January feels like it’s gone by in a flash. But then what’s new? I should just stop reiterating the fact that time is flying. We’re just a week short of closing month 1 of the new year and I still haven’t finished the year-end post that I began writing in December. Bangalore came and went, and I smack back into my routine which has been very full. There were friends travelling to Goa that had to be met, the sister is living with me and that’s always exciting and busy, I’ve squeezed in a few more sessions of training at the gym per week, and work picking up a little steam, there’s been a heap of events to attend around just Panjim, and before I know it I’m off to Pune for the weekend for a family do!
I haven’t been to the city in about 7 years, and haven’t met some of my family from there in about as long. So I’m headed there with equal parts anticipation and trepidation. There’s a few folks I’m looking forward to meeting, and many others I wouldn’t mind missing altogether — isn’t that how family always is? There is the added sense of estrangement that comes form being physically dislodged from the fabric of extended family, purely because I’m in Goa — off the grid. I miss routine get-togethers that happen in Bangalore and Bombay, and am far too removed from other such avenues that are usually places to catch up with everybody. Nieces and nephews are all grown up, cousins all have spouses (not all of whom I have hung out or bonded with), uncles and aunties are all hitting their 50s and the older generation is creeping well into their 70s and some 80s too. Honestly, ‘m only making the effort to go to meet some of the oldies I haven’t seen in forever. With some other younger folks, the gap (caused by passage of time as well as by moving on in life itself) is so wide, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be either in shock, or have a severe lack of things to talk about. Or both.
My memories of the city are spotty, and when people tell me its a slightly more chaotic version of Bangalore, I want to panic a bit more. But I think about the sprawling family home that’s usually the centre of all the action, I think about some of my relatives who are really fun to hang out with, I think about the bonus opportunity to meet my parents and my grandmother, I think of the music concert that is going to happen, I think about Either/Or and Malacca Spice, I think about the shrewsberry biscuits and the bakarwadi, and most of all I remind myself that it is just a matter of two days. The troubles subside a bit.
What’s the weather like, Pune folk? I know Bangalore and Pune have similar weather, so if its Bangalore-style cool, my heart might settle a little bit more.
Have you checked out my Goa stories for Mint Lounge yet? There’s a story on some of my newest favourite restaurants in town. And a fish-thali trail for all you seafood lovers. Then there’s my blogs for The Huffington Post too. A repeat of an old post on harassment. And a version of my post on weight-training, because it spurred much conversation here.