Sunday Bloody Sunday

Day 9, Sunday 27th September, 2009

Sundays are meant to be lazy. But today was going to be anything but lazy. We woke up and wished each other happy Dussra. “Arey yesterday papa said na, it was Navami? Today is Dussra. Let’s be veg!” Yes, my brilliant idea.
So no eggs, just some sev and a slice of bread. My mom and my uncle (mom’s brother) love this combo. And me and Nani, like we always do, have inherited a taste for it too. A soft slice of fresh bread with the crunchy sev can create magic. And suddenly we realised, yesterday, when Papa told us it was Navami, it was already tomorrow in India. Complex? Yeah that’s why we got confused. It was still Navami and we were just starting on it. No point celebrating Dussra a day in advance now, is there? I was mortified though. My family prides on telling the world what tithi falls when and I actually ended up celebrating Dussra a day in advance? Bad Shakti, very bad Shakti!

Anyway, too proud to go non-veg we stuck to our (vegetarian) guns. Veg biryani and dal fry. Fail again. I might be a good baker, but when it comes to Indian food, I pretty much suck. The dal was ‘fikki’ and the biryani was, well just about edible. “3 hours! We took 3 hours to make this!” Nani yelled at me. “Your gas stove took one hour to heat up, meri galti nai hai ok!”

Yeah, friction and all. Obviously, right after lunch, we thought was a good time to get some Starbucks into us. A delightful treat we allow ourselves everyday (yeah I’m obsessed!)
While walked on the beach, for the first time, truly carefree, Nani made a random comment. “You think I also look a little broader than usual?”
“No. Wait, what do u mean also?”
“You’re looking a little, umm, chubby. Maybe, it’s just water retention.” It was too late!
I was counting all the bagels, cream cheese and muffins and trying to figure out if they had indeed made themselves at home on my thighs or hips. This observation was done by careful inspecting my own reflection in every passing store window.
“No don’t worry, it’s all recent weight, it will come off quickly.”

I was full psyched out (Pannu, I saw you roll your eyes!) I made Nani walk an extra 20 minutes. In that extra walking we discovered a spot. A little rock thingy by the beach made for an ideal seat to rest our tired arses. Random conversation followed. This is what I love about my time with Nani, we never run out of things to talk about. Lifestyle, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Kotler, parents, music, Mumbai, Mulayam, we can go on forever.

While Nani jabbered with her classmate who called, I wondered, do we have so much to talk about because we spent these last 21 years together? Do we have these common grounds because we live in the same house, see (almost) the same films, television etc.

And then the super fertile mind went in the alert zone. If the above hypotheses were true, would that change now that she was living in the US? I know she loves the US, and I know that she might be away for two-three years easily. Will we drift apart? *Gulp*

Yes, true, I lived away from home for a year and a half and we sisters only grew closer, but this time it was different. She was a student back then. Both of us had enough time on our hands to chat, email and talk. When I go back, I’ll be back to working full on (I can’t help it, ok?) and she will be slogging her arse (I love the way the Brits say it :P) off to make a kickass portfolio during her time at the school. Will we find the time to keep the bond as strong?

When we walked back, I walked a little faster to kick some fat off (God bless Nani’s metabolism) and I got busy wondering. But every 3 minutes, I would stop and look behind, to check if Nani was there. I don’t know why, but I found some lame symbolism in this stopping and looking. I told myself rather, I promised myself that I would make the effort. I would make sure I made that extra effort to look behind every once in a while to make sure my kid sister was ok. And one day, I would find her back again in the same city if not the same house, sharing quality time yet again. Until then, I can always visit Miami, you don’t mind na, Nani?


Like A Rolling Stone

Day 6, Thursday, 24th September

Once you know you have a house, half your worries are sorted. We had to move in on Friday. So today was free to just chill. But Nani was bouncing off the walls.

“I’m going to see Katie and then I’m going to see a classmate!” See, if you know Nani, her excitement levels to social commitments aren’t usually this chirpy. So, I was thrilled that she was looking forward to seeing her school’s admissions administrator and to sort out some basic stuff.

Of course, my life revolves around Nanya here and though I can find a zillion things to do around, I hate the idea of doing things alone. I didn’t want her to take me along (hell, it’s sad for an older sister to follow the younger sister around on social commitments)

“You won’t come to see my school! Arre Katie will show us around, come na lazybum! And what you don’t want to come to see my classmate. He is totally cool, we’ll go to Starbucks, chal na!” Now she made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, so off we went.

Nani’s school = awesome!

It’s colourful, it’s funky and it’s inspiring. Red, pink, bright orange and yellow, fresh green govern the interiors. The floors are made of the aluminium boards, you know the kind you find on BEST buses ka floor, only way posher! Full on industrial design!

Katie, Nani’s point of contact at the school, is someone I had heard about night and day. So, I couldn’t wait to see her either. She was this pleasant lady who seemed thrilled to see Nani too. She told us what documents we needed, printed those out, gave us a few directions and then took us on a school tour.

On our way around we bumped into many people Nani would be interacting with. I took a mental picture of each one of them (not quite as cheesily as Phoebe’s Parker did ref: friends!) but hey, when she talks about them, I’d like to put a face to their names!

Everyone seemed so chirpy and happy. That’s one thing I have noticed, people in Miami are chirpy and fun. Reminds me of something the Pole once told me: ‘People’s attitudes often vary according to the weather they live in,” Of course, he said it to demonstrate why his people, the Polish, are grumpy and serious.

