The Way We Were
Our Christmas tree, made from the finest polymers that China has to offer, stands tall and proud, never shedding a needle, never asking for a drop of water. Christmas was low key, in keeping with the spirit of sobriety, but intimate. We cherish our time together, knowing that less than a year from now Mira will be off to university.
Sitting at the Bombay Gym we are suddenly made aware that it's the season for foreign - returned twangs again, and they jar us more than before. We must have been like them, but we're local now. When the temperature drops to 20 degrees Celsius the girls say that "it's cold", memories of Chicago's winters gone.
The people seated behind us are Indians living in America, better Indians, with perfectly aligned teeth and their own supply of water, which they carry around in their waater baatles. They speak loudly with a sense of entitlement, "We're leaving in faaive minutes okaay?", the sentence ending with that superfluous American question mark. “That storrrr is soooo soooo gooooood”, a reference to a store that we lesser Indians can’t possibly have heard of, with our kirana stores and Mafco.
Our lives are slowly re-arranging themselves as we make way for boyfriends and late night parties. We stay sober so that others may party, truly sandwiched between generations.
Bad hindi film music wafts up from the premises of the Workers’ Party of India compound below.
Time to fry oliebollen tomorrow, honoring an age - old Dutch New Year’s tradition, more pleasant but no less effective than a direct shot of cholesterol to the heart.
A member of the seniors' tennis club at the Bombay Gym called out to me loudly in the men’s dressing room this morning. “Join us sometime, we always need a fourth player, and it’s good to have a ’not so old’ member playing along.” A back handed compliment, his way of saying ‘you may think you’re sandwiched between generations but you’re closer to us than you think’.
We close our eyes and think back for a moment, however briefly, to the way we were.
Cherish your time together; rewind, unwind, be kind. Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy 2015.
Btw, the banner photo was taken from our holiday home outside of San Gimignano at 6.20 am. What light! It lasted all of five minutes.