Thursday, November 24, 2011


I get to the Ritz and for a moment I stop to think well, this must be “how the other half live” – a half that I will never be a part of, which is fine. I don't need tons of money, I just want to be comfortable and not stress over paying the rent every month. Luckily I feel like I fit in here, I am wearing a cute outfit, brown skirt, hot pink silk shell and a pale pink cardigan and since it is still nice enough to wear sandals, I did!

But It is just stunning how much money some people have. I mean I am going to gym for free to save $100 this month. And based on this place, should be interesting what we spend on breakfast. I kinda hope I can afford it. I mean, I spend $70 a week on groceries.

The last time Bhaiya stayed here, his family was here, and their suite was bigger than my one bedroom Heights apartment. Hell the bathroom in the suite was almost the size of my old apartment. I pace across the lobby a few times before sitting down in an oversized leather chair. It is almost too deep for me to sit in, because I slide back towards the seat back, my feet barely touch the floor. Ah, the joys of being 5’-2¾” tall. Good thing I have these heels on, otherwise I would not graze the marble below me. I sit there for several minutes. I mean yes, Indians are notorious for being tardy. It has been some time since I have seen Bhaiya – but I remember him to be punctual. Or am I making that up because I admire him and cannot find fault with him?

After ten minutes, I wonder if I am being blown off. I expect it from dates, but not family – so I text him to let him know I am in the lobby. Immediately he texts back that he is grabbing his sweater and coming down.

A few minutes later, my mind has wandered off so I don’t recognize Bhaiya until he is about 10 feet in front of me. I don’t realize that it is him, because he is gaunt and sallow looking. This is not say he was a huge, rotund man. Bhaiya has always been very fit and fat conscious. Growing up on several occasions he has politely pointed out that Dad’s side of the family has a propensity of being overweight and that I might want to steer clear of heading down the path to fatness.

But the man that stands before is very slim, not trim. It is almost stunning how ghostlike he looks. “Bhaiya?” I ask as I rise to my feet. “Hey, Desi Girl, how are you?” he asks and he gives me a hug.  “I am good – but what about you?  Where did you wither away to?” I ask. I am little worried that he will tell me is sick, he has that sickly look to him. What could he have? Cancer? A brain disease? What could have brought this on? He actually laughs at my comment and says, “I gave up coffee and only drink green tea.” Whaaaaaa? Green tea did this to him? While this is better than a nefarious disease, my mind goes back to “I gave up coffee” – what a horrendous thing to admit! “Why? Would you give up coffee? You were a bigger Starbucks addict than I am,” I say. “For my health. I feel so much better now that I am off coffee,” he replies. My brain cannot comprehend what he is saying. “Shall we eat?" he asks.

“Sure,” I reply and pray that he has not gone crazy and orders wheat germ and flax for breakfast.

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