BENGALURU : Another week flew by, as my (passionate) family had endless discussions on life, live-wire arguments and travel plans that seemed to incongruously present itself. Call me a glutton for punishment, but the peace and quiet was driving me up the wall! I was definitely working (or rather trying to) but with little or no interfacing (I love new words. I learned them when I was awake during Zoom calls). I had mastered the art of sleeping with my eyes open! Just to keep myself occupied and not to sound rude, I had accepted every single Zoom invitation my friends and colleagues extended. Right from online poetry and book readings, cooking demonstrations, to political discussions I have been a part of, I have slept! I understand now why the younger ones want to desperately get back to work into their overcrowded work spaces.
The adrenaline rush one goes through circumventing snarling traffic when one doesn’t want to be late, the excitement of office gossip, politics and romances, meeting up with colleagues, facing your slimy boss and scores of other such ordinary ‘interfacing’ stuff is sorely missed! I so missed the cacophony that goes with a full house and work place. Of course I enjoy my ‘me’ time.
My grown children used to visit often enough and those times are stentorian, and rowdy! Last night my sister’s kids flew in from London for her landmark birthday and though we were in different cities, thanks to technology we were together via face-time. My sister Rita and I, have managed between ourselves to provide an extended family for our kids that my parents (who were disowned by their own families during partition) craved for us. As we sat back like two matriarchs with our respective broods, I couldn’t help but count our blessings. We have overcome... we have survived these horrific times.
July is a month filled with birthdays (or broke days, as I like to call it!). This year we wore our hazmat suits and travelled to Mumbai for my daughter’s birthday. God! How I love the vibe of this city! Though it has been a state of full or partial lockdown for a nearly a year, nothing fazes this city. Public transportation, malls, restaurants, hotels, shoots... you name it... It’s either closed or open till 4pm. Yet, one finds the average Mumbaiker, working within the guidelines, not circumventing rules and aiding their state government that the Central government has all but abandoned! The commercial capital of India still stands tall, because their citizens will not allow this city to come to its knees . Whe therit ’s a bomb blast, terrorist attack, floods or Cardi-V.
We thought we would brunch at a luxury hotel for Alisha’s birthday. We went a step further and ordered in from celebrity chef and good friend Vicky Ratnani (the gastronaut), who opened his Speakeasy Kitchen (his lockdown baby) to create meals without boundaries. He is a passionate chef, food innovator and a maverick who happily cooks in the kitchen or outdoors. His TV Food shows have a loyal following including yours truly! The meal was simply outstanding in its simple complexity of flavours, presentat ion and pricing . Simply blown - away! We visited the uber luxurious Sofitel Mumbai and had one of the best Asian/Thai lunches this side of the Suez Canal.
Again the mood was upbeat, the staff cheerful and willing and the GM Vikas Kapai, optimistic and positive. The only restaurant open was buzzing with patrons and the executive chef (with formidable credentials), Neeraj Rawoot, was charming and let his skill and mastery talk for itself. Sad to say the people I spoke to in my beloved ooru were full of fear and complaints. The will to move forward should be a collective decision cemented with personal responsibility. It’s t ime we brought the ‘amchi’ or ‘namma’ into our Bangalore. Not as a language divide but as a personal feeling of ownership.