There is nothing special about this saree, bought with 6 more of the same lot. I was in “plain saree with a border and easy to drape” mode. Didn’t want to spend lot of money either so when I found this lot, I bought few colors. Remember- I wasn’t “ONE of you” by then. So I didn’t want to repeat the saree and absolutely never thought of story associated with it. But who knew in couple of months I wouldn’t care if I was repeating the saree I would care what I want to talk about..

So this Saturday I went to a graduation Party, celebrating Andrew Samson’s graduation.

Actually I could write two things about this Saree – Andy and his mother Pat.

When I moved to Franklin, Ajey was in first grade and Anand was 3. It was a year of adjustment for all of us. From a community full of Indian in a very diverse town to a very white town. We were among the first brown people. Ajey was quick to adopt. His teacher adored him; Anand went to a preschool and was happy there. But I couldn’t find my crowd. The rental place we lived in was full of Indian. For 4 years I was living in mini India where I didn’t have to venture out of my comfort zone. When we moved to Franklin I was taken aback. A new house, two kids and Ashish’s longer drive to work..

In second grade Ajey became friends with Andy and Steve. And that changed so many things for me. Andy’s mother Pat is one kind soul and always there for you. But our friendship started in a funny way.

Imagine a scene – I invited Pat and family for Ajey’s bday lunch at noon with some of my new and old Indian friends. I am still cooking in my yoga pants and the bell rang. Guess what – Pat and Dave with Andy at the door. Holy crap. I forgot that among the “Indian Time” crowd there is one “non Indian”.

So here I am, defiantly not looking like a host. I kept apologizing for not being ready and my future friend kept saying its OK. I think she asked if I wanted her to come back later. I tried to make her sit in the living room and she insisted they are ok in dining area. “I am inhaling” the aroma she said. People used to say that Indians smell of curry and spices. But here she was insisting she loved the smell.

Confused I rushed to shower and came out in Saree , fastest in my life, I was all ready to be the host in Indian time. We chit chatted, talked about kids, food, cooking, culture, school and had great time.

That’s how our friendship started. Pat is Italian, Her love for everyone is so evident in her cooking. Pat’s parents introduced their kids to all kind of food. That is so rare I tell you. Her mother cooked many Indian things in 60s and 70s. Can you believe that? Over the years I witnessed Pat in so many different role and she amazes in each of them. She is one friend one can ask for in any situation. She is my “to go” friend. Not only for me for all her friends. Every new situation in this (not so now) foreign land she is my pillar. I can ask her anything anytime and I know I will have a solution.

I always wonder what if I hadn’t invited her for that party, or if she hadn’t come early. Meeting her in my ugliest, dirtiest form was an icebreaker I am thankful for.

This is my favorite story to tell when I talk about Patty. I hope I could put in words what she means to me.

This Saturday I went to congratulate a kid whom I see grow, who was a wonderful kid, now a handsome incredible man, an amazing musician.

I still remember 2nd grader Andy who ate my spicy food with red nose and cheek and tons of water.
Patty and Dave.. You have done a great job !!!

When Pat’s mother asked me if I will Saree for graduation how could I not. So here it is my my sunshine Saree for a shining friendship

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