Back in 2007, before we began ishqinabackpack, me and Sona went to Mexico for our first honeymoon. We were in Puebla, a region famous for its tile mosaics, chocolate, and epic mole sauce. We spent the mornings learning to make different kinds of mole, desserts, and main courses at Mesones Sacristia, a lovely boutique hotel that has dark blue paint on the exterior and colors straight out of the Mad Hatter’s school of design on the inside. In the afternoons and evenings, we’d wander around town. Once Sona took me to see a Lucha Libre fight! But usually, we’d do what we do best: eat streetfood.
One of our strolls was to the Zocala, the town center. We’d just watched the cutest Salsa dancing performance with old people, wearing bright clothes and big grins as they danced it up on stage. Then Sona saw a water fountain and she turned into that cuckoo that’s cuckoo for cocoa puffs. She takes off her chappal, runs straight into a huge cylinder of compressed water, and proceeds to run around in circles like a lunatic. I continue watching her ram through the water, getting soaked to the bones and think to myself, that will be the mother of my children one day. Fifteen minutes later, she’s shivering. We powerwalk back to the hotel, stopping to get fresh hot chocolate from a six-year-old and his grandmother at a street stall. Incidentally, in that previously mentioned metaphor, Sona is the large beaked, frizzy haired bird, and the water fountain, the cocoa puffs. Just so we’re clear.
Fast forward several years. Six, if you want to be fussy about it. The three of us – me, Sona, and Kavya, are in the City for a walkabout in Tribeca. A block from the PATH train station sits this large, reddish, art sculpture housed in fountains. Of course, Kavya goes straight for the water, hugging it, running her hands through it. From one side of the fountain to the other, no water droplet was spared. She’s drenched. Kavya looks at Sona and says, “Mama, I got wet,” like there was some freak accident. And just like that Sona pulls out a completely dry, new outfit for Kavya. As they say in the animal kingdom, takes one to know one. And I’m glad I know them both: my two little water monkeys.