The past week was a bit stressful. There were reasons for concern on every front__ whether physical, family wise or financial. I could not contact my mother for three weeks due to the time difference between India and Australia. Then, there was my tooth problem. The average minimum temperature in Perth is around 6 to 8 degrees Celsius. I wanted to smile but couldn’t.
On the weekend, four guys__ Yash Gandhi, Harit Meghani, Chirag Patel and Nirav__ invited me to the beach. I had met them at the Anna Lakshmi community kitchen where I used to serve. Nirav picked me up from my place. We went to the Cottesloe beach in Fremantle which is one of the earliest settlements in Western Australia. It was beautiful and a safe beach. School kids were learning how to surf. We stayed away from the water and remained on the sandy shore, playing pranks on each other and joking. For sometime, I forgot my toothache as I was busy laughing hard at their jokes.
Imagine a Maharashtrian, three Gujaratis (from different corners of the Indian state) and a Pakistani guy on a beach in Australia. My interactions with them, before this outing, were limited to work at Anna Lakshmi. It would be something like this__ ”Guys, I’m running out of rice, dal or plates. Please pass them to me.” On the beach, we were different people. We were bitching and gossiping.
Yash is fluent in Hindi, Urdu, English and French. He is equally good at playing pranks and jokes. Nirav is very serious, but he was different that day. It was like Nirav and Chirag in one camp, Yash against them, while Harit and I were neutral. For nearly three hours, we were just laughing. It was a great day.
Thank you so much for the ride and lunch, guys. Looking forward to seeing you again in some other corner of the world.