The weekend has started on a very yellow note, very early in the morning. Getting up at 4am and witnessing dawn is Early for me. My father would faint (with delight) if he saw such changes in a daughter who has always nursed a penchant for sleeping like Kumbhakarna. Who might you ask, with that frown? K is a rakshasa straight out of the Indian epic Ramayana. If you have not heard of it, it is a saga that runs through the ream of bedtime stories reserved for every Indian child. A rakshasa is a man-eater. What I have in common with K, I am relieved to say, is just a passion for sleep. He used to shut eye for 6 months at a stretch – nothing could rouse him and the legend will have you know that his snores could send tremors through the belly of the earth. When he did wake up, K would devour every living creature within his line of vision.
Post sessions of heavy partying on Saturday nights in Delhi, I would wake up on Sunday well past midday. Now I was the only young individual in an old building with a peeling facade where apart from my old landlady and her husband, the other occupants were a family of three. They meant well. Only they colluded with my parents (when they would visit me from Calcutta) to get me married off. A girl in her mid-20s living on her own and single is the neighbour’s alarm. The wife from that family would often bang on my door to deliver the food she had cooked (which was extremely sweet, but a bit of a test to attend to by a person with a ferocious hangover every weekend). This was followed inevitably by the incessant banging on the door from the help. She indulged in it with as impressive a ferocity as the hangover and, Saroja, I am convinced, quite enjoyed the routine. So there I was, your quintessential Kumbhakarna.
That is but the long and short of it (you can hurl choice pieces of abuse at me for digressing at leisure – let me know what they might be because why I do not mind extending my vocabulary).
Back to my lush surroundings in the Cornish wooded valley of Lostwithiel, where we are staying for the long weekend with a few extra days bunged in, I stood with my back to the door. I was busy loading up the fridge with a monstrous haul of groceries when a huff and a puff and a simultaneous patter on the flagstone floor of the kitchen startled me into a low scream and I almost felt over. Picture this: I had just entered a byre – old English for cowshed – which has been converted into a detached accommodation by a former dairy farmer and his wife. If I had fallen over, who would have been in serious need of attention? A belly-rub-sick border collie called Meg.
She turned over. I decided to do what I do when a four-legged girl does that. Give her vigorous belly rubs. The rubs had to be administered till she had stopped whining and cooing, ‘Ooh yeah, I think that should do it.’
A bit abrupt but the succulent chicken kebabs barbecued by Adi have just arrived on the table and I think I shall have to abandon this incessant chatter. Bless Adi for saving you from all of that. Well, it does taste smoky and spicy, so with haste I shall leave you with these images and wait to hear about how your weekend is going.
Till tomorrow then, toodles.