I have always maintained that friends are my lifelines. They fill my life with light and laughter. The past week being what it was, I thought we needed a chance to escape for a few minutes from the all madness and destruction and lose ourselves in stories of our children, work and the latest movies.
So, on Saturday, 29th November I called some of my friends over to the Saturday Club (yes, teeheehee and all that) with their kids, for tea, snacks and loads of adda. Three of the five fabulous women were able to make it, their broods in tow, and a great time was had by all -- the kids and the moms. The children ran on the lawns, the wind whipping their faces, their laughter ringing in the air and the sight and sound of them enjoying themselves, literally filled our hearts with gladness.
Yes, I'll say it again...friends are my lifelines. Thank God for them!
On Monday, the MIM and our boys, bundled ourselves into the car and drove down to Shantiniketan. Every year, on the 1st and 2nd of December, there's an art mela there called the Nandan Mela, which attracts art lovers from all over the state and even serious aficionados from other parts of the country as well as the world.
This is the second time I have ever been to Shantiniketan, a place that holds a special space in my heart. Aside from the fact that I love, worship and tend to deify all things Tagore; my Maa-Janoni and her younger sister, my favourite aunt, both studied there. Through their memories and reminisces I have walked the raangaa-maatir poth and danced in the Basonto Utsab countless number of times. I have 'seen' Maa-Janoni stun the spectators into awe with her histrionics on stage and 'heard' my Choto Mashi serenade the trees, birds and audience into raptures with her tremendous vocal talent.
The MIM and I have bought a small piece of land there, where we one day, God willing, plan to build our dream country cottage. A place where we can run away from the city to breathe pure, fresh air. Where we can let the boys run, cavort and tumble in wide open spaces. Where we can take friends and chat the nights away, sing out loud to the night sky and for a few, blissful days, let the wind cary our worries and stress far, far away.
This year, my very close friend was also there, with her hubby, her two sons, parents, in-laws, elder sister and her daughter. There were other friends there two. When the EO met his friends, the reunion was straight out of the movie 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge'. They younger boy, A2, who is closer to the EO in age, and the EO ran towards each other with open arms, screaming each other's names. The only things missing were a 'sarson ka kheth' and a banjo. To say that the sight was both hilarious as well as heart-warming is obviously a understatement.
After lunch with my friend's family, the MIM went off for some work and we hung out together the entire afternoon and evening. The MIM met up with us at the mela in the evening and the ambiance was electrifying. Unfortunately, for the past couple of years, the big, established names in the art world haven't been participating much, but that in no way takes away from the spirit of the fair.
After the mela, a cosy night back at the place where we were staying, an early night to bed and in the morning we woke up fresh and rejuvenated. We had planned to drive back after lunch, but my friend called us up, urging us to leave as soon as possible since a drivers' strike had been called in Bolpur.
We had a sumptuous breakfast in the garden, under the winter sun (I recommend that everyone should do it!) We piled our stuff into the car and left, earlier than we had planned.
So much remained undone, but we can always go back. Barring a few hiccups and thanks to some lucky breaks, we reached home in time for lunch.
And all to soon, my idyllic retreat ended and we were back to reality.
And reality bites! On the bum, no less!