Hope, Change and Jalebis

It’s been 2 days since the nail-biting finish to months of campaign watching, wringing of hands over reports of voter suppression, elation/relief at the gaffes by Romney and team that slowly revealed the truth about them, anger over republican ideas on “legitimate rape”…and I can’t stop smiling and feeling relieved it’s over, and it’s gone the way of the people.

The last time, in 2008, which was also the first time I voted as a citizen of this great experiment called America, we had spent watching the election night coverage at my friend’s house. A whole bunch of us were there, excited for the historical night. We had some doubts, but were mostly optimistic. This time, though I was alone at home, since Raj was traveling and I was dreading the prospect of watching it alone – the stress was killing me!

So, the new me called some friends over. To make jalebis! I say the new me because I’m discovering myself all over again since we moved from the corn fields and cold winters of Muncie, Indiana to beachy, marshy Florida. And kind of surprised at what I’m finding in me! I had left behind some longstanding friendships__ some true, some dysfunctional but all comfortable__and started anew, not knowing a single soul in Florida. Just like 22 years ago when I got married, moved to the US, then quit my job, got pregnant and moved to Muncie. The difference was, we were just starting our lives together then__raising 2 children, a job, a career and building our future took care of any anxiety about making friends.

But last year was different. Our kids were both in college. It was going to be a clean slate for me again__ but this time, I had no day to day responsibility of kids or a job to keep me occupied. I had to find things to do to make myself from going crazy.  But, I’ve realized over the past year, that people are people, and most are good, normal people just like us. Once I got over the mental block of extending my arm in friendship first, it got easier and easier.

I am now happy to report a small group of friends that I can call for almost anything__be it an illness,  to go to a music concert or  desi movies with,  to go shopping, or to come make jalebis with me on a week night and watch Mr. O getting reelected! And these girls have full time paying jobs, and kids living at home!

Well, they came, and we made jalebis and jangiris! I had the batter ready, one filled the ziploc bags to pipe the batter into hot oil, we all took turns making crazy swirls in the hot oil, and one dipped them in the sugar syrup. My husband kept calling every few seconds announcing the latest electoral vote count. It was better than a bar! Noisy, smoky and full of laughs. We finished just about the minute when Ohio was called for Obama and Karl Rove started unraveling on air. We all sat around the tv, and took a couple of pictures with my cellphone to mark the moment. And I instinctively picked up the phone and dialed my Muncie friend’s number – at whose home we had watched the last election. Then noticed that she had posted on my facebook wall almost at the same time!

There is change in me – we are, after all, organic, and without change, we might as well lay down and die. There is new confidence about my ability to start over and a renewed faith in people. There is hope that I will build friendships that will last a long time. Like the ones I have going on, long distance. Best of all, there is at least four more years of (what I am predicting to be) a historical presidency!

O eating a jalebi! Coincidence? Don’t think so!

Here’s a video of a professional chef making jangiris that we found on Youtube. While ours aren’t this perfect, (it is only our first time), they are GOOD! We celebrated Obama’s reelection with fresh hot jalebis/jangiris!


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sandhya
    Nov 08, 2012 @ 19:53:46

    Aw i really, really like this one!! And i’m glad you have such good friends
    You might want to put a comma after organic though… could be misleading haha



  2. sri
    Nov 08, 2012 @ 20:28:58

    Good catch, professor 🙂



  3. Sujata
    Nov 09, 2012 @ 01:36:03

    not going to say anythinggg about what u r celebrating but i lke the way you wrote about it. It has been killing me not to respond to your Face book brag fest but i am chantng my promises to myself. 🙂 I am so happy for you that you are making good friends in Jacksonville . It is such a nice warm place with nice people with big hearts. I miss being there and i hate it that i am missing out on a friendship with you. when i come back we have to do the jalebis again to celebrate something better. yes, there are better things. 🙂



  4. sri
    Nov 09, 2012 @ 08:18:16

    LOL! Sujata, you’re on – how about we do it over arguing about better things! BTW, the “brag fest” is more of a “phew…it’s over” sigh. 🙂



  5. vara
    Nov 09, 2012 @ 10:12:51

    Al big fan of your writing Sri, wish we could have been on the same page though !! Choosing Jalebis, girl, you were right on the money ….hope it is different next time, hope it is Hillary in the picture, she has been my inspiration for a very long time…hear’s to 2016 and more Jalebis 🙂



  6. sri
    Nov 09, 2012 @ 10:19:54

    Thank you Vara! I can go for Hillary! My Muncie friend has already started a thing for Hillary – Elizabeth Warren ticket for 2016!



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