There it is again. The Sunday. The day we live for right now. For which we have more plans than we have hours in a day. And nothing about it is simple either.
As far as I can remember, Sundays were family days in my house. That was the only day my parents would be home. And the only day when I would visit them, because I used to live with my grandmother just a little bit away. Every Saturday night I would pack my bag, put in some clothes, a novel, some chocolates to be shared with my sister and anything else my grandmother would ask me to carry home. I was never asked to study when I went home. It was the place to just be happy and be a kid.
Early mornings would be an unseen phenomena since both me and my sister would not wake up till dad came to disturb us and rub his shaving foam on our faces. I was around 10 when I finally realised this prank would not give me a beard, no matter what he said. Part of dad’s Sunday morning routine would be to go the bazaar, like every other Bengali man, and get groceries for the week. I would accompany him at times, if I was in the mood to have rasgullas from my neighbourhood sweet shop, or if my dad thought my funny hair needed a trim. My locks would be left to the mercy of this man who used to run a ‘saloon’ inside the fish market. I didn’t mind him much since he always complimented me on my patience, and let me sit on the high chair with an extra stool.
Dad would also buy kochuri and jilipi for breakfast on alternate weekends. The days he didn’t , my mom would roll out batches of the most yummiest puris or luchi. Being the youngest, I would be allowed to watch the first round of shows on tv – cartoons, select serials (namely ‘Just Mohabbat’ and ‘Sunday ke Sunday’). The next slot would be for movies. The two o’clock movie shown by the local cable guys would usually be a recent one, therefore my mother would somehow finish all her Sunday chores by that time. Then she would settle down with her lunch in front of the tv and declare the movie safe for our viewing. Our very own censor board, she still is. I never got around to completing these movies and would sleep midway through them on the sofa itself.
Evenings were the fun part with my parents taking us for a drive to either someone’s house or to New market. Socially unfit and uninterested, I kept sulking at this or that uncle’s house. My sulking would get its point across and my dad would finally drop me at my grandma’s house. Sometimes my didi would accompany me, most times not. By then Sunday’s charm would have finished. And I would have to tell Mummum, that’s my grandma by the way, how I’m done with these one day visits and I won’t go home again.
Till the time I stayed in Calcutta, my mother never encouraged any of my plans for parties or movies on Sundays. To her that was always the day for family.
In Bombay, I spend my Sundays visiting relatives, going for some more dance classes, and watching movies with friends from here and there. But given a choice, I’d still stay at home, eat some comfort food, read a good book, watch some old movie whose dialogues I’d probably know by heart, and not do anything strenuous. Sundays might be best spent doing fun things around town, but the Bengali in me keeps wanting to go back to the lunch of fish and rice, and afternoons spent on the sofa.