I recently celebrated another birthday. Firmly ensconced into the 30s now. And having fun actually. Gravity has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged me to an out-and-out war but barring that life is pretty good. The little hiccups of home improvement, a child at home during summer holidays; getting bored but barring that I thought about it and life is pretty good.
I have a slightly weird yardstick for gauging the “good” factor of life. I look at how efficient I have been in getting things done around the house (my 2nd primary responsibility), how often MLM has enjoyed good health vs having fallen sick, if we’ve been able to take a holiday as a family (even a mini getaway) and if I have had at least some uninterrupted face time with my parents and husband. The icing on the cake is how many books I’ve read (and reread) but then that’s me and my quirks.
Last Friday we all headed off to my BFF/sister’s place in Chennai. It’s hot and humid but she lives a stone’s throw away from the beach so what the heck! We try to catch up once a year given that we live in different cities but rarely do days go by when we don’t talk at least once a day on the phone. On a good day it’s either one long conversation or two depending upon how enthusiastic MLM is feeling about having my company or hungry for cookies.
We reached at night and both Red and MLM conked off pretty quickly. I changed into grungy home wear (what better attire for a midnight birthday party?) to find assorted pastries on a table, dim lighting, a poster/XL birthday card and a chilled bottle of Kahlua awaiting me. Am getting teary-eyed just thinking of it. A whole bottle…chillled. Sighs.
Anyhow, I’ve become pretty blase about my birthdays. I do like getting greetings but what I would rather do above anything else is just have a memorable day. And it was! Let me tell you, Korean food on your birthday is like nothing else, ever!
We headed to a cozy little Korean restaurant- InSeoul and just hunkered down in true Korean fashion and dug in. Bowls of everyday veggies with exotic aromas, unusual tangs and endless strands of noodles. It was an experience! And just what I wanted.
See it’s not always possible to seek out new experiences and be fulfilled while doing so. Every so often the new experiences come to you and sweep you up in them. Here, it was sharing food with loved ones I don’t see too often and everything was peppered with laughter and gastronomical delights. One of the reasons why food and music bring people closer together is that it allows you to share your journey with people around you while you’re riding the waves yourself, so to speak. And add coffee (tea) and conversation to the mix…well its a recipe for good times, good memories and in short, happiness.
So it was Bulgogi one day, while sitting on square mats on the floor while the food was cooked right on the table and delivered up into our plates and the next it was sharing bowls of pasta and pizza in a little villa down the road from the sea while a little fan whirled above our heads from the thatched roof.
This has largely turned into a glimpse of the food consumed rather than the birthday weekend but with my best friend, food plays a very large part in our interaction with each other. We’ve expanded considerably as a result of it as well but nonetheless, we have food milestones as well in our 16 year history with each other. Right from street food to fine dining to home cooked nourishing soul food, we have food as markers in our journey with each other. Over the years the families, spouses and children have been brought in to share the ride. And what a ride it’s been.
So here’s to turning a year older, in the presence of people you know, love and who love you back and most importantly…really know you.