Yesterday, Saturday the 9th of November 2019 was a very special day for us in India but, for me it also took me to some other events, two, very personal.
For my American readers, 9/11 would immediately bring to mind the WTC plane attack on September 11, 2001. By now, those three numerals in that particular order has become internationally known for that particular event.
For me as an Indian following a different system, 9/11 is the 9th of November. My first tryst with that date was when I was in Frankfurt attending a business meeting on 9/11/1989 when news came on about the Berlin wall being broken down. The meeting was adjourned and we switched on the news channel in the TV set provided in the meeting hall to see the wall coming down much to the joy of all present, and particularly my West German colleagues. The official meeting was recommenced after a while but, the evening celebrations almost made me miss my next morning flight to London.
Yesterday, 9/11/2019 in India was special for two reasons.
First was the judgement that was delivered in a long festering case in our Supreme Court on what is known here as the Ayodhya issue.
The next one was the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor between India and Pakistan.
As if these momentous events were not enough, it was the birthday of a very dear friend who is hard of hearing and I had to convey my greetings to her through her husband who was half asleep recovering from a pre birthday celebrations the previous night.
It was also the wedding anniversary of my God Son who decided to spend it alone while his lovely and more responsible wife spent it with her ailing grandson in a town 45 Kms away. I had to call them separately and insist that the former go over to the latter’s temporary abode to celebrate at my expense.
All in all, a good day.
After a very long time, I had the experience of a fabulous lunch with people who I love in a great restaurant under spectacular weather conditions. we were celebrating the sixth wedding anniversary of Manjiree and Ranjan and everything was perfect.
Except for an in-house singer with a guitar and very loud amplifier/speakers combination whose music kept coming in the way of my ability to listen to the conversation around me. After trying to get the volume down and having failed, I simply switched off and tried to put on a cheerful face while the others apparently had no difficulty in shouting over the noise to hear each other.
While I enjoyed the food and the ambience I ended up with a very rare head ache and have vowed not to go to such places anymore.
Age is telling!
I feel like kicking myself. There is not even one recent photograph of mine with my daughter in love and son. I must remedy it asap and arrange for it to be framed and saved for posterity. In the meanwhile, this selfie taken last year must suffice for this post.
Five years ago today, Manjiree and Ranjan got married to each other and Manjiree moved into our home. I wrote about it in my blog Manjiree. Today, there was a minor celebration in the afternoon with some sweets and savouries for me and Ranjan as Manjiree is away staying at her sister’s home which is closer to an institution where she is undergoing training to be capable of being in charge of an animal shelter. Ranjan will be joining her and other young people to celebrate their wedding anniversary while I will puppy sit at home.
When Manjiree came into our home, it had been a bachelor’s pad for four years and one run by me while also being a care giver for my late wife for another seven years before that. It really had not had a woman’s touch since 2001 and it showed.
Manjiree brought in the much needed feminine touch and today she truly is the Lady Of The House. She has got the kitchen and living areas redone and the garden completely relaid and looking absolutely stunning. She has also brought in Chutki the second lady of the house and most important, Mangal and Yakob are completely lost without her.
I am a contented old geezer being thoroughly spoilt by these two ladies and the bemused and benign Man Of The House, Ranjan.
I use this post to convey my gratitude, blessings and best wishes for many more anniversaries to Manjiree and Ranjan.
Today was a perfect day.
Before the perfect day started, the first perfect thing to happen was the telephone call from my sister Padmini to wish me for Raksha Bandan.
Then, I solved five tough crossword puzzles in record time.
That was followed by going out to lunch with Ranjan, Manjiree and Manjiree’s parents and sisters and our favourite grand niece Tanishka. The lunch was at a poolside restaurant called Firangi Tadka (Translated into English – Foreign Seasoning) and the food was excellent. That was followed by some amazing sweets at home brought for the occasion by the Patwardhans to celebrate two occasions, Ranjan’s and Manjiree’s first wedding anniversary and Raksha Bandan.
Later in the afternoon after a perfect siesta, a matinee show to see The Hundred Foot Journey with Manjiree and Ranjan. I shall write a review separately.
To cap it all, a family shopping spree at a super market store where some long overdue provisions were purchased to stock up the larder.
Urmeela and I celebrated our thirtieth wedding anniversary in 1998 by having a candle lit dinner with another couple in Mumbai. That was the last time till last Saturday, when I had the joy of a candle lit dinner.
Only this time, it was not a romantic evening out. It was male bonding at its best. Karl and I had dinner together at Flour Works, my home away from home as Karl now calls it. We were given special attention and care by Meetha herself cooking up a special vegetarian dish for me while Karl selected his main course off the menu.
Meetha in her inimitable style offered to make it a memorable evening by making it a candle lit one as Karl was a first time visitor. We readily agreed and it was done. Candles floating on water inside squat glasses and all other lights switched off.
It was only subsequently that I came to know that we had been had. It was Earth Hour and Meetha did not mention anything about it to us. Clever Meetha, very clever. Thank you anyway.
Forty years ago this day, my sister Padmini wed Raju. Like all marriages theirs has been a roller coaster ride but for me they have always been very close relatives. Raju’s family adopted me and my late mother as their own and that will take another full blog post to write about.
Today, Padmini and Raju are grand parents to two lovely grand daughters, Uttara and Madura and parents in law to Viren; their daughter Nitila’s husband and Vandana, their son Jai’s wife.
Unfortunately, Viren does not feature in this family photograph. Luckily however, their son Jai’s mother in law, Prema and sister in law, Reshma feature in it.
Back row, L to R: Reshma, Vandana, Nitila and Jai.
Front row L to R: Prema, Madhura, Padmini, Raju and Uttara.
Happy Anniversary Padmini and Raju and here is sending best wishes for many many more.