Edit: My real real English language grouse. It’s centre of attention, not centre of attraction! Please. Please, I beg you.
My husband’s been in town for a week now and it breaks my heart to think how much the kids have missed him. We were at the airport waiting for him; my daughter was squirming, struggling to run away and threatening to drink someone’s leftover coffee when I grabbed her and sat her on the barrier. We commented on everyone’s luggage, on how some people were smiling and how some people seemed to have big boxes as opposed to small ones. (She’s only 21 months, so I was trying to get her to understand colours, sizes and happy/sad concepts.) Suddenly he walked out, and the energy around her and me changed. She went stock still (we hadn’t seen him in three months) and my tummy did a huge somersault. She waited till he got to her and then she leapt into his arms, put her little arms around her neck and didn’t get off till she went to bed that night. It broke my heart.
I was counting the number of hours I spend with my kids and all sense of well being vanished. I spend three hours with them in the morning and between three and four in the evening. The rest of the my waking time is at work. I just realised that. Till now I was happy with what time I got and didn’t miss them too much when I was at work. But now I realise what a big chunk of time I am spending away from them, I feel stricken, and a little guilty.
Although, I think I am making myself feel bad. Because I was perfectly okay till I did the maths.
After years and years (actually about two months) I spoke to a friend, who I now realise is my best friend. For reasons that I can go on about but won’t because I can never write about the people who mean the most to me. Speaking to him made me yearn for his company again. His intelligent, riddled-with-PJs, spotted with the rare angst and pretty chilled out company. I miss his warmth, his love, his complete acceptance of me, his rare, rare ability to make me see sense. How often do we have friends who stand by us through penury, unemployment, who open up their entire home and mean it, who fly across the country for your wedding and are still friends with you even though he got stuck with who he thought were two very scary people, who will show the right way but more importantly who knows that you need to be shown the way? I have only one. And I am thankful.
Why do people who have absolutely no inkling of Marathi and have never lived in Bombay insist on calling it amchi Mumbai? Do you all realise amchi Mumbai means ‘our Mumbai’? Which is in no way yours because you don’t like it and don’t live there? Bad enough you’re an urban, English-speaking person and calling it Mumbai.
While we are on the subject of why do people… I have a few more grouses. Will people just stop saying “Thanks God“? It’s “thank god”; as in I thank god it didn’t happen to me. If you are going to say “thanks god” then you are either speaking in third person about yourself (Violetta thanks god it didn’t happen.) Or you’re having a conversation with god — in which case you should use a comma — and I honestly don’t want to be a part of that. Just for the record, speaking in third person is the most irritating thing since Tom Cruise.
This, I think, is an Indianism. “Where are you put up?” Okay now, where are you put up implies that you are in the city for a short stay and are putting up somewhere temporarily. If you want to know where I stay, do ask me that. I am not leaving this city any time soon.
And what is up with “I likes”? “I like” is okay. It’s shortened from “I like the bag”. “I like the mug”. “I like the dirty bloody tattoo.”
Also, can someone please come up with better, less overused, less really uncool acceptance word than ‘cool’ and doesn’t sound as abrupt as ‘okay’?