no, i was not in mumbai. i was in its country cousin, bangalore. i was ecstatic when they told me that i dont have to enter bangalore-bangalore, really. i mean, i love the seriouslounger's kids who are awesome, and their balcony-sit-out with the swing is superb, but one drive through K.R.Market (or similar) is enough to make my hair stand on end. in my mind, its not a 'fresh' experience, you see. trips to bandra/colaba/nariman point/andheri, heck even kanjur marg, vikhroli, sion, these trips stand on the heads of those awful rides through interminable traffic and chaos, and bad roads. the consolation of mumbai was always that the fraction of drivers who are dolts is about half that in our southern states (in that small matter of idiotic driving, i admit, my current home of chennai emerges a winner).
i flitted from kanakpura road to jayanagar and back, and back again. my mind was already in a bit of a confused turmoil. my little cousin getting engaged to be married. wow. i still remember the day she was born. i was playing basketball. my dad was headed over to see her, on his green scooter. he stopped on the road and i was prodded and nudged by my friends. 'yes, daddy?' i said through the intervening net-mesh-fence. 'girl' he said, and zoomed off - as well as you can zoom at 20 kmph, which was his max. speed on the bajaj. the huh in my head crystallised slowly as realisation dawned and a broad smile made me receive a well-timed ball rather absurdly, on my chest.
my sis and i undertook the adventure of visiting this tiny rat of a child in the hospital, going alone, by bus, for the first time in our young lives, as the adults were too busy with various. our excitement knew no bounds! and for years afterward, she was our personal little doll to play with. i considered it an ultimate honour when i could fetch her back from her dance class. when she spend that year in the US, and i was visiting, this little child, now all grown up, emerging from Penn Station made me promptly tear up. and now, she is going to be happily married, moving to mumbai, and oh, the boy is so sweet and cute, and its all a bit too much for me to think about.
so anyway, the traffic as nasty as ever. otherwise i had a wonderful, if short and quite emotionally confusing, trip. the monster was off my hands, following her elder cousins whom she hero worships. my niece, that sweet thing that used to lisp so cutely and who trustingly gave me her hand when i took her to a library reading of A Very Hungry Caterpillar in new jersey last decade, well, she is almost-a-teenager, with attitude to boot, and feet that are bigger than mine. thankfully she still indulges her slightly snotty little seven-year-old sister. it helps that they can read the same books, i guess.
i have a massive cold now and am breathing dragon-like through my mouth. i am convinced its bangalore that did this to me. of course thats a bit absurd of me. the place has wonderful weather and there is rangashankara and bus-loads of my family lives there, and i am just a cranky old lady who is finding it hard to let go...