Tuesday 20 August 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 174

Week end @ IIM Indore part ii
20.8.13, Mumbai




  On my way from the campus I had a couple of hours and decided to use them productively. In the olden days productively may have translated into checking out sari shops but today, it meant spending my time wisely.

I set out to locate a friend I studied law at The Govt Law College, Mumbai and lost touch with over the years. She shifted to Indore after marriage and the only information I had about her was that she was a High Court Judge. Like a good journalist I traced her and called to ask if she remembered me. She did and was delighted to hear my voice after 25 years. An hour later I was at her home warmly welcomed by her entire family- husband, son, daughter-in-law, two dogs and many birds.

Our conversation was spontaneous as if time had stood still all these years. Shubhada Waghmare earlier Vyas had put on a little weight had suffered aching knees but barring this there was no difference in her spirit as a person. She still had the same humour and spunk. She was still ravishing, vivacious with a ringing laughter that had not dimmed over the decades.

Her father-in-lawyer, noted lawyer in his time was no more. Her husband, also a lawyer, had retired and son was practicing law as well.

We chatted about old times, our parents, our siblings, our friends and our memories. She dug out old albums and we laughed over our bizarre costumes. We shared our professional stories. She enlightened me about the legal world and life as a judge. I entertained her with the glamour world and my life as an author and film critic. Hours went by and her family left us alone after a while. When it was time for me to leave for the airport she went to her room and got me a sari. She asked me to forward my aanchal and filled it with a coconut, raw rice and applied haldi kunku on my forehead, an old tradition among Maharashtrians.

As she did so I had a feeling of dejavu like somebody had done this to me in exactly the same way. I didn’t have to think too hard. It was Shubhada’s mother filling our ooti at Shubhada’s wedding.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya


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