Debby in Commonwealth Land this October painted quite a pretty picture, claim onlookers. Thank you paparazzi, I appreciate it. Now that I am back at my cubicle in MKCL, having driven through some completely un-Delhi Pune lanes, all I can do is rewind and play. Here are Durga Puja highlights, freshly baked from reflections, in order of arbitrary preference:
1. Couture Culture: There’s nothing like going back to your wardrobe and finding it revamped. Ah you envious souls, that’s exactly what happened to me! There were blues and there were reds and rosy pinks and jade greens… if there is bliss it is this.
2. My Ground Floor Friend: We have a new friend – our tenant: mother of two, animated, enthusiastic little lady… oodles of fun! Though this was the first time I was meeting her, I felt as if have known her for years. She is a Godsend considering Mom has terrible mood swings with Dad and me both staying away.
3. Camera Camaraderie: Blame it on my days in Pune, but a camera and I together can be quite a menace. It’s great fun capturing every little moment in print, especially when you know it will become a memory in the very next. I got photos of every pandal we went to, of Ma cooking me parathas, of my cats cozily asleep, of my Dad in his stylish avatars, the works. I now have a fine flipbook to show to my great grandchildren. “Oh yes sweetheart, your pardadi was always a sweet creature!”
4. Sur Gunje Taal Baaje: That’s what they call our D-Block Puja Samity’s karaoke competition. Apart from rousing from sleep several delightful Bangla songs from my childhood and tapping my feet to some melodious voices, it also served immense comic relief. Not everyone is born with music in his vocal chords. Mr. Green Kurta vowed to prove otherwise. My apologies for being so smug but Mr. Green Kurta and his Atif renditions were barely pushing the limits of Giggle Control, when he arrived with an oh-so-soulful ‘Maula Mere le le meri jaan...’. His scale went left and the orchestra went right even as he sat down on his knees to counter the turbulence. I giggled and giggled some more before I found the phone a good excuse to escape out.
5. Kala Khatta: Flashback…Cut to School…Debby looks with puppy eyes at Aanchal Jain who indifferently devours one ice lolly after another, the Cola taking the highest priority. The steaming hot 2’oclock Delhi summer sun blazes mercilessly on. Mom didn’t give me pocket-money back then and I never asked for any. The only time I wished I had a few bucks on me was when I stood waiting for our drop home bus – my throat parched and my water bottle empty. Needless to say, I have several reasons for relishing a kala khatta whenever I get the chance.
6. Kitty Bonanza: Family planning measures aren’t that far-reaching after all or maybe our house cats are just too fond of kids. Every time I go home there are new kittens to fondle, this time being no exception. There was a white one – too impish for his own good and a brown one – quiet and mature. Few things compare to sitting out on the terrace with a couple of cuddly cats to hug.
7. Saddi Delhi and Dilliwale: I know, I know. The way I go on about Delhi makes it seem like the most charming little town where horses nuzzle your hands for sugar and children walk to school amidst sheep grazing in Swiss like Alps. The press seems to be in compliance lately – Delhi is fast becoming a world-class city and my most cherished little nooks and crannies just got more delightful. An hour-long drive around my hometown recharges my batteries enough to face at least week-long drudgery. (And no God, this isn’t by any means a challenge… you know how my feeble little soul craves peace) to say nothing of the people who make Delhi what it means to me. Though I say it myself, I am among the luckiest people alive to have a family whose world begins and ends with me.
Cut to Present… So as I was saying, I am back after my week-long vacation. I won’t say I am rested as Durga Puja for a Bengali is more crazily strenuous than an ordinary day at work. But yes, I have November to look forward to – which promises Diwali and my Birthday (yippee!) among other events.
So give me a bit to get Pune-cized again. Until then.