It is a long weekend. Anmol and I finally got time to catch up on a few things that we’ve been putting off for a while, for example, folding clothes… We were just casually chatting while doing the folding. The conversation gradually grew broader and deeper. Before we knew it, we finished folding. It seemed like that we both did not want to stop so we just kept on going. In the end, Anmol said “I like talking to you! We don’t do this enough!”
He was right. We don’t do this often enough and we haven’t been able to talk to each other for a long time now due to the crazy schedule we have. When I say “talk”, I mean like a real talk – open, genuine, and wholehearted.
You know when you’ve had a quality time. You don’t notice it while it is happening simply because you are so attentive and present, living in the moment. It is only when you pause and take a second to reflect how you are feeling when you realize that it has been so amazing and that hours and hours have passed when it only feels like just twenty minutes to you. You feel that you are bonding and regardless of the differences you might have with each other, you are, very much, deeply connected.
I think the last time Anmol mentioned something similar was when we were on a road trip to Toronto and he said at the end of the drive “I like how we never run out of things to talk about!” I know exactly what he meant. We always plan to play music or do some work while the other person is driving, but we only end up talking to each other the whole trip.
I guess when it comes to spending quality time with your loved ones, there is just never enough time.
This reminded me of one of my regrets from our wedding trip to India early this year. As intoxicating as the entire experience was, I did not get to spend much quality time with my families. Anmol and I were overwhelmed by all the attention and love from our families and guests, Papa-Mama were occupied by preparing for the functions and taking care of everyone, and my mom and dad were busy coping with cultural differences and trying to take everything in. We all had a great time and enjoyed every moment of those two weeks we had together. However, during the “craziness”, we really did not have much time just catching up with each other, telling stories, and exchanging our thoughts and feelings.
Among all the incredible moments, I wish I had more of these truly heart-touching ones: the time Mama gave me a head massage when we just arrived which magically chased all my tiredness away and put me quietly into deep sleep; the first night we spent just chatting with Kanu and Munnu Bhaiya in a bar; the conversation Neha Bhabhi led when we were all gathered in Dadi’s room talking about how everybody has a unique “rulebook”; all the bustling family meals we had together; the short but super sweet stories that I was told about the memories and histories behind each object of the house, including the railings, the statues, the pictures, the ceiling, the jewellery, everything; the moments of genuine laughter when we made jokes on each other; all the small gestures of kindness and consideration; the times when we got to run some day-to-day errands just like a regular family; the numerous debates and discussions we had in the car on the way to our destinations…
Grand experiences and adventures are great. In the middle of it all, it is actually the little details and the gentle moments in life that make me realize how much I am loved and blessed. It is really easy to take them for granted. That’s why I am grateful for how I am somehow always reminded, which really helps me to see the true value of these.
It breaks my heart every time I think about how we said we would have a nice chat on the big windowsill in the villa we stayed in Ranthambore but never did, how I promised Bade Papa to have a discussion with Kanu Bhaiya and Neha Bhabhi on their business but never did, how I wanted to sing more for everyone but never did, and how my parents wished to visit Birla temple but never did…
I know that it is nobody’s fault and there should be no guilt. This is a very international family, and thus a very unusual one. We have our unique challenges. Still, I believe that love conquers all. And like my dad said at the end of this family gathering, “this is not an end, but only a beginning”. It is true. There is so much for all of us to look forward to and so much quality time to spend together!