bit worried as this was my first party as such :). And don't ask about them trying to pronounce our names. You get to hear "What?" many times more than you hear your name :-p.