Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cutting chai

As I zoom past with my husband on our bike, I notice splendid buildings, standing gracefully tall, showing the majestic setting sun a glimpse of its own beauty. Glass walls shimmering, adorning the horizon with ornamental diamond-like lights.

I wonder, at times, how would it feel to be on the other side, inside the posh glass frames, dining under glittering chandeliers, sipping sparkling water from the finest of crystal glasses and having the most fancy dishes laid out on antique tables. How would it feel to hear the metal fork tink against the expensive plates...How it would feel, attending meetings with the affluent, the well-versed, the well-spoken, the sophisticated. How it would feel carrying the most advanced technology in branded leather purses and handbags. How it would feel to breathe in the scented air of Calvin Klein and the like. How it would feel to step out of cars that make other people’s faces turn green.

Would I stare at the waiter struggling with his tray, juggling between expensive utensils, yet taking the risk to receive a phone call from a close one, reminding me, that I haven’t called up home in a while now. Will I notice a group of 20-somethings breaking into peals of uncontrollable giggles, wiping tears of bliss from the corners of their eyes and miss my time with friends? Will I sit in meetings, unable to concentrate, reeling under the guilt of screwing up yet another movie plan with friends? Would I struggle having formal conversations, missing the bindass ‘tu, tera, tereko’ that I am so used to? Will handshakes be alien to me, for whom high-fives and hugs work? Would I stand near the glass frame, looking at carefree couples zooming past me on their bikes, staring at the glass frame with awestruck eyes? Would I want to break free?

Yes, I would. I don’t want to be on the other side, inside the glass frames, dining under chandeliers. I’m more than happy going to a roadside dhaba and licking off bits of gravy sticking to the serving dish, wiping my runny nose with a tissue paper and making an ‘O’ bringing my index finger and thumb together to indicate the yummi-ness quotient. I’m happier watching flops with my friends than attending premiers, sitting with big guns and exhibiting plastic on my face. I would be happy to get back home to my parents every few months and feel the excitement than having flight tickets got done whenever I want - it kills the anticipation. I want to be free to talk to ammai-appa, after every meal I have, after every little significant thing I do. I want to giggle, live, unrestrained. Living inside glass frames isn’t my cup of tea...my cup of tea is the one that brews on the streets, in my house..

I need no posh car, protecting me from the dust and heat...all I want is a bike ride with my husband, when the skies go crimson, and like birds returning home as soon as dusk sets in, I want to return to my nest too...