I GET TO SEE SOME DISSIPATION IN MY PLACE: HITTING 40
So I finally turned the corner away from possibly young to definitely not and turned 40 on Jan 11. I'd decided long ago that I was going to have a party that lasted all day - and I had all that and more. My friends Samina, Swati and Reshma came from Delhi. My friend Ruchir happened to be here. My mum's in town. My friend Rahul who lives in Goa came for an hour as a surprise. My friend Jabeen whose husband Girish and I share the birthday came too for the first time, since there was lunch and so she had time away from the other commemoration. My uncle who was an avid photographer in his youth and took endless pictures of me as a kid and then lost them, found an old photo, photoshopped it till it looked good as new and gave it to me. My friend Ajay mixed up the dates and so decided to enjoy himself with a weekend in Goa, after promising to make one dish for the party, so we made goa sausages to honour his absence. My friend Madhusree had been claiming that she'd bought one of those rare perfect presents for me some months ago and she proved herself right - it was a bright red bag that looked like a can-can skirt, with two rosebuds on it.
A WHOLE LOT OF TOASTING GOING ON
I was particularly happy my friends came because it was an affirmation of some sort of life I've chosen to lead where friends have been very important, where the endless discovery of each other over years of shared experience and shared conversation and shared annoyance, hurt or anger have been as important as any other relationship. This isn't always easy. Friendship - as another friend and I discussed - is that most romantic and ideal of relationships, with great spaces, room for change and deep appreciation embedded into it; yet it's the most complex and difficult of relationships because especially in our contemporary, neo-conventional times, it has begun to lose its ettiquettes, it has no binding rules and established primacies as do ordained relationships. All that holds it together with decency, honesty and love is the belief of the people involved in these ideas. All that prevents callous betrayals and unkind prioritisations is the decision of the people involved to honour this great, if diffused, institution, to make oneself vulnerable by claiming some rights in it, to cherish one's friends' vulnerabilities by offering those rights within it.
So, at the party there was many friends, much happiness and general dissipation at my place....
There was corruption - as a baby had her first taste of ice-cream and there was no moment of uncertainity as she asked for MORE, holding onto the spoon like a desperate addict!
There was food, the menu being:
Wheat crackers, onion khakhras and nachni chaklis with muhamarrah (a dip made with red bell peppers, garlic, walnuts and olive oil) and dahi-dill dip; roast leg of mutton, chicken and sausage stewed in beer, beans in sesame oil, thai tofu bean sprout salad, a salad of tomatoes, basil and garlic, strawberries and pineapples soaked in port wine with cappucino ice-cream.
There was alcohol naturally -And after some time there was hectic activity to make ever more varied cocktails - someone made one with tequila and strawberries; tequila vodka and lemon-sugar; cachaca and coconut water; apple vodka and mint and something, etc...
And then there were the results of the ever-varied cocktails which involved, silly smiles, looking into the distance, dervish like dancing, posing of various kinds (about which also more in another post)
Best of all, the previous night, there was a pyjama party with champagne and cake and getting of gifts and giving of back presents.
Followed by too much laziness in the morning and then crazed preparations in which I had a meltdown and Swati did some domestic work for the third time in her life maybe (chopping mushrooms. She is in intensive therapy to recover from the traumatic experience)
Well that was fun. Ambivalence will obviously follow.