Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nick's 21st Birthday, Better Late Than Never - January 12, 2012

I must say, I've been a bit remiss about posting since I got to India.  It's not
that I haven't been busy...and I HAVE been taking pictures...but I am having
so much fun, I find myself, at 2AM, eyeing the computer, then looking
longingly at my bed.  Somehow, bed wins out.  Then, lathered with Odomos
cream to fend off the attacking swarms of mosquitoes, with the ceiling
fan swirling, I cover myself with a blanket and sleep happily until Kamlah
wakes me with a cup of fragrant chai in the morning.

I cannot believe the number of parties that take place around here!  Of
course, one would expect them with Christmas and New Year's but, then
there was the January 1st First Communion round of parties.  That is a
really big deal here in India, akin to a wedding celebration, almost.  I'll
have to post some of those pictures as well.  Also, there WAS a wedding
here in the compound...on December 28th.  And, next, on January 6th, was
my nephew ( well, for all practical purposes, he is my nephew - I've
dubbed him such and he has made me his Aunty ), Nick's, 21st
birthday.  When I asked Nick what he would like for this special
occasion, he asked for me to write him a poem.  He inherited my Canon
digital camera when I bought my new Canon G12 so he thought that
was more than sufficient.

So a poem he got and I told him it would appear on my blog...sweet
kids here, they think my blog is a big deal.

For Nick, On His 21st Birthday
From His American Aunty

I haven't spent much time with you,
I've lived so far away,
But I can't say how much it means,
To share your very special day.

I only saw you once before,
You were cute as you could be,
The sweetest little seven year old,
Having fun and running free.

I must say, you sure have changed,
You are quite the man,
Most handsome, and so nice to me,
Since my visit here began,

I have had such fun with you,
And it's such a thrill to me,
Every time I see you smile,
And say to me, "Aunty" .

You've made me feel so welcome,
As have your entourage of friends,
That's part of why I'll feel so sad,
When my special visit ends.

I know your folks are proud of you,
As you turn twenty-one,
I know you'll be a great success,
But don't forget to have some fun.

With much love, Nick, and all good wishes for the future.

Aunty Carmen

Of course, his mom and dad, my beloved friends, Ode and Lorna Santos
threw him an incredible party, with aunts and uncles contributing all sorts of 
great food for the event.  There was a DJ and the party was in full force 
until Mumbai's finest arrived about 2AM to tell us to shut the music down.  
We did tone it down a bit but kept on dancing for a couple hours more.

Beautiful Mumbai moon

The outdoor contingent

Usually, some finds a log to burn helps to keep the mosquitoes 
away and adds a little warmth for the cooler late night temperatures.

Family and neighbors, Vera Pereira and Lulu Santos

Me and my other sweet nephew, Jake Santos

Party animals

Proud mom, Lorna Santos, and Nick's true aunt, Sonia Santos

This is my beloved friend, Ode Santos, who I met on my first Royal 
Caribbean cruise, the Monarch of the Seas, on April 16, 1995, right after 
we sailed out San Juan.  He was the Champagne Bar bartender and,
during that seven day cruise, I spent a great deal of time there.  He was the
first Indian I ever met, really, and we became instant friends.  Through him,
I met so many other Indian crew and that was the start of my relationship 
with the country and so many people.  In February 1997, I spent ten days
in Mumbai as the guest of Santos and his wife, Lorna, and I am back with
them this visit, and with their boys, Nick and Jake.

Chef Kumar, who actually has been a chef for Royal Caribbean and
other cruise lines, whipped up several fabulous batches of pasta for
Nick's birthday party

This is me with Noel Pinto.  He parked my walker and appointed himself my champion
for the whole evening.  Every time I got up, he would be at my side to escort me.  If I
needed a drink ( it was Old Monk Spiced Rum for me all evening ), he would pour it
And he was a terrific dance partner!  No matter that Noel is about forty years younger
than me!!!.  

Vera Pereira

This is me, minus makeup.  I was racing out in the morning, 
late, and I had no time for it.  I don't think I've been out in public,
minus my eyeshadow, in 20 years.

It was really a great party.  All of Nick's friends are terrific and so much fun. 
The adults always join in the dancing, too, partly, I think, because the music is
something that everyone can enjoy - less toxic than what I often hear at home...
not a lot of ramp with profanity, insanity, or depravity.


  1. that sure was a fun evening!
    my best wishes to Nick!

  2. You sure are having a great time. Everyone seems to love you- that's really neat.

  3. Who win tug of war? Blogging or bed?

    Who win tug of war? Time or fun?

    Enjoy yourself. and you will be the winner.

  4. magiceye -
    You Indians definitely enjoy life! I am enjoying all the celebratioins!

    Sharkbytes (TM) -
    I am so blessed by the affection everyone has shown me here. It's easy to feel spoiled. Every day, I get phone calls and text messages from those outside my Mumbai circle. I can't wait to start visiting outside this area, too.

    rainfield61 -
    Bed hasn't seen nearly so much of me as it did in San Francisco. I figure I'll have plenty of time to sleep later!

  5. I can understand having trouble writing a blog post after such a busy day. I'm glad yours are filled with so much fun. Your pictures make it so obvious that you are having a very good time. Seeing all those smiles in the pictures makes me smile too.

  6. Ratty -
    It's been a very long time since my days have been filled with so much fun. What is especially nice, too, is the sense of family everywhere. Half of the village is related to each other and everyone comes out in full force for every gathering and I have been so welcomed into the fold.

  7. Hello, RNSANE.

      Your excellent shot enhances charm still more.
      It is very sweet scene.

      India is a profound sacred place.
    The experience is bread of the lives.

      I thank for your kindness.
    I wish You all the best. ruma ❃

  8. You are living in a big family, not in a town. In our cold cities sometimes it's difficult to find kind people. Enjoy your lucky times there Carmen.



    Barcelona Daily Photo

  9. so glad for you Carmen that you are having so much fun there, and enjoying the company of friends.

  10. Happy Birthday Nick!!! It looks like a grand party, Carmen. And the smile on your face-- YOu're beaming. I'm so happy for you and glad you are having such a great time.
    xo jj

  11. Belated happy birthday to Nick! What a party!

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