This is to wish happy anniversary to my mom n dad. Not sure how big it is elsewhere but from whenever I remember we have always celebrated this day as a holiday. These guys are total goofballs with a terrific sense of humour towards life and a tenacity to face the many hurdles that came their way. They got married in 1978 after 9 years of dating with a lot of opposition. Even today I have friends who do not have the liberty to choose their own partners. Imagine fighting for that some 40 odd years ago.. Here’s wishing them many more happy ones to come!
PS: If you are wondering about the Chanel bit, Dad got a little 5ml No.5 bottle from Paris a couple of months before their wedding. The cardboard cover is all yellowed and in tatters. The perfume is long gone but I kid you not, that bottle still has fragrance as if new, after 33 years. I will prove it to you if you meet me. Anywho, that signifies their relationship to me. Timeless and uniquely fragrant.
Hope to find that someday for myself.
Do words make a difference in real life?
These tons of letters and sounds we pile up on each other ..
let out in the universe..
do they cause change?
The question arose in the midst of tears this morning.. in the line to pay the electricity bill
which i had forgotten.. and was threatened with the prospect of a fanless dark night
in front of me was a guy.. an elderly guy whom I would call Dadaji..
tall..6 feet ..fair..a white turban and a dhoti..walking with a cane
black glasses making his eyes invisible..
bent due to age.. must be about 80..
the standing in line for 2 minutes was causing him pain..
the bill guy wanted to send dadaji back..
as government employees are wont to..
because he was a couple of days early before the deadline (that was a new one for me)
Dadaji tells the bill guy that he has waited since 7.30 in the morning
and its very hard for him to make the trip..
bill guy asks him to send a kid the next time
dadaji’s quivering voice becomes sadder..
if I had someone to help, would I be here?
the bill guy takes pity and accepts his money
and then dadaji in impeccable english and giving us a hint of the man he was in the past says
‘In the future I will make sure to come on time..badi meherbani’
and he repeated the phrase .. ‘in the future’
as if he was reminding himself ..
a minute later I saw him waiting for a cab
and of course he hailed the one I was in, rushing to work …
and I couldn’t decide between letting him take the cab and being late to work..
in that moment of indecision, getting late to my A/c office to my plush job seemed the priority
and I lost the chance to make the tiny difference
and of course then I cried more.. mostly with anger..
and now am sitting in the same cooled office with coffee in hand
spewing words which wont make any difference..instead of working..
it’s a day to hate myself..
A random stranger who came to buy my sofa asked me “and you WANT to go back to India?” ..The surprise in her tone and the tiniest bit of shock took me aback. But what surprised me most was my own reaction. Without skipping a beat and with a lightness of heart that I hadn’t felt in a long time, I replied ‘Yes!’. And that re-ignited something in me. Something that I had suppressed all these years. My innate Indianness, if you will. Not the patriotic kinds nor the derogatory kind. Just the quality that allows us to live life by the gut. We love from there, hate from there, make big decisions using its signals. We literally speak and sing from the gut too.(No really! Try singing any Indian song. You WILL feel the vibrations in your tummy!). We are an emotional people. Its never about black or white but nor is it grey. Its about colors. All of them. Too many to identify. There are no rights and wrongs. There is only a feeling of the moment. We are cheaters but we are honest. We are lazy and sincere. We are black, brown, beige and white. We love free food but we are killer cooks. There’s poverty and pollution and traffic jams. But there are festivals and food and joy. There’s corruption and blackouts and no water. But there’s family and friends and home.There’s too many people. Privacy is almost impossible. But so is loneliness. We hate each other but will leave everything when someone we care about is in trouble. We will kick each other today and go back to being best friends tomorrow. We nod to say yes and we nod the same way to say no.
The rules are fuzzy. But the love is absolute.
And I for one… cannot wait to be back 🙂