Coming Back to You

My last post was in January 2015 which is embarrassing. I’ve had painful reminders about my inertia. Statistics from WordPress, coaxing from friends and my inner voice chiding me regularly. It’s like not calling a friend for longer than one should have – you intend to, you think of her often but just don’t get around to picking up the phone. The longer it takes the weaker the resolve. Inertia very quickly turned to insecurity. Was everything I felt irrelevant? Everything I wanted to say inconsequential? I was emptied out. Did my last post take everything from me?

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Perhaps, I’ve been too comfortable. My hypothesis (possibly flawed) and past experience is that a certain level of complexity is a prerequisite to passionate writing. The last year was spent in simple domestic bliss and a challenging yet successful year at work. I was too happy or too engaged with life to pause and ponder. Happiness has always made a guest appearance in my life. Short, sporadic bursts and then it was gone. Leaving only a gentle reminder of its presence and a desire to pursue it some more. So, for the first time I reveled in it. The generosity with which it came – I splashed around it in.

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I light a lamp each night. I’m not religious but I have faith and the simple act of closing your eyes, and bowing your head in gratitude, the feeling of surrendering to something is in itself calming. Every night I thank the Lord and implore him not to snatch this away from me. I feared that this absolute happiness, this unadulterated contentment, the feeling that everything around is just right, was almost impossible. As I bit adieu to 2015 I was almost wary of what the next year would bring. Turns out I was right.

2016 got off on the wrong foot. In January, my sister was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease. All of a sudden that happiness started dissipating. Our phone conversations were now cloaked with anxiety. Since I’m not yet a parent, I experienced first-hand that worrying is a full-time job and I was learning to cope with that feeling.

When I was younger I used to joke that my sister is my oxygen. She’s six years older than me and has raised me. Her priorities changed as she became a mother but I still hung on stubbornly to that notion. So this blow was hard on all of us and I was expected to bring comic relief to a weary household. To be a jester without a trick or a joke. I remember being in the kitchen with my mom and she asked me if I thought my sister would get better. Her naked worry stung me. We expect our parents to be teflon-tough not realizing that they too, have doubts, fears and worries which they hide from us.

When life deals you a bad hand occasionally, you reflect and ask existential questions about life, love and loss You also observe things that you’d otherwise have missed. There are two unrelated incidents that occurred and served as reminders that life must go on.

My husband and I had boarded a flight, on a sunny afternoon, hands linked to each other and as he sat on the aisle seat and I in the middle. An elderly gentleman showed up and claimed the window seat crushing my hope for an afternoon nap. As my husband pulled out his book and I reached for my Kindle, my neighbor bent his heavy frame and fished out the newspaper from the seat-pocket and as he started to read the tripe that passes for news, he settled on a page. Folding the paper indicating his full attention and interest. His eyes scanned the paper as mine studied him. He was reading the Obituary page. I wondered how it would feel, in my twilight years, much like him ,to be searching for friends and acquaintances in the pages of a newspaper?

Some months later, I had the flu and after several failed attempts at self-medication I went to a doctor. I took his prescription to a busy chemist and as I handed the piece of paper hoping he would have better luck understanding the illegible handwriting, I noticed a middle-aged woman walk up to the counter. She was from a humble background, her clothes and shoes had seen better days and she carried some medical reports in a worn-out yellow plastic bag. She gingerly took out the report and gave it to the assistant. He announced rather loudly that the injections would cost Rs.4500 each (approximately 66USD). She repeated the amount slowly, she didn’t look crestfallen as she calculated silently. I guess when an experience gets familiar, it fails to shock you. I was very tempted to jump to her aid and almost opened my mouth to offer her the money but the sales assistant returned with my order and asked me if he should give 12 pellets instead of 10. Yes, I replied hastily, and turned to look at her but all I saw was a receding figure, crossing the road.

Being helpless saddens and often angers me. But I realize I must not give up hope. Despite Trump. The soundless wheels of time are turning each day. Delivering pleasure, pain and prose. 10 months later, my sister’s health is stable and improving and I’m going to be a mother soon. 2016 draws to an end in burgeoning optimism.

