Friday, November 25, 2011

Moving in

Today, I moved in with a friend, Eva, at Mira Road. She has a cute little place and high dreams of beautifying it before Christmas. My role in this grand scheme of things would be to tidy up the place after the electricians and carpenters go and hopefully stay out of their way. I say 'hopefully' because in the past, I have tripped over their tools and broken them.

I love moving in to a new neighborhood. I like the initial days of exploring one does, like a tourist.

So far, I really like Mira Road. Eva's home is close to a lot of cute little kiraana shops and boutiques and 'Ladies' tailors'. It's such a big draw to go for a walk and see jars of striped candy in glass jars. Or long ropes of yellow and orange Lays packets. A couple of boutiques showcased some interesting outfits that I will check out soon. I was particularly riveted by a lavender halter top in a slinky material with a little bit of sheen and spandex. The bodice had a generous sparkle of muted silver. I can imagine wearing it with a short white denim skirt or maybe a pair of indigo harem pants in crepe-de-chine for New Years Eve. Silver ballet pumps would be nice too. Most importantly, a great midriff is necessary. So no dinner from tomorrow. (Just kidding! Just kidding! Heard my tummy growl in anger so am pacifying it.)

I reached the place around 4:30, right in time for tea. Eva took my stuff to the room, yelled out what part of the cupboard I could put my clothes in, and asked me whether I'd need a table for my laptop. I didn't answer because I was already busy in the kitchen making chai. I don't understand how people get down to business in the early evening without a cuppa!

Considering this is only my second time at Eva's place, it's remarkable how clearly I remembered where her utensils were, where she stocked the tea and sugar, and which bowl in the fridge would have the milk. I may be scattered about many things. But in terms of tea, the memory is elephantine.

Eva is quite propah. She gently took the pan away and suggested we get something to eat with the tea. Like khakra and biscuits. Suggestions like that make no sense. When I'm that close to getting some hot beverage in my system, I'm not too keen to break the rhythm and go get snacks! But my scowling didn't help any. So we went to the neighborhood grocer and got khakras. I also insisted we get honey (for the porridge I intend to make tomorrow) and some milk. What's grocery shopping without Maggi? So we got a few packets. And then of course, the setting sun reminded us of some cold cream we had to get. But come on, I was moving in, after all. Mustn't we celebrate this? Hence Red Bull was purchased to be had later at night. Armed with the necessities of 'tea-time', we got back.

We sat in the living room but the balcony looked too tempting to be ignored. We stood there, sipping our tea and watching sunlight dance about on the roofs of cars. She pointed out some of her favorite neighborhood strays, most of whom looked sleepy, lazy, and fat. For a brief moment I imagined them wearing that shiny purple top and laughed. My friend was not amused. Animal lovers ought to laugh more, I think. It's not like their loved ones get offended.

Then we chatted some more...a lot more, in fact. A couple of hours later, I felt like having another coffee but didn't want to make any. Eva had spotted a new CCD around the corner and we trooped there. Now, I must state here that I don't really like CCD. I also don't like how it spreads like a rash everywhere. Yet, I have to admit that nowadays I find it oddly see those giant quotation marks and that large symbol of a cup and its token white picket fences in all kinds of neighborhoods. I get the feeling that there will be more like me here. Makes me happy.

We had our cappuccinos and decided to go for dinner. On the way, I had seen a cheery little joint called 'Foodito'. It served Italian, Mexican, and Chinese. I felt like having big, chunky wrap and some tangy salsa. Eva didn't believe that such a place existed. (She heads out of Mira Road whenever she gets the chance so isn't all that familiar with the area.) We walked quite a bit and then saw that joint. They were closed and we were confused. It was only 8 p.m.! The guy inside the restaurant stepped out and clarified that they were scheduled to open this Saturday! Now, I don't know much about the restaurant business but I'm guessing over-eager patrons like us can only be a good sign.

We went to a bakery nearby and I have to say, I ate the most delicious vegetable frankie there. It was like a giant spring roll coated with bread crumbs and deep-fried. It was stuffed with a very spicy cabbage and onion filling and extremely well-seasoned! (We'll go there tomorrow too.)

Eva suggested we take a different route back home and it was a lovely walk. That area reminded me a little of BKC ten years ago. All wide roads, under-construction buildings, and trees on the sidewalk with humongous trunks.

We spoke of splitting kitchen duties. Usually I avoid them altogether but Eva was being really sweet about it. Told me I wouldn't have to cook and all. So, since I don't want to take advantage of her goodness (just yet, anyway), I offered to chop the veggies and maybe do a little bit of prep and of course, make tea.

Both of us are freelancing at the moment and we both had deadlines to meet. But the first few days, I imagine, will be like a slumber party. We couldn't stop talking and joking and then remembering some other grocery item to buy. (It didn't occur to either of us to make lists.) The assignments got waylaid for the time-being. It will take a lot of mental disciplining to get there. I've given myself until next Monday.

Finally, we sipped Red Bull, discussed Sharad Pawar getting slapped, said our goodnights, and went on finish off the rest of our work.

Newness, comfort, familiarity, and prospect of all those things again tomorrow. Change is good. It's even better with a pal.

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