Some time in the recent past…..
I drop Vidur off at school as usual after the morning rush of packing lunches and making breakfasts and sneaking sips of coffee in between. On the way back home, I stop to shop groceries and other stuff… I leave the supermarket with multiple plastic bags, yet again mentally kicking myself for not remembering to carry our gigantic ‘market’ bag, with the store person reassuring me that none of those flimsy bags will split their contents until I reach home.
I’ve got bags of varied sizes dangling from each of my fingers, because the finicky nut that I am – I want the shopping segregated ‘just so’ so that the bread doesn’t become crumbs and the fruits don’t become juice by the time I get home. I manage to balance everything on the bike, in front, under the seat, inside the dicky in front…and perhaps look a bit crazy as I ride home.
I park downstairs outside the garage at the risk of being fined by the condo…and hope I don’t meet anyone on the way up. Oh okay….so the lift isn’t working. How would it? Don’t I have lots to carry? I trudge up the stairs, just about beginning to huff a bit as I make the last few stairs and fervently hope you were worried enough to pace up and down the living room with the front door wide open….because if there’s one thing I hate, it is to fiddle inside my bag to find the house key. Now – no use asking why I can’t keep it handy. So…childishly, I pray as I approach the front door – and of course – my prayers are answered.
You are standing there, smiling, saying “Hi Peggy”!! Because I’ve used my fingers as pegs to hang the bags…We laugh madly – and I ask – adukulliyum kulichacha? because you’ve got vibuthi on your forehead and your hair is all plaited up neatly. You say, ille di, moonji alambi thalai vaarindain. I hug and kiss you and sniff the pleasing smell of soap and vibuthi combined…We both move in, shut the door and as I rush to the kitchen to deposit the shopping on the clean, clean slab – you quickly heat the milk and even before I’ve gotten rid of the bags and ensured they are stable …you’ve got my coffee ready.
Then we admire the cute brinjals – shall we make rasam with the little ones? But will Sury eat? Maybe we can force Vidur to just have the brinjals, not the rasam? You say, if I tell Sury he’ll definitely eat it. Bhindi is the standard purchase, as is arbi, tomato, allu, venky – Did you buy curd, Peggy? Yes Mi, of course I did. Oh, we can use the home made curd….Sury loves that thick nandini curd. You say – “enakku moru thaan pidikkum, lightttaaaa.” And I promise you – I’ll make it a bit cool and give it so that you can enjoy it. You hug me….and we both adjourn to the paati room – me with coffee, you with a pad and pencil to make a to-do list.
With you, everything seemed possible. Without you, some things seem difficult.