With the alarm going off at an ungodly hour this morning, I quickly realized it was Avani Avittam aka Yajur Upakarma. The one day in the year set aside for celebrating the time tested rite of passage for men. A day for renewal and learning. I woke K up and promptly went back to sleep. An hour later resplendent in a veshti/angavastram he woke me up. As he picked up his bag containing the pancha pathram udhrini, plate, rice and fruit, I felt lousy for not having been up earlier. I rushed to smear a finger of oil in my hair parting* before he left home. As I watched his car drive away, I felt remorse.
Rushing through my morning stuff, I entered my kitchen showered and fresh. I set about making lunch. As I made a mental note to make something K likes for the evening, I wondered if I had failed in my wifely duties because I had not made the traditional lunch with vadai payasam or waited at home aarathi plate in hand to welcome the newly anointed K. Shrugging of the defeatist thoughts, I poured my energies into getting his lunch bag ready. On a last minute impulse I stuck a “Welcome” note on the door to make up for the aarathi bit.
Driving into work was a time for reflection. Avani Avittam aside, it is also Raksha Bandan. Having never really celebrated Raksha bandan in its true sense, I sent a mental wish to God to bless my brother with health and happiness. As siblings, we have never been the expressive kind. His show of affection almost always was limited to a gruff “Enna dee?” on his routine phone calls. Mine was translated to packing my love into the food I made for him every time he visited or stocking up on snacks just in case he was hungry. I also pour my love for him into the bond I have with my niece. As I walked to my cube, I realized how the non verbal cues mean so much.
So, K and B even though you already know this, here’s a shout out. I love you both and am very thankful to have you both in my life.
*the oil bit is a hangover from my mom impressing on me over the past three decades never to apply oil and have a shower after hubby leaves home. Guess it is a spillover from the umpteen rituals that follow a person’s death. This is a topic for a whole another post.