This morning turned out to be a rush. I had everything planned out so we could all leave home on time- My husband to work, my baby to his preschool and me for some pampering at the salon. Until, my husband, at breakfast, suddenly reminded me that it was Thanksgiving night in the US. I know it’s not anywhere high on the ‘Richter’ scale to make a difference to anyone here in India... but it’s pretty high on the 'emotional' scale for us. We spent a good 5 Thanksgivings there and have some very treasured memories.
Come October and people there are so excited because it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas one after another. So as soon as September ends, you see folks beginning to decorate their homes, offices, shops, their yards and sometimes even their cars. And in the most creative, tasteful and funny ways possible. Taking a ride down to the local Walgreens in our neighbourhood itself was such a visual treat and a two minute drive stretches to 15 because you are stopping by to admire each house.
We spent every Thanksgiving weekend with my mother-in-law's cousin who has been in the US for many years now. And she is one of those aunties we all have in our families. The one that is bursting with love and warmth. Always welcoming, always hospitable and always big-hearted. I don't know how she does it. But she cooks everything the holiday requires you to and all by herself and adds an Indian twist to it to suit the family's palate. Once it was Turkey, once it was one quail for each and once it was couple whole Tandoori Chickens. All we need to do is help set the table and gobble the absolutely delicious spread. We never felt homesick on the holidays and it was only because of her and her family. (Check out these pics!!)
The day after Thanksgiving Thursday is called Black Friday. For those who don't know what that it is: It is one of the biggest discount sales in all the retail stores- physical and virtual and people go CRAZY. The discounts are so high that I know of people who buy electronic items on this day, and then sell it for the full price while on vacation back in India making a huge profit. Yes, that is how enterprising we Indians are! So after giving thanks and stuffing yourself with turkey you form long lines braving the cold weather in front of your favourite store with cups of hot Starbucks coffee, sandwiches, tents and the works. There is always at least one incident of a stampede somewhere. I am not a shopaholic nor am I cut out for discount diving that might involve a stampede, so we usually prefer to relax, lean back and shop online. This is even better because the sale extends through the weekend and you can stay warm indoors. But you better update your antivirus software and be careful or else you could be a victim of Identity theft Monday!
Memories came flooding in and we decided we had to call Aunty right now. They had just finished their dinner and we chatted with everyone there remembering the good times we celebrated together. Once we said good byes we realised we were running terribly late and that we had spent 30 minutes on an international call!
So our morning was a rush. On one hand, we were in a frantic rush to get to our planned destinations for the day. And on the other, a sweet rush of wonderful memories made us slow down and think of loved ones that mattered. We all got to where we had to, Maybe a few minutes late. But that did not matter anymore.