We are at a party. I don’t know why.
Outside our host’s beautiful (not one crayon scribble on the wall!) home, the supermoon is unusually fierce, just like our family tonight.
The women are in one corner, dissecting demonetisation like they would a best friend’s crush. The men are talking cricket.
And here we are.
My husband in one corner, his grey hair (he saves money on hair dye and calls it fashion) standing up in frustration as our older child insists on riding up to the supermoon in a metro train.
I stand in another corner, throwing a nervous smile or two at the women, who are offering travel tips to one of them who is flying to some exotic East European country on a solo vacation. Come join us, one of them says, as my younger colicky child cries like she has swallowed the moon itself.
My husband and I exchange a glance. Yup, we are the only losers here.
Someone turns on the TV. Maybe they’ll put on the cartoon channel and distract the kids, my husband hopes, but it’s the sports channel. And they are airing the highlights of a test match so stale, it could well have been ordered at McDonald’s.
The group has now converged and the host says something in a loud voice. I have no idea what, as I am still in the corner. Everyone laughs and the channel is now set to English news. The lady anchor gushes over the moon like she plans to marry it.
What is the big deal about the moon anyway, I wonder aloud as pin drop silence ensues.
It’s the closest the moon has been to the earth in 69 years, someone informs me. I’m not impressed.
“Think of it like this, the next time you see it, you’ll be cribbing about there not being enough discounts for senior citizens like yourself,” the hostess guffaws.
Some laugh, my husband laughs the loudest. I look daggers at him but I am preoccupied with the hostess’ words.
In 18 years, that is the purported next supermoon sighting, I will be 50. Five zero.
How can this be? I haven’t done anything cool yet. No trips to godforsaken places, can’t drive a car (shhh! secret), can’t even drape a sari on my own! If I am so boring at 32…
Everything ok? My husband interrupts my thoughts. Fine, I say and grab my mobile phone.
Things to do before I hit 50, I type furiously.
So here they are…
My goals for the next 18 years.
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Spend lots of husband’s money (my money to be spent when the apocalypse arrives) to see new places, be miserable in cold and scorching hot places. Yawn in museums and be terrified of adrenaline sports but TAKE GOOD PICS of my husband and me looking blissfully happy and post on Facebook.
Order box sets of intellectual names, smell the newly minted books and read synopsis with husband. Put them away on the bookshelf for all to see. Then go to MG Road and meet Abdul bhai the roadside bookseller who, thanks to the husband’s street negotiation skills, will give me three Chetan Bhagats smelling like cockroaches for 100 rupees. Win-win.
Meet new people
Brag to husband about my newfound interest in civic matters. Make him guilty of not doing enough for the country. Force him to join a citizen’s club with me and leave him arguing with white-haired intellectuals while I make the most of free tea and samosas. If this doesn’t make us cool I don’t know what will.
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“Mom look! The supermoon at the window!” my son exclaims. I see it for the first time.
“Isn’t she beautiful?” my husband joins us. “Timeless and graceful, just like your mom,” he says. I stick my tongue out. He knows he is forgiven for laughing at me.
I look around.
Everyone else is busy screaming about the immigration crisis. My family is still by the window, oblivious to the discussion.
My husband looks happy. Soon, I will dig into him, grilling him on why he referred to a celestial element like the moon as ‘she’, but that would be for later.
In 18 years, as I turn 50, I want to do this moon sighting thing again with my husband and kids. Hopefully (despite the impossible goals I set) we’ll still remain the goofy family we are.