Tag Archives: family

Tea mornings & the balcony

As I sip, I take a dip into … hmm … what’s now history … 25 years back…

“C’mon get up, tea’s ready”, and my sis and I would throw off our blankets, scramble and rush tthrough the routines for our  favorite part of all day – having tea with dad and mom in the balcony of our ground floor appartment in the township. Cane chairs would be pulled up, the swing would be set on a slow motion and hot tea would be served. My bro exercised a choice – he might join or not – all depending upon how late he woke up.

There would be casual conversations and laughs over tea; dad would go through the news and conclude upon the state of the firmly buttressed and rationalized through his astrological wisdom. Mom would offer her fundas, and we the kids had our own stands on things beyond us. Picking on each other was a norm. We would stretch the time as long as we could, and then scramble and rush through towards dashing off to school. You see, we adopted the JIT (just in time) approach even before we studied about the
method in college 😉

A pigeon flutters off taking a cue from its partner, and I come back to the present. My 6 year old is having her milk, and I, tea – in the balcony. We have a small balcony on the 6th floor of a building, no garden. There is a swing, yes, accomodated in the living room. My younger one, the mischievous 1.5 year old is fast asleep and wifey has an excuse since she’s the one who puts the lil’ one to sleep.

And as I take another sip, I look at my 6 year ol’. She seems to be enjoying the morning time in the balcony with me and her warm cup of milk. Little does she know that she’s been woken up @ 10 minutes earlier than usual for school… is that selfish ? 😉

Would be great if she starts having tea when older, I think. But right then my wife’s stern countenance flashes before me, and all my hopes are completely and comprehensively quashed. Well whatever keeps the mornings going…

As I hit the road to school, I think of the tea mornings, the ten-fifteen minutes of each morning that must have aggregated over thousands of hours of fun & quality time that we’ve had. We are all at different places now. I can only hope that the tea tradition remains intact…morning banters over cups of tea in the balcony…

My parents still continue the tradition … however there are no more giggles… the gaggle has left.

While coming back, the media player serves me a song…

Kyun desh videsh phire maara
Kyun haal behaal thakha haara

oh naadaan parindey, ghar aajaa

Cricket forecasts

Well, I miss my dad. Tonight has been India’s night at the cup and he’s not with me – he’s somewhere in the tundra region (thanks to my sister and her uncanny sense of timing her first kid in the middle of a world cup).

Alas they have no access to the world cup telecast. If someone climbs on the roof to place a dish antenna, they say, the roof might come – it’s a lovely old house, you see, and no risks to be taken with the baby, the doggy and the parents around!

When my sister, brother and I were old enough to understand cricket, we came to appreciate our dad’s cricketing insights – astrological forecasts. On every of the match, he would take out his panchaang and ask us for the name of the captains who were to compete that day.

This would follow with some obscure mumblings on the dashas of the planets with fingers charting trajectories in the air. Further down would follow abstract calculations based upon planetary positions of the competing countries and their captain’s names. We would be with baited breaths to hear the winner’s name. Astrology, you see, foretold us the winner much before the match started!

He generally had a good scoring rate. Enough for us to brag to our friends about our deep foresights into the game.

Watching cricket together was fun. As the match progressed, he would be there with his usual quibs over cups of tea….’see I told you so’, ‘whatever they do, they’re not going to win’, etc. Mom would bring ‘garam garam pakodas’ and we would have a blast. Mom is an ardent cricket fan and she would always take a stand against astrology. Hence the ‘forecasted losing’ side would be her favorite, unless of course it’s an India match.

So the sides would be split and we would have a match going on right in the middle of our living room with occasional screams and whistles. Priti would keep on changing sides depending upon who’s winning and which players are better looking. I would be rooting for the weaker team. And Box – if the Indian bowlers didn’t bowl well, he’d be sure to pick up and bowl a couple of things in our living room – bouncers that we were expected to duck!

Seems cool as I look back; nostalgic. One lively, happy family!

So well… Tonight was the night. As I sat in my living room savoring the victory ‘alone’, I missed my parents. It also dawned upon me that years of moving from one place to another as per the whims of my career has really left a void in that ‘friendship space’. All my friends whom I could have invited are scattered all over. And then they are only a few. I am basically ‘friendless’ & where I am, there are none.

My dad also happens to be my best friend. I miss him.