Nephew: I met one of my many nephews for the first time. He lives in Dubai and will soon be shifting to Canada. He’s one year and three months and is so cute I want to carry him in my purse all the time. He’s a very analytical child, keenly and quietly observing everything around him. But he took a certain hostile stance towards me initially. Took off his wee Nike sneaker and started hitting me. Later, he used the sneaker to pound a piece of banana and then hit me with it. At night when he’d fallen asleep, I took the chance to look at his pink fingers and toes and stroke his smooth cheek. He woke up, blinked, pointed at me and smiled the most precious smile! Then he spoke to me for the very first time. He called me, “baby.”
The Wheel Work-out: On the days that I skip a work-out, I think I should drive from Vashi to the airport, and then from the airport to my office, and finally try and get a parking space in the premises. I did all that today. The signage in Mumbai is so weird! All the signs only state ‘Airport’. They won’t mention ‘Domestic’ or ‘International’. And both are called ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Airports’! Why? It’s like they want people to get lost here, miss flights, and remain stranded. Why should a simple matter like getting to the airport be like this Da Vinci Code game where you collect clues from here and there and reach your destination? Maybe that’s why the city is so crowded. Everybody’s just going round in circles to find the right airport to fly out from! In any case, I reached, dropped my cousin off, and then went to find a parking spot, which takes you on another little trip around the world. Then I had to walk all the way back to the goddamn departure terminal. The only good thing is that people are really helpful around the airport. It’s like they sympathize with you for having gone through whatever you did to reach there. (In fact the guy who collected the parking charge was so polite that my eyes brimmed over!) In any case, my arms and calves feel toned now.
Not exactly a walk in the ‘park’: I have a sneaky feeling that just because I hadn’t given Diwali baksheesh to this security guard, he won’t let me park in some spots anymore. Earlier he was valet-parking my car. Now, he officiously trundles over and says stuff like ‘Parking Full’ and ‘You can’t park here.’ And shrugs. Damn! So I find a slender piece of parking between two cars, but I can’t manage to park between them. Some guy then tries to guide me. I ask him if he could please park my car. He nods. Car is parked. The world is a good place!
A good, greasy lunch: My other cousin, W, who had come with me to drop off my cousin is in the, ahem, film business, so to speak. So he suggested that we take the day off, go and sit in Versova for a bit, catch a film, and generally hang out. It sounded superb! I tried to frantically call office and ask my team if I could take the day off. But as luck would have it, I couldn’t get in touch with them. So, very grudgingly, I thought it best that we worked that day. I dropped him off and reached office. An hour later he called to ask if I’d be free for lunch… and I was…free, willing, and totally gung-ho! So we met at Spirit – a really small hole-in-the-wall place near my office. The joint has cheap liquor and pretty economical food. But it’s tasty – to a palate that wants heavy, greasy, spicy, very Bombayi-zed version of Mughlai, Chinese, Punjabi, etc. After ages, I had fat, soft, oily parathas and hot tandoori rotis with thick, yellow dal, sour raita, and chicken with red, spicy gravy. (I didn’t physically consume the chicken, but I devoured it with my eyes. That counts, I think.) Man! That meal felt SOOO good! It’s great fun having cousins who make the time to lunch with you. (Even if they do tirelessly remind you of the fact.)
Tarot Cards: As a birthday present, my mum got me some very pretty-looking tarot cards. And now she’s keen I do a reading for her. I wonder why. She doesn’t trust my judgment in this material dimension, so I wonder how I can be of more use in any other dimension. Now, the reason I wanted a tarot deck with intricate cards is because I love the way some of these figures are sketched. I want to create stained glass panels of these figures someday and have them in my home. To which my mum says that maybe I should ask the Universe when I can own a house big enough to have all these glass panels. And of course, the Universe being what it is, says stuff like ‘No Comments’. But this should be fun! I love ribbing my mom about such stuff. In college, I tried to learn palmistry. And I was freakingly good at it! One day my mum asked me something…about wealth or a house or a relative or something. When I said that she wouldn’t get her way, she actually thwacked me on the head and told me to “read more carefully.” But it is an interesting path to get what you want – simply bully fate. My mum’s birthday is sometime this month too. Maybe I’ll give her a ‘free reading’. Hee hee!
Well, the future DOES look good…even though many more thwacks do seem to be in offing.