Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Faces and memories

Yesterday was the day of faces and memories .

I was walking down the aisle in the supermarket looking for a particular brand of biscuit. I had to wait for a woman down on her knees , picking something from a lower shelf. And when she got up and apologized for taking so long, she looked up at me. There was fleeting recognition and then poof ! we went opposite ways and my mind was abuzz. It was such a familiar face but I couldn't place it. And it was not someone I knew very well yet familiar enough. Normally , I would just let it go. But it nagged me. I kept walking around the aisles. And then it struck me - she was someone I had seen almost everyday on the bus commute in Mumbai . Almost ten years ago !! We had never talked but the face remained familiar. So I went back and talked to her - turns out she's from Mumbai and did actually travel on that bus years ago. And her kid goes to the same playschool as mine ( her hubby drops the kid so I've never seen her ). Say hello to Swati then !!!

Finally , I bought the butter and headed to billing. Bill paid and I turned to see a kid being pushed in the cart by her mother. Again , I froze. Another familiar face. That cute smile and curls ! And I looked up at the mother and I was quite sure I didn't know her. Now what are the chances that I know the kid but not the parents - zilch unless I am a teacher. She got out of the cart and walked around. At some point, I smiled at her and she at me. And her mother called " Anush". And then it hit me - Anush and ArtNavy !! So I said hello to Art and Anush .

PS - I almost asked Art if they had decided about the second one. Then I realized it's a thin line between the blog and real world.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mama, don't preach

"Oh , I don't send my child to playschool. What is there to learn there ? Nursery rhymes ? What good is that ?"

2 minutes later

Toddler bopping to dard-e-disco , moves , lyrics , etc al and she says

"Yeah ! He's really sharp. Picks up all the LYRICS, MOVES and TUNES"

A few minutes later, Shriya shows up gyrating sexily in the Saravana Stores ad and Bubbles as usual , goes into a shy tizzy hiding his face in my clothes and peeking out at her. And once again,

"Oh! You shouldn't allow him to watch TV. He will definitely develop a sexist attitude".

And her son was thumbing through the latest issue of Vogue staring goggle eyed at near naked women peddling their wares .

By now , I am squirming in my seat.

Later, my son takes out his Bob Builder tiffin box and shares his Little Hearts with his friend. The boy practically latches onto the box and pleads "I want Spiderman box". Mom throws me dagger looks "I don't allow cartoon prints on anything. It makes them materialistic and slaves to advertising firms"

I rest my case. That was shortest dinner ever. Thankfully !

When Ka met Minka

Just about everyone is done with their love story. Well, that just leaves me !! so let me bring it on.

I met K on the first day of college ( jeez ! what cheese !). He was in my class and sat on the first row in engg college. On the second day , we met on the way to college and I had butterflies in my tummy walking next to this tall, dark and handsome guy who didn't say much. Needless to say , I chickened out and took a ride with another of my girl classmates when she stopped to offer me a lift ( Leena, I could have killed you).The rest of the year went in a blur buried in studies and craziness.

Then, K , ever the sportsman, fell on football field and displaced his kneecap. And was admitted in hospital. I knew I wanted to go and see him. But something just held me back - I don't know if it was not wanting to admit my feelings or knowing that he liked someone else. But I went anyway, one in a gaggle of classmates, to go and see him. I went back later with a close friend of mine and played Florence Nightingale ( only I gave him orange juice on a acidic tummy and made him throw up). The friend stepped out and we were alone and the whole world just came to a standstill. It was weird - I had tons to tell him but it seemed like everytime we were alone, a silence would descend. Again, I fled ( ever the chicken !)

I think we both kind of accepted our feelings but decided not say anything about it yet. Which brings us to that fateful day in the third year when we went out in a gang to have coffee. All of us started talking about how next year we would all be engineers and go our separate ways. Each one of them was laying out plans on what to do with their lives. And K and I looked at each other, never saying a word. It was just crazy ! Suddenly , no one else existed. And someone asked me a question and caught me off guard. And I just stammered and spluttered.

K insisted I drop him to his house. And there in the parking lot, he said the magic words, " You know , I like you a lot too". Notice the "like" and the "too". Presumptuous , aren't we and we live in semi-denial as well. SO I said " me too " and zoomed off . And he went off to Mumbai for his Diwali vacation . And called me everyday from home and we spoke like never before.

When he came back to college, it was like floodgates had been opened. We talked and talked whenever we were alone. Yet, when all others were around, he would clam up almost as if he didn't want to admit his feelings to anyone. I know he wasn't one for public announcements and is a very private person. But it was killing me to not talk about it with my friends. And even more annoying when the classmate who he once liked, kept harping about the fact. At one point , someone asked him point blank if we were an item and he said no. He said no !!! I was hopping mad - he could have been diplomatic and said it's none of their business ( like I did !). But he said no !!!

I went home and cried till I made myself sick. I didn't go to college or even leave the house for 4 days straight. My mother was worried because she has never seen me this depressed. He came home with one of my friends and I basically cold shouldered him. My friend was cringing on seeing what a monster I had become but she had no choice just to go with the drama.

A few days went by - as far as I was concerned, I was done with hiding our relationship and was ready to throw in the towel. And then we had this Mr Personality contest in our college and I saw he'd enrolled for it. Here I am , my whole life falling apart and he wants to be Mr Personality. I decide not to attend that bloody contest and see how charming , witty and stud he can be !!! Halfway through that contest, when I realized all my friends had abandoned me and were in the hall cheering for him, I went in and sat sheepishly among my friends who just ignored the hellcat I had become. So when a question like "What are you most confident of?" was put forth, all the other studs, of course, were quoting appendages and brawn and he said " I am confident I will marry the girl I love although right now , she thinks I am the biggest jerk". Needless to say, he didn't win that contest - no prizes for cheesy lines !! But I was floored that such a private person could do that only to prove that he wasn't a jerk after all.

So that's my story. We're married - next month we complete 9 years of being married!!