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Saturday, January 03, 2009

North-eastern Naani, Butter Paratha and New Year

(Not imaginary. An account of a first-person witness.)

Date: 31st December, 2008
Time: 9:30pm
Place: Kanjurmarg

This is a well-lit restaurant in Kanjurmarg, Mumbai. A family that has come for dinner is taken to a table. This is a family from North-east. They have been staying here in Mumbai for long and Daddy has decided to take them all out for dinner today on the New year eve. Daddy sits first followed by the two kids who are nearly fifteen years of age - the age when the kids start going to such places with their friends. In other words, they begin to 'like and dislike' and in short 'know' things that you get at places like these.

The elder of the two was telling the father, "Dad, you get good Mushroom sabzis here. Can we try it?"

"No beta, I don't like it", the mom tried to intervene , "It's non-veg isn't it?!"

"No mom!! It's not.. It's a plant. It is hygienically cultivated."

The four of them, the mom-dad and the kids discussed what they wanted to order for some more time.

"Naani...", the younger one pointed out, "...why aren't you speaking? What will you have?"

The Naani was sitting draped in a dark green sari and was carrying a shawl. The wrinkles on her face got denser like the ripples that form on the surface of water or like the clouds that cluster before it pours as she smiled and said, "Butter Paratha, beta!"

Fourty minutes later, this family was having their dinner. Daddy was telling stories about the New year celebrations at office. The kids were asking Mummy if she would take them to 'Jumbo' the next day.

Naani was looking at the four of them. With a smile on her face and a drop of tear in her eye, she was eating and looking at her daughter's family. She was happy they were so together and happy. She was happy they had brought her there. She was happy for her daughter.

Having undergone adversities of poverty and family problems, she had never been a witness to such a relaxed and happy New Year's eve. She did not remember having any such evening with her husband and family. Now her daughter's was her family. And she was happy beyond words to see all of them so happy. The Naani tore a piece of the Butter Paratha with a smile as she watched this family. She was not left out of the conversation. In fact, she was savouring every moment of it as much as the butter paratha.....

... it isn't too difficult to be happy, is it?!


  1. a very sensitive one.............

  2. you have a very good story telling talent!!!! :) good luck!!!