August 1999, Norwood, MA - That's when I first met him. He asked me why I called his dad by his name instead of "Sir." I explained that he was my friend, not my boss. (His dad was in Air Force for years ) In response, he decided to call me "Auntie." At the age of 28, I became the coolest aunt to this handsome 15-year-old, who still refers to my husband as Ashish.
His dad was the first friend we made when we arrived in Boston. Mr. Husband and him joined the same company on the same day, and our evenings were spent together every day. Eventually, his family joined him, and the couple became my confidants, advisors, and mentors. Their support helped me grow and raise my children, and their boys became a source of inspiration in raising my own sons.
Years later, they made the decision to move back to India. The older son found work in the Middle East, while the younger one stayed in the United States. Despite the distance, we remained friends and kept in touch. I missed the older son's wedding, but I made sure to attend the younger son's wedding in India. It was there that I met the older daughter-in-law and her parents. My husband and I also attended the reception in Atlanta. Ajey, who was only 2 years old when we first met the Mendirattas, grew up and decided to visit them in Delhi on his own a few years ago.
Nowadays, the couple resides in Delhi, the older son in Dubai, and the younger one recently relocated from Atlanta to Portugal. During my recent trip to India, I made a conscious decision to change my routine. Instead of minimizing layovers, I stopped in Dubai for an overnight stay with the older son and his wife. Seeing him at the airport flooded my mind with memories. He even broke his rule and took me shopping for gold. Both of them ensured that every detail was taken care of during my stay, from a late-night drive around town to a delightful dinner and drinks for old times' sake, followed by a fabulous breakfast and a drive back to the airport. The warmth of their hospitality will forever stay with me. I promised them that my next trip to India with Mr. Husband will surely include a longer layover.
From a chance encounter in Norwood to a bond that transcends continents, this journey has enriched our lives with friendship and family.
welcome to Dubai Jaya Auntie