Neither side of Minal’s family is particularly religious. But today was a quirky day. After dropping Ammi to the airport, we pick up Sissy Farenthold and drive to Bapsi Sidhwa’s house for lunch. The lunch was set up so Ammi could meet Sissy and spend time with Bapsi, but I messed up on Ammi’s travel dates. So now, after the long drive to the airport and back, Minal and I head to the other side of town. It’s only when Sissy emerges from her building in a silk dress that it strikes me that today is a Christian holiday, Easter, with pagan roots).
On the drive over to Bapsi’s, Sissy and I joke about the irony of how she’s sharing her Easter meal with Bapsi and us. Once we get to Bapsi’s, Minal draws out a book that she’s grown to love: Saat dum wali chuhyia (The Seven-Tailed Mouse) by Bapsi Sidhwa. She remembers meeting Bapsi when she was a baby and now wants Bapsi to sign the book for her.
After lunch, Sissy, Bapsi and I sit around the dining table talking politics. Minal meanders between us, sometimes talking to Bapsi’s dog, sometimes climbing on the sofa to stare outside, or sometimes investigating Bapsi’s coffee table decorations. Her highlight is when the book-signing takes place.