This India trip….
….was all about catching up.I hadn’t seen my family in nearly two years.So,you can imagine how it must have been.I reached just in time for my sister(cousin) ,Sofi’s wedding.There was hardly anytime to arrange the clothes to be worn in the wedding..The last time I had worn a saree was in my own wedding and sadly,I don’t fit into those blouses anymore.The few days that I had before the wedding were spent in shopping,endless trips to the tailor and wedding festivities.
The wedding was beautiful and Sofi looked lovely.So did my sister. and everyone else too.I ended up wearing a saree from my wedding collection..so all the shopping trips were for nothing.
After the wedding festivities were finished,we went back to Bombay,where I spent the next few days,falling sick,travelling between my dad’s and ILs’,being a lady of leisure.
Being together was important,so Aaji(my grand ma) and Sahil(Sofi&Sahil are so close to me that its weird referring to them as cousins),came over from Nasik for the duration of my stay.Then the party began.Man,it was bliss to eat meals cooked by Aaji after so many years.Even tea-time or breakfast time was like an extended party.And all we would be eating was probably chai-biscuit or vada-pav.
Aadi took a particular liking to Sahil,so much so that the poor guy couldn’t even go to the toilet,without upsetting her.The sweetest part was,when she went to her Dadi’s house and told her Dadu-Dadi,”I have two Mamas-Mamma and Sahil Mama.”He was literally her second mom.I realised when,one day,we were at the dining table and she kept asking for something and I didn’t understand..And Sahil got up gave it to her.They watched TV together..calling out cartoon characters by their names.They sang and danced.They took the dog for a walk ..if Sahil left without her,she would cry her heart out,till he didn’t get back.And then,she would tell him,that she was “Gussa” with him and ask me to “shout him”.
She knew where Nanu’s stash of candy was kept..she would go to his room..quietly pull him hand and take him to the freezer and ask very very sweetly for some “candy please”.All my threats of “I will not talk to you”didn’t work on either her or on my dad.
We went back to Nasik,half way into the holiday and took Aadya to see Aaji’s house in Devlali.It belongs to my uncle now and is mostly locked.Aaji goes there,when she is feeling very nostalgic.The excitement in her eyes,when I told her,this is where Mamma used to play when she was a little girl..Priceless.It was so surreal for me to be there with her,in that place.I know..it was probably the last time,we went there.I only wish DH was there too.I don’t know how much she will remember..but I remember every single day,that I spent in that house.Every summer and winter vacation..the one year that I stayed with Aaji,after mom passed away..the happy memories and the sad ones too.That house was such an important part of my childhood..the fights we had..the teams we formed..sometimes it was my sis and I against Sofi-Sahil ..sometimes it was Sahil-my sis again Sofi n me…and then the forced handshakes..fighting for the same fruit…though I was the eldest..I resented being the last one to get her share.But all these memories are what make me what I am.I am yet to see a morning more glorious than one in Devlali.Even now,I can smell the tea boiling,the faint sweet smell of wet mud,from Aaji’s garden.Actually,its more my Ajoba’s (grandpa) garden.He is the one who toiled hard to make the garden what it is today.I remember,when I was little,every morning and evening,he would carry countless buckets of water,from the back of the house,to the garden in the front and water the plants.Every single day,never tiring,never missing.And he was 70,then.Aaji took over the garden,when he fell sick.
He planted a small kadipatta (curry leaves) plant,to begin with..sometime in 1975-76..and by the time I was 2,it had grown and spread so much.When I was 5 or may be 6..old enough to cross the road..every year,he would give the tree a trim and the trim would yield so much kadipatta,that even after distributing it to everyone in our lane and across the road,he could sell it to the local vegetable seller.
Anyway,I am getting carried away.In this garden is a white rose,of the creeper variety(?) ..and the special thing about this particular plant is that no matter what,even if the rest of the plants are dying..because of neglect(remember the house is locked most of the time),this little creeper,keeps growing and flowering.Aaji told me this was one of the first few plants that Ajoba planted.
Back in Bombay,I spent one lovely morning,meeting Parul,Aneela and Kiran.Parul was sweet enough to open her home for us.And what a home it is..beautiful is too small a word for it..and very tastefully done up too.Meeting Adi and Arhaan was such a treat.But I missed seeing Krish and Ro and Ayaan & Tarana.The thing with meeting blog-pals is that you don’t have to think of ways to start a conversation.Its almost like meeting an old friend after a long time.Kiran left shortly after tea.by then,Aadi had made herself completely at home..much to my embarassment..she decided that wearing a skirt wasn’t cool and decided to walk around without one. We stayed back for lunch.We were having so much fun,that if I wasn’t meeting the MIL later,I would have happily spent the day there.
Meeting Aneela,made me realise,how much I miss her.It was just so nice to see her again..and Arhaan is just delicious.Speaking of delicious..the Adi-Aadi duo decided that Arhaan’s boiled apple was the most delicious thing on this earth and insisted on eating that.Aneela is one cool mom..she happily handed it over to the notorious duo,who,by the way had warmed up to each other,after the initial “its-mine”/”I-want-his/her toy/book” tashan.The funniest was when we were leaving,Aadi decided to kick up a fuss and started stomping her feet to show her anger…and Adi joined in happily,stomping his feet..thinking its some new game!The best thing about this meet up was that Parul and I heaved a collective sigh,that our kids are normal 2 year olds..who think that every d#%^% thing belongs to them. That all 2 yos think that sharing is not cool.
I remember my OB-Gyn told me once,that when you think handling a small baby is stressful,remember,the baby will turn 2 someday and then say-Mine for everything..and then,the sleepness nights would seem tame enough.
Anyway more on India trip later…