Friday, February 4, 2011


Sixteen hours later my flight lands into Newark at 5.00 am in the morning. The day I lost going to India due to time zones is returned to me. I reach into my backpack and root around for my mobile phone. It is four in the morning in Minnesota but both Mom and Massi asked me to call them when I landed.

"Hello?" comes Mom's very groggy voice. "Hey Mom! Sorry to wake you..." "No, no, I told you to call. Are in New York?" she asks. "Close enough - we just landed. I am still in my seat," I explain. "Oh I see - did you have a good time with my sister?" she asks. "Yep. I have to call her too..." I reply, but not now I am not emotionally ready to hear her voice at this time and know she is so far, far away. That I now only have memories, I can't reach across the table and touch her hand - that time is gone. "Where is Daddy?" Mom asks. "His flight stopped in Amsterdam so I think he is just leaving Europe, for the States," I reply.

We hang up, I collect my huge suitcases, find my car service and am transported back to Manhattan.I get into my apartment, one giant suitcase at a time. I reach for the land line and call Massi. "Hello?" comes her voice. "Massi! I made it back completely fine," I say. I am trying to sound excited. "Very good," she says and sighs. "I am missing you so much mera beta I cannot tell quiet, so lonely..." her voice fades away and tears come to my eyes. "I know Massi,"I reply. "I am missing you too."

I am so glad that I I have jet lag. I can go to sleep and not deal with lies ahead of me today. For now, it is only sleep that will comfort me.


Sunny said...

Tugs and push and pull, and at times noose, of Punjabi family feels so true. Most Punjabi families that I know, and I am beginning to think that it is universal true, have tangled and frayed relationships.

But maasis are special. I think of all the things my massi did for me! I have a great deal of gratitude and love for her. And gratitude is the hardest emotion to convey especially if it is very deep and it is especially harder with Punjabi family because you are not allowed to say "thank you".

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Sunny -

This is quite true - there is something very universal about these Punjabi families. Every Punju I know has a story about a fight for land in the pindh from which they came. Every family has that one woman who married in and every wonders "what did we do God to deserve her?". And there is alwaysn a family drunk :)

My massi is pretty amazing - there isn't anything she wouldn't do for me. I am sure for other people too, but she really makes me feel like I am special to her.

And yeah not being able to say "thank you" is hard bc being born and brought up in the US it is in bad form not so say thanks, but in India is it is bad form!

Ha! Can't win, so we just move on.

Desi Girl (or Ms. 101 to you and the Mrs. Sunny! :).