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Monday, November 1, 2010

Surpise ... Surpise !!

My throat is parched, and my lips are dry. This isn’t a desert safari but rather a trip from Bangalore to Mumbai …..A 19 hr bus journey……… and Volvo or otherwise, it is tiring. 

And I am afraid to drink water…. for then I would need to pee, and for peeing I really can’t hang my fly out of a window in a bus that is doing close to eighty kilometers to the hour.(come to think of it the windows are sealed so........ !!!)

This time around it is yet again trip to Mumbai. I do not have the time nor the inclination to go back home..... to Delhi. I had just been there a month back and I don’t miss anything as of now.

I dare not make a phone call to anyone out in Mumbai… because I am sure they would find out that something is amiss!!

Darn the element of surprise!!

Finally I made it to the apartment block, my sister had her exams going on and I remembered she had to be out early today, which suited me well, as I was there pretty early.

“Good morning!!” incidentally it was Swetha who picked the call.” How come you are up so soon”?

“I am always up soon” I said.

“Yes …but not on a Sunday”, she countered; this was heading into dangerous territory.

Clang…as the lift shut I said…………“ I can’t hear you “and distanced the headpiece from me.

“ Hello….hello….”  rang her voice …the lady in the lift was giving me a puzzled look as the “hello”  was well audible and resonating in the small confines of the lift. I just stared at the cell with a smile on my face.

In I punched the 5 button to reach to her floor.


As she opened the door, I said “Can you hear me now?”

And gave her a hug, she had shrunk sizeably, she had always been small but now she appeared frail. I got the feel that I was hugging my grandma; she had indeed lost a lot of weight in her recent sick tenure.

In came my aunt from the kitchen, “I knew it….. recently joined or not, you would be back for Dipavali”

“Of course that is the only festival we all celebrate...Royally and I just can’t miss it can I”?

“So they gave you off…???

“What is there to give" I said, "I just told them that I am taking the week off”

“And they agreed? …..

Always the element of surprise and trepidation, she seemed to be frightened that I may have resigned yet again.

“Yep and don’t worry it sounded as if it was their brilliant idea of me taking the week off”

My attention then went to their rooms. The house was a mess, there were just too many things lying around, I raised an eyebrow and my aunt said” OK, now don’t get irritated, I had pulled out everything and now need to clean it, I always do it at this time of the year”.

Let’s do it now! I said.

First eat, she said pleadingly

No first clean….I said resolutely. I had been hungry since 12 hours; a couple more wouldn’t really make much difference.

An hour later …and two bulging plastic bags filled with stuff ranging from an old TV remote control; to a happy birthday greeting card…it was looking habitable.

And while I am typing this away, my dear sister is out with her non stop chatter. This she does with characteristic precision and sometimes without warning she would start giggling uncontrollably.

Bang on target it has started….

This is good!!  For I have the railroad snores of my uncle on the left and the silly girlie giggle of my sister to the right and my aunts scathing but well humored comments floating somewhere in between conversations and that too in the wee hours of the morning that is at 2 in the morning.