Continuing on about my trip…
When we got off the plane, both kids were sleepy and tired but the moment KB saw my friend L he was very happy. He gave a shy silly smile and started doing silly faces turning his head way up to the side etc. His pants were wet (he refused to let me change his diaper in the plane, how I would have done it with baby girl in hand is a different question!) so I quickly changed his diaper and clothes and then nursed baby girl and changed her diaper – all while my friend and his wife (V and L) were gathering my bags from baggage claim. They laughed at the assembly line feed/diaper changes that were happening for the two kids. I told them I would have my turn to laugh when my kids are more grown up and they are the ones changing diapers and looking like zombies from the non-stop work!
The contrast was all the more because they were returning from a wedding lunch and L was looking very pretty in her silk sari and new hair style, wearing stylish new pair of glasses. I was only glad to get through the day and get home to my friend’s place with little thought to how I looked (probably like a bag lady!) at that point!
First stop was at my friend T’s place. P was dropping me off at her place. She is an old college friend and a very close one at that. Yet this visit was a little different for me. I was seeing her in her new environment – her husband had made it really big in his company and reaped huge gains in stocks – so they are now fabulously wealthy. A gorgeous house in prime zip code and money for probably a few generations. Money can change friendships and I often wonder if our friendship is any different now because of her new moneyed status. I still can’t say for sure (just because we had so little time to really talk – between her two kids and my two kids, there was very little free time) – but on the face of it, nothing has changed. She still chides me jokingly (as I often complain to her that she does so) and was as eager as ever to have us stay at her place. I truly felt happy for her and for her husband - his success at his work and for being able to live a worry free life as far as money is concerned.
There is a strange feeling to see your friend who shared similar background to now not be in a position to relate to, or more so go through similar issues. A lot of every day issues are for example not something she has to deal with now. I can’t now tell her about not having enough time to maintain the house as cleanly as I would like to – because it is not an issue for her – cleaners come to her place quite often. I can’t talk too much about how flight expenses are piling up for us this year because that is absolutely not an issue for them. She will understand because she has been there but I just feel silly talking about it to someone who does not have to go through similar things in the same time frame. But she certainly does not wear her wealth on her sleeves - well you don’t have to in that zip code – but you know what I mean. She does not brag about her material acquisitions nor does she behave differently. Her parents – especially her mother who I am very close to, very fond of and is my role model – have not changed one bit. They don’t so much as hint in their conversations about her new status – which I have seen many parents do when their children either become wealthy on their own or marry into a wealthy family. It just feels good when you see such people – who can keep their head on their shoulders and keep their balance both during tough times (which they have really gone through) and good times.
Does money change friendships? There was this article in the NYT a while back – interesting one, incase you would like to read it.
Sorry for that digression!
Next stop was at each of my sister’s places during the Thanksgiving weekend. It was absolutely great spending time with them and their children (who are quite grown up now). KB and baby girl (I need to find good blog names for them!) had a great time basking in all that love and affection. My super smart nephew played the guitar (he formally learnt to play piano but can play the guitar and drums just as well on his own) sitting on his exercise ball while KB jumped on to the piano table and pressed the keys like he was a pro! It was quite a sight! He really looked like a junior musician – so intent and involved in what he was doing. He fell in love with the guitar and kept telling me “Daddy’ya unakku Guitar vangi kudukka sollalama?” (Meaning – Shall we ask Daddy to buy you a guitar?). My sister and I went shopping for an hour when baby girl fell asleep in the evening. It was great going out with my sister after a long long time. My sister was of course unhappy when it was time for us to leave. She had to go on call and I was going over to my cousin’s place.
I think I will post the next bit about my trip as a separate post. You will see why when I do that post. Will write when I find the next time slot!