My weekly Slice of Life are my letters to my Doddamma. She is my father’s elder brother’s wife. Doddamma literally means ‘elder mother’. She is 88 years old. She cannot hear properly if I telephone to talk to her. So, I have been writing letters to her since October 2017. I enjoy writing letters and she is happy to read them. They are only about the everyday moments in my life. Since last week I am sending my letters by e mail to my cousin’s wife. She is reading them to my Doddamma. We are at home and cannot go to the post office to post the letters.
I am not writing about the pandemic in my letters to my doddamma but only about what is happening in our lives. In spite of being indoors all the time, I find there is plenty to write😊.
Today we read in the papers that asymptomatic conditions in people is worrying the medical world here. People are infected but they do not have any of the symptoms!! And the virus is having different effects on different people, there is no hard and fast rule about how people will react. Just thinking of countless people suffering all over the world makes us question so many things. It is not only the poor who are suffering, there are so many suffering mentally. Today we read about a man killing his differently abled son who was not ready to wear a mask. That man’s wife has been bedridden for years. He was not well off. He surrendered to the police. I wonder what will happen to his wife. Then we read about politicians playing politics while distributing food to the poor. One wonders about such people ! All over the world there are such politicians. A pizza delivery boy did not know he had the virus and when he was tested positive, more than seventy two families went into quarantine. The list goes on.
But fortunately, there are so many silver linings in today’s world. They give us hope.
Helpusgreen is an association that is making incense sticks from old flowers in temples and mosques. They are asking farmers who are growing flowers not to destroy them due to lack of market but dry and store them. They will be bought later.
The government has arranged for trucks for the farmers to transport their produce. And there are so many people everywhere who are helping the needy and other animals in distress. One person said, ‘what is the point of him being healthy if he cannot go out and help those in distress.’ And life goes on.
Coming back to everyday life, I saw tree pies coming in the afternoons to eat the pieces of chapati. They are coming after a long time. A peasant crow keeps hopping about in our garden.
On Saturday evening we had a book club meeting on Zoom. We were seeing other after quite some time. We enjoyed ourselves. Our neighbour gave us ripe jackfruit from her garden. They were very sweet. Another neighbour gave us wild mangoes. This season we are not seeing many mangoes. These cannot be sliced but have to be sucked. I like to make rasam with them. I love this dish.
I completed stitching the salwar kameez for myself. I had started it a few weeks ago. I got the material from Amritsar. I love stitching my clothes. There is something so satisfying about creating something. The weather has become very hot. The room where I have kept my machine faces west. These days I can stitch only in the mornings. In the afternoons there is sunlight streaming into the room and it becomes too hot for comfort.
We are waiting for the monsoons. Last year it started in July, a month late. Then we thought nothing could be worse than delayed rain and this year showed us how wrong we were in our thinking ☹.
We are watering our plants on alternate days and walking every day in our garden. These everyday moments give us hope.
Birds chirping in the trees: the happy sound of freedom.
~Terri Guillemets, “Cageless,” 1994
( wild flowers in our yard )