Kolkata: ‘Tis the season of giving

Last week definitely comes in second, after my birthday, in terms of the amount of gifts received! The ones who bought me the special things and I don’t attach religious beliefs to Christmas – none of us are Christians – but I suppose the act of giving is infectious and I’m very lucky to be showered with such kindness from them.

Monday

In mid-November, I was complaining to Ayesha about the set of saree that I had bought online. While the fabric of the saree came in perfect condition (beautiful midnight chiffon adorned with white geometric prints), the blouse, which was part of the set, was never delivered. I had requested for the online store to follow-up with the correct order, however it was fruitless. Hence, I sent back the item and thankfully, got a refund instead.

Ladies-Patiala-Salwar-SuitAyesha then shared with me that she only wears saree once a year when her company celebrates Durga Puja (see here), and because of that, she has a pile of fabrics at home that she doesn’t have any use for anymore. She then proceeded to educate me that the Indian-Punjabi Muslims’ ethnic wear here is salwar suits (see left photo). This includes a pair of baggy pants, which is tied around the waist with a drawstring, called salwar, a knee length dress called kameez and a thin scarf called dupatta. She showed me photos of her in the suits and insisted that I get myself one before leaving Kolkata. I agreed, and told her that we would go shopping soon.

Little did I know that she sneakily went shopping first without me and bought me a set of fabric two weeks later! I was so surprised when I received the wrapped gift and I couldn’t stop going “Aww…” when I opened the package! Just look at how pretty it is:

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Then, on Monday, she brought me to her trusted tailor for measurements and such. And now, I am waiting eagerly for the outfit to be sewn 😀 It should be ready by the 28th!

Thursday

Pistachios + Firni + Jalebi + Baklava 😛

For some unavoidable reasons, Azri has to work longer hours for a while now. But despite being tired from the job, he still has me in heart and mind, and on Thursday night, he surprised me with a bottle of pistachios! Him buying me my favourite roasted nuts made me feel all warm and mushy inside <3 He also purchased other sweets for us, and we snacked on them all night (or should I say morning?) while watching Cuckoo on Netflix. #pbgttm, hah!

Saturday

When I last met Deepayan and Aru at a birthday party in end-November, Deepayan asked if I watch soccer. I replied that since there is only one TV at home, I’ve had no choice but to watch EPL and La Liga with Azri on game’s nights. That said, I do appreciate the art of soccer (especially after learning from Alex Hunter on FIFA’s The Journey) and liked watching some of the matches. He laughed, and then told me that he had already made plans with Azri on bringing us to an Indian Super League match at Salt Lake Stadium. This stadium has a capacity of up to 85,000 people and had held this year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup, so I looked forward to soak into the soccer atmosphere.

Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) vs Delhi Dynamos FC

Come 7.00pm on Saturday, the four of us found ourselves seated amongst the Atletico de Kolkata fans. Most of them donned the team’s jersey and some even had headbands and face-paint to show loyalty and support. Before the game started, the teenage fans were full of energy, jumping around and taking selfies non-stop and so I assumed the energy level would be high throughout the game.

But boy, was I wrong. Only a little more than 22k people attended the game and once the referee whistled the start, fans from the older generation started shouting at the young ones to sit down. Kinda a buzzkill, really. We ended up behaving proper and only got a little rowdy when there were fouls and almost-goals. And only when the only goal was scored by Kolkata’s Robbie Keane (yes, the Irish professional player) did everybody jumped in joy and the mood lifted for a little while.

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The GOAL! moment at 78 minutes

Overall, the game itself was underwhelming too. Watching the match reminded me a lot S.League’s matches – there were too many shake-my-head moments. I got frustrated and cursed with my super pak cik vocabulary, including “referee kayu sia”, “bilang die takmo wayang ah” and more. Azri shared my frustration and wondered how Manager Teddy Sheringham and Keane must have felt to transit from playing on an international level to this.

But hey, at least the team we were supporting won! So, that’s all that matters. And more importantly, the four of us had a really good time over supper! Food from Azad didn’t disappoint at all, and the conversation was full of laughs. We ended the night on a really high note 😀

Sunday

I didn’t get the chance to gloat as Azri hijacked my win by distracting me, so I shall rejoice in glory here instead:

Left: What one of my cities look like; Right: WINNER IS ME!

Hohoho, I finally conquered Civ 6 after losing many games! Azri tried distracting me during the game too, but I was very sure of my win and I must say that it was a satisfying gift for myself on a cold Sunday evening. Now, onward to beating Azri and his boys back in Singapore. Hehe!

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