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Day 2: Life’s Littlest Things

2 Jan

I decided to treat myself to a trip to the mall yesterday. It’s not the first on my list of places to visit, but when it’s the safest and most (logistically, physically, and environmentally) comfortable option, it’s not one I shy away from. Besides, I’d been wanting to go, walk around, window shop, and vicariously enjoy all the things I cannot buy just yet (like those sparkly pumps that I’ve been drooling over since forever).

It turns out that most of the city was in the same mall yesterday – I had (unsurprisingly) miscalculated and thought I’d sneak in a visit when it was at its emptiest best, except 1st January seems to sadly be a holiday for all and sundry (except my husband). Besides, I was already tired the moment I entered that ginormous place. Unexpected crowds of all types + tiredness was surely going to be fun. But march on I did; right into the masses who had come to shop at the endless EOSS (End Of Season Sales) that are on, sight-see, click selfies, pose near promotional Audis, openly hold hands with accompanying partner/lover without the care of snoopy aunty-eyes, and what have you. It’s nice to people-watch discreetly, no?

The ultimate reward was to obviously be a food treat at the end of it all. When I’m visiting on weekdays and get delayed, it’s a hearty bowl of soup. When it’s a Friday evening, it’s usually a toasty cup of coffee. Going anywhere has to be accompanied by a food experience, by default. I’d spend the entire tortoise-paced afternoon subconsciously planning what to treat myself with, except I was clueless at the end of it (as always) when it was time for A to pick me up. My instinct led me straight to Starbucks and right to a coffee and toffee nut cold coffee with whipped cream on top (which I hadn’t asked for, but still welcomed).

It’s not a big deal, you know? Cold coffees were always a done thing. But I cannot remember when I had one at an outlet the last time. It turns out that 2017, and perhaps most of 2016 didn’t really feature a cold coffee in it. What a strange thing to happen, indeed. However, there I was, beginning my year with something I love, that really isn’t a big deal at all. I did begin coughing again (having just recovered from a nasty viral), but some things are best taken with a pinch of salt and warm water, left to be overshadowed by smaller, greater joys. Life’s littlest things are indeed the greatest of things and I never imagined a glass of coffee with my name spelt correctly on it (another first) to be it. :)

182: Ma’s Touch

2 Jul

After what was an almost full day of work on a Saturday, I came back home to a freshly made and piping hot lunch courtesy ma. The table was laid with the spread adoring it lovingly. Dal, chawal, sabzi, raita, salad, rotis, pickle, chutney… it’s the biggest treat to have these burdens taken off your shoulders for even one day. I can’t be more thankful, really.

After a much needed siesta post lunch, we were off to my aunt’s for a Saturday night in, complete with good food, laughs, and company as always. Who says familying isn’t partying?

Tomorrow’s a brand new day and session, a final rude reminder that my holidays are over for a long time to come. But I prefer wallowing in the madness and beauty that was yesterday. :)

181: Defining Normalcy

1 Jul

When we went to receive ma late last night, the first thing she did after hug me is scold me for coming all the way to receive her at the hour that we did. It was followed by a barrage of some more scoldings which invariably led me to snap at her. Of course she means well and is only perpetually concerned, which she expresses in the way she does. However, that ended up in a quick tiff, which I’ve come to accept as normal. I’ve come to learn that this is how the women in my family show love and concern. This; and via food.

I’m not going to be surprised if we have numerous more tiffs during this short visit of hers.


180: Final Friday

30 Jun

The finale of my holiday is here and how. Where my summer sped off to is beyond me – if summer can fly away i.e.

I’m back at work tomorrow, which is a cruel joke to play – who works on the weekend before their work begins?!

But the highlight, the silver lining of it all is that ma’s arriving tonight. I’m looking forward to spending time with her from whatever I can salvage. But no matter what, the idea of meeting ma makes up for everything else that seems ugly to my mind right now.

I hope you’re having a beautiful Friday and an even better EoW!

171: Time

21 Jun

It’s been a while since I started believing in the power of time, and that there’s a time for everything. It’s been obvious to me in more cases than one where sometimes things proved difficult, if not impossible to do; rife with obstacles, while there were times when I didn’t even have to do much, and things happened.

Time has always made its intentions and its mastery clear to me, and there’s just no fighting it.

Here’s yet another example; and one I can openly share with you dear reader.

A, my brother-in-law, and I went for a cup of tea to our regular hangout. As we sat there sipping our tea, the clouds cleared in front of us to reveal the mighty Himalayas right in front of us – a phenomenon that is completely rare during the summer since the clouds shroud these pristine mountains. They’re best visible during winter – they appear threefold larger, more domineering, more imposing. However, I’ve never had the luck of seeing them as clearly as this.

