Diwali

Diwali went of as soundlessly as it does. With my father’s brother passing away a few months ago, the house was dark and quiet. But Death put a damper on Diwali, twelve years ago. Occasionally, we try to make the effort to celebrate it the way we used to, a few parties here and there. The mad fervour with which we celebrated everything is of course, missing.

The Mother and I head off to our customary celebration. Our mutual ‘manlessness’ makes our bond closer, me all footloose and fancy free, she with her absentee husband, makes both of us rely more and more on each other to make festivities count. We put on our matching attires, ate to our hearts content and posed for the camera. Someday she’ll be gone and these photographs are all I will be left with.

When God closes a door he opens a window! The very year I was ostracised, was the year I went to Zorba for a Sufi workshop. That’s where there was an instantaneous gravitation of four individuals who belonged to different age groups and mindsets towards each other. I suspect we all go through our lives trying to fill a void. What we assume is a void which has been created by the loss of loved ones, friends, even youth and time is nothing but the void created through the separation from the creator. Of course all these are theories, who the hell knows what it is! Whether the rest of them were drawn towards me because of that I don’t know but one has since adolescence been most comfortable with male friends and older female friends. The individuals who have played the parts have changed over time, the roles have been constant. All three just fit in perfectly into my existence.

Needless to say, we’ve all become a part of celebrations- From birthdays to Diwali and New Year, we just look for an excuse to make merry. And so we did! Roamed around aimlessly looking for a place to eat. From Greater Kailash to Kailash Colony to G.K-2 to CP, the only options open were coffee shops and of course Saleem’s and Relax. In CP, there were just the Pure Veg Options, Rajasthali, Rajdhani and Swarana Bhawan. The trip to Cp wasn’t entirely futile. People were lighting Chinese lanterns and of course one managed to burn a finger in the process. A quick bite at Karim’s (Nizamuddin) later, the evening ended on the most nostalgic note when I was gifted a crystal with a photograph of me and who will remain the love of my life. Tere Bina Zindagi Se Shikava To Nahin….

Festivities

Everything changes, sometimes for the worse and sometimes for the better. Over the past decade, I’ve spent a number of Diwalis and New Year’s Eves cuddled up in bed. ‘In each loss there is a gain’ therefore, the second year in a row I spend my Diwali with the Anonymous Aunty and the Night Rider. Though, AA is the queen of gossip, he’s the kind of person one can always call up, when one doesn’t want to be alone and he’s nice enough to show up. We two Crabs, bicker like crazy ( about my temperament and his verbal diarrhoea)  but it’s an entertaining equation, nevertheless. He picks me up, which I always find ironic (so touching) and we catch the afternoon show of Aae Dil He Mushkil.

I don’t know if it’s Anushka and Ranbhir’s overacting, the fact that it’s a little close to home or that I come from a lineage of aashiqs but I spend half of the film sobbing. ‘ Jab intezaar sirf waqt ka ho……’ Oh man, that dialogue releases  my queen of non stop melodrama from the freaking dungeon. Uff, awful. After watching a mediocre film with shit loads of overacting and crying a bucket full of tears, I’m convinced it’s going to be a terrible day. But I underestimate the company. We stroll around for a bit and then pick up the Night Rider. Mr Roy, returns my call.

Yes, despite my boys insistence that it’s a passing phase, this one seems to be weathering the storm. Though, I’ve strongly discouraged him from calling, I’ve always had an affinity with the written word. The messages are corny- the way they are when a man tries to woe you. Since, I’ve been dating the younger ones, I’m out of practice. From ‘kabhi kabhi’ to references to ‘my beautiful self’, it’s the ‘when you need to crack a tough nut, you need perseverance’, that actually makes me blush. We chat for a couple of minutes. A few minutes later he calls again. ‘You guys be careful and give me a few hours of your time, when I come to India in December’, says Mr Roy, in his usual charming manner. ‘Men make women messy and isn’t it ironic?’, I ask myself as I finish the conversation. Someday, far far in the future, when I’m able to talk about somethings more honestly, you will realise just how ironical all of this is.

Anyway, back to the boys. They show me a really good time. We wander around a market place. Look for an interesting place to grab dinner but all the restaurants in Nehru Place and Greater Kailash are closed. A bar in Kailash Colony is open. It’s a visual treat for us, as there’s a private expat party happening on the terrace and some gorgeous women are dancing away to glory. A grub fest and a couple of drinks later, I’m all set to take on the dance floor. We dance for a bit and then head back home. The one who waits, calls on the landline. ‘Pyaar me junoon he, par dosti me sukoon he,’ I’m reminded of Anushka’s dialogue, as I’m falling asleep to the sound of his voice.