Thursday, November 15, 2012

Diwali Postcards

A few memories from Diwali 2012 that I'd like to capture:

Jay left back for home on Diwali day, Nov.13th. On Sunday night me, Hasit, Shital, Shweta, Charmi, and Joserra had a farewell dinner for him at "The Burrito", one of Ahmedabad's few Mexican restaurants. Hasit asked Jay to give a pre-dinner and post-dinner speech. As Hasit said, he wanted Jay to do it specifically because it's the last thing Jay would want to do. And he didn't. Instead we went around the table and said one thing we liked about Jay. I said I liked how good Jay was about keeping accounts and bills in order at Awaaz.De. It sounded lame, but Shital inferred the deeper meaning: Over the course of the past 9 months, Jay has done many large and small things that have had an influence on me and our company. Some of then, like our accounting, flow below the surface and so they go unnoticed. It's once you go beneath a bit do you see the kind of work and impact he has had on things.

Over these past 9 months, I was most impressed by Jay's adaptability. He came to a country that is very hard to adjust to. The food, the air, the people, the way of conducting business and everyday interactions. The first time you spend extended time here, you are really just trying to survive till you can finally go back home. At least that was how I was when I started coming. But Jay got in, and though he had his share of difficulties, he went beyond surviving to thriving. He adjusted as well as you possibly could, getting to a comfort with this place in a few months that took me years to get to. Living with Ba was its own huge adjustment. To live with her peacefully, you have to fully surrender to her schedule, way of eating, sleeping, and cleaning. Jay did all that without complaint and on the other hand developed a healthy respect, love, and admiration for Ba's way of living. That's not ordinary people stuff.

The night of Jay's flight, he stayed in my apartment to have a quick ride to the airport. We hung out with MAM till 11pm, his rixa was coming at 1:30am. So we set the alarm and went to sleep for a couple hours. Only I woke up at 6:45am and Jay was gone. No "can you help me bring down my bags?", not even a goodbye. Just left with no fuss, and let me sleep. That's vintage Jay.

I spent Diwali with Ba at her place. The night before I had been anonymously tagged with rangolis and diyas in lovely decoration in front of my apartment door. I decided to pay the rangolis forward and do the same for Ba. She was resistant at first, but we got a couple compliments from neighbors passing by so she let me do a second one. She also liked the floating rangoli that Chiragbhai's wife made. So there was a bit of festiveness to the house decor. There was also 24 hour fireworks that ran throughout the night. It was mind boggling because they continued the next morning when it was light out and you couldn't see them.

Las memory hasn't been made yet. I type these words as my last task before going into 2.5 days of silence and meditation. Thanks to Meghna for taking care of my food while I sit at home. Thanks to my family for supporting me in all ways to get me to this moment in my life. Thanks to you all for reflecting light in your own ways in your own lives. Like so many millions of little Diwali diyas dancing outside my window.

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