Needless to say, I sat opposite them in stunned silence while sipping my tea, taking this view as yet another blessing of time’s doing. :)

170: A Night To Remember

20 Jun

While driving back from dinner via the jungle last night, we spotted a leopard crouching right at the bend of the serpentine mountain road. As our car climbed up the curve, its headlights shone right onto the animal, which crouched and watched us, as we watched it – in awe, I’ll add.

I’ve never seen a wild animal in its habitat, so this really has to be a night I won’t forget. All of us, except my MIL, wanted to stop our car and just savour the moment. But I guess moving on and letting the leopard go its own way was the cleverer thing to do. :)

PS, there are more stars above me than I can even count. There’s a calm reassurance being blanketed by beauty, and complete magic. :)

169: Mangoes, Litchis, And Jimmy

19 Jun

There’s nothing more my life revolves around right now than these three loves.

I’ve lost all sense of time and do not know which day I’m at and how far along my holiday in the hills has gone. My days are spent reading, staring at the mountains, watching sunsets, and cuddling Jimmy.

I’m almost done reading A Princess Remembers, while remaining snuggled in between blankets and the cool draft that blows here from time to time.

Staying in bed for a considerable chunk of the day isn’t something I’m used to or enjoy too much. However, I’m taking what I’ve got – free time, peace, solitude, and a great view right from my bed – and making the best of it for as long as it will last. :)

Oh, and while I’m at it, I’m digging into chilled litchis and mangoes, because wow!

163: It’s Time

13 Jun

S, A, and I left for the airport together, and sat to have our respective bevvys together while waiting for our flights. I watched his taxi to the runway and take-off, wondering just how big my baby brother had become. Soon it’d be our turn to leave.

Ma told me to have button idlis at the airport, so I did…and now I’m too full. Of everything that home can fill a child with. Including the heartbreak of leaving it. Sigh.

154: Snapshots So Far

3 Jun

Some experiences are best described without words. 

Here are some of mine so far, and I’m letting these pictures do all the talking. 

Banana chips and post-dinner conversations

Saris, dosas, window shopping in Commercial Street.

Friday afternoons with family and these eyes

Impromptu visits, conversations, and homemade fish fry and prawn curry meals

Sunny, windy, shade-laden walks under these gentle giants

Andhra meals, laughter, and bubbly fresh lime sodas

Relaxing with baking

153: The Thrill In The Uexpected

2 Jun

Ever since I got here, I’ve experienced a series of unexpected joys. As I was very matter-of-factly walking towards the bus shuttle after exiting the airport, I chanced upon the first bus in line, which was relatively empty, that I decided to get home by. On approaching the bus, there she was sitting right in the front seat in direct sight – my first ever psychology teacher from back in the day. One really finds it difficult to sum up all the feelings that bubble and gurgle within you…a fine blend of shock, excitement, confusion, joy, thrill, all woven into a fabric of beautiful memories put together. We couldn’t believe our chance meeting – on a bus out of so many buses, at an airport of all places; and after what’s soon going to be 15 years. Of course this count was meant to highlight just how long it’s been, except it also reminds me just how long ago I finished my 10th board exams. It goes without saying that we spent the rest of the bus ride seated next to each other, sharing titbits from our life and experiences, and how the journey has been so far. To say that the ride was too short would fall short of how I felt; where’s that traffic jam when you really need it?!

In-keeping with this, and as if I hadn’t walked back in time enough, I passed my school during functional school hours yesterday for the first time since I’d left it. As I drove past it, I couldn’t resist the urge to get off the car and walk right in, to just perhaps see if I could meet the teachers I’d once spent every single day of my life with. And I did. I still cannot describe the feeling; perhaps the connections run so deep that they’ve remained embedded somewhere within me in a place that’s hard to access. Time really isn’t enough when you’re walking down memory lane. Sometimes words aren’t, either.

It’s a strange feeling, this. There’s always been an indefinable friction within me to go back to where I came from. Notwithstanding the trying times that they were, and not discounting the amazing things that were also happening back then, it really isn’t a road I like to walk down. Things change, people change, everything changes. Apart from this insecurity of not being remembered or being acknowledged like you perhaps once were, it’s this strange tug of war stepping back in time versus watching your memories from the safety of disconnected distance. As I walked away from these two episodes, it only reminded me that as the years pile up, so do our own thoughts and perceptions of the whats and hows. To say I didn’t take away so much from these experiences and in turn give so much to these experiences as well, would negate the actual power of reminiscence, time, and life itself.