Thursday, March 28, 2013

I was a typical small town girl when we married.Tongue tied in front of the so called "Big City" friends that Sudhir had, I adopted a snobbish attitude--and whenever I spoke it was always in English--in the colonial British accent the Nuns had taught me.Those days I'd have died before admitting it but it was just a case of my insecurity taking the upper hand.Chandigarh had just 2 big Hotels to it's name--one was the Mount View owned by Rai Bahadur Oberoi and the second one was Aroma--a wee bit rundown and genteelly shabby by then.Having grown up in the higher echelons of the graded post colonial period I had an extremely confident exterior hating the little mouse that hid behind the facade.
Besides having grown up on the lover boy Movies of Shammi Kapoor and his brother Shashi Kapoor my head was full of the romantic nonsense they put forth.For me going on a Honeymoon meant going to a beautiful Hill Station,running around Trees dressed in fabulous Finery and melodiously singing lilting Love Songs and Duets.Also I expected Sudhir to chase me,catch me and then haul me up in his arms!!All of this was a definite no-no.The fun loving cousin I had married turned into an extremely obsessively possesive husband----who didn't want us drawing any kind of attention to ourselves!!Our Honeymoon began with a spat--caused by my excessive garrulousness with another couple on their Honeymoon too---and later the nervousness caused by the long walk towards our Hotel from the Bus Stand----resulting in a humdinger of a headache for poor Sudhir.However the next day began with a wonderful English Breakfast--and we made short work of our Bacon and Eggs and the bowls of the marvellous Porridge.
I am blessed with an uncanny sense of direction and never forget Roads---here in Shimla I'd visited so often that I knew all the main roads--as well as the lanes and the bylanes too--this was my Territory!!As we strolled around the Mall Road and it's surroundings I was spouting information and local History all the while!! Luckily Sudhir and i were still in the early stages of our relationship--so he put up with the flow that I steadily kept up--10 years down the line he had no compunction in exasperatingly telling me to either be concise--or shut up!!For me that week was wonderful despite it's rocky start.In my beloved Mountains in the Autumn--the spectacular Sunsets and the beautiful views all around was a bonus that we both gloried in.Sudhir and I shared an immense love for the Nature that surrounded us---and it was here that a part of my Fantasy came true--he would sing to me whenever he felt like.His favourite was a beautiful Mohammad Rafi song from the film "Yeh Raat phir naa Aayegi" and the song was "Aapsey mainein Meri Jaan ".There was also two Shammi Kapoor songs that he sang to me--one was "Hai Duniya usiki Zamaana usikaa" from Kashmir ki Kali and "Meri Mohabbat Jawaan rahegi" from Jaanwar.
By now we had also acquired two beautiful songs as our own during our courting period of 7 months.Both of these were as melodious and sweet as the other ones.One was "Phoolonkey Rangsey" from Prem Pujaari and the other was "Yeh Dil diwaanaa hai" from Ishq par Zor nahin.The old Store Room in the Bombay home had been converted into a beautiful Bed cum Sitting room for us--and on our return we spent a lot of our time in there.In a Joint family where privacy is always at a premium we flouted all the established norms and contrary to convention left no opportunity to spend all our spare time together. Milind in fact composed a song with which he would sing at the top of his stentorian voice--just to tease us---- as soon as both Sudhir and he arrived home from the Courts and Office.It was during the day that I began getting closer to my MIL Atya and Nina.As soon as I found out that Lotta was on the way I took up Knitting--something that my mother had taught me well but something that I wasn't really very fond of!!As the garment began taking shape gradually I got caught up in the joy of creating something new---and before I knew it I was well set on my way--to the extent of learning Tunisian Crochet from a book that Atya had!!
This was a truly joyous period for us--apart from a very slight Morning Sickness I'd be hungry enough to eat tons of Food---and I did!!By the time i was in my 7th. month I'd turned into a huge,fat person--my weight scaled up from 90 lbs. to 170 lbs. in just that period!!I didn't walk ,I waddled and the mandatory Saries i wore floated up just a wee bit below my knees in the front!!Besides I was a total slave to my cravings--I literally drove poor Sudhir mad--I not only craved certain Foods--I craved these from certain particular places only--resulting in mad dashes all over the huge City!!Those days i could still sing--and the one thing that I loved most about Sudhir were his beautiful Sherry coloured eyes.There are many nights that we've driven around the City--both in Moonlight as well as Starlight with me singing to him and he to me---and on the various beaches of Bombay--- sitting on the cool,soft Sands we've also gathered tiny Rice Pearls with childish enthusiasm, digging deep in the Sands with the Coconut shell scoops that we'd used to eat the tender flesh of our Green coconuts!!
I wanted to make the best of every minute--for I was convinced that I wouldn't survive this pregnancy--and alternated between driving Sudhir mad to swear undying love for me and only me--or threatening him with my Ghost being his constant companion!!
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