Thanks to daylight savings, the sun is up by the time I wake up these days. If you are not an early riser or have never been woken up at 4 AM to catch a 6 AM train, you will not appreciate the difference. While gulping down my breakfast of a Maggi hot and sweet sauce and melted cheese sandwich (yes, such monstrosities frequently make an appearence on my table) I pondered about the lack of Diwali spirit. There is no stale gunpowder smell in the air, no paper debris from firecrackers instead fresh looking students at the bus stop and the smell of fresh cut grass. I did light three tealights in my window sill last night - in a fit to create some sort of Diwali ambience but... I hated Diwali ages ago for the its sounds and smells and today the lack of it makes me sad. I should get down to emailing friends with Diwali greetings now.
Over cups of hot Colombian brew and the constant babble of their daughters, they sit at the sunny table and talk about the Diwali's past and the men they knew.
" Hamare yahan Diwali pe..."
They also discuss malfunctioning washer dryer units and their latest hair do's. Recently, one of them has been bold enough to get blonde highlights. Her pretty face is still not comfortable with the way her defiant strands catch the light.
"Sachi, keep quiet. Sab kya sochenge?"
"Nidhi, finish your icecream and Sachi ko jara help karna."
They speak the modern Indian language interspersed with giggles in the vernacular. Soon its time to leave. The Mister is coming home.
The children are trundled out and the re-used "Little Brown Bag" fished from the adjacent chair. That little paper bag is a sign of prosperity, a sign that Mummy and Daddy were right about the H1b. The chatter flows out to the parking lot and stops infront of the shiny Lexus and the big SUV parked side by side. A flurry of activity follows as seat belts are fastened onto the unwilling little tykes - children's safety is number one priority.
"That's why Mister bought me the SUV, no."
Then with a sigh, one final compliment they back out of the lot very, very carefully and head back to a warm home, a hardworking husband, a green card and the picture perfect American dream their parents dreamt for them. And I settle down more cosily into my chair to doodle on my plan sheets.