Laddoos for the Win, How He Met My Mother

In honor of our six-month wedding anniversary, I decided to share this little vignette from our first year together.

I have never seen my mother so happy. In her almost 60 years on earth, I couldn’t even recall seeing her so joyful. Yet, it happened the night I brought home an all white, Jewish boy from Long Island.

“Does he eat laddoos?” she asked me. But before I could answer she was warming the sweets up in the microwave and handing them over to S, who had just devoured a scrumptiously spicy South Indian meal like he grew up with it. He wiped off the tandoori sauce from his lips on his tomato red flushed face, and gladly took a laddoo like a kid in a candy store.

When he first walked in, he brought a bouquet of flowers, not for me, but for the woman of the house. I could see her falling for him the second he handed it to her.

“Oh, for me? Not for my daughter?” She was genuinely surprised.

For me, he brought a stuffed animal of a bison, named Bill Bison after my favorite travel author Bill Bryson. He had just completed his 50th state, North Dakota, and got me a souvenir to remember the occasion. Our love of travel brought us together, among so many other things, from reading to writing, from music to movies, we were compatible in so many ways.

When we made it through nine months together, he said “I don’t want to pressure you, but I think it’s time,” referring to coming clean about him to my parents. I flip-flopped, worried what they’d think of my choice for a partner, who clearly was so far from our Indian culture. But I knew I had to share with them how happy this person makes me, how wonderful he is to my dog, and how we are planning a future together.

While S was still on his trip, I did it. I told my parents over breakfast, thinking if they wanted to be dramatic about it, I could just get out of the house and go to work. My heart beat a bit faster, I could hear myself stumbling on my words as I spilled, “I found someone.”

Immediately, they smiled. Mostly, I believe because they were relieved to hear that sentence coming from someone who had sworn she would never get involved with anyone.

“He is not Indian, is he?” asked my mother right away, as if she had her suspicions all along. They knew. All of it. All I did was confirm. They were elated. Before I even told them about what he does for a living, where he lives, and how good of a boyfriend he is, they were congratulating me. They were just glad I had found someone and even more so because I decided to share it with them. Soon, arrangements were made for them to meet him.

“I can’t believe he ate everything,” my mom said, as soon as S left the house after the visit. “I hope he doesn’t have any side-effects from the spicy food,” she smirked. I told her S was used to this food, and would love to come back.

“He can come anytime he wants,” my dad said, clearly very fond of this potential new addition to our family.

Later that night, “Can you believe we did it?” S asked. I couldn’t. I finally found a guy my folks like!

Despite the surreal feel of it all, it felt good, somewhere at the pit of my stomach, knowing that this could be it. That this man, who was considerate enough to bring my mother flowers on their first meeting, would be good to come home to everyday.

PS- Yummy laddoos from mom are waiting for you in the fridge. 🙂 

Published by Lavanya

Lavanya Sunkara is a writer, animal lover, and globetrotter based in New York City. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Architectural Digest, Fodor’s, Forbes, USA Today and many more in a career spanning ten years. She covers travel, eco-lifestyle, culture, pets, and wildlife conservation.

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