The heart of the matter  

Some of you may be wondering why my former greeting has suddenly taken a backseat.

Published: 30th October 2020 10:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd November 2020 05:32 PM   |  A+A-

(From left) Rubi Chakravarti with Cobiliru Jimene and Vikas Seth

(From left) Rubi Chakravarti with Cobiliru Jimene and Vikas Seth

Good morning, my tribe. Some of you may be wondering why my former greeting has suddenly taken a backseat. Well, I too, needed be 'in' with the new-fangled and more soulful connotations that are being flouted in the vocabulary market.

Actually some of these 'terms' impress me. I've often wondered why I couldn’t come up with them myself, especially since they often emit from people who can't grammatically connect two sentences when they are speaking to you in person!

I was rather pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of verbal affection that I received on my birthday! Nowadays, since there is a paucity of ideas on how to celebrate, I am told that a 'birthday week', or even a 'birthday month' of celebration is kosher. The eloquent messages, the outpouring of love, affection and respect actually made my heart go 'awww'! 

Really! A far cry from the days when my then boyfriend (and now husband) sent me a pink elephant-embossed card which read: 'What's a birthday more or less, when you wear yours which such finesse'! Being very young and foolish, I clutched it to my ample bosom and went 'aww'! Silly me… I should have realised that cards with pre-written mush was all I was going to get from now on.

Since beggars can't be choosers, I started closely scrutinising the written word on my cards and messages. It was hard to write any old mush when Google and Pinterest weren’t readily available at your fingertips.

(If you talk to a millennium about the dial-up internet days, they look at you with so much pity!) Life, at that time, demanded that the grey and white matter in the cerebrum were used in equal measure! This was a weird twilight zone type of birthday.

It was an ‘all dressed up but no place to go’ type of feeling. Though I was inundated with wine, flowers, cakes and food, and my home overflowed with gifts and messages, a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ was missing. I was a happy trooper, but still there was a heaviness that I couldn’t just shake off.

I mentally went through my checklist. Children had called at midnight and family early in the morning… check. My husband gave his usual gobble-de-gook excuses for no presents, kissed my cheek, and his stubble seared my skin… check. Then why this uneasy feeling? I racked my brain. Sure, I missed the presence of my kids and would have liked to have a close group of friends over for champagne and dinner, but these were strange times and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Then what made me cantankerous and uneasy? Then like a lightning bolt, it struck me. I was tired and sleepy. It is very sweet when your kids phone or come over with a cake at the stroke of midnight. But putting away the gooey chocolate cake and cleaning up the mess is always the birthday girl’s (moi) responsibility!

Why-oh-why do extended family and close friends start calling to wish you from 6am onwards? On hearing a groggy ‘hello’ from my side, they always ask with mock concern, ‘Were you asleep?’ For sure I was… people usually are at that time!

Crib as I might, I had a wonderful day and week. Good friend and executive chef Vikas Seth of Lounge Hospitality made sure he plied me with amazing food on two consecutive days. Sanchez is one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in town. So in keeping with the adage… let the mountain (of food) come to the customer.

He has started a cloud kitchen, Mad Mex, where delicious Mexican food comes packed and delivered in biodegradable corn-husk boxes. Needless to say, it was an orgy of tortillas, burritos, melted cheese and jalapenos. The next day. it was N.W Frontier food from his Indian kitchen, Garam-Masala!     Need I say more… Mexican and Indian, bhai-bhai!


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