Well, I left my cousin’s place a couple of days earlier than scheduled because I wanted to give her the space to just be without having to be cheerful around me and my children. She really wanted us to stay on and yet I knew it was hard on her to put up a front when she was so preoccupied and physically exhausted with her health. Her daughter was deeply upset that me and my kids were leaving two days earlier than planned – but I figured that was a fair compromise – we stayed long enough for her sake but not too long as to become difficult on my cousin. I called my friends P&L (the happily married couple who have just a tiny bit more time on la-di-da land before they decide to take the plunge and join in the glory of changing diapers!) and told them I could come to spend the last two days of my trip with them.
There are some people who you meet quite casually without any expectations of any friendship later. And there are some you talk to or meet thinking you will become good friends. In many cases, quite the opposite happens. P’s roommate was a good friend of mine when I was a student. The three of us happened to meet when we got off the subway (all of us lived in the same neighborhood), we got introduced and the three of us were casually talking. Oh, the good ol’ days when we got off the subway and would suddenly decide to enter the coffee shop and have coffee and talk and laugh over nothing and go home when we felt like it! It turned out I had a bottle of “urga” (pickle) that I knew I would not use much. Somehow it happened that P (who I had just met) agreed to take it – when the three of us were talking in front of my house before they went their way. And that’s how we met…and now not only are we good friends; his wife is my good friend too. Not just that – even her parents keep in touch with me and even flew from Chennai to Bangalore to attend my son’s first birthday even though they had never met me physically before that.
P and L complement each other so well as a couple. It is wonderful to see really. It’s not often that you get along as well with the spouse too as you do with your friend. Some people just casually walk into your lives and touch it in ways you never expected.
My entire trip went smoothly because of P and L – since they are the ones who are relatively flexible in terms of their time since they don’t have kids yet – they were able to give me rides when I wanted them to, buy diapers (since I only use one particular kind since baby girl has Eczema) for baby girl and bring it to me when I needed it etc. I felt so touched by their generosity in terms of their time and their warmth and hospitality when I stayed with them. I tell B that they enjoy our children as much as any of our family members. KB just loves them both and is all smiles when we spend time with them. I feel fortunate that I have them in my life. I really hope this doesn’t change ever for any reason! Knock on wood!
And that’s how my trip ended – time spent in the company of my two wonderful friends. B came on Friday late night just to accompany us on the flight back the next afternoon. We managed to have a relatively smooth time on the flight back - except when I made the mistake of getting into the plane before B (since he was folding the stroller to check in at the entrance) during the pre-boarding. KB thought B was again going to disappear like he did when we left home. So he refused to move forward until Daddy came along. And there was a huge line behind me and I had baby girl in hand too. The flight attendant rescued me and held baby girl and I carried KB to his seat. He calmed down only when he saw Daddy join him in the flight! Phew! When we got home that night, KB was delighted to see his toys – his little yellow car…the choo choo train and what not…I guess even if you are just two years old, home is just home! Nothing to beat that!