Healthy clothes


It is yet another humid afternoon in the tropics. My phone buzzes, and I pick it up excitedly. It’s my sister. Soon we are both in that land that sisters inhabit, where conversations can morph from being serious to being silly in a mere second; where we can break into song or seamlessly glide into an argument with each other!!!

Soon, my little niece walks in and seats herself on my sister’s lap. She has just woken up from her mid-morning nap, and looks refreshed and cheerful.

She is wearing a white frock, on which are embroidered various colourful fruits. When I ask her about them, she pretends to pluck at them and feeds me fruit and says cutely, “Pemma, eat.”

I make chomping noises, and she giggles. And this game goes on for sometime. My niece soon gets distracted by a dog, and goes away to watch it from the balcony.

My sister then shares a funny incident that happened earlier this week.

With everyone working from home, my sister had given my niece a box of dates, and had asked her to transfer the dates from that box into another one. After a while, my sister was completely caught up in her work, and quite forgot about both the dates and the boxes.

Photo by Naim Benjelloun from Pexels

Later in the evening, when she took out a load of washed laundry from the washing machine, she found specks of brown on most of the clothes. She tried to figure out what the brown flakes were, but could not.

A couple of days later, when she wanted some dates and looked for the box, she found that it was empty. She called my niece, and asked her where she had put the dates.

My niece walked to the washing machine, and said, “Me put here.”

My sister burst out laughing! The healthy clothes had to be washed again. Sigh!

The 94th of July…


It is 6 a.m. in the morning, and I have just finished my first cup of filter coffee for the day.

One of the first things I do every morning is change the dates on the calendars at home. I love doing this. There is something so satisying about knowing that another day has begun – a day that is filled with hope and promise.

One of these calendars is made up of two square wooden blocks, one each for each of the date digits, and a small rectangular block for the month. I set the date manually on this calendar every morning.

This morning, when I go to change the date, I am surprised to see that the date has been set to the 94th of July. This makes me smile. The reason? My little nephew, who is staying with us this week.

When he wakes up, I ask him what the date is? He quickly rushes to the calendar, changes the blocks and says, “It is 43rd July.”

And this is how much fun it is….with my nephew around, there is a sudden energy in the house. For this six year old, every day is filled with possibilities. He creates a buzz when he flits from room to room.

Giggles are lurking in his throat, ever ready to spill out in torrents, accompanied by eyes that are glinting with mischief and curiosity.

All of us at home are constantly taking rides on all his toy vehicles, flying from the kitchen to the living room, fastening seat belts and readying ourselves to land.

We get quizzed about cars and aircraft, we run around playing hide and seek.

Even my kids, who are too big to play with toys, have now let themselves go. We find ourselves rejuvenated.

Through the eyes of my nephew, we look at things with curiosity and excitement – where fans are propellers, the sofas are trucks and where every activity is carried out with the sole objective of having fun.

And now, all of us gather to celebrate the birthday of a family member. The cake is ready to be cut, and we ready our phones to click pictures.

My nephew quickly runs to the cake… runs his fingers on the buttercream icing and puts a blob into his mouth, his eyes reflecting his delight. He is totally in the moment; his joy complete.

We look at him and feel infused by his enthusiasm, his energy and his spirit.

So much to learn. If only we could retain this curiosity and this zest for life, we would have so much fun every day.

Living in the moment and giving it your all….!

Husbands and ‘dates’


Before I start this post, let me tell you that this post is not about husbands and dating.

The Indian festival season is upon us, and most Indian women, I’m sure, are busy stocking up their kitchens, and bringing out their sarees and traditional wear.

Courtesy -www.dreamstime.com
I am no exception. I have spent a few hours this last week trying to decide on which sarees to wear and the accessories to go with them.
So, picture this scene. I am pulling out sarees from my wardrobe, placing each one against my shoulder and performing a critical self-evaluation. My husband is in the background, watching TV or reading the newspaper for the nth time.

Some of my wedding sarees capture my attention. Each of these sarees brings back great memories. Some were gifts from my husband’s parents, some from my aunts, and most from my parents. I pull out a peacock blue saree with a simple zari border.  This was the saree that I wore when I met my husband for the first time.

I am swept away in a wave of joy. Draping the folded saree on my shoulder, I rush to share this happy memory. 

But, but, but…instead of merely sharing the memory and the joy, I quiz him.

“Do you remember this saree?” I ask, my eyes gleaming with happiness.

He lifts his head from the newspaper rather slowly.

“Hmmm…what?” he asks, in slow motion.

I repeat the question. His face suddenly takes on a wary expression. He knows the consequences of not remembering. I can almost see the gears in his head working overtime. He narrows his eyes and slants his eyes, hoping that these acts will somehow give him the answer to my simple question.

I wait. For I know that he is trapped. We have played this memory game many times with anniversary dates, birthdays, first time we met type of dates etc.

This is one variant of this game. I decide to be nice to him. I tell him that this is the saree I wore on our first meeting. 

He laughs – ‘relief’ escaping through his mouth. I laugh too. 

Just half an hour back he was reeling off Formula 1 statistics, as we sat watching the Monza GP telecast. So where do men store these facts ?

I have no answers…..I smile and get back to my wardrobe planning. My friends will remember what I wore and when I wore what! And I will remember their sarees too. 

And in this shared camaraderie, we will celebrate the Indian festival season, with lots of food, fun, selfies and gorgeous sarees. 

Best wishes of the season to all of you!