A Few More Candles On The Birthday Cake

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.

 

Red

That’s how I refer to my husband in digital media- Facebook, blogs, and in my phonebook. I don’t know how or why it started but it did. He’s not red at all- no communist tendencies lurking here and there neither does he have one red hair. He’s been a salt&pepper guy since we met nearly 9 years ago. He’s pretty young still, just hit mid 30s and is quite an interesting person. I mean I keep thinking about him so clearly his mystique hasn’t died down after 7 years of marriage and one preschooler.

Let me break it down for you- he’s quieter than I am and less likely to go and start off conversations with strangers but it’s taken me a few years to understand that he’s not entirely introverted. He’s more of what you call an ambivert- he’d like to socialize more, is capable of it but is choosy and would rather hold off on commenting or jumping head long into things till he’s more comfortable. Sensible to the core but can stumble onto domestic minefields with unfailing regularity. Or maybe that’s just him being a husband 🙂

We are quite different from each other in many ways- am round and short with the increasing roundness seeming to increase the lack of verticality and he’s slender and well taller than I am. I can and often do talk nineteen to a dozen and he talks when he wants to, precisely, doesn’t meander and doesn’t keep talking beyond a point. Quite well moderated in his ways. Extremely well moderated in leaving wet towels on the bed and leaving lights on irrespective of having exited a room or a bathroom but those are quirks ( to use the best possible euphemism).

He’s pretty smart too. But kind of a binary guy. Focused on child, work, home (in that exact order) and a very sweet person overall.

Now comes the big question- WHY am I extolling my husband’s good qualities without any provocation whatsoever first thing on a Sunday morning? Well…he and the brat are both asleep. Peacefully. And seeing them knocked out like that always induces a benevolence in me that usually starts dissipating soon after they both wake up. And mainly because I’ve been grousing about MLM practically from my first post here and I thought it’s time to direct my attention towards another who causes my world to tilt here and there and spin haphazardly.

And most importantly, unless he’s away on work, he gives me my coffee every morning; made just right. You gotta love a man who gives you your dose of sanity everyday 🙂

P.S: A blog post detailing the annoying stuff about him is already in the works!