Few days back I went to the nearby Lokhandwala Market to finish some last minute shopping for the Diwali week. It was the last weekend before Diwali and the market was teeming with people with the same intention that I had. Completing their last minute purchases before the beginning of the festivities. Moreover the market organizes a shopping festival during this period and the entire market road is lit up and there is music to set the mood. This particular market has a very lively and vibrant atmosphere anytime of the year and never fails to uplift my mood. I didn’t have much to purchase but strolled through anyways, looking at the enticing window displays and the excited customers in every store. Very frequently vendors trying to sell colorful diyas and decorations accosted me.
Finding some interesting clothes displayed in one of the store, I stepped in hoping to find something to gift my husband and son. There was a beautiful range of men’s waistcoats, the kind one can team up with a kurta-pyjama. Vibrant colours and sleek cuts. While I was browsing through the racks, I could hear snatches of a conversation of a family next to me. I glanced side-ways and saw a family of three. A trio of father, mother and daughter. The mother and the daughter were well-groomed. Every hair in place, clothes and accessories rightly matched and face made up. The father was the simple kind. A simple kurta and jeans, hair slightly mussed up and looking a little lost in the melee surrounding him. The daughter was trying to coax him to buy a waistcoat. And when I shamelessly eavesdropped, I could gather that she was soon to be a bride and was cajoling her father into buying a coat for the wedding ceremony. And he kept trying to convince her that he had exactly everything that he needed for the day, and that she should buy herself something. There was so much of tenderness and sentiment in that moment that I almost sighed. The moment passed but the memory stayed.
As I meandered along, an unusual sight caught my attention. A man in his mid-thirties with a baby in a carrier strapped on to his back. What really made me look again was that at the same time he was also pushing a wheel chair, which held his elderly mother. All three were enjoying the sights together. To me that sight embodied the stark reality of our existence. A mother, who has nurtured her son, is now being looking after by her grown-up son. And the son in turn, is nurturing his child, who maybe one day will be his support. That sight so totally captured the simplicity of it all that it left me a bit teary.
I didn’t shop much that day, but did come back with two tiny slivers of memories to add to my cache.