04 November 2011

The date

"How about a lunch date?" he asked. On any other day I'd have refused  politely. But today was different. The work place was almost deserted as most folks were still enjoying their extended Diwali holidays. The boss was on vacation this week. As they say - when the cat is out the mice will play! Well, why not, said my heart. It had been so long since someone had asked me for a little fun just by ourselves. It had been so long since it had been possible.

"Yes", I typed in my chat window. "Where would you like to go?" he inquired. "Somewhere not too far" I replied. "You like pasta, right? How about a multi-cuisine restaurant that serves all kinds of cuisine?" he prodded. He then named a restaurant that was not too far away for a lunch break during office hours. Secretly pleased that he remembered what I liked from our previous conversations and was mindful about my taste, I replied "That sounds good." "Alright then, I'll come by to pick you up tomorrow. See you!" he promised and logged off. I could almost hear the anticipation in his words. I couldn't help feeling the rush of adrenaline at the thought of dressing up and being treated to a luxurious meal by a guy after such a long time.

The day passed pleasantly after that. I was lost in the excitement of the next day. Back home in the evening, hubby inquired about my day at the office. "You seem happy. Looks like it was a fun day" he said. I looked up at him quickly wondering if he could guess the reason for my preoccupation. But he was playing with our daughter and seemed oblivious to my mood.

I dressed carefully the next day. Western or casual is allowed on fridays at my organization and I chose the same. "You look great", quipped my husband as I was leaving for work. That brought a smile to my face. It was a painful exercise to wait until lunch time, but the hours passed quickly. I took one last look in the mirror before walking to the entrance lobby where he would be arriving soon. He came soon enough and off we drove to restaurant in his smart sedan. He inquired solicitously whether the AC was adequately cool in the car. I was wearing my sunglasses and he commented that I looked 'deadly'. I literally preened in my seat.

The restaurant was elegant, cozy and not too crowded. The service was prompt but not too rushed. We chatted about the food, the last movie seen by us and about some mutual friends. I couldn't remember the last time I had had such a peaceful meal. Usually, I sail through my lunches at work as I have to leave early to be in time for my daughter in the evenings. Dinner too is a rushed affair as my daughter likes to sit on my lap and wants to eat from my plate. Though that has a charm of its own, it is blissful to have a leisurely meal once in a while. Since there wasn't a lot of crowd, the staff had all the time to give us their undivided attention. I could feel their curious glances and speculation. For once though, I couldn't be bothered.

As with all good things, the meal came to an end too soon. He drove me back to my office. As we parted, he called out "Thank you so much for your lovely company - I think I was the most envied guy in that restaurant!" I thanked him for the lunch. He held my hand and continued "We should do this more often, Nilu. It has been so difficult to steal such private moments together in the last year or so. But now that our daughter is almost two, we should go out more often." I understood what he said. I had been too occupied with my work and our daughter. Such small pleasures as lunch outside with my dear husband had been unthinkable for me until now. I vowed to take out more time for the two of us moving forward.

The cricket match

My nephew is nearly the same age as my daughter - just a month younger. Due to this, I and my sister-in-law could not spend a lot of time with each others' babies when they were in their first year. Part of the reason was also due to the facts that my daughter did not like it if I played with my nephew and she herself wouldn't go to her maami.

Once they started walking and communicating, it was fun to watch the two toddlers together. Also, it was great to see that the gender stereotypes surface at such a young age! My nephew is quite loud and not at all shy around strangers. He loves to play with bat-ball and throws things around. My daughter on the other hand, is painfully shy around new people, very clingy, loves to feed her teddy bear lovingly, is not noisy or rebellious and puts her toys away after playing. This could be because of their inherent natures too, not due to the gender - but it is amusing to see the differences :)

Just when they were getting to the interesting age when they like to play together, look out for each other and care for each other - my brother had to relocate to the States for a long-term assignment. A few weeks ago, we had been to their place to enjoy a sort of final bonding time before they left.

While his parents were partaking of their dinner, it fell upon me to entertain the kiddos so they would let the adults eat in peace. That's when I came up with the idea of the cricket match. My nephew chose to bowl and handed me the bat. My daughter was content to chase behind the ball or field. My dad acted as the umpire and mom was a spectator. And so began the famous match!

My brother has been obsessed with cricket from a very young age much to my irritation. It certainly showed in the skill with which my nephew was bowling - he had good genes and rigorous training! He bowled me out several times and squealed with joy, clapping his hands, whenever my dad called out the verdict. Soon though, I started anticipating his balls and played them so that they did not hit anyone, yet scored well. The excitement of the event was catching up with everyone. Hubby made a comment that he was impressed with my batting skills. That sure pleased me - for a guy to comment on his girl's sporting skills is a very big compliment in my book :) I took my batting even more seriously. The game went on for quite some time with everyone joining in the fun. Hope it registered as much with the little ones as it did with us adults.

Love you both! Hope they get to spend more time with each other once my brother is back from the States in 2 years....




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