Sundays with Shyamni

Dear Reader

Something about Sunday mornings, isn’t there? It has always been my favourite day of the week.

Growing up, Sunday mornings used to be an ear-splitting affair at my parents house. My father would always tune in the weekly Hindu bhajan program at Precisely the exact moment the indian AG church opposite our house would start their service even though the iTaukei AG church next door wouldn’t have quite finished theirs. Accompanied by Suruj’s crazy wind chimes clanging all along the back verandah on breezy days; it was on between Jisu, Ram, Krishna and Yeshu Masih. (YM won most Sundays ‘cause he had the bigger speakers.)

One by one, disheveled members of the household would start appearing and by 10.30 am the kitchen would be bustling with human bodies trying to make coffees, fry their omelettes and sausages, heat up the curry from last night.

Amidst all that, what I really looked forward to on Sunday mornings was when I finally got my turn at the Sunday Times and would sink in to read Seona Smiles’ weekly column.

Lot changed over the years as we all grew up. My father switched radio programs from Radio Fiji Two to Radio Saregam. The two AG churches worked out their timetables so they didn’t have to scream over each other (but then now we also have the new Methodist crowd with their sermons in the nearby park). People moved out of home, people moved back in. My morning beverage changed from milo to tea to coffee to brewed stuff to plunger-ed sludge to occasionally dhal with lemon for those *ahem* dusty hungover mornings! I evolved around Seona Smiles’ column till one day, whichever happened first, I moved out or Seona stopped writing that column.

Over the years, I’ve lived in many cities and my Sunday mornings, I’ve tried to keep the ritual – coffee, eggs, newspapers. But it takes time to find and nest a familiar comfort. New bakeries, new milk, different cheeses. New publications, different lingo, different perspectives. And I still haven’t found a column that nests that comfort for me as much as Seona’s did. I’m not sure what it was exactly. Whether it was the anticipation what of the dogs would drag in that week or hearing what Violet had not to say or how her daughters were over-indulging in their lives “because they knew no hardship” (vinaka Fijian parent)!

As I sit typing this, there’s semi-packed boxes strewed around me and my nomadic self is preparing for a move again sometime soon. But for the first time and I don’t know whether I’ve just recently turned a year older or my bones are getting tired of moving but I feel like I need something to ground me.

Somewhere no matter where I go next, I don’t have to rebuild a place of comfort every time.

And so with that, I bring you a new series on the blog – #SundaysWithShyamni. I hope to see you here next Sunday and I hope this place nests that familiar comfort for me and you both, dear reader.

Shyamni. x

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