Chaniya choli

Of Gum Boots & Chaniya Cholis !

She came in quietly. When I first saw her this time around, sitting on the sofa she gave me a shy smile and a more shy shrug. Then a hug. And a ‘how are you’ with an accent alien to me. Wrapped around it, I could feel, a genuine love attachment and caring. And I felt close to a ‘new’ person after al long time. Its not as though we hadn’t met before or anything like that. We had. But this time around, she was at our place for a vacation from the US and she kept us busy.

As my love for her grew, I kept asking myself, if it was because of the commonalities that I discovered we had. Like the love of fruits, geography, clothes, mood swings. But I realised it stretched far beyond that.

One of those days, I had just completed a lousy day at work and came home tired. She ran in and sat on my lap with an Atlas of USA. Unqualified love. I felt lighter. Little did I realise the ‘light’ feeling was as fleeting as a distant lightning as she proceeded on her ‘questioning’.

She: Why are you tired.
Me: I have had a long day at work baby.

She: Shrug. Why did you have a long day at work.
Me: There was lot of work to do baby, and I have to complete it.

She: Shrug. Why should you complete it.
Me: My boss wants me to complete all this work.

She: Why does the work need to be completed?
Me: That’s important for the company.
Weak smile. Shrug

I realise that she is leading me to trouble territory. I quickly ask her.
Me:Why do you study geography.
She: Oh that. Broad Smile. That’s because I LOVE geography.
Me: Bolted. Whew !

I couldn’t sleep for a long time that night. Here she dressed like a proper American. The setting was very much Indian. Her accent was American. The English, Hindi and the Tamil included.

She could rattle off all the 50 states of America from Texas to Alaska to Wyoming and of course California. Sitting here in Bangalore and Mumbai. And when she sang the national anthem, it was the national anthem of the USA, of course ! Although she wants audio from Bluffmaster on the cd.

We had one argument though. I called George Bush a liar, and she was upset and told me i didnt know anything about him ! I couldnt help agree more !

She uses words like ‘gorgeous’ ‘weird’ ‘gross’ which I am not used to hear from the other 6 year olds in the apartment. And she loves playing with the other kids as much as she loves playing with the Barbies!

She is a treat to be with. She lightens up a dull day with a smile and unqualified love. And some wonderful questions that management consultants charge a fortune for asking. Playful. Gorgeous. Thoughtful. Loving. And extremely caring. That’s her.

There she was at the aiport. With gum boots, jeans, T-Shirt, we hugged. I lifted her into the air, and whispered into her ear, “What would you want baby..?” Prompt came the response as a whisper into my ear..’A dress…a chaniya choli’ !

I laughed ! I miss her.