In the wee hours of morning, faint voices of Papa and Maa talking to each other in the other room help me make a smooth transition from my dream sequences to reality. This would be followed by Papa drawing the curtains from the windows making the Sunday’s sun rays stream in the room. I don’t complain much because unlike others I get up early on holidays out of excitement of no school and later in life no office. Having woken up now is my turn to disturb someone else’s sleep. So I head towards Sony’s bed in the other room to wake her up. She protests but gets up eventually. Papa would be cajoling to do some exercises along with him but I would cook up some excuse to avoid it. Done with the daily chores, we would be asked of our preference for lunch, options ranging from prawns, crabs to chicken and mutton mostly culminating in chicken being decided as the winner. The next batch of questioning starts after the chicken arrives with focus now being on the dish to be made out of it. The days Chicken Biryani gets picked are my favorite. In the meantime, the newspaper would have arrived, I would pounce upon it and start gorging on the news, the editorial section being my favorite. In the backdrop would be the television tuned to some music channel playing the latest songs and if a Shah Rukh starrer is around the corner, all the more reason to be happy. Meanwhile the smell of the fried onions fills the home and Maa arrives with a piece of chicken for Sony and I to taste and let her know if everything is alright with it. Somehow the clock runs a lot faster on Sundays as soon we are being shouted at by Maa for not having bathed yet. Baths are a little longer on Sundays. Post that, four of us sitting together to have lunch is the highlight of the day. While Maa and Sony are busy critiquing the food, I gorge on the food without even raising my head. Lunch over, tummy full, what better way to relax than diving in a novel, slowly drowning in sleep, the last few lines to be read again after waking up. Waking up to see the cricket match on TV with Papa followed by some movie premiere at night.
Living in distant lands may be a sign of prosperity for some, but for me it has always been about home.