Sub Tik Ho Jai

If you ever want to feel nice, surprise an old person.

Not like a BOOM! surprise (watch the blood pressure), but something they can connect to. Something simple. Something kind.

So I fall under the “surpriser” category, meaning the one who executes the surprise. I just love it.

It’s almost impossible to surprise a surpriser because they have already planned their own surprise before you can surprise them. In fact, it’ risky to surprise a surpriser because they may catch you in the act.

For many reasons, this time around, planning a surprise was more than just the usual nerves. This time was anxiety in the thrill of whole deal. Like extra nerve-racking. I think gave myself a nervous tummy ache and had to remind myself to breathe. Hello yoga!

First off, this wasn’t my usual playground. No privacy. In my grandparent’s home, the doors stay open. My room is usually somewhat re-arranged when I get home. Granny loves looking in all my cupboards and folding things. She doesn’t really understand the whole knock before entering idea so I can’t even get dressed without her walking in to keep me company. I’m getting used to all this. But this ruled out a secret oasis and any hiding places.

Then, no car, no supplies, no oven, no one to totally depend on…I’m in India, remember? The land where everything is possible and nothing is for certain – not even the time! (My Apple Ipad time insists that is actually 2 minutes later than my Indian Reliance cell phones time. So much drama.)

Really sharp grandparents – I would classify my Granny as an excellent surpriser in her youth. You know, it’s quite dangerous to surprise surprisers. Gulp.

So much drama – Pulling out colored paper after colored paper at the stationary shop, while the owner cringed and asked in despair when would I be done! Lugging all my things around in different auto rickshaws in the heat and haggling with them when they tried to rip me off. Hunting down the smelly photo shop man who was never open when I needed him (he wasn’t smelly but his shop was). Hopelessly trying to make the cake shop understand my English accent. Praying that Granny wouldn’t check under my bed. Whew.

But their faces this morning. Oh my goodness. One of the greatest surprise reactions I have ever received. Top 3 for sure. And I didn’t have to fly all the way to Istanbul to do it.



Today has been a happy day. I’m feeling so nice.

Today is my grandparent’s 57th anniversary. They really deserved something special. For 57 years, these two little lovebirds have lived life to the fullest. Traveling all over India, making homemade rum punch, flying kites, getting into so much mischief, arguing a ton. But in love. Even to this day, Grandpa makes Granny her tea, because she insists that he makes it the best. They play scrabble every evening together and help each other out on their turns. They watch their awful Indian soaps together. In fact, even now they are chatting and giggling in bed before they go for their afternoon nap. They truly enjoy each other’s company. Their love reminds me of the poem “The Invitation”. If you haven’t read it, look it up.

Man. I wish to have a life like that someday.

Also, I think I would enjoy surprising people for a living. I’ll have to talk to my dad about incorporating this into my life roadmap I made a few years ago.

Speaking of celebrations, Happy 21st birthday to Jonathan!

What else…

Catching an auto rickshaw is not at all like hailing a cab. I keep forgetting this and always look so dumb waving my hand up on the road. For auto-mans it’s all about the head nod.

Are Indians true tea drinkers? They drink so much tea here, but only black milky sweet tea. SOMETIMES a menu will have green tea, but everyone advises me against that option because apparently it tastes like “nothing”. Really? I’m shocked. But I guess the Indian taste buds must be a bit spoiled from all the sugar and spice. After all, chai is almost like eating hot ice cream – milk (probably whole milk), half water, some spices, and heaps of sugar. It is delicious.

Pallavi, my yoga friend, and I love drinking chai from the chai wallas on the side of the road in the early hours of the morning before yoga. It costs 6 rupees. Its hot. Delicious. Sweet. If you are a girl, you can’t do this alone for some reason, as only men stand around alone drinking chai on the street. So its good that we have each other.

She also took me out for Mastani, which is flavored ice cream milk, a classic drink of Pune. Very sweet.

The joys of working at a studio again! We opened Pallavi’s new outdoor yoga studio and it is just beautiful. Yoga under the sunrise, sunset, moon light, starry skies. Everyday, six of us yogis begin the battle with nature sweeping up the giant brown leaves that fall all over the space. Even though it just takes a good ten second gust of wind to let them all rain down again. Then we all say Hai Bhagwan (oh god) and start laughing. So fun. When you love what you do it never feels like work. Karma yoga.

I was thinking about how I almost got a tattoo in New York. The yoga culture in America is all about the tattoos. The open back tees, or better yet, no shirt at all. And then sometimes the tye dye, sometimes the dreads, sometimes the weed.

All that is unknown here. Not a tattoo in sight because everyone wears too much clothing for me to see anything. Yoga is something holy for your body. Mantras to the sun. To Patanjali. I’m getting so much better at my Aum chanting, which used to be quite pathetic.

However, the asanas are universal. Breath is the same. The amazing happiness I get from the practice is the same. The yoga works. Trust it.

I also realized the importance of repetition. Reading a book AGAIN. Making a recipe AGAIN. Doing a pose AGAIN. Once is not enough. You can’t hit those break-through moments until what you are doing becomes second nature, you know it like the back of your hand, until you can do it in your sleep.

Sub tik ho jai. It’s my motto of the week. Last Friday, when the three bears stayed in with the flu (oh yea, Grandpa, Granny & I, call ourselves the three bears because we like to eat and sleep), we watched Kul Ho Na Ho – probably my favorite Bollywood movie, a real love-story-tear jerker. Everyone keeps saying with watery eyes, wavering voices, holding each other “sub tik ho jai” “sub tik ho jaiiiii“.

It means everything will be alright. :)

Much love,
More later,


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2 thoughts on “Sub Tik Ho Jai

  1. Elena

    So adorable, Sonia! I’m so glad I got to meet your grandparents during high school so I have a mental image when I read your posts!

    1. sonia Post author

      Haha yes they are some crazies! Living with grandparents is like a whole other ball game. So many stories! Thanks for reading and be in touch <3.

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