2013 highlights: Dasvidaniya Dilli (Post 3)

I have just come back from Delhi (my home-town). But this trip has been different for couple of reasons. For one, I don’t know when or whether I would be making my next trip there. It was more like a winding up trip for me, as we were packing my mother’s stuff. She has finally moved in with me.

It was like experiencing Delhi through a different perspective.

I literally had Golgappas (no..no…not Paani puris) every day of my 10 days stay.

A drank milk in the same steel glass from which I used to drink milk in as a 3 year old till I was in college. I have to mention here that to hold that glass in my hands brought back very old and fond memories of my father. As a child, I was very slow and pathetic at eating anything or drinking milk. Every single day, my father used to hold the very same steel glass with warm milk in it and make me drink milk while he told a new story. Yup, a new story every single day! The glass has now entered my home 🙂

N now wears a gold bangle in each of her hands.What is so special about it, right? What is special is that they are my bangles which my grandfather gifted me during my 28th day naming ceremony. (That’s right, my daughter now wears what I wore as a 1 month old.)

A now has an amazing collection of books on varied topics which my father secretly bought for him before he passed away.

The next time N has to adorn a saree for an annual day or a dance, I don’t have to think twice. She is now a proud owner of her mother’s tiny blouses. (I had worn them when I was around 7-8 years of age for a fancy dress competition.) It comes in two colours too: Green and Red. 🙂

For a change, I did not shop. Okay..just a little bit, actually. Couple of pairs of footwear, that’s it. (Hard to believe right? But it is true. God promise.) But my oh my! My bachchaas…they have received so many clothes from my family members that I think I just might have to change their wardrobe. N does not stop saying ‘So nice dress, Amma’ every time she takes a bath and needs a set of clothes to wear.

A laid eggs. Before you gasp, let me share that it was at Barbeque Nation, where our entire family was out for lunch. The in-house magician made my dear son lay an egg. It was hilarious! It took me back to the innumerable times we used to go for extended family lunches for the smallest and the biggest of the reasons during my growing up years.

How does you leave behind a place which has been your very foundation since birth? How does it feel like selling off a dining table aged about 20 years, a book shelf which is also about the same age, a bed in which I remember studying for my 10th boards exams? It s inexplicable. What is intriguing is that I did not feel all these gamut of emotions when I left Delhi behind after my marriage. Maybe the fact that I know this is a permanent move and there is no looking back, which made it tough.

Honestly, I would say what I felt was minuscule in front of my mother who was leaving Delhi after 58 long years! 58 years – it is not a joke. I could constantly see the pain, the anguish, worry and inability to let go in my mother’s body language. It was as if she was communicating with the all her plants, the non living things in our home, her utensils…everything. Did I mention, I have brought 3 of her lush curry leaves plant to my home. It caught the eye of every person in the airport. A big bag with dark green, fresh leaves peeping out of it. 🙂

I asked my mother how does it feel to leave her entire life behind and join me. She said, “It is difficult, but I am telling myself that it is the start of the next phase of my life.”

I don’t know when I would be meeting my school friends, my chaddi-buddies the next time. I don’t know whether my mother would be meeting her friends and colleagues who have been through thick and thin with her.

I don’t even know how to end this post. Maybe all I can say is:

Dearest Delhi,

You have given me the best of the memories and the biggest of the lessons of my life. You have given me the true Dilli-wala dil. You have gifted me the perfect awesome Hindi, which I yearn to hear and speak in Bangalore. (Sorry Bangalore, you lose here big time!) For all the things I remember and I have forgotten…Thank you.

A 1 inch gecko vs 5’2″ me !!!!

This is my first public proclamation of my fear of lizards. So, please excuse if you find the post disturbing. (Something tells me you will be laughing your @$$ off.) Anyway….

Last evening while I was peacefully having chips, A comes and says coolly, “Amma, see a baby lizard.” And strangely started dancing, while I nearly choked on a small chip and N stood frozen. She was licking honey out of a bowl, but stopped there and then. 
Now, according my husband I have put an extra chromosome in our kids. It is called ‘lizard phobia’ chromosome  I don’t even want to know the official name for it…yikes! But I disagree to agree. Forget about getting scared, A is fascinated by it. I think he is more fascinated by the fact that I get frozen at the sight of a lizard. But, I have to admit that N is my daughter completely when it comes to this topic. She will make the weirdest of the scared faces and while I am busy getting scared, I am sorry to say I want to laugh my gut out looking at her. What her expressions do to A cannot be expressed in words.  
I sincerely wish she gets a husband like mine, who comes as a knight in shining armour to save her from a gecko. M is the official lizard remover of our house. Honestly, he does not have an option. With me shivering and unable to move from a corner, he has to step in to save our home. I have even told him (as a consolation) that every time he removes a lizard, I fall in love with him a wee bit more. 
Coming back to last evening. The next thing I did was the obvious. I don’t know what you are thinking, but what I did was call M. He cut my call (as usual). I called him again and then again. He finally picked up. 
“What is it?”
“Manu, have you started for home? You need to be back home right now!” 
“Why???! Are the kids okay?”
“Yes, they are. (As if I cannot take care of kids) There is a lizard in the house.”
“I am in a meeting. What do you want me to do? Tell my boss that I have a lizard in my house and I need to go back home to drive it out??”
“Yes. You have to. This is an emergency.”
“Is it big?”
“No, it is tiny. Just an inch long.”
“Deal with it. Bye. It is just 5:45. I will be home by 7.”
“What???!!! 7, but…..”
The phone was disconnected. 
I turned dejected wondering what I am going to do now, and I saw A standing with a broom in his hand, waving ferociously at the tiny gecko. By now, it was upside down on the ceiling. It completely freaks me how this creature does this! N, on the other hand had the spoon stuck in her mouth and eyes staring at the lizard without blinking. 
“What on the earth do you think are you doing???!”
“Amma, you don’t worry. I will remove it.”
“You will?” (in a hopelessly ‘save me’ tone)
“Yes” And he was about shove the broom hard on the ceiling. 
“Wait wait! What if it falls down?”
“If it falls, it falls. Then it  might get crushed or even die. Then you can easily put it on a paper and throw it”
“Whaaaaat! No!! Leave the broom right now!”
A shrugged his shoulders and went back to playing a game on the iPad. 
In 5 minutes, the lizard was on the floor. Now it was getting too much. The fighter in me got awakened and I took couple of deep breaths. With a broom and a dust pan in hand, I gently swayed the lizard into the pan and asked A to open the window. I threw it out, shook the pan and broom a hundred times and went back to doubly check the floor and the mat. All clear! Yoo hooo!!!
I finally went to freshen up. When I came out of the room to see what the kids are upto, I saw them reading a book. As I turned, there it was!! 
A tiny head peeping from behind the Buddha painting on the wall. What the #$#$! It cannot be happening! Did I not throw it out?
I again did the obvious.Call M. His ROFL-ing did nothing to my state of mind. 
Usually, a good wife waits with a cup of tea and hot pakoras when the tired husband comes back from work. Here I was standing with a broom and a dust pan. 
M skillfully put the tiny thing on the dust pan and threw it out.
“That poor thing was more scared than you.” M said. 
I didn’t care. I was all puffed up with pride for my darling husband. N did the next best thing. She announced, “Papa…strong boy!”
Yeah, indeed 🙂