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Hong Kong

I’m back after a hiatus. There were seismic changes and all in quick succession. Physically fatigued and mentally worn out, I had no time to think; much less to write. Such fervent planning, selling, buying, packing and unpacking that I felt bereft of any emotion, focusing only on the tasks ahead. It all began when I requested for a transfer from Hong Kong to India.

After the macro planning of moving countries came the piecemeal planning. Taking photographs of my furniture, uploading it on various websites, drawing up a price list and the slow, systematic, dismantling of my life. As I had inherited my landlord’s furniture I didn’t own much but what I did was precious and cherished. But if you separate the owner from her belongings, you’re just left with objects. Life can be brutally transactional.

My hot pink IKEA sofa, my romance chest, my movie style lamp, my Indonesian wooden bar cabinet. Yes that’s right, I owned a bar cabinet with lots of very expensive glasses, imagining I would be hosting many soirees. I’m not a drinker but I am a dreamer.

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It also involved some paperwork. As you know it’s not my forte. (https://pausetoponder.com/2013/09/05/staying-true-to-form/). Between the termination notices and other formalities, it didn’t allow me to feel melancholic about the inevitable farewells.

I attempted writing this piece but words escaped me. I felt strongly, but strangely, I felt empty. One Friday evening, I opened my refrigerator and thought I’d seek aid from alcohol. A glass of wine perhaps, like shown in the movies. There’s a saying in Italian “ In wine there is the truth”. Alas, instead of coherent thoughts I welcomed sleep.

Why? I wondered. Life changing events and I felt nothing? I probed. Perhaps my instinct for self-preservation had kicked in.

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Leaving Hong Kong was rather difficult. It’s a transient city but I grew up in that city. It took a lot from me but it gave me so much more. Wonderful friends, heaps of fun, lasting memories and lessons. It was a defining period in my life where I wandered off and then reclaimed myself.

I’d spent nearly seven years in Hong Kong. A few more months and I would be a permanent resident. Hong Kong. Have you realized how different a word sounds depending on how your world changes? How easily some names that meant so much at one point, that would roll of your lips so naturally, now sound unfamiliar?

In response to immigration officers, I’d say I live in Hong Kong. I’d rush to airport gates announcing a flight to Hong Kong. My last two passports were issued in Hong Kong. My photo identity was my Hong Kong Identity Card. In response to where I was from, Hong Kong was the most appropriate response. After all my business and personal travels, I’d land in that city and wait for the airport express train to swoop in and carry me swiftly and safely to what was then, home.

I had packed my bags for Hong Kong with trepidation. Everyone assured me that I would love it and I did. How could I not, the vibrant city envelopes you in its heady mix of money, shopping, friends and travel. It’s off-the-charts sexy and it also has a soul.
It must have been my unending enthusiasm because when I landed in the month of February it was unexpectedly cold, bleak and uninviting. I was cooped up in a service apartment for a month with no friends but plenty of time. I was lonely initially but not sad. I began to revel in the anonymity. Getting lost in the labyrinth of gleaming and imposing buildings.

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The early years are not something I want to forget entirely. But they’re also something I don’t remember easily. The memories have been folded neatly and pushed in the far corners of my heart. Once in a while I’m reminded of them, accidentally. Chancing upon old scanned documents in folders long forgotten. Unearthing USB’s with photographs. On rare occasions I cave in. I remember them, deliberately. Like today.

It would be dishonest if I write this chapter on Hong Kong without mentioning my former husband. My former, laugh-out-loud hilarious partner. He’s not a person, he’s an experience. He kicks the door open to announce his arrival. One of the most creative people I know with talents that never cease to end. He can cook, sing, rap, dance, act, play musical instruments and play sports. A photographer par excellence. He ran marathons, reviewed movies, programmed music channels, created cartoons and last I checked he was into rowing and also sang in a choir! He is a living example that it’s never too late to attempt anything.

We shopped, made new friends, partied, traveled, binged on our favourite TV series and experimented with international cuisines. We enjoyed all the firsts that come with living overseas. In a foreign land we leaned on each other for companionship, resulting in a closeness that wasn’t sustainable. Eventually we had to pull apart. We got confused. We got temperamental. We got lost. We lost each other. It was as if I had subscribed to an entertainment channel. Scratch that, a bouquet of channels. Perhaps our combined energies were self-destructive; waiting to explode.

I was desperately sad in the months that followed. It was the void that hit me first. I tried every trick in the book to fill this void but I was just sinking into irrelevance. I hit the malls with a vengeance,tried Zumba and became post-break-up thin but I slowly realised that only I could fill this void. I had to be autonomous in my unhappiness. Not by staying busy but by staying strong.

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To fill this void, along came a new companion. Anxiety. It hung around me in a heavy air. I tried to outsmart it but I couldn’t. It linked arms with me. It accompanied me to meetings, picnics, parties and in bed. I accommodated it, because anxiety kept me on my toes. It kept me in check. It made me more efficient. The longer it stayed , the better I got at handling it.

Finally, I was in a good place. There’s a line in one of my favourite books The Kite Runner:
“I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”

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Perhaps I had forgiven myself for what I considered a failure. Soon I began to love my life and my independence. My ex and I often found our paths crossing but never our lives. He met the girl he would marry and months later, I met my future husband.

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Our friendship grew organically. We didn’t say I love You’s. We didn’t need to. We just knew. If my ex had given me wings, my husband provided wings and roots. I call him my anchor. However, marriage meant leaving Hong Kong and my solitude. How ironic that the very thing that scared me at first was now invaluable. Solitude teaches you more about yourself and I highly recommend it in large doses.

In May, my ex-husband and I met for lunch possibly for the last time. For a man of flamboyant entries, his exit was quiet and full of grace. We caught up, cried softly (blamed it on spicy Sichuan Chinese food), reminisced about traversing the peaks and valleys of Hong Kong, literally and figuratively. He left on the 14th of June for the States and two weeks later I bid adieu to Hong Kong. Thus ending this glorious chapter.

Six months later, I’m back in India. Furniture sold, MPF and bank accounts closed, taxes cleared and correspondence addresses changed. There’s no trace of my life back in Hong Kong except for what survives in memory.

‘Do you miss Hong Kong?’ asks everyone. ‘No,’ I reply feeling faintly disloyal. Although I miss everything about it. Friends, colleagues, weather, food, gym, infrastructure, governance and yet I’m happy. Pure, unbridled joy. Sorry Hong Kong, just because I didn’t think I was lonely didn’t mean I didn’t feel lonely.

I’d left as a young, carefree girl and I’ve returned as a wise old soul. ‘Life takes you places, love brings you home’.

Happy Father’s Day

I was half asleep until half an hour ago, that in between state of sleep and wakefulness. When my mind stirred and the thoughts started warming up although my eyes stayed firmly shut and body remained still and limp with sleep. But a thought crept in, about Father’s Day and that I should have bought a present for my dad. Should have sent a little surprise perhaps? I’m the only member in my family who believes in them. The others are shockingly bad with surprises or spontaneity.

Instead I decided to write this post, not because I will publish it and my father via Facebook will like it and so will my extended family. No. My dad’s mercifully not on Facebook and my sisters aren’t very savvy either. This note is just a recognition. Mother’s shouldn’t be celebrated over a day, it’s a lifelong gratitude. You say the word mother and it warms the cockles of your heart. They are just as sacrificing now then they were before. But our fathers, deserve a special mention today simply because they’ve stopped making men like them.

We’ve all heard that term before. Our rich history with selfless visionaries can’t be compared to the current crop of pathetic politicians. The thieving ministers and thugs that are elected to lead us. We get melancholic listening to Kishore Kumar, RD Burman or Dylan. Plenty of good talent now but hardly exceptional. Actors like Harrison Ford, Clint Eastwod, Richard Gere, Amitabh Bachchan. They were men not boys.

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Our fathers were our teachers, our handymen, our accountants, our drivers, our mechanics and our doctors. They were everything rolled into one without making it seem like it was extraordinary. That generation of men lived a disciplined life. I wonder if our fathers ever slept in, nursed a hangover or chilled at home. It seems to me they were up before the alarm went off even in their twenties.

