Because we’re all still here. One of the weddings I attended in Bangalore was in fact on the 21st of December, and we came out on the other side just fine.
Aside from realising I had accidentally forgotten my pair of normal shades in Goa, leading to an unseemly pairing of elegant pattu sari, elaborate jewelry and yes, bright blue beach shades, nothing unforeseen really happened.
Unless of course you can count a sudden change in personality. Because on more than one occasion, I found myself eating my words. These words. Like when I was shopping for jeans on my annual pilgrimage to Vashi’s, but ended up picking out a pair of bright sea-green drainpipes. And when I went about shopping for my kitchen, like there was no tomorrow. And when I had to hold myself back from raiding my mothers jewelry safe. And when I gave in to complete and utter lack of self-control and bought myself yet another unnecessary (but so awesome) piece of clothing: a pair of totally cool, ultra hippie cotton pants from Anokhi. My excuse? We don’t have one in Goa, and I don’t get to shop there nearly as often as I like. And when I donned my wedding heels once again. All three-and-a-half inches of them (also, please do not miss the red nail paint — a first for me).
Christmas came and went in between one wedding and the other, and while all my roaming around the city made me feel horribly stifled and like I was jammed in a gridlock of unfinished flyovers, metro constructions and horrible, horrible (is Bangalore’s traffic at its worst?!) traffic jams, I managed to squeeze some time out on the one day I had free and to myself, to catch brunch with her. Over over-priced sangrias, salad and sandwiches, we talked about all those things we’re best discussing — music, work, boys, woman-issues and the like.
Until we realised the other micro-brewery I hadn’t been to was just across the road. So we hopped over and caught one too many beers with him and her. Can I just say that was the yummiest, lightest clove-spiced wheat beer I have ever had? And that it was cloudy and not clear gave me a real special kick.
Wedding two was gorgeous. In the most graceful, and simplistically, yet beautifully decked venue, we had two days of masti. It was like rediscovering old friendships in the light of present day. Like rewinding time, and zipping ahead all at once.
The venue was so pretty, and the wedding ceremony itself so simple, it made me want to get married all over again. And this time, do it my way. Small ceremony, small gathering, big party, big love.
Four words perfectly summarize this trip back home: family, friends, food and, believe it or not, shopping.
Its the longest trip I have made to Bangalore, since moving to Goa, and I thought that with all the extra time to spare I would have enough and more to chill with family and manage to meet friends I pick and choose. But it turns out that there can never be too much time. Because I was still busy playing the see-saw ride between one home and the other. And after a first few days of dashing back and forth and back again, and being told what I ought to do, I no efforts will ever be enough when it comes to pleasing every body alike. So I decided to do my DIL duties unflinchingly. As long as it didn’t cause me unbearable discomfort, I did it. And after that I decided to do what I pleased. Spent a day with friends, went shopping with my mum and sister, and when I was not driving myself to a wedding (which incidentally took up most of my time in the city) I was found lolling about at home: cooking, giggling unnecessarily, being silly and chilling with my folks. And no, I still don’t feel like I did enough of it. There was family, there was food and when they come together, it is one dangerous mix that is hard to free yourself of. As the day to return to Goa came closer, I found myself wishing I could take my mom back with me, or at least my cook, or at least some parts of the divine bites of home that I had had.
So I settled for a few small packets, which ended up adding significant bulk to my luggage. Bags of flavoured tea, ziploc packets of assorted chutney podi, fresh organic honey, Kikkoman soya sauce and the like. Yes, Bangalore was awesome and fulfilling in ways I didn’t imagine it could be.
One would think returning from a trip that fun would be an arduous task. I steeled myself for some serious Bangalore- withdrawl and throes of homesickness, but what I faced was so negligible, I slept over it and woke up feeling brand new. Literally.
Thanks to a rescheduled flight that saw me waking up at 3 am, to catch a 5 am flight out of Bangalore. It was dark and misty outside, and when I landed at 6 am, the sun was just about rising. I returned home groggy with a tinge of the post-holiday blues. The OCD freak that I am, I usually revel in setting the house back in order, when I am back from a break. It is therapy — my way of getting back to the Goan Grind, as it were. Almost like an ablution to normalize and get out of the holiday mode and into life mode. But to my utter shock and despair, the husband had miraculously done a splendid job of not messing the house in my absence. What do I know, the boy still has some surprises to pull, I guess!
The laundry was done, the kitchen was clean, the bedroom was devoid of the usual signs of his solo occupation such as random bits of clothing strewn on the floor, unmade beds, junk food wrappers by the headboard and the like. So the only thing left to do was unpack, tidy up my own mess and be done with it. My over-stuffed suitcases posed the only physical hurdles in the bedroom, and the immediate thing to do of course, was unpack. Something I usually dilly-dally over and leave for 3-4 days after I have returned. But since the husband hadn’t left much for me to do, I figured that the quickest way to get back to normal mode would be to unpack.
If there’s one thing I hate more than packing for a trip that includes two weddings, it is unpacking from a trip that included two weddings and more shopping than I can handle. I went with a single suitcase (which has till date been my travel pride and glory — there’s always just one suitcase) but came back with two. And the second one was filled with microwave-safe air tight boxes, a whisk, a fine grater, an assortment of sari blouses I discovered in my cupboard back home, and two extra pairs of footwear that were gifted to me, amongst other things.
But that could wait. The lack of sleep was catching up. And I collapsed in bed, only to wake up four hours later feeling like I had been asleep for over 24 hours. The deepest, most slumbrous hours in a long time. And miraculously, when I woke up, I felt like I was home. Like someone hit un-pause. I unpacked, picked up my first kindle purchase (50 Shades of Grey, if you must know — I finally want to know what the hoopla is about), and put my feet up.
There are few things as satisfying returning from a longish, refreshing break back home, slipping into normal life and getting back to regular programming as effortlessly as drifting off into a deep slumber and waking up to a bright new day. And that is exactly how coming back to Goa was.