My father is to blame, really. He’s the reason I can’t get any place on time. There’s something magical about getting ready with music playing in the back. It’s so personal. You, your clothes, your chosen tool of de-odourisation, your appearance, your music.
That’s how I remember getting dressed for Air Force parties as a child, mum ready well before time, tightening the screws on her big earrings while pa sashayed from one room to the other, head bopping to the dulcet tunes of some or the other song, winding his big pagdi round and round to the beat of JJ Cale, or maybe BB king. Occasionally, we’d play tug of war with the long winding piece of cloth that seemed to magically end up on his head, secured only by five shiny all pins. The smell of talc and Chaps in the air, mum giving herself a once over in the mirror, straightening pleats and perhaps mumbling under her breath, sneaking peeks at the clock while papa confidently assured her he’d be ready in five.
It might’ve lowered mum’s life expectancy a wee little bit, but it’s given me a store of wonderful audio visual olfactory memories. There is something very poignant about your parents lightly bickering with each other about stuff like being late for parties. How the papa will try and make it up to the mama by complimenting her or maroing some old hindi dialogue, giving us little ones good reason to giggle in the backseat.
That whole unchanging sequence has left behind a legacy where junior-senior Sodhi takes about twice as long to get out of the house as strictly necessary. How can you bring yourself to stop Nothing Man, or Three o Clock Blues, or Us or If you think you need some lovin’ half way through? You can’t. And I don’t want to.