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My father was born in a small village in UP and given his background I think it’s remarkable the life he’s made for himself and the life he provided us. He does manage to surprise us sometimes with his choices. Like moving to Goa or painting his scooter a bright canary yellow. The head of the family was ahead of his times.

My father pressed his own clothes as well as ours. He is never too busy for us. Recently an old childhood friend who I lost touch over the years added me on Facebook and told me how grateful he was that my dad helped him with his practical exams. I had no idea that they had such an arrangement. In the evenings my father turned part teacher part monster. Let’s just say Maths was never my strong point. It never quite added up in my head.

On the weekends too he works with clockwork regularity. Washing the scooter and the car. Cleaning the blades of all the fans, dusting and finishing other domestic duties. They were fixers. Whereas the guys I now meet have to be told, gently persuaded, reminded, begged and yelled at until they get-up from the couch or look up from the TV or an iPhone etc. Then they have the audacity to call us nags.

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Being domesticated didn’t mean that they weren’t worldly and wise. He can engage in a discussion about history, politics, science and is more knowledgeable than most guys I know.

My neighbour recalls how dad would yell at anybody trying to steal mangoes from her tree. My father and mangoes are not to be messed with. This summer his voice on the phone was almost deliriously happy because he had received his first batch of mangoes. What I admire is this conscientious attitude. Nowadays who gives a damn about what’s happening in your neighbours life?

Now that he’s retired he’s still equally busy. The red tapism in India keeps him suitably busy and largely frustrated. During one his walks, he noticed a pipe was leaking and of course my chagrined father went to the local MLA to tell him a thing or two about wasting water.

He’s a Doer. He’s the ideal candidate for a Power of Attorney. My sister entrusts him with her investments. He walks over to her house and attends to her garden. He recently fixed her washing machine using an old vegetable tray. On another occasion my sister was complaining that her sunglasses have become loose so my father used a hair dryer to heat the plastic until it worked. We would have purchased another pair. We’re the infamous use and throw generation. My dad on the other hand was from the mend and save generation.

When any of us have a work related problem, my dad always assures us by saying ‘Don’t worry about losing a job. I can’t provide you with the luxuries you’re used to but I can still take care of my children’s necessities’

My intention here is not to extol about my dad. It’s just a salute to our dads. The rare breed of men who make it all possible. One might argue that they were not hands-on daddies like we find today and I agree. But life is all about trade offs. The relationship with my father wasn’t based on friendship. Papa wasn’t playful but was respected. Feared more than he was loved.

Sadly he is also taken for granted. Until now.

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To right the wrong

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“We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong.
Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for.
You’re looking for the wrong person.
But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have”.
I will find that special person who is wrong for me in just the right way. Let our scars fall in love.”

― Galway Kinnell

As I Walked Out One Evening by W. H. Auden

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As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river
I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
“Love has no ending.
“I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,

“I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.

“The years shall run like rabbits,
For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
And the first love of the world.”

But all the clocks in the city
Began to whirr and chime:
“O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time.

“In the burrows of the Nightmare
Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
And coughs when you would kiss.

“In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.

“Into many a green valley
Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
And the diver’s brilliant bow.

“O plunge your hands in water,
Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
And wonder what you’ve missed.

“The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
A lane to the land of the dead.

“Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
And Jill goes down on her back.

“O look, look in the mirror?
O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
Although you cannot bless.

“O stand, stand at the window
As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
With your crooked heart.”

It was late, late in the evening,
The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
And the deep river ran on.

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Happy New Year!

We’re celebrating a new year (part deux) in Hong Kong. The Year of the Horse that I hope brings new milestones and nomadic freedom. Looking back makes most of us reflective at first and then resolute. Revisiting the past and reviewing the experiences enriches us with a special wisdom. Sharing some of my key insights and lessons here:

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I’ve often questioned the wisdom of eating Wasabi.

Business class upgrades restores my faith in luck and loyalty programs.

I’m incurable when I suffer from queue envy.

We have to accept that sometimes life takes more than it gives. Forge new friendships and learn to forget.

Hankering for holidays gives me the will to work.

Hair has a long -term enemy called humidity.

