breakfast

I ran to you…

I half opened my eyes and grunted… The sky outside my window was ominously dark. I scrambled to find my phone which had disrespectfully trod on my dreams.

Managing a thin smile at the doorman, I walked unsteadily towards the restaurant where the famous breakfast buffet was in full swing. 12 hours had passed since Uncle S had called and invited me to breakfast.

Uncle S, as I call him, is the father of my late love J S. It has been 5 years since we lost him to Leukemia and the wound is as raw today as it was back then.

I stood there amidst the invisible bustle of a 5-star breakfast buffet, my feet held ground and surely by slowly hardening industrial concrete.

Courtesy:Photobucket.com

Courtesy:Photobucket.com

Uncle S rose to greet me, built like a linebacker, he stood six feet two and gently ushered me into the chair he held out with all the grace of a 70’s gentleman, which only he can pull off.  He patiently answered my inquiries about his family and health and I offered excerpts from my life, which I was sure he held no care for.

Half way into buttering our toast , we stared at each other, small talk exhausted.

“How have you been?” he asked for the second time. I stared at my piece of toast noticing how thinly the butter was spread and yet the piece of toast seemed very heavy in my hands.

Placing the offensive piece of toast on my quarter plate, I assured him that I was fine.

Scooping some beans into his mouth he looked at me. His onyx eyes glistening, betraying the tempest within… I paused and listened to the kettle drums in my ears dreading his silence, the most eloquent herald of bitter tidings.

Fortunately he just sighed and we went back to pushing the food around in our plates for a decent time.

“Do you still miss him?” He asked, staring stiffly at his knees.

An imperceptible drop in room temperature led me to draw myself together. “Yes” I answered knowing what was to come. The chill would spread to my spine and I would go into that subliminal state of shock where I would want to escape into J S’ arms; the only place in this twisted universe and the next, where I would find the warmth to sustain me. It was how I have dealt with it all these years.

Men in crisp hotel garb walked back and forth in the periphery of my vision, in the distance Uncle J was asking me a question that didn’t carry over the table, my fingers were curled around the arms of the chair… I was battle ready.  A shiver passed through me and I fell back into the comfortable warmth of strong arms. Horrified I opened my eyes; those weren’t J S’ arms.

Excusing myself I ran to the powder room and looked at the mirror long and hard. Staring to my eyes, looking for guilt, betrayal… and they were as elusive as a sweet rain drop on a hot summers’ day. That instant I knew my answer.

With renewed strength of spirit, I walked back.

“I miss him every single day Uncle J. But, I also know that loving and caring for someone else does not mean that it is a betrayal to his memory. I love your son very much”

Choking up I stared at the man across the table. A single tear tracing the rivulets of the worry lines in his face. It wasn’t clear when the salty drop had escaped its confines or why. But the knowledge that we both crossed a barrier, which had held our hearts captive for a long time, restored every thread of hope in my weary mind.

Bidding good-bye I walked back to the parking lot, hitting the number 4 on my speed dial to see the contact picture pop up… “I ran to you” I whispered to the picture… “God help me”

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I-am-back!Buhahaha!

So yes, I’m back!

And what have I been doing all this time?

Well, I’ve been on an excellent family vaction to Kodaikanal!

The hills were magnificent and the cold was soothing! We traveled by train from Chennai to Virudhunagar and my uncle picked us up in his car. We drove uphill to Kodai. The guest house we stayed in was at Kohinoor (Yes like the diamonds and the condoms) and it was a sight for sore metropolitan eyes!

One of the many beautiful valleys @ Kodaikanal

One of the many beautiful valleys @ Kodaikanal

Most of the pictures are in my Orkut / Facebook albums.

I also had one of the best weekends ever! I caught up with Thomas (Same Restaurant but no crazy photographer this time)! Then we decided to hit a multiplex. Come weekend and all the movies were sold out except Terminator Salvation. The movie wasn’t bad. I liked the bikes! After the movie I succumbed to a waffle basket and then we rode by the beach.

Waffle Basket @ City Center!

Waffle Basket @ City Center!

I was wiped out by the time I reached home as I had not slept since my night shift the previous night.

Sunday dawned bright and early with my brother Arun Joseph offering to take me to Ice Age: Dawn of the dinosaurs! Little did I know, that our brother and sister quality time would be shared by 31 other friends !!Who am I to complain, we had the best seats in the house… Wait, we had almost all the seats in the house!

I love animated movies and I’ve been a fan of Scrat and Sid since the very first part. Disappointing however, is Diego, who turns out to be a big softie. No saber tooth tiger here folks! He acts like an overgrown fur ball. And to think I loved him! Kind of reminds me of Chandler Bing in Season 9 and 10, where he is always reading a newspaper or a magazine and isn’t really ‘Chandler’ ish anymore… After the movie and some fun with the gang, I came home to await the arrival of my irritating Uncle R. (Don’t’ ask, rolling eyes).

I was supposed to meet with the blogger gang and Apar and Aaarti called in (Hugz Y’all!). Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it as it was too far away , to make it back home on time. Thankfully, Ashwin (my friend who lives close by) invited me over as a mutual friend and her husband were visiting. I couldn’t make it to her wedding and so I sheepishly dragged my behind there and offered an apology for the second time. She didn’t seem to mind and it was all laughs and hugs just like old times…

I came back home in time to catch Uncle R gorging on rotis and mangoes at my dining table. Mom seemed relieved to see me and my brother who was at wits’ end never looked at me with so much love!

I spent most of Monday drinking coffee and basking in peoples’ lovely comments on my new hair cut…

Hopefully I’ll find time to blog more often!

That’s my weekend folks! Hope yours was just as much fun and eventful.

Fibbin Photographer!

Thomas and I were at breakfast yesterday. The breakfast buffet has in years become a bonding – catching up ritual for us. He happens to be my best-friend and of-late we haven’t been able to spend as much time together as we would’ve liked.

So, we are at breakfast and taking pictures, goofing around. He kept stealing from my plate and I rewarded him by bawling my lungs out over an emotional incident sometime between the breadbasket and the cheese and mushroom omelet. My mood improved steadily as I worked my way through the sausages and by the time I was mulling over a ‘Chateau Gateau’ I was positively beaming!

The incident begins with a lady breaking into our conversation

“Hi! I have the same kind of camera” She says from the other table

We smiled politely at her, she was in her late 50’s, salt and pepper hair and a restrained smile.

“It’s a good Camera” I nodded

“I can take pictures of you once I’m done with my coffee. Give me five minutes”

Before we could protest, she was cleaning her baked beans and baked potatoes with parsley in one swoop.

Thomas and I exchanged a look, shrugged and I went back to the cake and fruits.

“You ready?”

“She’s just being sweet Thomas come on” With his smile confirming his agreement we handed over the camera.

For the next couple of minutes she scouted for a location and then, just when we sported our best smiles…

“You have to look at each other! Come on!”

We did, “Now that’s a sweet couple”

Our smiles froze to the likes of Chandler’s smile

She then proceeded to humiliate us, taking picture after picture… “Stand Here! Go there! You – Chin Up! I have Photoshop! I love photography!”

I could feel Thomas seething “I should knock her the fuck out” through the fake smile

I was thinking Just smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave

When she had her fill of crouching, tip toeing, and half-squatting acrobatic stunts, she gave us back the camera and walked off.

There were 23 photographs. We were recognizable in 3.

Never judge the book by the way it runs it’s mouth! Hmph!

Here is the one that we were recognizable in:

Thomas and I

Thomas and I