Sunday, May 10, 2009

The "Chai" delay!

The weekend was busy. Let me run you through a part of it -- the Saturday night party at our friends home.
9:30 pm -- Our arrival time. (a wee bit late, the official time was 7:30 pm!) We start to mingle, have a few snacks, drinks.....
10:30 pm -- The socializing is more vocal and vociferous as a few drinks have made the rounds.
11:30 pm -- Dinner is served! The food was great, so there is a brief lull in the conversation. (a very, very brief lull.... after all its a panjabi party and we just luuuvv to talk!)
Midnight -- Rumblings of "let's go" start. My wife comes up to me and says -- "We should leave soon, we have to wake up early in the morning." (We had to drop our daughter off at the airport at 6:30 in the morning.)
So I call out to my son-- "Hey Simar, we leave in a few minutes."
"Have you had chai (tea) yet?" he asked.
"Chai? No... we are not going to have chai."
"Whom are you kidding, Dad." And he went back to his video games.
12:30 am -- Good-byes start.
1:00 am -- People who've already said their good-byes to me, suddenly have chai (or "cha") in their hands! Now they are drinking chai and saying good-byes at the same time (And among those people is my wife!) The conversation doesn't seem to end.
1:30 am -- One of our friends comes up to me. "Have I said good-bye to you already?"
"I stopped counting after the third time," I said.
"Well, what's another good-bye among friends," he says and we go through the process again.
2:00 am -- People are milling around the hallway now, everybody knows its time to leave but nobody wants to. Murmurs of another round of chai start floating around. The younger kids are getting tired now.
2:30 am -- Finally, the kids put their foot down and want to leave because they are really tired. There's a sudden flurry of activity with Moms & Dads hurrying around collecting shoes, jackets and sleepy kids.
2:45 am -- Absolutely final good-byes and we are in our car. I avoid eye-contact with my son!

And all the credit goes to the lovely host couple for creating an atmosphere and ambiance that made everyone feel at home. And that's how most of our parties end --- not because the adults want to go home, its the kids!

"To invite someone is to take charge of his happiness during the time he spends under your roof." ~ Mark Twain

And our host couple did that and more!