It was a trip planned well in advance. It was a trip that was due for a year, waiting for the cute twins grow and giving adequate private time for my friends to enjoy the parenthood and the new experience. Few days before the trip, I told my colleague friend M about the Seattle trip. M, who shuttles between Seattle and Colorado Springs often, told “Say my hi to the pilot” and giggles followed The GPS struggled to work on my way to Denver but some luck showered in the form of my driving skills and the driving directions memory that I held hitherto.
The sleep cycles after the India trip was a deviant that continued even ‘in the air’. I had the Infinithoughts magazine on my handbag that gave me company through out. It was the first time after so many years I finished reading the magazine in one sitting. There was an argument between the airline crew and a lady who boarded. Due to a delay in the previous flight, this lady has gotten into this connecting flight at the last minute where as her boss had missed. The argument continued for a while until the crew member had to discuss about the laws and regulations. I got reminded of actress Sneha who comes in a guest appearance as the Senior airline crew member in the latest movie OKOK – The nuisance in the movie scenes was probably in line with this actual and thats why I gotten Sneha in my mind at that point of time.
While we disembarked the plane, saw most of the people taking their jackets and wearing it. I too picked up my jacket and wore it. Seattle weather can be gloomy all the time. I remember my colleague friend M telling me the correlation of percentage inclination of suicides and weather. AP came to pick me up and we talked about work, Colorado, songs, movies, personal things etc. There was a group of friends at his place and we had dinner and ended up chatting till 2 AM in the morning. S was asking about my India trip and other personal plans. The twins were happily sleeping in their places and we did not disturb them.Is this what is called ‘Sleepless in Seattle?’
The next afternoon was the B’day party. In the morning, AP’s mom, sis and I were chatting for a while talking about good old stories and how me and his sis used to play teacher games Getting the Y & Y twins ready was not an easy task. The tikes that I had gifted was a hit – the twins and all those kids who came to their place wanted to ride on that. Loved the kids dresses – the boY with a cute coat suit and the girlY with a cute little pink frock and a flowery headband was a delight to watch. The next set of dresses – a girlY chudidhar with a dupatta for a one year old? (wonder how they design such cute dresses for the little ones) and the ‘cool dude’ dress of boY also suited them well that we couldn’t get the eyes off of them. Snaps were clicked continuously.
Though I am not used to long earrings, with S’s request, wore one. I looked different to myself The bright colored dress was another thing that was a new attempt from me. The new attempts bore its fruit of satisfaction revealed from the snaps that I saw later. The party place was filled with friends of AP & S. Loved the place which had a park and a lake around. We took a stroll to the lakeside and took few pictures. Then some group snaps followed. The lunch dishes were good and we packed the left overs for dinner. While getting into the car, A came and showed me a photo asking “Why are you not having a Bindi in this photo?”. I said “Ha ha…it’s not me”. The girl in the photo was a look-alike of me and hence the question. I then enquired who that was and since it was AP/S’s friend SC’s sister, I have started calling SC as ‘enga Anna SC’
We had some games in the evening at AP/S’s place and dinner at their friend’s place. There was a game to tell in one line about each of them present there. They asked me to tell about S and after few mins of thoughts I said “Friendly”. I could have come with a better word because I meant to say something more than that. Anyways, my turn was over. S was asked to tell about me and she said “Samaritan”. M said “I have read the word in books but don’t know the complete meaning of it”. I was in the same boat as M but I thought it was to refer a person who lends a helping hand. My vocab is limited that way. When S detailed it, I didn’t know how to react but smiled and felt very happy inside
Dinner time was fun at their friend’s place. We were taken an inside tour of the house by A. Liked the way they have kept things, modelled and adorned the house. We had home made dinner, party left overs, pizzas. Before a game of poker was started, we requested AP and his brother-in-law, a talented vocalist and guitarist to play Guitar and sing songs of “Engal choice” [the songs that were chosen from all of us]. Songs ranged from Ilayaraja’s “Madai Thirandhu” to Harris Jeyaraj’s “Nenjukkul Peidhidum”. Banters were there in between the musical show Kids were engrossed in Wii games. The game of Poker was detailed to some of us who were new to it. I watched the game most of the time rather than taking the role of a player. Time flew and it was well past midnight. Then, to bed.
GirlY refused to come to me most of the times but boY did not. Sat besides them and saw them playing. Took pictures with them in AP’s friend N’s place. I knew N from the school days. I was teasing N and AP on how those school days they waited at the bus stop to sight a girl of my class, whom they liked We had a surprise baby shower for AP’s sis and then lunch at N’s place. We had a ‘in and around’ house tour there also
Left to the airport there after. AP & S came to drop me off. On the way I was thinking of the hand written card that they gave. I’ve clipped it on my bedroom now. It means a lot to me as it referred how much I mean to them. Their gift to me reached a week later – it was a very funny desktop organizer. I told S why I did not want to keep that in my work place. If I keep it, I’m sure every one who walks that side, will stop by and pass some comments.
Boarded the flight and with insufficient sleep for few days, thought of dozing off as soon as I get in. There was an old man sitting across my seat smiled and asked me “Are your parents from India?” I nodded and he said he want to talk to me. I did not know why until he came and sat next to me and told his details. He was a musician who had gone to various parts of India for his concerts. We started talking about various topics – India, Culture, Varanasi, Chennai, Carnatic Music, Brahmins, Religious gods, Marriage rituals, Dowry, Recipes etc., He said he loved Upma and Dosa with coconut chutney and sambar. He went into the details of “how to make Upma?” I told about my iota of knowledge on music and the carnatic classes that I had taken [not worth mentioning though ] We both did some thaalams, aadhi thaalams and talked about some raagas that I’m familiar with. Being at the rear end of the flight, the flight attendant kept smiling at me often seeing our conversation. The old man and I talked about Harappa, Mohenjadaro, Castes, religions, history, tamil linguistics, differences between Hindustani and Carnatic – Most of these topics which I am not knowledgeable enough, I felt bad for not knowing more about my country, history and ancient culture that he asked about. I shared the Dosa recipe with him. He showed me how he wrote his name in Hindi – It was crystal clear and correctly written. He asked me if I am in my 20s. I told that it was a decade before Good thoughts, happiness, peace can bring radiance in you making you look and feel younger
While we waited to pick our baggages from the side, he sang a carnatic song for me. I remembered my carnatic teacher and my ‘on the class’ experiences then. Back home then…
Every trip offers a different enriching experience. Many more to come…