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 89 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 saw the postman only twice recently. Last time he told me only registered letters are being delivered.
We are in the 4th stage of the lockdown. The state government is going to decide the steps to be followed in the easing of the lockdown. Many people from abroad are returning. At the same time Covid cases are increasing. Yes, we will just have to learn to live with the virus. We have to take care, not only for ourselves but for others too.
Last week we have had heavy rains on three days, along thunder and lightning. The weather has cooled down a little. The leaves are looking greener now, with all the dust washed away. They must be breathing more easily now😊. These rans are due to depressions in the Bay of Bengal. A cyclone is expected in the East coast of our country. A relative in Kolkota was saying, ‘the corona was not enough !! now a cyclone.’
My husband and his brother have to be within our compound walls till this Friday. My husband is plucking the star apples and cutting and keeping them in the refrigerator. It feels wonderful to eat them after returning from a walk. They are very juicy. Our neighbour gave us a pineapple from their garden. It is looking good.
I have re-started the cross-stitch design which I had started quite some time ago. I am making it as a cover for the TV. While stitching I listen to the stories of Sherlock Holmes on Audibles. They are as fascinating now as they were years ago. I remember my maternal grandfather reading these stories. I have his books with me. He said to my father that he wanted to read some English books. My father suggested these books. I remember him reading with a dictionary and a notebook, writing all the words and their meanings 😊.
On the 14th I made sesame ‘chikki’. It is a sweet made with black sesame and jaggery. It came out very well. We also made beaten rice mixture. It is a dry snack made with beaten rice, groundnuts and other ingredients. I have been noticing that many of us are preparing dishes and snacks at home due to the lockdown. I don’t know whether we will continue to do so in the future. I feel I will continue to prepare at home many of the things that I have prepared in the last two months. Even if I forget, I will remember these days. Aravinda has retinitis pigmentosa from birth. During the lockdown period he decided that he must learn basic cooking. He is enjoying the experience. From today he has started going to college. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages of our University.
Aravinda and I had started reading Walking with Nanak by Haroon Khalid more than a month ago. We finished it two days ago. We have now started Danube by Claudio Magris. Some books have to be read aloud.
It is already mid-May. Looking back the last two months seem strangely unreal. Were we really inside all those days? How will we look back on these days after some time? I think it is better to take each day as it comes.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring