On one of our Trips to NYC
Again NYC once more
Sayali and Shilpa--our neice in Singapore
Kunda and Suhas
Nina--Sudhir's brother Milind's wife
Bhoomi--The Teflon Coating
Bhoomi--The Set of 2 Terraware Pots
I have an overwhelming desire to say something to my Family--specially my sisters -in- law--a HUGE "Thank You" for being there for me whenever I needed them--specially after Sudhir passed on.Their unobtrusive but firm support has helped to shore up my resolve to stand on my own two feet and move me to the next step with some confidence.
It has never been a secret about the relationship Sudhir and I shared.On my birthday, many moments just began flitting across my mind--but it was Sayali who was adamant about celebrating the Day. Kunda had made the traditional 60 Lamps to light and she got those here under the cover of secrecy and handed these over to Sayali slyly,taking every care not to arouse my suspicion!!Since I had refused to cut a Cake,Sayali had baked a scrumptious Apple Pie early that morning for me to cut instead.Food had been ordered from a wonderful little place called "Soam" by Sayali, opposite the huge Lord Shiva temple at Babulnath. This serves delicious Gujarati Food--and is a boon for those who crave authentic home style Cooking in a much healthier Avatar--with a strict control over excessive use of Oil,Ghee and Spices.
There were Gifts galore----a pair of beautiful Pearl Bangles for me as I simply adore Pearls,two wonderful non-stick Earthern Vessels just launched under the name of "Bhoomi" or Earth, two beautiful hand embroidered "Chikankari" Lucknowi Suits--one with a Lavender coloured underskirt because none of these folks approve of my wearing only White---Sayali calls those my Uniform!!According to her, all people see is the colour--very few of them look to the beautiful Embroidery on the various Kurtas I get stitched!!There was a beautiful,big bottle of the Cartier Perfume as well as Cash--- I am so very touched with all the Gifts I received--I didn't realise how well my family knew me!!The best part was the little "Aarti" that Kunda performed for me--the Steel Plate was literally hot enough to singe her hands--luckily Sayali gave her a pair of Oven Mitts to hold the plate with!!I know I could see Sudhir hovering in the background--his entire face beaming with Love and Joy--seeing me being so lovingly pampered by everyone!!
That reminds me---earlier that morning both Ritu and Sayali were covering one of the Living Room walls with my old pictures--from early babyhood to now and also making Streamers to form a Frame for these.There were also Balloons they blew up and filled the room with them!!Barely a few minutes after the Balloons started popping by themselves----creating loud pops that made all of us almost jump out of our skins---and that is when I thought Sudhir was in the Flat--he simply loved bursting the Balloons!!!We had a marvellous time and there was so much to enjoy--Milind's daughter Shilpa too was here from Singapore on a visit and having two girls back home made it a very lively time.Actually it was Kunda and Suhas who stole the Thunder from every one else---their non-stop banter about anything and everything kept us all in splits throughout the day. Kunda is almost 75 years old and Suhas almost 71 years old--but they still bicker and banter like young children--according to Sayali the Video Camera should be focused only on the two of them each time we get together--for they and their anecdotes are a laugh riot!!Since they live next door to each other they spend a lot of their day together and are privy to many things about each other because of this.Hence their anecdotes about using our Public Transport Systems are hilarious---travelling alone sometimes but usually together.Their repertoire on their travels in the Local Trains (Mumbai's name for The Subway) are plenty--including the one that I'll tell you about.
Both had travelled to our home in So Bo together one mid morning.After spending their day there they left after Tea to catch the Local back home.Both were still relatively new to boarding the Trains and while Kunda got on, Suhas got left behind. Suhas took the next Train but as Kunda was worried about her,she alighted at the next Station.However due to the crush,she could not catch the same Train as Suhas ,who due to the same reason could not alight--hence they kept doing this at every Station that passed--each waving the other onwards from every Platform on the way!!Their pet peeve however are the Auto Rickshaw drivers---who flatly refuse to ply them to nearer destinations!! It is their "Never say Die" Spirit that keeps the feisty yet beguilingly endearing ladies going and may they always retain the child in their hearts as they have done so far!!!
Kunda and Suhas----During one of their Sessions