Friday, 9 September 2016

London Diaries - Bonsai and me

Walking on New Bond Street, Bonsai suddenly asked me if she had come to London on 6th or 9th of September. It was the 6th, and how distinctly I remember that day 10 years ago! Suddenly a kaleidoscope of memories lit up.

The long August weekend that year was to be spent attending a friend's wedding ceremony near Bath. Stay arrangements were in Bristol and car rental was in place. The morning of the departure, standing at the rental, I was cursing Seeker for forgetting his passport. We got lucky, the rental salesman took pity on us and made provisions to let us rent only with a driving licence in place. Not just that, we got upgraded to a brand new E Class. Both of us were super kicked!
The first stop was to buy a road map of the UK, I was not going to navigate without one. As I sat in the car with my brand new navigation tool kit, Bonsai called. Oxford had awarded her the first ever Rajeev Gandhi bursary! Suddenly expenses had reduced; but wait she had not applied for one, had she! How did she get so lucky? The brand new E Class upgrade became the icing on a very delicious cake.

It was a fabulous wedding; notwithstanding that Seeker and I forgot about the GPS of our E Class, went through the same round about four times each time taking a different exit and ultimately entered the church as the bride and the groom were exiting! We got acquainted with Bristol and discovered Las Iguanas, the South American food paradise there which we frequent in London even today. The next day took us to Bath, a city intertwined with history, literature and scenic beauty. If I had my way I would not have left that town centre but then I realised that we had to do a pit stop at Oxford before returning to London.

Bonsai was going to make Oxford home for a year and I was super excited to check it out. Oxford had me spellbound at the word go. The delicately embroidered architecture of the institutions hummed anecdotes of personalities that altered world history. The tree lined streets oozed a calm yet strong character. Fontainebleau had been special but Oxford was exquisite.

The coming year brought many happy occasions at Oxford, for Bonsai and me alike. The chance meeting of a childhood friend who mentioned her dorm friend in a passing conversation to Bonsai and later realised that it was Bonsai's very own sister. The summer parties and college dinners that Bonsai and I enjoyed together and finally the weekends that the sisters spent reacquainting one another with their dreams, hopes and ambitions.

At the end of the year Bonsai moved to London to start her journey as a lawyer, a flatmate to this banker and finally the custodian of my balcony on Thames! As today draws to a close, my heart wishes that just for once we could revisit those days that Bonsai and I spent together many years ago and have a laugh, shake a leg and enjoy the city that has become home to us both. 

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