• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 12
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Returning Home

The sky is cerulean blue. The emerald-green hills roll along the horizon. The shrubs open into the pastures. The fence made of sticks circles the boundaries of our courtyard.  

Today, the gate is open. Thatha must have forgotten to close it after he left to graze the cows. Everything and everyone is quiet now. No cuckoo sings, no coucal hops. The insects have disappeared into their homes too. Everyone enjoys their siesta.

It is at this time that Harry from the town, slips in quietly and drops off supplies for the next day into the blue bag hanging at the edge of the gabled roof of the house. Toothpastes, toothbrushes, Atta, tomatoes, potatoes, apples and oranges, glue stick – anything that we require and order over the phone the previous day will be found in that bag. Amma says that Nishma, my older cousin, as a little girl had once remarked, ‘It is our very own magical bag.’ Nishma is twenty-three years old now and the practice hasn’t stopped. Testimony to Harry’s punctiliousness and our love for the status quo.

The blue bag hangs down with the weight of all the things inside the bag until we empty it and it flaps in the wind. Of course, we unhook the bag on rainy days to prevent it from getting soaked.

Soon, it will be time for Thatha to arrive, chewing the end of a twig, after herding the cows. Amma will prepare a hot cup of coffee. And then, Amma will get busy cooking fresh hot ottis and chicken curry for dinner. Thatha will lug a pile of wood. I will help Thatha heat the water by filling the giant vessel with water for the bath.


Returning Home

Soon, after dinner, we will snuggle under a cozy blanket while the crickets chirp to their heart’s content. Soon, the night will end and a new day will dawn. Soon, one day will turn into another. Soon, the summer will end. Soon, the time for me to have Amma’s fresh hot ottis once last time before a long time will arrive. Soon, I will give Amma and Thatha a hug before leaving for the city.

Soon, it will be time for me to return home. Once again.