Apologies for delaying this post!
I’ve had a fun extended weekend. Yet another marriage back at Ye Olde Ancestral House, which, I’m glad to say was far more awesome than the last wedding I attended. Love was in the air, the weather was delightful and a quirky family around me meant all-day fun. What more could I ask? Just wish A would’ve taken a break from her psycho-obsessive workaholism and come along with us. Two samples of my time there:
I spot them at a distance. Four O’ Clock, forty feet, closing in fast on an intercept vector.
Tactical maps of the house pop up in my head, and I switch bearings immediately while my brain tries to find good hiding places.
It doesn’t work. They’ve got an optical lock on me, and they’re willing to chase.
Okay, I’ll MAKE them chase.
Roll Starboard Ninety, full acceleration, NOW!
My legs scramble to obey and they lose lock for a moment, only to regain it immediately. Damn, they’re good. I will my legs to go faster just as they open their mouths to fire the first salvo. The sound of my name rips through the air, but I refuse to stop.
I push harder. I know I’m losing them, and I exult in what I know is going to be a success. Just a few more minutes, before — WHAM!
I’ve rammed straight into hostile 3! I know it’s over. I can see her triumphant expression.
“N, you SAID you’d drive us to the market!”, she whines.
“Farh leya! Hun kithe jauga bach ke?” (Caught you! Where are you going to escape to now? ), a female voice shouts behind me. So my only retreat is now cut off.
Surrender is the only option. But not without some whining of my own.
“Why can’t you drive yourself?”
“We need to get the special Mehandi thing done, so we can’t hold the wheel”, says Hostile 2
“You promised, N!”, Hostile 1 pitches in.
I grab the keys to the car and walk very, very slowly to the vehicle. It’s going to be a long day.
I jackknife awake and glance at the clock. Two frigging AM.
More laughter pipes into the bedroom “assigned” to me, and I get out of bed with a disgusted expression. Who the hell could be laughing away at this hour? And then I freeze.
THAT is my sister’s voice, goddamn it. You’ve GOT to be kidding me. S? Awake? AT TWO A.M?!! She’s not a night person at all. And she’s not a morning person either. She just loves her sleep.
So what the heck is she doing up at this hour?
And then it hits me. She’s down with Jet Lag. It’s only 8:30 PM back in London, I suppose.
I grab some slippers and make my way out of the room. The corridors are deserted and the bedrooms are silent. I can hear chatter, though, somewhere right ahead of me.
The dining room.
I tiptoe my way and peep. At first, I think I’m hallucinating. But I’m not.
It’s like a mini party going on around here! At least ten relatives, male and female, old and young are sitting around the table, chilling out with soft drinks, vodka and Tandoori Chicken. What the HELL!
I can only gawp. I mean, there’s insomnia and there’s craziness! This is definitely the latter.
They notice me, take in the pajamas and “just out of bed appearance”. Someone grins sheepishly. Others laugh and offer some coke.
Okay, so if you can’t fight ’em, join ’em.
I simply walk to the refrigerator and grab a package from the freezer.
“Chocolate Ice Cream, anyone?”
Ten identical, greedy grins flash back at me.
The night’s gonna be even longer.