A good ten years back, right after our wedding, N and I spent a few days in Chennai; hopping from one restaurant to another. I always had some anecdotes to tell him at every place. But somehow, the “corn florentine” at Eden fell flat and mainland china had taken forever to bring our order. Finally when we got a breather at besi beach, he had quipped that the only experience he was going to get at the end of this was a tummy ache.
Those days my parents lived in the building right next to amma-naana by the boat club road. And one late afternoon, I braved to cross that notorious junction by myself and walked to Anokhi. I was doing it completely wrong i realised. I was trying to resurrect my memories of Chennai with N in it, but there was no place for him there really. It was just me. I soaked it all in, one last time and left a piece of me behind in that sweltering city that gave me lots of good times in my four year stint.
That is the thing about places. Its a time capsule. a parallel universe if you may, of people who inhabit it during that time and whoosh just like that the magic cant be recreated.
Because that is how I am sure we will remember our recent vacation to Greece too. How four families, who have been friends for nearly 11 years now, made a laboriously planned vacation happen, with 7 kids nevertheless. Of not only loving each other’s company, but accepting our idiosyncrasies too. Because, if not for the latter, the world would be devoid of intimacies!
In a few years I am sure the little moments will outlive the absolute scenic beauty of our trip that the pictures will tell. They come wrapped in unexpected ways. In the relief I felt knowing, A had a nearly unending supply of theplas I could depend on to feed my kids when I wanted. When someone else could wander away with my little one, in his tantrums while I catch my senses. Of finally mastering the cycle-floating in the swimming pool, thanks to A who taught it to me like a song. The smirk i wear recalling how G is always hungry even after a full meal! How the word “laundry” had turned into a comedy or errors we are sure to retell for years..Of chuckling in the irony of after months of mind-numbing planning and we had to scramble a last minute plan due to ferry-boat-worker strikes on the very same day as our booking ! Of how N revised greece history books, even on the flight back.. And in the unbridled laughter we shared shopping till 2 am in the labyrinths of Mykonos.
And definitely many more that have little to do with Greece but more with comradeship that gets harder to find as we get older. I am but glad, we made that little mark in a time and space, that can span atleast another generation, when our little ones will recall how their parents braved a long journey to celebrate the bonds they have made. Because what good are places without people, and what good are we without friends to call our own!