We made the big move to the United States about ten years ago. I was seven at that time, so I only remember tidbits of the country that was my first home.
However, my amma is a different story altogether. In the ten years here, my mom has only ever worn traditional Indian shalwar kameez and saaris. She tries to keep her children as connected to their homeland and religion as possible. We have a strict policy of speaking only Hindi at home; we get a deathly stare from amma whenever we slip into English. It is mandatory to attend the festive parties organized by the Indian community centers; no excuses, not even homework. Another integral part of our household is the monthly grocery shopping at the nearest Patel Brother’s outlet, which is an Indian grocery store. Amma insists on the entire family going, despite our grumblings. My dad always has a look of horror on his face when she emerges from one of the aisles of the huge store, her trolley cart brimming with basmati rice, samosa patti, and biryani masala, exceeding the grocery budget yet again. She is giddy on her way back home. The backseat is filled with Parle G biscuits, papads, and so many masalas that our car starts smelling like a Patel Brother’s store!
We let her enjoy this simple luxury, and she treasures these trips to Patel Brother’s more than she enjoyed our getaway to the Grand Canyons. Being in the store and surrounded by the aroma of mangoes and spices deludes her that, for a while, she’s back home in India.
If you don’t have the time to visit Patel Brother’s, you can get fresh Indian groceries delivered to your place. Just order what you need through avocadonext.com and sit back while we bring India to your place (granted that you reside in Santa Clara, San Jose, Mountain View, Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, or Milpitas).