As our plan to visit Florida was confirmed, I recalled that Bindia Masi’s (my mother’s sister) Chachi lives there. The feeling of doing a ‘Golden Moments’ with her emerged and created great excitement in us all.
Post an introduction over email through Bindia Masi, Arun and I went to visit her at John Knox Village, where she lives. There, we were welcomed very warmly by Chachi who invited us for lunch that we thoroughly enjoyed with her.
We walked her loving dog Kiki together, chatted about various things, had a tour of the beautiful residential area and learned about Chachi’s connection with India. A lady full of compassion – she adopted Kiki, who was a lost stray dog. You could see her love and affection for this little one. She often mentioned, how well behaved and loving Kiki is. As she showed us around neighbourhood, Chachi pointed out to a sign board at the gate of the dog park. We all stopped to read. I commented, “Really? This is strange,” thinking I am visiting the States the first time and could expect anything. At this, Arun and her burst into laughter and I soon registered it was a joke! Look what the board said –
We crossed a little lake with fountains and sprawling lawns all around. Chachi shared how she and her sister often spend time near it and after all these years they are finally getting to know each other more deeply. She was happy that her sister and another good friend moved to the same community she lives in, elaborating upon the importance of a support system in old age.
As a child, I remember meeting her at one of the family weddings. The image that flashed by was that of a tall elegant lady draped gracefully in a satin sari. Chachi has this very immaculate way of dressing and is extremely poised in her mannerisms. This quality of hers reminded me of Nanima (my maternal grandmother) who was known to be a perfectionist. The fine art work in her home and aesthetically done interiors show her eye for detail and fine things in life.
We spoke about our respective interests. Our views were similar on elaborate wedding ceremonies and it seemed that Chacha and Chachi got married like me and Arun in a simple and quiet way. Chachi was happy to take Arun’s technical assistance to rearrange solitaire– a game she likes to play on the computer. I remember the nights when my friend Taruna seemed to be extremely engrossed with her phone, soon to discover it was this same game she played. Interestingly, whether you are in your 20’s or 80’s – the heart of a child takes expression in very similar ways. As we parted, after our first meeting, Chachi, very sweetly gave us several packets of chips to carry along for our upcoming road trip.
We are really amazed that Golden Moments connected us with someone in another continent. The opportunity to meet and engage with Chachi has been much appreciated by both me and Arun.