My 30th birthday was peaceful and fun. Presents came early in the form of a brand new laptop (thank you Ro) and a snazzy mobile phone (thank you Mummy and Pappa). We then drove down to Mysore on Saturday morning (despite the blasts in Bangalore the previous day) for the weekend.
Mysore was fun! Better roads (and climate), less crowded streets and power cuts just made it better. With some help from people on the road, we got to my cousin's house in time for lunch. An animal crazy home that once housed a great dane, her 6 puppies, three geese, two cats, and a chicken with an identity crisis, it has always held a special place in my life. I went there on holiday alone, for the first time, when I was 15. I went there again from time to time, but this was the first time I was taking Ro there. This time we were welcomed in to the sound of their joyous chatter, the curious barks of their friendly Rottweiler, and the feigned indifference of their pregnant cat.
An hour later, another cousin and her two boys arrived on the afternoon train. Adiv who was lapping up all the attention from everyone took to the younger boy immediately. He gave him generous kisses, and gurgled loudly when the 9-yr-old played "Super Baby" with him. My heart was in my mouth, as I followed the excitable 9-yr-old running around with my even-more-excitable 6-month old in his arms. They were later grounded to the confines of the bed, with one of the adults watching over.
In the evening, everyone was rudely woken up from their siestas, so we could drive to the Mysore Palace grounds. The minute we got out, several horse driven carriages approached us. The america-returned boys were ecstatic, but Adiv was strangely oblivious to the sight of a real horse. Anyway, we climbed into three carriages and went for a ride. Adiv sat on my lap with a big smile that never left his face. After the ride, my cousin's daughters fussed over Adiv some more, while the boys were lured into buying cheap chains by a roadside hawker. Their embarassed mother mouthed, "lets leave", and we were off to the Philomina Church. By the time we got there, Adiv was hungry and it was beginning to pour. So after a quick peek inside, we decided to head back.
Back home, the men opened up bottles of beer and whiskey, while we sat around with the kids ocassionally sipping our breezers. Adiv was changed into his night clothes, and he was happily following his new hero, 9-year-old P, on all fours.
P and J are both typical american kids with an unusual fondness for appams and stew. Their holiday was ending now, and they couldn't wait to get back to Newyork. They spoke about home, their room, their Dad who was still back home, and their friends. At 13 and 9, they were both unusually business minded. On his 8th birthday, P took home-made brownies to school. After giving them to his friends and teachers, he sold the leftover brownies for a dollar each. His older brother was smarter. After collecting his pocket money over a period of time, he'd bought all the candy at a nearby store, just so he could sell them to his friends...at a profit! We laughed ofcourse, but his mother explained to me that they were at a stage where they had to explain to their kids about right and wrong. We have a long way to go I thought, looking at Adiv who was sitting on Nindiya's lap, examining her watch.
The next day, my birthday, was filled with phone calls from allover. I got calls from my family, Ro's family, and friends. My in-laws sent me my favorite chocolate truffle cake, and my cousin's daughter Nimisha baked me a chocolate pudding. 30 candles were carefully placed on the pudding. I blew them at one go, before scooping out some delicious pudding into my bowl. The lunch that followed was a feast. After pigging out, and relaxing for a bit, we then decided it was time to drive back to Bangalore. We both had work the next day, and we couldn't afford to be too late.
We got back at 8, after a break or two, ready to flop into bed. Adiv was being fed, and I was still answering calls, when Ro's uncle and family arrived with a book I can't wait to read, a CD i am listening to, and some delicious Goan food.
So yeah, the weekend was wonderful! Turning 30 couldn't have been more fun. However, now I better think in terms of burning up all the calories I collected over the weekend.
The Imaginary Apple
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