Friday, August 26, 2005

Coming to NoVA

When enough time elapses between an incident and it's recounting, it seems to me like I am talking about another person's life and not mine. I wrote this over two years ago..


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The bus stop at Arlington is a small counter - and its raining hard. I stand beneath the awning while my bags get wet. Make a call to Y - he is on is way but has got his directions wrong so he's running a little late. I stand there and wait. There are two other guys there - also waiting for their ride like me.

Y has not changed much - hardly at all. He does not broach the subject of R (my ex) at all and we talk about the job market and my chances of finding one in DC. He asks about J and asks how she is holding up in my absence. I feel like I'm back in very familiar surroundings and among people I've always known. I bask in a sense comfort that I have missed for a long time.

Their community is beautiful and so is their apartment. Z is standing with a big smile on his face as the door opens. He is such a friendly, adorable kid and befriends me instantly and just a little younger than J. N's mother is an earthly woman who thinks I have done right by myself and my child and there are bright days ahead of me "Inshallah". I settle down into their domestic situation effortlessly. I give N the book that I had got for her. She smiles happily.

In dramatic contrast from the all vegetarian food that I had been on for the last several weeks, I am instantly on an elaborate Mughlai diet of salan, kabab, shorba and what have you. The food is rich, flavorful, oily and spicy. They ask me if I'm okay to eat beef - I say that's fine. I do not to trouble the host with special menu requests. They eat very small portions and I feel like I am the one with a gargantuan appetite and that makes me feel a tad self conscious. They give up the master bedroom for me - and I feel acutely embarrassed. I look longingly at the couch but N does not relent.

I develop a fascination for their rotis - so incredibly soft. I watched N knead the dough to see what was different and hopefully I have learnt in theory what needs be done.

Things move pretty fast after my arrival in their home. Y lines up an interview for me and they make me an offer, I start on the 2nd Monday of April. After a long battle the first major victory and I felt a sense of calm come over me. Holding Z in my arms assuage my maternal longings. We play with his toys sometimes - J is so different from other children - my interaction with this kid for ten days brought in that realization even more.

One Saturday morning we come over to my new room-mate's apartment to check out the place and to see if I feel okay with her. N and Z are fussing over me like I was a their teenager going off to college. I am at once amused and grateful.

I moved in on the 2nd April with my two bags to start a very different life - alone.

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