As the tummy happily feasts on afternoon tea and pub fare, my eyes have been taking in sights of red double decker buses, red telephone booths, gorgeous parks and the famed English countryside. All while my silly heart kept doing a bit of a double take every time I saw a man in a bowler hat.
Brought in Shils birthday at a fancy afternoon tea place and traded stories with Beavs at a 230 year old English pub. Rode double decker buses in order to get to the sights of central London and walked through acres of parkways where the kings of yore hunted. Indulged in gastronomic adventures at a 600 year old market and tried ciders, ales and prosecco’s galore.
And then there was the evening at the Harry Potter Studios. Be still my beating heart!! 💓
There was a part of me that still hoped that I could be a 11 year old who has a ticket to travel aboard the Hogwarts express and could get through the brick wall. Unfortunately I now have unquestionable proof about my muggleness. Sigh!
Somehow every time I’ve spoken with mum these past couple of weeks she keeps asking me which city I like better: Paris or London?
I’m on a train now, some packed lunch in tow (some lovely biryani) that Shil sweetly packed after having woken up early enough to make along with a picture of a purple ballon in my wallet that a 4 year old lovingly made and offered parting wisdom along the lines of “don’t spend it mistakenly”.
Next stop – COTSWOLDS!!!!!
I’ve recently been noticing how many people around me have been changing their previously held rigorous stands about things small and big. An ultra nationalist collegemate who for the longest time made meet ups uncomfortable by railing about friends who went abroad to study or chose to make other countries their new addresses, has recently been bombarding all group chats we’re a part of with pictures of his new home in California. Friends who for years refused a piece of birthday cake because it contained eggs (because they were vegetarians) are now busy reaching out to me for recipes on how to cook with eggs. I have about hundred friends who’ve shifted their views about liquid bread and two of my closest friends who’ve for years yanked my tail about my love for coffee and proclaimed their disdain for the magical drink are now very much falling for its charms. To a point wherein one in particular (I’m looking at you P), is gulping down espressos at an alarmingly scary pace while the other celebrated her 35th birthday with a Tiramisu cake in Sydney!! I’m not judging, you do whatever flips your pancakes. But I’m just saying……
And let’s not even get started on the number of issues I’ve switched my stand on. Starting with my complete 180 on the whole need for social media a decade ago to my almost hermit like stance today. And a topic I can argue about till the cows come home, the importance of white lies. It’s got me thinking if anyone should be speaking in absolutes??
In small ego boosting news, I was invited as a guest of honour this year by a Bengali Association and after some thought I got cold feet and sheepishly cancelled going one day before the event citing work reasons. But the actual reason being I don’t think I’m anyone that important to preside over such an occasion as the guest of honour.
One of the best lessons I’ve had the privilege of learning has been “Paying it forward”. I remember Pinks who was my manager a decade earlier mentioning this often along with another corner stone I conduct my life with. That the best thing you can do with either knowledge or kindness is pay it forward and light another’s life.
A message and a picture on Whatsapp out of the blue today brought back memories of the time I moved into my first apartment by myself 8 years earlier and so many peoples kindness filling up the empty basic apartment space I had rented. About 4 years earlier, I had given away a bed frame to a young associate who was new to the city and was literally setting up everything from scratch. I got a message from this sweet girl this morning that she’s moving cities and has decided to give away the bed to someone who in need of one.
It’s such a small thing but I feel like someone has turned a lightbulb on inside my heart. Plus I’m absolutely amazed about how much she seems to have loved it while she had it.
I’ve been enjoying wearing sarees to work regularly this past month at work. A lot of these sarees were bought from unassuming shops all across the country for modest amounts over the past decade, in the hope that at some point I’d begin to wear sarees with abandon if not grace on a regular basis. I’ve realised that the point has arrived.
Plus its the perfect excuse to put some lovely jewellery to good use.
Paid a hurried and brief visit to ISKCON which weirdly invoked the same emotions in me as they did when I used to come here during my college years. It’s really is a corporate office of devotion.
An impromptu meetup to celebrate Cma’s birthday, a lovely pan asian dinner surrounded by people who make my heart smile, a joyful solitary lunch on a lovely ‘Sunny’ balcony and a heartwarming surprise from the junior associates at work. As I reflected at the day’s end one too many sangrias later, I realised that when I woke up I had no idea that the day would hold so many moments of absolute joy.
Whoever thought I would get Teachers Day cards some day!! I feel elated at the idea that I’ve helped shape young minds and careers.
I even got to pop in on the prep work for an event at an art gallery for an upcoming fancy event. Just seeing some of the paintings of Ravi Varma was enough to send me into raptures in a place not conducive to raptures (at least not of the loud expressive sort).
A fun hastily planned outing with my team has taught me this very important lesson – THINK YOUNG.
By that I mean, I see food and I eat it.
Apparently Virginia Wolf once said:
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
I think it’s safe to say that my love for good food protects my thoughts, my heart and my sleep. 🤣