Take photos but also take the time to see them. What’s the point of record-keeping if they’re forgotten once shared on social media?

Take risks…calculated or not. A bad decision is a good lesson.

The best sleep is the one that follows after you hit the snooze button.

I prefer people befriending me than following me. Facebook vs. Twitter.

Weekends are about the joy of waking up without the shrill of an alarm.

There are people who have emails and there are people who have email folders.

Generosity and giving has a special joy. However, gifts cannot be compensatory.

Conferences are very conducive to sleep.

I can’t imagine giving up carbs but always envision myself being magically cellulite-free.

Bath tubs are dangerous for accident prone people like me and should come with an emergency button.

We’re allowed one mega mistake a year. A titanic of all screw-ups. That’s how I justify it to myself.

All good stories start with “One day we had too much to drink…”. Nothing exciting ever happens over salads.

The fancier the hotel/club/restaurant the more ambiguous the signs outside the ladies and gents bathrooms. Why sacrifice simplicity for style?

You fully understand yourself when you’re living alone. Until then you’re mostly living up to expectations.
You get to know yourself, not a version of you through the proud eyes of your parents, the love of siblings, the romanticised idea of you held by a partner or the camaraderie of friends and colleagues. But the real you, the one that talks to you when you’re fixing a meal for yourself in the kitchen and the one that gives you company at 3am when sleep evades you.

Comfortable high heels is an oxymoron.

Vanity and my winter wardrobe don’t get along. Puffer jackets..UGG!

Hangovers are the price you pay for a good time.

You’ve invested in past relationships and people casually refer to it as baggage. Some have carry-on, some have it checked in and some have excess baggage. I don’t want to let go of this baggage. It’s brought me here and will travel with me like a silent companion requiring no retribution.

Recycle bins and Trash folders are a treasure trove of memories.

Sometimes I don’t know if I’m dreaming or thinking in my sleep.

Long after the people have left, if you still think of them and smile then I guess it’s a nice way to be remembered.

Baz Luhrmann suggests remembering the compliments you receive. The best compliment of 2013- A friend told me that each time she sees me and returns home, she feels like she’s been on a holiday.

Be honest, without fear of judgment or losing someone.

Routine ruins me.

There is a parallel universe with forgotten passwords and PIN numbers.

One can never keep up with the Kardashians.

It’s never too late to start a hobby. Much like this blog.

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An ode to my odd sister

Happy Birthday, good ol’ Guds! It’s super cheesy to write a birthday blog and post it on social media but you leave me with no choice. I’m going to call you at midnight and you’ll be fast asleep with little or no enthusiasm for your big day. So I will to try again in the morning and as always you will be half-listening while the other half is scolding your daughter or instructing your maids. An email would be lying unread in your inbox long after your birthday has passed. With this, I hope you will take the time to read and remember. A little note for posterity.

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I have a confession to make. A few days before your big 40 I was talking to a friend about your upcoming birthday and I started crying. As I wiped my tear streaked face, I attempted to answer my baffled friend about why I was crying and I said “because she’s turning 40” and wailed some more while he looked wholly bewildered. He patiently said “ Don’t be silly. 40 is the new 30” and I said “ No it’s just that I don’t want her to grow old”.
So please, for my sanity, stay young forever.

It’s strange that a mature, composed, person like me is reduced to someone who cries quite stupidly when it comes to you. I remember when you had phoned me to tell me the joyous news that you’re pregnant and my first reaction was..to cry. Because I thought you were going to be sick, and would have to be hospitalized and worse I would have to share you with someone. And till date, Kavya and I fight for your attention.I have to concede defeat. Your early experience with a capricious younger sister meant you would ace at motherhood.

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All of us have had loved in our lives. The fortunate few have experienced the all-consuming love. Like mine for you. The kind of love that makes you cry and you’re not entirely sure why.
But we often make the mistake of not telling the people we love just how much we love them.
Definitely not in our family where it’s always known, understood, implied, but never said out loud. We’re the family of awkward side hugs, shy greetings and the stiff arm posing. But I’ll try to change that on the eve of your birthday even if you get extremely embarrassed tomorrow.

