“I need to check my email, stat,” I say to Bangalore Niece who is very busy reading her Facebook news feed. I have not logged onto Facebook, much less my yahoo account, sent a text message or answered a phone in one full week. Admittedly I have enjoyed the reprieve from technology. I never realized how Pavlovian dog I am with the damn thing - it rings, I answer. God forbid I let a call go to voicemail.
But yesterday my brother called to say Siobhan emailed him worried she not heard from me and hoped I made it to India safely. He explained that I was staying with our aunt who has no computer, which put Siobhan at ease. But her concern prompted me to make sure none of my other friends are worried. To me it’s India. It’s where my relatives live. It’s where we came from. And I guess I forget for non-desis, it is 10 time zones away on the other side of the planet.
“Sure. Can I check one more friend’s status?” Bangalore Niece asks. “Sure,” I reply and peer over her shoulder wondering what a 15 year does online. When Bangalore Niece was seven I started calling her G.I.T. – goddess in training. “I’m not spying,” I say when she looks over at me and sees me reading her wall. I hope she knows I still and will always think she's special. “Who is this girl?" I ask and point at the screen. “Massi, she’s my classmate Priya. They’ve posted photos from Pizza Hut at the mall yesterday. She’s okay, but not smart,” Bangalore Niece explains. “I know the type, beauty no brains. Good thing she can get an arranged marriage instead of worry about college. It's good to be Indian…” I mutter. Bangalore Niece smirks and retreats to the sitting room to watch TV.
I log onto my account and see several dozen emails from friends and one from Dr. Froggy. I spend 15 minutes responding to my friends and then open Dr. Froggy’s note. Email from Dr. Froggy: Hey, are you okay? I’ve been texting you for days and haven’t heard back, kinda worried. My house is almost done, I want you to come and see it.
I roll my eyes at his email. It’s sweet that he’s concerned for me, but it’s slightly annoying that he’s freaking out now. I called him before I left the States last week. But he was too busy watching hockey. And I wasn’t able to explain that I won’t be spending $2.00 per text message, and therefore turning my mobile off for the next two weeks.
“Who sent this email?” Bangalore Cousin asks and reads from behind me. “Dr. Froggy,” I reply and turn to look at her. “Think he’s interested?” I ask, half-jokingly. “Quite interested. What kind of house has he built?” she asks. “A big one,” I reply flatly. “Anything from Town and Country?”
Just the mention of him sends me a-flutter inside, rendering me unable to speak. I shake my head. Bangalore Cousin nods. As much as we fight, she has been with me during my ups and downs with men, friends and life. She has been my constant companion and confidante; she knows me, she understands what I don’t, what I can’t say. “Jerk," she mutters. She is quiet and then asks,“Do you know both of their birth dates and locations?” I nod. “Good, let’s ask the pandit to chart your stars against both of them. Let’s leave this to fate and get rid of Town and Country once and for all.”