I believe that the moments in each day make our life what it is. Of course, the unexpected always happens and whatever preparations we make, Life surprises us. Many a time, we think that nothing happens in our life, but things do happen. I started writing to my Doddamma, my father’s elder brother’s wife in October 2017. She is 88 and is not able to hear properly. I post my letter to her every Tuesday. Both of us enjoy the letters. These letters have made it possible for me to appreciate the ordinary moments of life. I edit the letters and post them as Slice of Life every Tuesday.
Today I completed a very fascinating book called The First Promise by Ashapurna Debi. It has been translated from Bengali to English by Indira Chowdhury. The story is about Satyabati and it is set in late 18th century and early 19th century. I had borrowed the book from the library more than three weeks ago and I got it reissued. I have been in that world for some days and I realised that life had changed in many ways but our feelings, emotions and dreams have always been the same. Life has not changed much for women in different parts of the country. My mother too loves to read, she has been reading all her life. She learnt to read Hindi when they lived in Delhi in the seventies. We borrowed a Hindi novel from the library and she is very pleased that she has not forgotten the language. She tells me her speed in English is faster but she is good in Hindi too. Before marriage she used to read books in Kannada, but when my father was posted in Delhi, my father told her she would have to learn to read Hindi and English if she wanted to continue reading. Books in Kannada were not available there. She learnt to read and enjoy in both languages. 😊
Today evening we attended a friend’s grand daughter’s first birthday. In the morning I had prepared idli, sambar and chutney for breakfast. I usually make this on weekends because we can relax and eat.
Last week we hired a young man, who lives nearby to remove the husks from the coconuts, we have to do so before selling them. We give some of the husks to a neighbour who uses them to heat water. This young man does a good job but he is a hopeless alcoholic. The day he earns some money he rushes to the arrack shop. It is really very sad.
1st May was a holiday. That evening we went for a walk near the lake. About ten years ago water would dry up completely. Then mud was removed from the centre. Now the water does not dry up. I like walking there. An old friend called to tell us that my husband’s patient was not well and in the hospital. On the 2nd morning we went to see him. He was an English professor in Bombay. After retiring he came back to his hometown. He used to come to my husband for all his dental problems. He has cancer. We met his nephew who was with him. After talking we found out his parents and my Doddamma and Doddappa were very close friends. A very small world indeed.
I am teaching my mother to take photos from the mobile phone and to use WhatsApp. She is picking up fast. Every morning she takes photos in the garden. She does not see any serials 😊, they bore her. I tell her it is good to learn new things as we grow older.
Yesterday afternoon I went to Asare, home for the mentally challenged. I could not go last week. Life is going on there the same as ever. That evening we went to the park near the temple for a walk. It is very peaceful there. The first week is over. In two weeks we will get the results of the elections. Life will change for many and for many others there will not be any changes. And that is life.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
― Robert Frost
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