Month that was, September 2018

"When are you coming to India?" This seems to be the only question I get asked by most of my friends. And very few actually talk about other things other than this. I cherish the latter types because, in this digital age, you don't need my face-to-face to have an actual conversation. Anyways... diving into today's topic of highlights of September 2018. 

As mentioned in the August post, I am in India not for a vacation but to spend time with my ailing paternal grandmom whom we all call Petacha. It was heart-wrenching to watch her do nothing but lay flat in the waterbed. I pray no one gets to suffer this stage of life... we all should pray for an easy death. 

That said, it was only overwhelming for the first-timers... for those who are taking care of her all day every day it is second nature. My aunt and my mom - hats off to them. I personally had nothing to do. Not even to cook. But yet, mom said it was nice to just have me there.

Mom got on to the business of feeding me my favourites as soon as I landed. Mussels! I am a sucker of Kalamakaya porichathu!

Our neighbour and Petacha's best friend also was not too well but she was far healthier than Petacha or it seemed. I went to meet her and then something hit me so hard - everyone is growing old and I am stuck in some kind of time where I don't feel I am getting old. Surprisingly, I never got lectured on "kids" this time. I don't know if that is a good or bad sign. 

Some of my cousins were in town too... was happy to catch up with them. It was babies everywhere and now it is slowing growing on me...Our generation will never be as close-knit as our moms. I hardly knew the names of the kids and they are my niece and nephews! 

Heard about muttamala? 

It was weird to go to my in-laws without my man... but my mil always breaks the ice superbly. I have the starting trouble when it comes to - going to ummas place. But once there, I don't miss anything. I chose to be here for my tooth extractions too. The night before my first wisdom tooth extraction we planned to eat out at Berry Bomb, a new place it seems. I was coming after almost 2 years and there is such a surge of restaurants that I couldn't cover all in a few days! lol.. but this was good. The best change I loved was the roads! All new and wide, fresh and bright! Not a single auto driver turned down requests... 

The Meen Pathil my aunt made with fresh mackerel and though not a fan, I still ate every bit of it. 

F used to send me the cat pics and they too seem to have grown bigger! They are all over my kitchen! 

Met my friend Safa more than once and I am so glad to have befriended her on a train journey long ago. She is my only friend in inlaws city and the best!  We went to both Downtown and Brown Town and had our share of the treat! 

I was thrilled when my Bangalore day's bestie called to say she was in town! I had to meet her so took my mil along and it was a fun time at the highlight mall! When we were about to wrap up and get back home, we got the message that Petacha's bestie passed away! It was a shocker even though I know she was not doing good, Petacha was in a worse state and yet death doesn't wait for anyone. 

There was a wedding in the family and we had to wear saree for the mylanji (henna) night! When everyone had one thing to say "You have lost weight!" I thought I can fit it into my wedding saree blouse! It was too ambitious! I wore a cotton saree with a long blouse I got stitched exclusively for it. It was a hit. I was surprised! This wedding was a great way to meet all of the near and dear under one roof! 

This month is F's birthday and Saudi National day too! Missed being there... See what I did last year... 

With all those numerous short travel between cities - Tly - Clt - Cbe, I had to rely on some short easy books for company. I had picked Twinkle Khanna's books out of great expectations and they failed to impress me. It was not worth the price, I should have just given it a pass... anyways... indeed, all that glitters is not gold!

And mom never stopped finding time to make my favourite snacks! Clams stuffed rice steamed balls or elambaka unda.

With just a few more days before my return flight, I started feeling very low and regretful. Like all the time, my temper and mood swings made some not-so-good days too. Which I truly regret and have no idea why I behaved the way I did. I am only grateful and thankful that my family always forgives me.

The evening before departing to the airport, dad took us to the beach. The best drive-in is the beach just a few minutes from home...

As my destination is 14 hrs with transit, I am spared from all the food that usually Malabari homes send to anyone going to the gulf! The house was full of people near and dear and there was a special dinner too. neighbours walking in to say goodbye... it all felt so emotional. I have never experienced so much love in the "sending off" tradition... I had always travelled from my in-law's place and it used to be just us. and this special treatment that I always joked about was indeed heartwarming...there is a reason why food is central to every occasion.

The most painful goodbye was with my Petacha who I doubt had any sense of what was going on or even recognize who I am. I hugged her chest carefully as there were bed sores and food pipes and what not... I never wanted to see her like this. I knew somewhere this would be the last time I am seeing her...