Last couple of days just whizzed passed even before I got to savour them. My cousins came over from Atlanta to spend four days with us before they went off to met the rest of the De clan in other parts of the country namely Kolkata and Mumbai. It was a delayed beginning. The Lufthansa, (which, in my mind has a 0.0001% delayed flight record and therefore didn’t need checking before rushing to airport), reached Bangalore at 2.50AM on Friday instead of the scheduled 11.50PM on Thursday. So it was a long night of waiting with mosquitoes and Coffee Day mochas for company and trips to the parked car for some music, which one couldn't enjoy for long with the aforementioned mosquitoes in tow. Finally, they emerge from the haloed portal of the Arrival gate around 3.40AM and I am amazed that two innocuous looking young girls (one 13 and the other almost 16) can actually manage this much luggage! Hugging and the customary ‘oh you have grown so tall’ got over in a blink. We got back home just shy of the morning light. Exhaustion crept in, result of the long workday, the wait at the airport, ok, old age too if you insist. Jetlag ensured that my cousins were awake and I got a miserly two hours sleep.
Next day, (actually the same day), thankfully my mother took over and fussed over them like I would if I got myself a brand-new puppy. Well puppies needed rest so I let them be and left for office. Evening was filled with stories of yore, updates on what’s happening in various peoples’ lives and exchanging mp3s.
Saturday, was filled with shopping, binging, mall-hopping and driving around Bangalore (which wasn’t the least bit pleasant with hoards of traffic!). My parents had a prior engagement and guilt-tripped me into baby-sitting the three ‘children’, foregoing the Aerosmith concert (the friend who inherited my ticket assured that I would definitely go to heaven!)
Sunday was spent mostly at home and in the evening a dinner hosted by Baba, which was a formal affair that required dressing up, thrilling my cousins to no end. It’s sure good to be a teenager. They deliberated over what to wear and the makeup (they love desi clothes). The post-dinner adda involved tuneless, off-key singing by the bong crowd who think it’s their birthright to sing at all gathering, joyous or otherwise (most times the audience die before the song itself!). After we politely persuade the boisterous guests to leave, we stay up to watch the night rain.
Yesterday, we went book shopping. They shopped and I enjoyed the smell of new books. The haul included a few Cathy Cassidys, Terry Prachetts and Adam Gopnik’s A King In The Window. Despite being a passionate reader, I have never read any modern teen fiction, (No, not even Harry Potter) so this was indeed an eye-opener. Heartened to know that teen literature is a thriving business.
My cousins left last evening to complete the next leg of their journey. I spoke with the branch of the De clan that would host them for the next few days and they seemed so excited that I felt a pang of envy realizing I would miss the girls.