Anyhoo, back to Nani’s school! They have virtual classrooms, video editing rooms and a hang out zone and a café and two units of XBOX in the hangout area. It was like THE place for Nani. The course she’s doing is hatke, the school is hatke and Nani toh is full on hatke. Haah!

After the tour, we got ourselves back to the room, did some packing and headed out to get Nani’s bank account sorted. In the whole ghotala, we missed a call from the parents. I felt a pang. We hadn’t spoken to them for two days. The time difference was making it tough to find a good time and then we miss their call! Weird, isn’t it? You take your parents for granted, you tell them you can handle it, but something as little as a missed call from them can make you realise just how much you miss them.

Talking to them made me feel better. Assuring them that we weren’t being naughty, assuring them that we found a safe room for Nani and assuring them that we were okay was just a reassurance to myself. They give us girls a lot of freedom and independence. They trust us to make our decisions and for that I rarely thank my parents.

Thanks Mum and Dad, for putting your faith in us. Thanks for letting us walk without support but making sure that the fall wouldn’t hurt us. Thanks for making sure that there was support whenever we needed it and also thanks for telling us that just because there’s support, we don’t have to forget walking on our own…
It’s moving day tomorrow!

June Songs

So June has come and gone. I have been blogging heavily and just reading through the past posts makes me realise that I can revisit my life anytime. So I am going to put down stuff that needs to be maintained (Remember my worry that my memories might go?)

So here’s how my past month was:

Mood: more or less mad

Work: it was a busy month. Had the CJ contest and a whole lot of other stuff to organise

Happiness: I appreciate the lovely time with the sister while the parents were on vacation. The sister has finished her Ogilvy internship and we’ve had a whole new wardrobe courtesy parents’ trip to UK.

Music: I was into a lot of radio, but I also managed to organise the 9000 songs on my computer, so there was a lot of Simon and Garfunkel. I love listening to happy and mellow love songs. The monsoon called for it. Also, absolutely tripped on Kabhie Kabhie Aditi from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.

Friends: Sneha, Jugal came over to eat food cooked by moi. Om joined us too… a lovely evening J Pannu started working with Kuku and man I am excited about the fact that she’s working with someone I thought was hot on screen…. Hehe… I am so filmy! Satam has had a rough patch with her Dad being unwell, but she will bounce back and uncle will be up and about soon.

Reading: I read chick lit through June. First I endured How Opal Mehta Got Kissed… and then I read Salam Paris by Kavita Daswani. They were a good brush through. But right now, I m right in the middle of The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes and I am loving it.

Dreams: There have been mad dreams, some feel good, some shocking and some just about forgettable.

Movies: Sarkar Raj, Sex and the City and Indiana Jones are the movies I saw at a theatre. I revisited many movies through the month on telly. I revisited Bicycle Thieves in the last week of June and it touched me just as deeply. Me and Nani also caught Sideways, which too the meaning of ‘wine’ to whole new level. Of course, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was revisited too.

Disappointment: I was very excited about my BIGFlix membership but their service has really let me down. I hope they pull their act together, so I can watch more movies and be happy J

Hope: I’ve learnt to enjoy my family’s indulgence in the idea of my wedding. It gives them joy and I think the joy’s rubbing off me too…

Love: I want it but whenever it comes on its own… Meanwhile, I am in love with the idea of love…. *smiles*

Achievement: I saw my pictures from a couple of years ago. I’ve lost a lot of weight, I definitely dress better and I am happy about that. But I m happy knowing that I was happy with the tomboy I was too! Nanu, thanks for inspiring me to kick the fat off…

Favourite place: Five gardens. Walking there soothes me. I owe it to the iPod

Food: I have indulged this month. Right from chicken hot n sour soups to tuna subs… I ate it all. Loved cooking the squid ink pasta and totally loved eating at Open Affair at Bandra. The food was strictly okay but it was a windy day by the sea… Wonderful ambience.

I am a sucker for meat but I have enjoyed vegetarian food through most of the month and I’m loving it.

Dance: Banana Bar, random music with Om. Thanks for coming back to Mumbai brother…

Talk: Sneha and Nani- heavy discussions about life, people and more… Love them both…

Wanted to: Spend more time with Pannu… July will be the month  



A mother’s day realisation

I love intimate family traditions. There used to be a whole lot of them when I was a kid, but with time, they have dissolved and new ones have evolved.

There used to be breakfasts on Sundays, which I used to make with my Mum’s help. There were walks in the garden with Mum and baby sister in a pram. There were summers at Grandmom’s. There were annual picnics to the Zoo. There was dinner with Dad and sister. As we grew up, we swapped home cooked breakfast for cereal, the garden was swapped for homework, Grandmom was no more, the Zoo was boring and diet took over and dinner was just a cup of milk.

But there are new traditions we have set. Celebrating Mother’s Day with a meal at Mum’s favourite restaurant, watching a film together every once in a while, taking a walk whenever the father’s mood permits (its hard to drag him out for exercise!)

I love traditions. Of late, the timings are tight. Both me and my sister work in different corners of the city. We get so tired by the end of the day that our catching up happens in our bedroom. Thank God we share that space.

Me and my parents usually catch up over some random newspaper scanning and breakfast.

The weekends bring a golden opportunity to interact. But there are friends to meet, chores to be done and before you know it, the weekend’s over. That’s why we need these traditions to make sure that there is time slotted in for family. My parents are fairly liberal and don’t complain but why do I always take them for granted when it comes to time. Its not that they are not my priority, but I know if I can’t get enough time out for them, they will understand. Isn’t it sad?