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Life Song of the Road

Letter from Home-30 (Slice of Life)

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30-10-18

Dear Doddamma,
We went to Maikuri yesterday morning. Mava (father-in-law) was with us for ten days and he was yearning to go back home. The couple who live there to cook and help had been away. They have returned now. We left at seven in the morning. Since Sunday evening mava was feeling very confused about where he was. That evening we had been to the lake. Kuvara and Aravinda went for a walk round the lake. Mava and I sat in the premises of Lord Ganapati temple nearby. It is very peaceful there. After returning he was feeling confused. Yesterday morning he kept saying he was not sure about the places we were passing by. Only after reaching Mangalore (the town halfway between our place and where my father-in-law lives) he understood that he was going back home. He was happy to be back in his own place. But the change did him good. It will be nice if he comes here for a week or so, every two months.

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When mava was here most evenings we would go to Venugopala temple after dropping Aravinda at his college. He teaches German certificate courses in his college. The present course will finish November end. Just inside the gate of the temple premises there are stone benches. Mava and Kuvara (my husband) sit there. It is quiet and peaceful. My husband goes for a walk in the morning. I used to go for a walk in the park nearby. I meet one lady regularly. Her name is Lakshmi too. She lives with her son and family nearby. This temple and its park are in the Engineering college campus. Once mava and I were talking when a lady sat near us. She started talking to me. She was happy to hear someone speaking Kannada. We went for the walk together. She lives in a small town in the northern part of our state. Her son is a lecturer in the Engineering college and her daughter-in-law, a teacher. Sometimes there is a connection between two people. Financially she had not been well -off and her husband had left her for another woman. She brought up her four children. She said with God’s grace her son studied well, worked hard to continue his post-graduation and is now doing well. Her three daughters are married. She is happy and satisfied.

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Mava has always eaten boiled rice conjee for breakfast. He says it is very filling. When he comes here I prepare that and a rasam for him. We usually have dosas, upma or sago kichdi. He eats dosas in the evening. He cannot eat spicy food, so I make bland dishes for him. He loves to hear Carnatic music. The internet is such a boon, I used to connect to YouTube. One evening we were returning home, it was dark. We were on the road near home when my husband suddenly stopped the car. A python was slowly crossing the road 😊. Our neighbour said he always sees it.

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Doddamma, we are now getting good oranges. I make ‘thambli’ from the peels. I cut the peels into small pieces and fried them and red chillies in little oil. Then ground them with coconut, added buttermilk and boiled the liquid. I seasoned with mustard and garlic. We all liked it very much. The flavour of the orange peel is very nice.
I had told you about our book club. We started it in 2009 and meet once a month. We tell about the books we have read and also have fun discussions. Aravinda started coming from early this year. We enjoy ourselves. The meeting is from 5.45 to 7 in the evening. On Sunday morning Kuvara’s cousin and her daughter had come to see mava. He was happy to meet them. She told us that she had gone to see him once in his home and he was not able to recognize her. So she was very happy. Today morning we got some doors in the house painted. This painter and his team painted our house after it was constructed and later too. He finished the work by evening. Aravinda went to college and we went for a walk around Manipal lake.

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Hope you have received my letter which I posted on 23rd.
We are waiting for November 8th. Gayatri, Kavya and Advaith will reach Mangalore at 5.30 in the evening. Three of us are going to the airport to receive them. My husband and son will be seeing Kavya for the first time.

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With lots of love,
Lakshmi

[‘Slice of Life’ has reaffirmed my belief that everyday moments are precious moments. They make us what we are. I have been posting my letters to my father’s elder brother’s wife, I call her Doddamma. It literally means elder mother. I mailed my letters to my cousin’s wife. She used to read it to her. One day she told me that doddamma enjoyed hand-written letters. She reads and re-reads them. So, I have once again started writing letters on paper and posting them to her. I edit and share what I have written to her in ‘Slice of life’. I like reading the different slices of life. We live in different places of the world but there is a sameness in our everyday lives. It is fascinating and that sameness connects us.’]

Letter from Home-30 (Slice of Life)