February 8, 2011
How time flies!
Raka and I enjoyed our own Super Bowl party at home. After a relaxed morning, we sat down and got ready to watch the game. We had chili chicken, cooked Indian style, and then Raka wanted tea made the “Indian way.”
I was confused for a second before I realized that she wanted “true chai,” the way it is made in the street side tea stalls in India. It is made with blended tea leaves (ground almost like coarse coffee ground), and boiled with milk and water. The blend of the tea and the ratio of milk and water is the secret that makes each roadside tea stall different.
I made the tea and naturally the authentic tea had to be served in tiny earthen cups, just as it is served on the street side in India. The cups are super-sized, only the small way. I served Raka her tea and by the time I sat down to sip my tea, Raka had gulped down her third cup.
As I enjoyed my cup of tea, my mind went back to the first Super Bowl we had watched together. It was 1998. Raka was four and half years old and I had just joined Papa John’s in Louisville, KY. Raka was in Denver. Denver was playing Green Bay. Raka and I were on the phone constantly and Raka had one question, “Baba, did the Broncos win?” I kept telling her, “No, not yet.” Undoubtedly, by the time the game was over, Raka was fast asleep.
Suddenly, back to the here and now, I heard Raka’s voice calling, “Baba, wake up, the game is starting!” I sat up and realized that I had dozed off as I was thinking about Raka and the 1998 Super Bowl. How time flies. Back then, Raka was the one who needed a nap. Today, I was the young one in need of an afternoon nap. Back then, I would explain to her what was going on during the game. Today, Raka is fluent with all the rules of football, knows the players, and is rooting for Green Bay to win.
Next year Raka will be away at college, watching the game with her friends. We will be back to talking on the phone, but most probably texting instead of being on an actual phone call. It will be special too, but instead of thinking about next year, let me just soak up the game this year.