The kids have their summer vacation, and are spending a couple of weeks with their paternal grandparents, in their ancestral home.
We do this every summer. They love all the nooks and crannies in this house. The car garage, which is now used for storage, is their play space as they play hopscotch or practice ‘rangoli’ (artistic designs that are drawn outside the home every morning).
My daughter has been given the entire garage to draw these rangolis. Dropping rice flour gradually on the floor, with uniformity, is an art, and with each passing day, she gets better.
My son finds great pleasure in playing with clothes pegs (the plastic ones which come in vibrant colours), and the measuring tape, which has spring action. He measures all kinds of things in the house.
Living in an apartment as we do, they are thrilled with the concept of an independent house with a yard and a garden, and a nice big terrace.
They run up to the terrace to dry clothes or red chillies and other things that need to be aired or sun-dried.
They read old-yellowed books that formed my husband’s childhood reading.
They sniff appreciatively when they smell their grandma’s cooking. Their grandparents spoil them, and some. They eat almonds and pistachios. They are treated to honey cakes and butter biscuits. They binge on yummy golden yellow mangoes and jackfruit.
They are very excited each time they hear street hawkers shouting out what they are selling. In a few days, they know which vendor comes when. They watch as their grandmother picks and chooses vegetables and greens, fruits and flowers. They watch how the hawker pushes his mobile cart down the street and how he weighs the vegetables using a simple balance.
They go around the yard and see the old washing stone, used to wash clothes. They watch clothes fluttering on the clothesline and play hide and seek there.
They see the yard filled with dried leaves and fallen flowers every morning and participate enthusiastically in sweeping the yard.
They watch as the ‘Isthriwallah’ (the iron man), brings back neatly arranged piles of fresh, ironed clothes. They bury their noses to feel the warmth.
They seem to have expandable stomachs and are able to eat through the day. They accompany their grandparents on small walks to the local shops to buy odds and ends, and come back with treats.
It is nice to see them unwind and enjoy the simple joys and pure love that they can only get at their grandparents’!