Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens; Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens; Brown paper packages tied up with strings; These are a few of my favorite things.
... actually none of these are my favorite things ... But my mom just returned from India. In her bag were tons of goodies ... clothes, snacks, sweets etc. In the night we tried on Isaac one particular hoodie that his 'Velliamma' (my older sister) sent for him. It was nice and comfy. As I picked him up to rock him to sleep - I took one deep breath of this new hoodie he was wearing.
It smelt like my parents 'cupboard' (Thats what we call closets in India). Probably the smell of the wood that was used to make the cupboard. It smelt like ... old days ... it smelt like my dad's shirts and my mom's sarees ... it smelt familiar ... it smelt like I had to go back to India right now.
So in no particular order - my brain started thinking of my 'favorite' things.
The smell of clothes kept in the 'cupboard' in India
Overnight train journeys .. Love sleeping on those 'births'
Lime rice and crispy fried chicken .. which only tastes its best on the overnight train journeys
The sound of keys jiggling outside the door as my dad got ready to open the door
Cotton mattresses on wooden beds!
The cool breeze after the first rain after a hot summer
The sound of the 'ALWAYE' bridge as the train crossed it.. It meant we were close to home!
The sight of the familiar house as you turned the corner of the bumpy road to grandparents home.
Walking on marble floors without socks
Wet jeans from the knee down during the monsoons
Stitched clothes - I do not like ready-made too much since they never fit me right and my sister manages to find the best tailors in town
Bhel puri wrapped in old newspaper
Mallu weddings -- they are the best .. the noise.. the chaos .. the driver with the lack of direction taking the wedding party to the wrong church .. o yea it happened!
Indian pizza with the tandoori chicken
Swimming in the pond in Kerala
October 16 2009 :)
Power cuts! Even though I curse them when they happen - You just realize how much time you spend with each other talking when there are not numerous other things to distract you
Tours (thats what we called vacations in Kerala when a family rents out a 20 passengers and sets out from Munnar to Kanya Kumari!)
That's the song Suresh and I sang as we boarded the flight from Tampa, Florida to come back to Baltimore, Maryland.
Reasons for being sad
1. 70 F in Tampa , 28 F when we landed in Baltimore
2. Vacation .. Vacation ... Vacation
3. Leaving behind a little girl called Anna and her Amma and Appa
Camping - Loft Mountain 2006
Its fun to go on vacations. Its more fun when you go to meet cousins. Its even more fun when the cousin is like a sibling! Suresh and I spent a week (Suresh will correct me at this point and say - 8 days) in Tampa, Fl with my cousin Reshma, her hubby Aby and bubbly little Anna all of two years.
Reshma and I have practically grown up together. We spent every single summer together since I was 13 and she was 11. Before that she and her family visited every year from Dubai. It was the most fun time. I still remember sincerely praying to God to let it rain hard so that the schools would close so I could spend the day at home with my cuuzzzin. She is what I call my best friend/cousin.
Reshma, Suresh and I - James River 2006
It’s also nice that the co-brothers get along well and have similar interests.. e.g. Getting their wives off the couch :). Before the kidlings were not born and we hung out - it was hard to calm Aby and Suresh to sit at home. Hiking, Camping, Sking, Canoeing, Kayaking, Theme parks etc. Anything in the vicinity that would take Reshma and me away from our Malayalam movie were schemed by the co-brothers. They both also loved looking at the map to the 'point of interest' in much detail. We now lovingly call it the 'birds eye view' that both of them must have before we set out on a trip even though we have the most wonderful thing called GPS.
Aby and Suresh.. Camping at Twin Lakes 2005)
For me the vacation to Tampa was a much needed change and truly a vacation. The best thing about going to Reshma's place is that she kicks you out of her kitchen -- which I appreciate :). While she makes yummy stuff that we then pig on. This time it was the most awesome Masala Dosa (Sorry no pictures! - we were too busy eating)
As we got the two kidlings together it was so much fun to see them laugh, play and occasionally poke each other in the eye. Anna is 2 years and 4 months and Isaac is about 15 months. So it is the right age difference that they play with each other and keep each other busy.
Tired after Lowry Zoo
Anna is a late riser and a late to bed goer. Isaac on the other hand is an early riser and an early bed goer. It was interesting to see how they changed their sleep patterns. Anna would wake up earlier than her usual time and Isaac would go 1-2 hrs past his bedtime. It seemed like they knew that the vacation would soon be over.
In 8 days - we visited the park several times, went for walks, stood on the deck and stared at people walking their dogs, visited Lowry park zoo, the Children's Museum, Clearwater beach and the Manatee viewing center.
By Friday - I was feeling like I had done nothing - which was a really good feeling. Relaxation!
Now that we are back in Baltimore- I couldn’t feel bluer. Looking forward to visiting the cuzzins soon or having them come over!
The Excellency of Brotherly Unity.
A Song of Ascents, of David.
1Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers (or sisters?) to dwell together in unity!
2It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Coming down upon the beard,
Even Aaron's beard,
Coming down upon the edge of his robes.
3It is like the dew of Hermon
Coming down upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the LORD commanded the blessing--life forever.