I got up at 9 a.m. today after a night of over eating and drinking. I heard distant chatter and thought I was dreaming. But my neighbour Lynn had guests and they were sitting in the garden. Nine is not early in a place where people hit the sack by 10 p.m.. Noises in this generaly quiet suburb make me feel good as I am reminded of my house and neighbourhood in India.

I had my tea and breakfast and watered the plants that seem to be wilting in the already strong morning sun. Then I got down to read some of the old voluminous weekend papers; I get my papers in the evening when Lolo comes back from work. I had finished my cup of tea and Lynn's guests were still there. I got thinking about friends and people I miss.

I had all kinds of friends in India. Ocassionally I would take a walk with Manju my neighbour, who would pour her heart out to me during those walks. It was good to whinge, we agreed. I remembered Yashu and Geeta who I would talk and meet as often as I could over dinner, coffee, lunch. Deepika who would make laugh on a regular basis from the other part of the country. Need I mention Cheri, Boni, Julie, Kabi, Vishakha... ufff too many others with whom I shared such bonhomie. I had my other anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, festivals, other parties friends. They were the friends I did not speak often but special enough to remember in all these ocassions because my/their presence mattered. My work friends were like my diaries. Everyday we would share the trivial details of our lives. So, I had a friend for every ocassion, not a fair weather friend :)

I met my small diaspora group last Sunday. Talking my own language and eating my indigenous food with them was like being transported back to my hometown. Only, the wine kept flowing and a new reality hitting back and forth.

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