Today's early morning hustle and bustle brings back memories of childhood and visiting faraway places in South India for weddings and other celebrations. As children, we had very little say in which social occasion we were gracing. Then again, being children, we did not really care as being woken up early was equated with being considered an adult and the resultant puff of pride had us strutting around a little more dandily. I seem to recall my only concern was running around huge halls & labyrinths of rooms with my cousins, playing chaotic games. We had competition from the ladies of the house who would also be moving around, balancing trays of food, filter coffee, utensils or flowers and woe betide the poor unfortunate who obstructed them.
At times we kids would pause, congregate at the water drum and watch the women in awe as they practically danced around everyone else, their colourful 9 and 12 yard saris creating a kaleidoscope of indescribable beauty. The menfolk would be dressed in full-shirts and spotless white lungis, the older ones sporting the customary handlebar moustache. They roles were simple; sit in groups seriously discussing family fortunes or sit in groups raucously playing cards. Either of these activities was accompanied by filter coffee, the need for that heady brew practically hardwired into their genes.
For me, those days are gone and the magical, timeless quality of those occasions have drifted away. As I write this piece, a different moment of gathering has arrived. Even though I am not taking the 'walk', some of my friends are. Watching them nervously struggle into their formal clothes, half-strangle themselves attempting to wear ties and stomp around with with purposeless enthusiasm in black shoes, I can chuckle. Especially at their formal graduation robes that are the same hue as Kermit the Frog.
Having lived with these jokers for 2 years, thinking back to many moments we have shared...
It is another day of celebration with a different kind of family.
Song for the moment: Rock you like a hurricane - Scorpions