A shy cousin has metamorphosed near-swanlike into a confident young woman, and yesterday, while I got all emo and misty-eyed, she swept me up into a big hug moments after her wedding. I swear it was as if a mental projector had started to superimpose her elegant sari-clad avatar over onto the girl with blue braces in matching blue pinafore who jumped up and down on a mattress in the hall while Ricky Martin counted numbers in Spanish before she sagely explained to me that her excitement was becoz he was the best singer in the world. And as Phil Collins' A Groovy Kinda Love played yesterday as she danced with her new husband, I realised her musical tastes had improved somewhat over the last decade.
It's like a magic trick someone's pulled on me. The magician seems to have swapped everyone with different people when I wasn't looking. When did the kakas and mavshis of our childhood become grandparents to adorably diligent babies and babas that ask me repeatedly where I've hidden all the chocolate? How did the boy who tugged at my pigtails become the charming young man holding the car door open for me as I struggled with my own sari?
When did we grow up?
* * *
I was looking out at the bleakness of a smoky winter evening yesterday with my nose pressed against the cold glass of the car window, as the car neared the toll naka and I cud see rows and rows of cars of all manner and model lined up ahead of us, the red tail lights unblinking. And I had a fleeting but unshakable impression of a hundred pairs of eyes staring back at me and then, it was gone. And I cudnt place it. The crystal clear moment was hijacked by the not-too-distant memory of that moment.
I dont remember what I felt. Just that I felt something inordinately fascinating. Diabolical, almost. But I cant seem to bring it back. Do you understand what I mean?
Time passes too quickly for me sometimes. Even the smallest instants run away from me, impossibly fast to catch.