Indeed it’s been a long gap since I showed up on my blog– just returned from a long trip to India. It was a personal and professional trip combo. After a good gap, I had a lot of fun and free time to guzzle the juice of no-work-and-do-whatever-you-want time. I didn’t have to shut my alarm clock’s annoying mouth or at five something in the morning rolling into the kitchen like a tumble weed to pack three lunches, six snacks, take a quick holy dip shower, and sleep drive to work forgetting that I didn’t shut my garage door.
My house would be in pin drop silence until I wake up to make some dishes clang in the kitchen. But in India a typical day starts with all kinds of sounds – door bell ringing 3 times in 5 minutes; early morning devotional songs and sermons on TV; my mother chanting her mantras; my niece’s daughter’s tantrums for milk; everyone’s cell phone ringing at the same time; the neighbor talk-walking into the house to borrow some tomatoes; the elevator parading up and down squeaking to close the doors properly. And the cherry on the top is my sister’s callithump to fill drinking water in the pots before the tap shuts off. I was oblivious to this rumpus and just rolled on the bed like a dog rolling in a haystack in the manger. What a comfort and joy!
I know… I know it was a temporary boon but precious for me. I shopped pastel and summer shades fabric, applied henna to my hands, went for late night movies, waved hands to everybody to jangle my rainbow bangles, talked through nights to my family until my throat croaked, pranked my nieces, went to a temple with my mother, watched funny TV programs with my in-laws, and listened to my sister-in-law’s (brother’s wife) complaints while lying in the swing and enjoying the early morning Indian summer breeze. My most favorite of all was not hurrying to take a shower until my body and heart really wanted.
I learned and taught law lessons. Handled ADRs (Alternative Dispute Resolution) professionally and within the family. Met with my old and new friends. Spent a day with my family at the historical zoo park and an evening with my daughter and older sister in Golconda Fort. Bought juicy sweets, mango and lime pickles, fresh amaranth, spinach and Indian pumpkin. Only thing I didn’t do was trying to know where the kitchen was.
No doubt, with flight delays, layovers, and immigration checks, I had a hectic 35 hrs journey each way. I prepared myself for this arduous journey because I knew what was in store there for me. All my tiredness and money spent on this journey was not a speck if I compared it with the joy I had munching the twisted rice snacks and devouring the tamarind rice that my mother fondly prepared for me. She always prepared a frothy filter coffee that drenched my throat with lingering buffalo milk taste which was worth even walking from California to India.
The best of all was sitting next to my eighty- two year old mom on a bamboo chair in the porch, smelling the fresh cut grass in the neighborhood fields, listening to her childhood stories of rural Southern India, and how she and my father struggled to raise their five children. Her eyes were brighter and wetter when she rattled out her entire life to me and my daughter. Her answers, wrapped in her toothless grin, to my little one’s questions made me feel proud that I’m her child. I, for the first time in my life, felt that I gave my mother what she wanted…time for her to talk to us.
Honestly, every mother on this earth deserves this – not the gifts on just Mother’s Day or a check in a mail every month or an occasional phone call – gift of quality time with her children and grandchildren.
I’m back on track with many more interesting posts.