Shaping up...

Almost 2 and half months into married life, I’m settled comfortably into a routine. I had never thought that I could handle the role of a homemaker, but I am managing quite OK as a homemaker cum working woman. It is hectic, but no less enjoyable. It is a great feeling when you share your life for someone (in my context, Sandettan my husband), when your priorities rate some else’s comfort also as a factor not just yours.

Over this small span of time, I noticed a lot of things about myself. I noticed gradually how I have Amma’s touch in everything I do. Every thing I do I can relate to her, even when I have never tried to imitate her.

I started picking and prodding for fresh vegetables at the grocery store. I became and expert in deciding what vegetables to purchase and what dishes to cook making best attempts to avoid repetitions and monotony. I try to include pulses and leafy vegetables in my meals. I have the same frown as on Amma's face when the “green leafy vegetables” lady thrust no-so-fresh spinach and palak into my hands and ask for 10 rupees:) Even I sing the same malayalam songs in the most irritating of tunes the way she used to :))

When guests come I serve my own hand-cooked (:)) food with the same old Amma dialogue “ Onnum athra sheriyayitilla” coz it increases manifold the joy that you get when the guest says “Alla…nannayittundu”. After a hectic washing session, I make fruit juices and sip it leisurely watching the TV.

I sit back sipping my tea and finishing over the leftovers from the morning breakfast in my evenings after returning from work. I cannot help thinking about how I as a kid never used to like the breakfast idli/dosa served as evening snack and how every evening Amma would end up finishing the remaining from breakfast. When I cook, I realize the value of my time, effort and resources spent. Also I realize hers too.

Every Sunday Achan and we saw Amma running around. We remarked how she never seemed to have time even on a holiday. She always had unending chores to talk about. We could never make it to any outing or cinema on weekends coz for Amma it was her only holiday to finish washing, cleaning and preparing for the week ahead. Now I realize the same truth from my life, something that I had never realized all my 23 years. I value my Sundays and I too have unending list of tasks to be done. I know the onlooker (here Sandettan) gets irritated thinking the same way I and Achan thought of Amma. But then my Sunday is really really precious for me.

Every night tired after household chores and sumptuous dinner, I can feel the resistance that builds up in my mind to washing the dishes. I sometimes postpone the washing to the next morning. But always there is Amma’s old story, something that my grand mom told her and she has passed over to me. This is a small story with no thrills and frills. There were 2 families who lived beside each other. One rich and the other poor. The rich family had lots of servants and the poor were on their own, somehow scraping and making their ends meet. After a rich affluent meal at night, the rich family used to settle to their cozy beds leaving their kitchen and dishes for the maids to clean next day. Whereas the poor family would share a scanty meal amongst themselves, clean their kitchen and dishes and settle to sleep. At night Goddess Lakshmi visited the two houses. Impressed with the way the poor family had maintained their house, Devi showered her blessings on them and made them prosperous. You might have by now guessed what became of the rich family! I am very sure this is going to be one of the stories that I pass down to my kids, most importantly my little girl.

At the moment I'm improvising to get to the level of great taste that Amma's dishes have, to try out and learn new dishes to get Sandettan's appreciation for my culinary skills. I have realised a great truth that Time is a great leveler. Probably the dialogue that I have most often heard from Amma is that “You’ll understand when you reach my position”. Sure I do :)