Mi, this post was brewing in my head anyway and it is a sheer coincidence I am writing it today close on the heels of a most satisfying conversation I had with Tanu. Here’s an edited transcript for you.
(T is Tanu and Me is obviously yours truly!)
T: Hi di.
Me: *Panting from running up the steps because I heard the phone ringing and anxious not to miss the call* Eyyy!
T: Where the hell were you? I’ve been trying your number for the past hour!
Me: Oh I just stepped downstairs to check the mailbox
T: Ahh. Remember how we used to pester the postman those days?
Me: Oh yes. We were so desperate to receive letters and cards, regardless of whether we wrote any!
Wild laughter ensues
Me: But you know what? I have all your old letters. And your um..birthday cards. Gosh, what fun we had, no?
T: Yeah! Hey, I don’t know why – I suddenly remembered that Jai. Are you in touch with him?
Me: No way. Eeks Of all the people! But I have to say this – we learned something very important at that time. Never wash our hair on the day of the date. Always do it the day before. Remember?
T: Yes! Also, facials the day before the event and not on the D day! That stupid Preethi didn’t tell us that and we ended up looking like skinned chickens when we went to that party!
Me: (barely holding my laughter)Party reminds me of Lady In Red -Chris DeBurgh. Your red satin sheath like dress with the collared V neck and the deep back. Wow. I loved that. You looked stunning! You know I used it for quite some time and then regretfully gave it away?
T: Yeah! Those were the days! What about you eating that rose on your first date with Jai? You scared the guy away! I am still laughing to think how you would slink out of your office so that you could miss him coming out of his for days after that!
Me: Arrgh! Talking of roses, I still have the little bunch of miniature roses you gave me, Tanu – years ago. I pressed them and they’re in my dictionary!
T: You’re a softie! Sigh! I want to eat one of those Taj Meals for Rs.7 now! I loved their rasam!. We used to think their papads were expensive, no? At 50 ps. a piece? You would refuse and I’d want two!
Me: Yeah! But I liked the MLA Canteen meals in Basheerbagh better! Last week when I visited Hyderabad, I didn’t walk on Sarojini Devi road. During my earlier visit, I did – and felt as though it had shrunk, what will all the new malls and whatnot. The best part was meeting your Mom. As we were talking, I couldn’t help remembering how we insisted she apply honey on her eyebrows just to see if they’d act as a bleach! We were in the 11th Grade then! She got so mad at us! Somehow, she looked just the same to me even now!
T: I hope you wore color-coordinated clothes and accessories you crazy dame
Me: Oh I did. I took care to do so. Okay…according to me anyway. Except, I think I disappointed her by not wearing any lipstick.
T: Why! Oh God, I’ll never hear the end of it. Those days – you used to wear those exact match colors with your clothes – even if they were bright red or purple or brilliant pink! The best part was they’d look fab on you, you b*tch!
Me: *can barely talk from giggling*
Hey, nothing like that Sebby’s party back in ’87 – remember? We couldn’t get Priya to come but we went. All those aspiring pilots. They were such good cooks! I still have that crazy rust-colored tunic with wooden buttons at the shoulders and the sash around the waist. We used to wear those crazy heels those days!
T: what did you do with all your shoes, ‘Dya?
Me: Gave them away, of course. Along with all the sarees! But I kept the blouses you gave me. The sleeveless ones. They fit me perfectly for years, you know! I don’t wear them now because I am too lazy to wear sarees. Also, I don’t believe in waxing my underarms.
T: Remember those days, in school, you used to hang around reading a book while all of us suffered the hot wax and the rip-offs with the strip!
Me: And see how my laziness paid off! I am practically hairless in all the places that matter!
T: hahahahah! My favorite memory of Aunty is when we forced her to dye her hair. I feel like crying now. How we pestered her! You remember that time when she used to look in the matrimonial ads to find us grooms and we would look at all the crazy ads? There was this Nigerian who kept on advertising and we’d tell her to marry someone rich so he could adopt us!
Me: I know! What creeps we were!
T: Make that present tense.
Me: We also made the past and future tense, T! By the way, did I tell you Mom did wear salwar kameez for a couple of months before she passed away? Also, I cut her hair really short to make it easily manageable.
T: Show me the pictures, you freak!
Me: I feel so bad I didn’t click any.
T: *serious cussing*
But you know, ‘Dya, we are very lucky to have Moms like ours. I know we creeped them out, but they always supported us. We could walk in and out of each other’s houses as though they were extensions. Arrey, remember how our dhobi delivered your clothes to my place and mine to yours?
Me: yeah! And our wardrobes. You would always tease me about my neat cupboard. Gosh, you should see it now! You’ll die of shock
T: as if. How I miss those days, di! We used to bunk office and go sit at 10 Downing Street with a pitcher and catch up on our reports seriously. And manage to ride home on your bike stably!
Me: Yeah! My favorite is the ride to Patancheru in your car. We screamed our heads off blasting Bryan Adams’ Summer of ’69!
T: Remember that ride to the Univ and back on your Hero Puch..we heard a weird sound and it turned out to be a puncture!
Me: Those were the days, truly. Mi casa, su casa. Mi wardrobe, su wardrobe. Hugs!
T: Mmmmm. Mmuahmuuuah muuah. Are you using those shoes?
Me: Oh yea! Special occasion types. I don’t ever want them to wear out! Posh things. And so very comfy! Plus you’ve loaded me with ankle socks for the rest of my life. By the way – those La Vie En Rose thingies fit beautifully. As usual, you were right about the size!
T: Wow. Great! Face it, ‘Dya. I know you better than anybody else.
Me: Amen to that! And I hope you’re wearing all those clothes and earrings?
T: of course. I’ve got everyone going green with envy at my endless collection! Except it is so cold now I have to dress in multiple layers and hide it all!
Me: This season too shall pass! Gosh, I miss that amazing cream that you insisted I massage after the bath. Next time I should pick up a bottle and carry it back with me! For now, I have Mom’s special oil
T: I wish I had Mom’s oil. But there’s no way you can bring it here. I miss those days when we bought the largest packs in moisturizers and shampoos and shared them!
Me: Me too! I also miss organizing your cupboard
T: I’ll slap you now!
Me: But seriously T – I’ve already started packing for my trip in 2015!
T: Good! Miss a meal a day if you have to, to save up for the trip!
Me: Gosh, 2013 is going to end. I am rewinding to the December of 1995, when we were walking from my place to yours, singing loudly! Ah, then later – we partied like it was already 1999 and danced. Chaka Demus & Pliers. Friday Evening. What fun!
T: Remember the first song we heard by them? Tease me! We’ve come a long way, babe!
Me: And Murder she wrote!
*Singing and humming together*
Me: By the way, I just opened the pack of soaps you gave me. I wish Mom were here…she was crazy about this brand. Oh, and I also bought a pack of sandalwood soaps. Each one is packed in an individual box. I was just thinking – if you were here, we would have argued over who gets to keep the boxes! Very cool – triangular in shape.
T: Never mind. You can keep it in the suitcase right now and give it to me when you come here.
T: Ok ‘Dya – Yikes, Look at the time! Huggs! Now I have to rush to work!
Me: Take care. Talk to you next Friday!
Mi – I was just thinking – Tanu and I met when we were around 9 years old. We’re both 50 now. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is! I cherish our memories. And I am especially grateful to you for indulging us on so many occasions! Because friendships bloom so much more fragrantly when Moms are part of the gang!