Posts Tagged ‘ minute christmas ’


By the time I post this, most everyone will know, so there’s no point in keeping it any longer. (And sorry if you don’t know yet, I’m probably on my way to surprising you so if you see me after you see this, then just act surprised anyway). Surprise! I’m home. It was a last minute decision that I took after a few intense conversations with folks at home, mainly my dad and sister. I reserved a ticket Monday night around 11pm, asking my boss for permission only two hours earlier. On Tuesday at 3pm my ticket was booked for 6am the following morning in Bombay. With a fever of 102, I went home, packed, did some super last minute Christmas shopping with the help of very supportive guy friends who said I was being too difficult (thanks Sachin and Sagar for dealing with my fevered and half crazed last minute self) came back home, finished packing, ate soup because it was the only thing I could manage to get down without feeling disgusting, called my brother in law to solidify the top secret plan – to be discussed below – and then hopped on a bus to Bombay, then in a cab to the airport where I boarded a plane to Kuwait and then JFK. The first flight I slept; the second flight, I slept more. On the second flight children surrounded me. I was amazed that they were all extremely well behaved. The two boys, probably between the ages of 4-5 and 6-7 had a nanny who sat between them. Their father sat them down and took his seat in business or first class. The girl in front of them was very sick. She was hooked to an IV drip the entire time, her hair in wisps. It was hard not to be sad when looking at her. Her parents sat on either side of her, her doctor to the right of them. On my right side there was a girl of maybe 2 years who was filled with love by her two older siblings or cousins. They took such good care of her the entire time. I can’t say about the middle of the flight, but for a 15-hour flight, I slept for probably 12. It was good. The flight was super empty, so the entire middle section was all mine. I took advantage by sprawling out and using the seats as a bed; it couldn’t have been better. I’m not sure if I’d recommend Kuwait airways. If I hadn’t been sick and exhausted (like I might not be, or am not planning on being for the way back), I would have been quite upset. The TVs – as in not just the 3 TVs I could have watched, but more than half of the TVs on the flight – were broken. They didn’t turn on. It could have been disastrous. The food was “meh;” the service on the second flight was much better than the first (I was kind of scared of the first flight’s stewards) and the seats had this weird bump that stuck in your lower back. Like I said, being sick and exhausted really saved me.
When I landed I just popped onto the A train to the city – like it’s something I do every day still. It’s been a very surreal experience so far. It’s like old muscles; you don’t think how to run, your body knows how to do it. I don’t need to figure out streets or trains or anything really; I just know where to go and how to get there. It’s cold though! I came with my warmest clothes: two sweaters and a windbreaker. In Pune, I’d die of heat with all that on. Here, those close don’t do much. It’s cold.
Tuesday night I called Brett to say that I was coming; his reaction, “Oh Wow!” He was then a part of the Super Secret Club (it consisted of him and me). We would meet at a restaurant in the West Village. He’d be there with my sister. She wasn’t allowed to know. P.S. I must say that one of the best parts of being home is the element of surprise. I’m a horrible secret keeper, especially my own secrets, so the fact that this was last minute was really good, because I’m finding it really hard not to just spill the beans to everyone all at once.
Brett looked into the restaurant and told Jenny to close her eyes. I ran out and bombarded her with a huge hug. We cried a bit (as we do sometimes, but usually, like in this instance, it consisted of some tears running down our faces). It was the best surprise I’d ever give till date. We had dinner and I went to see her show. It was hysterical and fun. My only regret is jet lag and the nap that I shamelessly took somewhere in the middle of the show. After, it was her friend’s husband’s birthday and we went for a drink. I miss hot toddys (anyone in Pune, I’ll make one for you when I get back) so I got one. On our way out my dad called. There was a siren outside and I freaked out. After it passed I picked up and feigned being really busy at work. Secret keeping is tough! We went home and passed out.
Being cold has its benefits; like being under a warm blanket and feeling snug. It was great to wake up at my sister’s place in a snug blanket. We had breakfast, walked through a part of the Botanic Gardens, went to a market, came home, and napped before going to give the same surprise to my mom. We did the same thing; I hid in a store and popped out when my mom was closing her eyes. It was the same reaction; same sequence. I think my mom is really happy. After dinner, my mom went to a show, my sister went to her show; I took the train home (naturally) and waited for my dad to come home. When he finally walked in, he did a double take, smiled, and said, “No wonder I couldn’t get in contact with you.” It was a very perfect dad reaction.
I made some phone calls to friends. Some friends know; the friends who know will help me surprise the friends who don’t know yet. This is a fun game!