2019: One Hundred and Fifty Eight

Till today, I didn’t think that thinking was tiring. But as I lie on my bed typing this out, I’m pretty pooped. That too after taking an afternoon nap, which is especially uncharacteristic for me.

Today was the first day of my grandfather’s one-year death ceremonies. They went off well, and the next two days should go off smoothly too.

Today was also the first time I met my Chikkappa on this trip. My dad’s younger brother, he’s always been the cool uncle, essaying a role where distance genuinely breeds affection. Him and I spent three weeks together during summer when I used to come to Pune, and I have a lot of fun memories of us. He was the reason I had an extended bedtime – because he used to come home from the clinics/hospitals he visited only past 11pm, so I got to stay awake just to talk to him and watch TV. He was also the cause of my love of counterfeit books, uppinkai, and chutneypudi.

More than anything else though, I have three highlighted memories of him. The printouts he made to welcome me to Pune, which were colourful WordArt posters, every single year. The “Road Rash” I played on his computer. And the FIFA World Cup 2006. That was my second FIFA World Cup, and I had watched every game in Pune with my Uncle. Come the day of the final we slept in the hall so we could wake up on time to see the game. He woke up and discovered that the electricity had conked off, so didn’t disturb me. And then he woke up and saw the last few minutes – including the headbutt. When he tried waking me up, I refused to budge, and slept soundly through the night – seeing the controversy in the paper the next morning.

Catching up with him is always great.


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