It happens. No matter how jaded you are with the whole "Give Peace a Chance" thing. Especially as it is coming from quarters such as the (recently jingoistic) Times of India and the unfortunately named Jang Publications. Plus its difficult to stomach the Big B all shahtoosed and asking for kite flying and tappa jam sessions days after he mentioned his admiration for Messrs Modi and co. Chalo, to each his own as they say, its a free country and it is up to him whom he chooses to fawn over. So frankly even though though I thought that nothing nothing could make a dent in my cynicism but something did get by my world weary attitude and made me all mushy. I do not know whether it was the whole cheesiness about the promo (It involves dumb charades on the Indo-Pak border for a caller request radio show) or the trip down memory lane it brought about. For if I am not wrong, it is not that I grew up in years where we were all puppiyan jhappian with Indians but even then they seemed like simpler times, happier times. My younger cousin reminds me (though I have no recollection) that our generation of cousins-siblings did a little jig of joy for Indira Gandhi's birthday celebrations and we all did cry when she was assassinated. And the song by request reference reminded me of winter mornings, dressing up for school and hovering around our grand mother's Grundig radio as it played a similar show. Our tastes were dictated by the preferences of the letter writers, and our sense of humor piqued by all the Buntys, Bubblys writing from obscure places. I was telling Gman how in my lifetime Ive gone through the "write to radio show to play your fav song" , followed by "call in for your song" (and be subjected to the hello hello ...please turn off your radio while you speak to us...please talk to my younger sister, niece, neighbour...helloo beta conversation), later we had MTV Most Wanted and the hoping and praying that VJ Nonie played something we liked. Now its Youtube and we can never be out of our fav songs.
He by the way realised how old he was when he blurted
"Haan plane may chain nahee hotee na(there is no emergency brake cord to pull in a plane) as he watched Madhavan's character fluster about in 3i
Anyways going back to regular programming about my travelogue ...not that anyone is clamoring for the next installment , why doesnt anyone delurk? well as Rancho would have said "You keep on blogging...comments jhak maar kar ke apne aap peeche bhagee gai, comments are sure to follow". all i need is a bit of excellence in execution right?
So after spending one evening in Dhaka it was off to Sydney where Gman had work and I continued with my bhabhi ji who likes to shop and sightsee avatar. It was 42 degrees by the way so I stayed indoors and would go out evenings the first couple of days. Met with some old girl friends, one had had a baby and it was kind of surreal to be discussing "calming strategies" rather than thesis deadlines. We both have our share of bouts with the big bad blues and were paranoid about the days after bub . The fact that we have survived (or actually our kids have survived us) was a cause to celebrate.
We were staying in the city and Sydney had been my gaon (village) before Melbourne poached us, so I took Arhaan around the sights (not that he is at the age alas when he can appreciate it)...he is fast becoming the garden gnome from Amelie as I snap him posed with assorted "icons".
Opera Shopera Im going to sleep
He continues to behave in museums so he has not been cramping my style, touch wood ...khair who knows how long this phase lasts.
Kiya broad brush strokes eh ?
After Sydney it was my turn to "perform" as I spoke at a conference in Brisbane. Actually it turned out more of a writer's workshop which is really really nice as everyone has read your work and gives decent feedback and frankly has an idea where you are coming from rather than it turning out a Pakistan Studies 101 type presentation where someone will ask you the ubiquitous question How can Benazir Bhutto Be a Prime Minister When your Lot clearly Hates Women. (Not that I hate going to conferences, please please keep inviting me!!)
Kind of a swan song before I retire to my life of diapers and steamed apples. I think I have already posted about my Oprahish A-ha moment there earlier. In Brisbane we stayed in the lovely lovely Stamford, and had the yummiest breakfasts along the river. See it does pay to study.
Arhaan behaved and didnt annoy anyone at the river front brasserie or I guess he has figured out that good behaviour-equates hash browns and cheese and bagels with people drooling all over me-bad behaviour means steamed apples ploughed down my throat in a high chair. So a lovely lovely time was had and Gman and me had our usual good weather versus a place with culture debate. What do you think? should one be in a place with really decent weather but life seems like an endless vacation and your kid only gets to know holiday maker types or should you be in a place with really (and I mean REALLY) crappy weather but with all the Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham the humour the pathos that life brings? Of course not bearing in mind the occasional arson et knifing attacks Im reading about.
Next stop Singapore and Indeeeyaa!!
Mischief on the horizon and
the beach bum
They say if I wait long enough there is going to be a spray of water.