Phew!! The last of the marklists and report cards are done. Enough of racing against an unreasonable deadline. I don’t want to count another quarter or convert another score to grade. My family has tolerated my rude snapping and hurried cooking with noble patience. And after the storm of work I stand among the debris of question papers, answer keys, files, marksheets and sundry papers like a tired soldier on a bloody battlefield.
The summer vacation has arrived. But no lazy days ahead as I prepare to go to India as usual. The thought brings a thrill of excitement, a smile of anticipation. The monsoon must have set in and as the aircraft circles to land at Cochin, the fond and familiar sight of coconut trees glistening green will greet my hungry eyes that have survived on a diet of dull desert. But before that there is lots to do. The house must be prepared for 2 months of orphanhood. I tackle the fridge first, once it is bare there is no cooking . :)
Then all the objects have to be covered or packed away lest they get caked with dust.
Then there is shopping and packing. Just about everything is available in India today. Still I buy all sorts of things for family and friends. With chocolates, food stuff, cosmetics and clothes adding to the 90 kgs allowed for our three tickets, a lot of my stuff will have to be dumped.
The next two months will be a whirlwind of trips to relatives and temples. Again I will go to the bakery. I will buy twenty packets of miscellaneous eats- one for each house I visit. Again I will pull my unwilling children to meet uncles and aunts, drink innumerable cups of tea, cuddle the newest arrivals in the family, sit by bedridden seniors with an ache in my heart. Again I will go to Guruvayur to unburden one year’s worries while Guruvayurappan with his impish smile lets me find my way on my own. We share a unique, lifelong relationship- Krishna and I. Again I will go to the Vadakkumnaathan temple around which lies the town of Thrissur, originally Thrisiva Perur. This Siva temple is so large, so uncrowded, so peaceful and so beautiful that it calms the mind and invigorates the body. By the time you complete one pradakshinam (circling of the temple) you will have worked up a massive appetite. An astute man sells hot roasted peanuts outside.
But too soon the beauty will pale, the thrill will pall : the powercuts, the mosquitos, the hartals, the absconding servants, the rotten rain, the petrol prices all will take their toll until I will be glad to go away. :(
Next June again I will plan my vacation. Again I will consider Singapore/ S.Africa/ the US/ Egypt or some exotic spot. And again I will settle for India.
Yes, I know, I deserve the mosquitos .