“Wherever you go, I follow”, must have been said by some wife and I don’t deny it. So, this happened few months back when my husband was called for impromptu visit to client office 2000km away from our home. Alright, I will stop dramatizing it. He was called to report on the very next day for client meeting. This made us wake up at 3 in the morning for him to catch the flight from Delhi Airport and make it to the 10am meeting in Mumbai. So, this is how the reunion with Mumbai was to begin. What followed next is quite obvious though!
Since I have been labelled as a clingy wife by my own sister (though I blame this on Covid which pushed to live together 24X7), I had to prove the accusations right. Therefore, I followed my darling husband a day later to accompany him on this work trip.
Landing at 1am in Mumbai felt no different from similar experiences of four years ago. The air unsurprisingly still felt free, the only difference being I checked-in to Hilton as a wife this time. Being addressed as a spouse or wife still feels different to me, no matter how many benefits it might bring sometimes. 😀
As dear husband went on to attend meetings in-office after the sumptuous breakfast, I prepared my bubble bath. Soaking in the glory of being a wife, I let myself fully immerse in the feeling of leisure. Soon, the reverie broke, and my impulsive vacation turned into workation because it was time to fire up the laptop and earn some bread.
All our dinners for the week-long stay were hastily scheduled to catch up with old friends and colleagues leaving me to myself for the luncheons. So, for most of the days, I made a point of venturing out during the lunch hour to relive the lost times of singlehood. Tasting that Kolhapuri rice, Special Bombay sandwich, Gini dosa and pav bhaji again after four years was a feeling that certainly can’t be put into words. Even the auto rides through the roads of Mumbai felt liberating and nostalgic at the same time.
This unplanned and spontaneous trip gave me the much-needed break from juggling daily chores of being a wife, a homemaker, and a professional. These little squeezed moments of leisure brought out the old me, hitting me with the memories of the places I had called home not so long ago. Amidst all the work and reunions, I managed to take myself on a date to appreciate the sunset at the beach. It was an exhilarating experience, something that had been on my to-do list for a while. I strolled on the beach in the heat of October afternoon, had the famous Pav Bhaji and found recluse in an Insta-worthy beach-side café.
Getting a place for one, is still so uncommon in our country and you are sure to get looks if you happen to spend time alone in a fancy café. But there I was, braving to sit by myself, relishing a refreshing mocktail and ofcourse coding away the bugs to pay the bills! As the sun ventured closer to the sea, I moved to a seat near the beach and saw the sun losing itself to the sea. This solo date undoubtedly remained the highlight of the trip.
The week went by in a jiffy, and it was the last evening left to be savoured before returning to the mundane hustle of work-from-home and work-for-home. We decided to make this one extra-special by walking down the memory lane of our dating days, literally. We walked from Juhu beach to our favourite restaurant (which indeed survived two Covid waves) serving Asian cuisine: Facing East. Having devoured our favourite cuisine at favourite place, our tummies rested full, and our soul felt nourished.
The happiness was short-lived because my husband received the information to extend his stay by two days and I already had my tickets booked on a late-night flight. So, three hours later, after a lot of brooding and rescheduling husband’s flight we headed towards the Mumbai Airport. As universe has it, this place has held so many welcomes and goodbyes of yesteryear but today the tables have turned. This time I was the one boarding the plane while my husband got left behind.
All things said and done; this trip was definitely the breather we both needed in life at that point of time. I wonder, how some things come as blessings in disguise.