If we were having coffee together – 10

If we were having coffee I’d tell you what huge sighs of relief we’ve all been exhaling since the children got through their boards. 

Before I started working, this would have meant long days lazing with them – chatting, shopping, watching them cook and bake and sampling their wares. 

Not so any longer.

I’d tell you, that was a new sensation – one I didn’t quite like. I hate that I have to ration my time with them, even more because they’re on the verge of flying the nest. I miss the days when I could work around their schedules and make myself available to them all the time.

You’d point out rightaway how messed up that was. You’d remind me of the hundred ways both the children and I were benefiting from my absence and I’d have to (very reluctantly) agree. 

I’d tell you of the time I was supposed to take them to the ophthalmologist for a retina scan when a sudden meeting had come up and they had to go on their own. They squinted their way back thanks to eye-dilation drops but had managed without a hitch and had been so thrilled at the ‘adventure’.

Then there was the time they went street-shopping on their own. They came back proudly bearing their ‘loot’ gushing about how inexpensive everything was and how hard they’d bargained, a skill I am yet to perfect.

I’d tell you how much I wanted to be there with them and yet how proud it made me to watch them take these tiny steps towards independence.

I’d tell of other strange developments that were happening with them. H, for instance, has finally begun to take an interest in his appearance. ‘I need to see a dermatologist,’ he told me the other day fingering the smattering of acne on his cheek. 

Then another time he declared, ‘I need to go shopping.’ That had all our jaws hitting the floor because for the past four years he has been living in cream-coloured tees and navy shorts (same colour, same size, same brand). Apparently, he didn’t want to ‘think about clothes’.

Now suddenly as college beckons, he decided he needed an upgrade. So, with N as his learned advisor, he made a list – hoodies, cargoes, tees, shirts, shoes. 

Armed with said list he set out to systematically explore and exploit all avenues of procuring them.

I’d tell you how he cornered his cousin (who started working a few months ago) and got her to ‘gift’ him a hoodie. Then he wore down the husband and me with emotional speeches on how he hadn’t shopped for four whole years. After that, he accompanied N on that shopping trip coming home with more clothes.

A few months in, he will have more than made up for his years of austere existence.

I’d tell you how N too was living the good life since her exams ended. She has been crafting, sketching and painting furiously.

I particularly love this series of pencil sketches of her friends, which I turned into this cinema reel. That Spotify card is another favourite.

I’d tell you of the time she decided she needed to learn to cook and we started with tehri – a one-pot rice dish from UP. She perched herself on the kitchen platform armed with a tiny notebook and pencil. ‘Tell me the names of spices in Hindi,’ she said, adding, ‘No offence but I don’t want to sound like Katrina Kaif when I go shopping’.

And so we ploughed through the spices – tej patta (not patti) and kali mirch and dalchini (that’s a weird one, she said), till she got it all down. After a few days, she managed to replicate the recipe fairly well.

I’d tell you glad I was of your presence through all this turmoil. This blog and you, dear reader, seem to be the only constants in my life and I truly appreciate it.

So tell me, what’s new with you? Have you been busy or have you found moments to relax and recharge?

16 Replies to “If we were having coffee together – 10”

  1. Aww the kids are all grown up. I love that they are being independent. Shopping on their own, I didn’t do that even after going to college. They are learning life skills … maybe they can teach me bargaining skill too. I think my brother was about the same age as H when he too started being picky about his clothes and skin. And many years later, whenever I met him during my vacation, he would steal my lip balms and use my expensive creams. And smell like strawberries and roses. I wish H and N good luck.

    Your heart-warming post made me smile today. And I am in a train now, smiling to myself.
    Rajlakshmi recently put up this amazing post…Sunset in Jervis Bay | AustraliaMy Profile

    1. Ha ha .. H wouldn’t mind smelling like roses too. Not sure how N would react to him pilfering her creams, though. As for bargaining – that’s a life skill I still lack.

  2. This was such a good read. I smiled through it all. So happy for your family and especially H and N. Wishing them only the best in their new phase of life.
    N’s art is fab and now I want to try out tehri too.
    Hugs and thanks for sharing, Tulika.

  3. Congratulations on the boards! That’s a tough one.
    It’s always good to know that H & N are doing great. Life just flies along our daily routine. Best wishes for college, I think they both are preparing well.

  4. Loved reading this and can’t believe H and N are set to go to college. When I stepped into blogging world and met you, they were babies.

    Tell me more about your job? I’m curious and I still want to meet you so when are you coming to Bangalore? Tehri evokes emotions this side too and I know you know. So a blog coming soon.

    Let’s keep meeting on chai and coffee. These connects make me smile.
    Parul Thakur recently put up this amazing post…#ThursdayTreeLove – 164My Profile

    1. I know, right? It’s been a wonderful ride. I so want to come to Bangalore. Perhaps after the children are settled in college I will do that.
      Will wait for that tehri post.

  5. How I love reading your posts about H and N!! I missed visiting so many blogs this past month. I will visit all those now and make up for my absence. I had a big smile reading about the kids (can I call them kids now?) and their adventures and shopping sprees and N’s artwork. She is just wow!!
    Looking forward to more <3
    Shilpa Gupte recently put up this amazing post…Coffee time.My Profile

    1. No worries about the blog visits. As long as we’re connected it’s fine. I know you’ll come around sooner or later :-).
      Of course you can continue to call them kids.
      Thank you for that compliment for N. Coming from an artist like you, it will totally delight her.

  6. It was fun reading about your life in recent times. I loved the part of the kids’ antics. It was the most interesting and entertaining part for me. And then it always has been like this over the past many years 🙂
    N’s artistic works are lovely, especially the pencil sketches.

  7. If we were having coffee, I’d have so much to share with you on this topic about my own experiences with my son. Now that it’s been awhile since my nest is empty I still have beautiful memories of some these experiences that you’re having. Savor the most of it while it lasts, because our kids grow sooner than we realize and time flies by real fast! I loved the artwork by N and her enthusiasm to learn about the Hindi names for Indian spices. How refreshing is that!

    1. Children grow too fast, right? I remember your book – letters to your son and can now understand what you must have gone through. It’s hard letting them go even when you want them to go out into the world.

  8. Birds all set to fly the best… Empty nest beckons! The timing of your occupation could not have been better planned!!

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