I still cannot believe it..I am finally living with Satyu in our rented unit in Auckland. After almost a year of marital life spent with lots of ups and downs, thanx to Skype, in 2 seperate countries, me in India and he here, it feels s wee bit strange to live together..I knw, its uncanny.. The flight to Auckland was quite unincidental, and also the Immigration thingie at the arrival, despite Satyu warning me with stuff like, they bombard u with questions etc. He strongly felt that I looked like a tourist and also looked raw so I was going to be picked on by the officals..Luckily nothing happened and since we had no food stuff to declare, we sailed outta the airport within a few minutes. Of course, Satyu was stopped by one offical who was conducting random PP checks.I guess he looked raw and new and not me..Well to my utter delight, Satyu was questioned and not me.. 😉
After being picked up by a couple of his friends, we arrived in the new house (new for me, not for him) in a quaint neighbourhood.
There were many strange things that struck me, especially after spending every breathing moment of my life in Mumbai…One such thing was, the cars on the roads dont honk at all..Not at all..I mean, hellooo, dont we horn back home for everything, from grabbing someone’s attention to kinda abuse or yell at some idiotic driver who has managed to annoy us.. Looks like the cars here arent fitted with horns..
The other strange bit was, that, when u look in any given direction, and if u see 10 human beings, outta them, 8 are asians (either Indian, Chinese, Japanese or maybe even Koreans) and the 2 remaining are some westerners..
The other strange thing was the sunlight.At 8.30 pm, 20.30 hours..the sun was shining down brightly at us..It was un nerving. I had a similar experience in the UK, in the past, but I had forgotten the feeling..I mean can u fathom that u have to squint out at the sun at 7 in the eveing. Or that we were using our sun glasses at * on the evebning. And it was so chilly..I was feeling cold, and I still am..I am constantly in Satyu’s jacket and they it is Summer. Siiighhh I am awaiting the Winter..yaayyyeee..no no…i wish it was summer the entire year..
Satyu took me around to a place (it was a mix of a store and a mini mall), something like spencer or food bazaar in the evening, since we needed some knick knacks..And I played the awed foreigner and felt like one of the kids who was selected for a visit to Charlie’s factory in the Wonka movie..Man..the variety of meats, cheeses, drinks, and what not.U name it and there were at least 20 options available. I mean, i know we have got Our Inorbits and Hypercities and Big Bazaars, but really, u had to see this store to believe me.I had to fight solid urges to buy some really redundant things, which I thought were very important to me. But Satyu, my saviour strongly restrained me and so we ended up buying stuff tht was really needed.
We had a coupla beers once we got back home and some chicken that his friend had cooked for us..Dont want to sound biased but the Carlsberg tasted awesome..Not something like what I had consumed in India..
When we hit the bed, I dont know what hit me and we slept staright thru the night and woke up at 6.30 am. After making calls back home, I decided to dish up some nice ‘s breakfast. To my horror, Satyu’s ill equipped kitchen and “flat jada” pohas (with which he expected me to make “kande pohe”) were a dampener.But we didnt let tht come our way and I made cheese omelets after battling with the flat plate cooking range. It just shows how u need to be versatile and that kitchen gadgets need to be mastered desptie the face tht u have cooked in ur entire life almost every day. I was almost ready to throw a tantrum when i couldnt fathom the range.But I managed somehow and after a hurried b/f, went to the market.
Satyu was quite eager to show me the St.Luke’s mall which is like “the” happening place here in Sandringham. It was impressive with so many shops and what not. I mean, its like walking thru Inorbit, u knw, but it felt good to be surrounded by the festive season preps.. We walked into the post office (ya ya..the P.O. was inisde the mall). It was a neat place and I was completely bowled over by it. There was a neat display of all sizes and shapes of envelopes with bubble wrap and simple envelopes and envelopes with return confirmation and big ones and small ones..u name it..u think of sending something, and bam..there it was the ebnvelope.. Its funny the things we sometimes take for granted..Back home, we have standard shpaes and sizes for eveyrthing..I am not in the comparison mode here,,just observations..
Also, in neat displays were forms of all kinds .The offical bits..Like we had gone to get the REGO (the registration of Satyu’s car), which has to be updated bi annually, I think..And all u have to do is pick out the form u require, stand in the queue and await ur turn and simply hand it over and u r sorted. When it was our turn, Aashoo (the attendant) informed us, that the WOF (warrant of fitness) had also expired. She informed us that the REGO clndt be processed of we didnt get our WOF updated. She was sweet and she asked us to get it done, and when we would return, she asked us to skip the queue and heaqd staright to her at the windiow. We went to get the WOF done at some place in Richardson street at an Indian garage.
When we gto back to the P.O., there was another long queue, bieng the weeks leading to Christmas..and no Aashoo at any window. Ironically, when it was our turn, Aashoo returned from her break and was our attendant again.
The experience was super. Maybe the warmth which she spoke to us or the amazing customer service they oofered. I mean can u imagine walking into any of our P.Os? They are so dinghy and damp and the emplyoees dont smile at all and make u feel that they were God’s best creations and make u regret because u sort of irked them by asking about the shipping charges or whatevr,..
Its 7.30 pm now..the sun is causing the shadows to play with the curtains in the room. The clock on Satyu’s laptop is set to Indian toime and it feels real starnge to see 1124 am there and leaqves me wondering what everyone is doing back home..
I m missing everything down to the packed straight lane to the higway, from the fish makrte smells to the old maids sitting at the katta to Mayuri to Leela bai to Naala to the walks in the society to Athaan’s playful shrieks, to Aaai baba’s regular debates (i m being politically correct ;)) to my Saurabh’s whistle to Tejas’s loud horn and firing of his bike to Vidya’s phone calls to the random discussions we used to have (me and Gauri) to Tanvi, Tejas and Neem and Manu’s tea and Maithu’s nautankis to the gym and the swimming pool and parle markets to the trains and to Dad’s ring toner and caller tune and of course… ;)))
Well having said all of this, I feel, that I have finally come home. where my partner is and our small home is..trying to ‘play” house with Satyu..
I can rightly say, the game has begun..Our very own ‘bhatuklee’…
Enjoy enjoy enoy enjoy!!!!!!!!