Every time I visit Bangalore, we usually end up doing a family dinner at Upbeat. Upbeat is a small rooftop restaurant where they play some nice music and have a small dance floor to jive. I am not giving you directions to the place, because I like the place the way it is now...lets keep the crowds away. Just kidding, I am sure you can find the place quite easily in today's google world. In any case, I am not here to write a restaurant review but more so to share a little incident from my last visit that is so etched in my memory.
There were many reasons to celebrate that day. My wife's birthday was coming up, there was a wedding anniversary in the family, and we were all together after quite a while in any case. That was reason enough to celebrate and we ended up going to Upbeat. It was a wet evening and the rains threatened, but the regular crowd was in. The owner of the restaurant in fact joined the conversation at our next table where someone's birthday was being celebrated. The dance floor had the occasional couple go up and swing to the beat. The jukebox said that Buffalo Soldier was living in the heart of America, that he was stolen from Africa....I sang along and my daughters gave me the "We are not impressed, old man" look. But, you get the idea, the whole atmosphere was uplifting.....conversation flitting in and out, laughter from the nearby tables, music from the right decade. Here was a moment when a whole lot of strangers forgot themselves for a while to create a perfect symphony of happy notes.
Suddenly, I noticed the chatter at my table lowered a bit and all eyes were staring in the same direction, looking beyond me. I turned to see what piqued the interest of my daughters and I saw an old man with a walking support and his equally old wife walking to the dance floor. He gently rested his walking stick by the side, pulled his wife a bit closer, he lifted his left arm to hold her hand and slipped into a slow dance. His wife asked him to stop, she readjusted the "pallu" of her Kanchivarum saree and tucked it in, went back close to him and they swayed to the lilting music. And then, for a while the two of them swayed to their favorite songs. This old man who needed help to walk had two dancing feet with a life of their own, the old lady with an equal zest for life. They danced and they smiled, their joy was infectious. They celebrated life, they celebrated togetherness. We shared their cake, we cheered them on.....
There are times when I wonder what the meaning of this existence is...there are times I wonder where all this is headed to....there are times I am distraught with small meaningless things. Now, when that happens, I see this image of the old man and his lady in togetherness swaying joyously in unison, to the gentle beats of their hearts. You can find happiness everywhere and at all times, if you only let it enter your life. Upbeat about life....always, that is my wish for you and me.