Thursday, November 27, 2008


I was going to write one of those perky Thanksgiving-style posts, in which I listed out a rememberance of items, people, and places for which I was thankful.

I thought of it yesterday at lunch, when I -- having put the final touches on a project that has been keeping me busy non-stop for the past few weeks -- let myself take a complete lunch "break" and found myself walking uptown, as it were, past the place where I temped when I first arrived in the city.

No one was sitting in the park today, but I walked around its perimeter anyway and remembered how I had ached to have pretty clothes and to get to go to work with smart, fun-looking people like the ones I saw in the park.

This time, I was wearing one of my ATL dresses and my high-performance MBTs and had an invitation to go out to the movies in the evening and was meeting another group of friends the next day for Thanksgiving dinner.

I was, in every sense of the word, thankful.

My phone, meanwhile, was vibrating repeatedly but I didn't bother to pick it up; it was too much work to fish it out of my keyring purse and punch all the little buttons with gloves on.

When I got back to the office I opened up my phone and found out that there were bombs going off, all over Mumbai.

It's hard to respond to something at which I stand at so great a distance and simultaneously am linked to so many people who stand much closer; sending long-distance hugs to all of the people I know who are connected to the city is the strongest thing I can think of to do.

But it has put a pallor on the day, particularly considering that the hosts of the Thanksgiving party I am going to attend in a few hours grew up in Mumbai.

When I sat at my laptop and thought "what am I going to write about that encompasses all of the emotions of this strange day?" I decided to procrastinate by going back and looking at the posts I wrote on Thanksgiving Day last year.

Last year, I had just come back from India and celebrated by making kheer for Thanksgiving dinner.

This year, a year's better at cookery, I'm going to make kheer again. Not exactly for celebration this time, but as a way to remember both Thanksgiving with my own family (this is the first Thanksgiving I've ever celebrated without them) and to do something that is the cooking version of sending out long-distance hugs.

If it turns out well, I'll take it to the dinner along with the bottles of wine my hosts requested me to bring. (This year, at least, it will fit in with the other foods.) If not, I'm pretty good at eating my own cooking.

And to everyone in or connected to Mumbai: my thoughts are with you.

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