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. I write to her a little more about our grandchildren😊
The weather in my place is quite constant as we have only two seasons, summer and monsoon. There are hardly any variations. This thought came to mind because last week we read in the papers that from 19th to 23rd our part of the state and some other part would receive heavy rainfall. But we have been having sunny days with rain in between 😊. It is sunny now but I am seeing dark clouds in the distance.
Yesterday I was talking to my friend, it was her birthday. She was talking about life these days and said with sadness we will live with fear as long as coronavirus is around. We will resume our daily activities but there will be a difference. Unfortunately, it is true. Infection rate is increasing everywhere in my country. In Chennai there is complete lockdown for two weeks. Many places , specially trading centres in Bangalore have decided to close down shops because of the spread of the virus. Our capital, New Delhi is in a bad state. For the first time, two major railway stations, Anand Vihar and Shakur Basti have been transformed into medical facilities for Covid patients. We read about China closing schools in Beijing and restricting air travel from the capital.
As if the virus was not enough, there was firing in China and India borders and many soldiers have been killed. Yesterday we read in the papers that the armed forces have been given full freedom to deal with China. I wonder what is happening everywhere. We are also having border issues with Nepal.
Our everyday life is going on. Today is my mother’s 79th birthday. She lives in Hyderabad with my elder brother. This year she will be coming to our place. She had cancer in 2017 but has recovered now. But it is better if she does not travel. We all have to take care of ourselves. For quite some time she had been wanting to spend time with doddamma, both are very close to each other. But that trip has been getting postponed for some reason or the other.
We went twice for a walk around the lake in our place. It is a rain water harvested lake. Water level is increasing. There are two mounds on the lake bed which have become islands again and are home to many birds. I finished stitching a cross stitch cover for the grinder. I stitched the names of our grandchildren. They were pleased. It looks nice 😊.
I felt very sad to read about the British Council Library being closed in Bangalore. Recently, I came to know that it has closed in Bombay too. I used to go to that library. My thought went back to the two years we had lived in Libya, 1986 to 1988. I had become a member of the British council library there and were allowed to borrow fifteen books at a time. One day we went to the library to learn that it had been closed down. Those were pre-internet days and there was no access to books. Before leaving the place I gave all the books to a friend. But, I kept Trustee from the Toolroom by Nevil Shute. It is one of my favourite books, I don’t know how many times I have read the book over the years. James Michener is also one of my favourite authors. I am read his autobiography, The World is my Home. It is fascinating and I am loving every moment of it.
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
― Jorge Luis Borges