Saturday, November 18, 2006

A blessing and a curse

'A sister is both a curse and a blessing'

Last night M joined me for another Kali's Asian Women Talk Back festival play at the Soho Theatre: Behna by Sonia Likhari. The play is set in the hothouse confines of Cheema's Southall kitchen and explores sibling rivalry across two generations - between the Punjab-born mother and her sister, and the mother's two British-born eldest daughters. It opens with the family celebrating the pre-wedding Ladies Sangeet Night of the youngest of Cheema's three grown up daughters and over two intense hours explores the sibling rivalry and love unfurling across a year or more.

Cheema and her sister share memories of childhood together and chide each other over the way they've brought up their children. The sister is particularly wary of the way Cheema lavishes attention on her nephew Raju - the only boy in the family - and it is later that we discover Cheema had secretly donated her egg to the sister. The sisters bicker between themselves and with their mother Cheema who goes on about having wanted a boy; but one sister defends the other against taunts of being "hello Moto" fat by the other's own husband.

A taut and explosive drama that was far more engaging in its myriad intercepting relationships and emotional touchstones than the previous night's Deadeye.

Afterwards we ate raw papaya and peanut salad, meaty, boneless fillets of pomfret fish in a pineapple sauce and beef with ginger and spring onions at Malaysian-Thai restaurant Malaysia Kopi Tiam further down the road on Dean Street. The guys at the next table proclaiming exploits in Bexleyheath and recounting various SciFi movies they had seen drove us from our seats. Bellowing boys aside, it was a great night.

Tonight, I had drinks with colleagues after work where we each proclaimed what we would do if we won Euro Millions tonight. I was the dullest for wanting to invest half of it immediately and stay at work because otherwise I would quickly be bored, but redeemed myself when I declared I would also buy an apartment on the Upper West Side, another one in Bangkok and a house in Notting Hill or Hampstead. I would also stay in the most chic and expensive hotels wherever I travelled, indulge in lots of spa treatments, especially those that involved my feet, and would buy our parents lovely homes right round the corner from where we lived.

Then I met up with M in John Lewis where I camera-snapped the Dualit toasters, Le Creuset pots and pans, Global knives, high thread count Egyptian cotton white duvet covers, and Egyptian cotton bath towels we both liked as a reminder to put them on my wedding gift list. I'm such a cliche!

Now we're back at home. I've chatted to my mum and dad on the phone. We've just eaten spaghetti with artichokes and parsley and walnut pesto that M made from scratch in his new mini food processor, and now he's making mojitos for us to drink while watching The OC.

This is the life.

No comments: