I just scrounged up this piece I’d written when I was in Mumbai during summer interning at PepsiCo. Not sure why I didn’t hit “publish”, but here goes. By the by, the crazy folks are headed to Singapore for winter! I just booked tickets for Honey Singh’s concert, because the Uncle wants to have some Bollywood fun. Raahat, Jagjit Singh, Sonu Nigam, Atif, Strings, Akon, Eric Clapton, Rihanna, David Guetta – they all came and went, and I didn’t bother. And now, I will deck up like a babe to boogie to…Honey Singh. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this winter is going to be magical. Because no artist save for Honey Singh cares to fill my red stocking.
I trudged back home with a splitting head last night, and looked expectantly at my little cousin.
Migi: NO I’m NOT giving you a massage again!
I sigh in defeat and withdraw to my room and shut out the piercing lights. I lie in the dark, alone and aching. For a long time. And then, suddenly, I get up and go outside. And I see my aunts, uncle, and my little baby niece and her nanny and Migi all sitting around, laughing. They easily make space and I plonk down with all the pomp of a stressed working girl who’s out there braving it all.
I inadvertently begin to press my temples with my fingers..and that sparks off a riot.
Aunt 1: Get her something to drink.
Aunt 2: Begins to press my head.
Uncle: Want the nanny to give you a head massage?
Aunt 2: The nanny will do it.
Migi: My feet are aching too!
Aunt 1: Just get a head massage! Do you want a tablet?
As I persistently shake my head through all of this, I suddenly yell out for everyone to calm down. At which point, the nanny mimics me and nudges me over and begins to massage my head. Because if she doesn’t, a guilt so voluminous will impregnate her maternal mind that she won’t sleep for nights. I go into a spell as she effortlessly eases up all the locked up tension.
But the pain does not go away.
And so, Migi and I strike a wager. He wants to go down for a walk. He offers a massage in exchange. And he happily finds the right veins, hits the right spots and massages my pain away. For once, I discard all distractions and be with my brother. We go down and sing songs and play games and run around, and when we’re back – he’s still not letting go. And so, he implores me to check out his car collection on his ipad. And he teaches me how to play a few games. And we design cars. And its 1 am, but he still won’t let me sleep. And so we stay up till as long as he pleases.
In a house where the people don’t let other people stay in peace, you never have to lie alone, in the dark or otherwise. Especially for people like me whose insides shrivel up and die a slow death in a vapid milieu.
Thank god for little brats, noisy aunts and overexcited uncles.