I've been gone for a while...a year and a half to be precise. Not that I didn't have anything to write about - on the contrary there are quite a few unfinished posts languishing in my documents folder. Every now and then I'd get a nudge from a friend and I'd feel guilty about not writing. It's amazing that there are people out there who actually like to read the crap that I dole out from time to time!! It makes me feel wonderful, loved even!!
So what happened? Well, for starters, I added another human being to the burgeoning world population - a beautiful baby boy! He's a year old now - learnt to walk a few weeks back and exploring the world through his gorgeous dark eyes! I can barely remember a life without him in it. Sonny boy is now a responsible older brother, way wiser than his 8 years. Motherhood has taken precedence over everything else in life.
On top of that my mom decided to "help" me out by staying with me for 5 months or so. As much as I love my mom, I have to admit that she is the biggest baby out there - with her everything is a struggle. To go out or not to go out, to call people or not to call people, to cook this or cook that...the list is endless! And then there's her TV addiction! Like a good daughter I arranged for 14 desi channels for her viewing pleasure and I kid you not, the blasted TV used to be on for more than 12 hours a day, everyday!! She'd watch every infuriating serial, every reality show and expected me to sit with her and postmortem them too! Since the time she left, I can count the number of times I have turned the TV on and of course the 14 precious channels of desi TV were cancelled with immediate effect!
Apart from baby-sitting Ma, I was travelling too - with an infant in tow! There was a trip to San Diego with the usual bells and whistles of Lego Land, Sea World, etc and where I met up with my long lost friend after nearly two decades! We also landed up in Las Vegas over the Thanksgiving weekend and introduced Ma to the pleasures of gambling and boy, she had the time of her life at the slot machines! To celebrate 11 years of (almost) peaceful co-existence, our little family went for a cruise to the Caribbeans. It was amazing - we explored mangrove forest in Belize, climbed ancient pyramids of Altun Ha, got drunk on the white sand beach at Costa Maya, walked amidst the Mayan ruins at Tulum and in general had a great time.
And last but not the least, was the 6 week trip to India over the summer. Gosh, that was the fastest 6 weeks ever!! Bonny baby turned one with great fanfare among friends and family. We did a short road trip through Orissa, covering Bhubaneshwar, Konark, Puri, Raghurajpur, Dhauli among other places. This was my second visit, the first one being over 30 years back. I have always avoided Puri, in fact turned my nose down because it's such popular vacation spot for middle-class Bengalis. And take my word for it, Bengali tourists are a noisy, annoying bunch!! But this time, may be because we landed in off-season, I found Puri to be extremely serene - our hotel was isolated, the beach was almost private and empty, even the early morning visit to Jagannath temple went smoothly. The Sun temple at Konark was just as I remembered it from three decades ago - no words or pictures can describe the beauty of these stones!!
This was also a trip which will be remembered for the sheer number of old friends that I met up with. I made a special trip to Bangalore to meet the sister of my soul - it was an emotional meeting, one of forgiving the past, one of redemption, one of introducing the new generation, one of starting afresh! The other day I came across a line " You cannot lose true friends - only misplace them for a while..." That is so true. I felt that this time meeting all these people. It was so refreshing to be allowed to be yourself - no image to project, no pretenses to keep up - just be yourself and be accepted for it!!
No trip to India is complete without a pilgrimage to Hyderabad - this time it was all about food. For three days I stuffed myself silly. The city has changed so much in the 3 years since I left. So many flyovers and malls and tall buildings - but the soul of the city remains the same. My last five days in India were spent in Bombay. Again it was spent in catching up with long-lost friends and eating like there won't be any tomorrow. Recently I've reverted back to eating fish - so needless to say that this trip was very, very fishy - specially in Kolkata where it was the prime Ilish season.
Over the last year and half blogging took a back-seat because Facebook happened to me. I could express my happiness, my anger, my annoyance, irritation, elation, frustration, optimism, pessimism, all in the status update and once it's out, it's out. No more festering emotions to erupt in a blog post, I suppose. And the emotions which I put a lid on and allow to boil are too private to write about - of course, my therapist will disagree. She has asked me time and again to get those feelings on paper and get them out of my system. May be some day I will, when I'm brave enough...