My weird but wonderful sister, you know you’re unique. You’re one of a kind and thank God for that. The world would be very chaotic if we had more like you. I thought I was the black sheep of the family but when we look at your haphazardness and the curious incapability of planning, listening or organizing, we wonder how you couldn’t be a type A like the rest of us. Before you jump to your defence might I remind you of :

– How you started riding the black scooter that Papa bought us and took me for a ride and declared confidently that you were an excellent rider only to be hit by a car a few seconds later.
– How you were thrown off the train to Goa because your ticket was actually booked for the previous day.
– How you were supposed to take a bus to Poona but ended up in a bus that goes to Latur. Poor Papa waited all night for you at the bus stop worrying.
– How you drive your car, talking one minute and cussing the next and just when I’m about to say something important you say BATTERY BATT.. and the line goes dead. I worry that your last words will be battery battery.
– When you promised to visit me in Hong Kong, booked your tickets and only a few days before the departure date realized that your passport had expired.
– More recently, you made me show you all kinds of exercises like planking, side planking, mountain climbing, Burpees etc with the desperate hope that you would take a video and get started on your fitness regime. All that sweat and tears were for nothing because as I am led to believe that you have just about started going for evening strolls around your building with a cell phone with low battery and an equally low will power. No sweat, there’s always tomorrow.

The list is endless . You’re a case study. But you’re the son that Papa never had. The glue that only a middle sister can be and Mummy’s FD i.e. Favourite Daughter.

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I miss you although I’m not sure what I miss exactly. I don’t remember the last time we had a long conversation without the constant questioning that only kids can come up with, the happy- to- be escaping- the- household- chores husband, the onslaught of domestic help and the perennial phone calls.
You try to see me every week via Face Time but between you and your daughter, the phone is passed so many times that I usually have a headache after hanging up.

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Truth be told, I don’t remember us ever having long conversations. You just always knew.

As I write this, I’m flooded with thoughts of you. Sometimes you can’t hold on to a thought or memory for too long because you might sink in it. You might fall into that vortex of memories and it takes a while to surface to reality again. But I’ll allow that today because I want to thank you.

– For supporting me through school. Even when you interrupted my classes to ask for water and other things that should have been packed by you. I got reprimanded by MY teacher for YOUR behavior.
– For not telling Mummy that I used to buy veg puffs in the canteen. Even though the price for that silence was the veg puff itself.
– For showing me off to your friends in school like a prized possession. I would be superbly off-key singing ‘Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket and save it for a rainy day”. Why would you ask me to sing? Was it some cruel joke?
– For trying to teach me Mathematics. Maths= Muddled brains. You would hit me but it didn’t hurt.
– For teaching me to ride a bike and a car and not yelling at my failure as I accelerated your car into a tree.
– For telling me about boys. Even when they sent hate mail to you for being the protective older sister.
– For waking up early for me. I would leave for the bus stop to catch the school bus while you were still sleeping in our room. When the bus would do a full circle and cross our house again, you would be waiting at the window so you could wave at me. It was our ritual for which I would fight for a seat on the right side of the bus.
– For staying up late for me.
– I owe you big time for the little lies you told our parents..
– For forgiving your thieving little sister. Sorry I stole money from you. I should have taken a few notes instead of the entire wad from under your mattress.
– For not telling me off when I acted like a whimpering younger sister who reluctantly left the room so your friends and you could discuss boys, Mills & Boon, Basic Instinct etc whatever.(see I was always eavesdropping)
– For taking the time off so you could accompany me for my MBA interview. Not to forget the super short pixie hair cut I got right before the interview. Really what were we thinking?
– For keeping my nicknames as your password.
– For humoring me during my awkward advertising days. At the start of my summer internship with an ad agency I would feel most lonely at lunch time. I wouldn’t have anything to eat or anyone to eat it with so I would call you at work and show up at your office which was mercifully next to mine. You’d ask me to sit in your chair while you ran around with a sense of purpose but not before ordering something from the canteen and a Tropicana juice. It meant I ate alone but knew you were close.
Thank you for being around.

So my endearingly irritating sister, Happy Birthday! Here’s to more madness, magic and memoirs.

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