Subha Manoj

While I Was Away

Subha Manoj

F for Family

I usually don’t watch soaps. It is too lingering for an
impatient person like me. But the last week, a combination of late working
husband + kids hitting the sack + all my friends ditched me by not answering my
calls + a rare mood of not wanting to read, made me switch on the TV. Cruising
through channel after channel, I stumped upon a particularly lovely scene in
the recent addition to Star World’s soaps: Packed to the Rafters. And sighhh…I
have been hooked since then.
It is a perfect blend of all that a family does for a
person. After a day full of A – Z activities, watching something so warm is
like soaking oneself in a little more than lukewarm mix of water, essential
oils and bubble bath. Aaah, don’t forget the scented candles. Yup, it is that
If someone asks me what is that one thing which I want to
see when I am back after a tiring whole day out, my only answer is: “Not
coming back to an empty home.” For many, it is a wish come true. But for me,
nah. I like to listen to the kids playing, some music playing, and someone to
talk to about my day…and ofcourse a neat home is definitely a perk. I had asked
the same question to my husband also. And to my delight, he also said that he
likes to see a full house when he is back from work. So, there is something
about having family there to greet you with a smile, or a hug or ‘Yayy…Amma is
If I had to pen down my favourite family moments I can
think of during my growing up years, here they are:
  • Coming back from school to hot lunch and Ammumma waiting
    with the same question every single day, “So what happened in school today?”
    And she would skip her siesta and sit with me listen to my unending blabbering.
  • Onam and Vishu: All the extended family would get together
    and have the typical Sadhya, payasam and a Malayalam movie thereafter.
  • On the Saturdays I had school, coming back to see my parents at
    home. (They used to work.)
  • The passing of chicken leg piece from the plate of whichever
    family member to me. ‘Coz I loved having a chicken leg.
  • The occasional movie watching with the whole family. I
    remember coming back home from school one day to everyone waiting for me with
    tickets to Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.
  • The family ritual of watching Republic Day parade on TV
    every single year.
  • Eating groundnuts on a sunny afternoon on the terrace during
    chilly months of Delhi.
  • Buying hot grilled corncobs and breaking it into half and
    eating it with everyone. No-one had a whole…only half. (I don’t know why?)
  • The treat of Choco-bar ice-cream and orange lollies during
    summers under the cool waves coming out of water coolers.
  • The card game after every family lunch on special occasions.
    (And I crying every time I lost!)
  • Hot oil massages by my aunt. She can beat a 1000 bucks head
    spa anytime.
  • The first family car we bought. A black Ambassador.  It was a monster and we all loved it.
  • The last point I can think of is best depicted by this pic
Let me explain. Back then digital cameras never existed. But every occasion asked for an entire camera roll getting exhausted. The best part was not getting clicked. It was after that. When the pictures came developed from the studio, we had the best of the laughs. Someone’s head would be out of the frame, someone’s eye would be closed, some would be adjusting their dress….oh! 😀

Family is like that teaspoon of ghee which you put in a hot bowl of dal and rice. Now, you get it right? …I know J

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