I leaned over the balcony facing the road and watched the two fathers and three kids disappear around the bend. The image stuck with me for a long time. The sight of my twins holding their chitappa’s hand and my niece holding my husband’s hand as they watched for traffic to slow before they crossed.
If there was one word to describe our three-week sojourn to the land of our birth it was this. Family.
We counted down from a month before. Packed for a week. Cleaned up in a day and traveled 20 odd hours to get there. The trip was non eventful in terms of sightseeing but rich for the memories we created there. There is something very warm about watching your parent share biscuits with your daughters at 6:00 AM in the morning against your better judgement. The sight of the very old and very young soaking up each others love and affection made my maternal heart go aflutter.
Each day we would wake up to the same routine. Steaming coffee, idli, vadai with chutney. The Hindu. Line drying clothes. Lunch on huge steel plates. Walking up and down narrow lanes visiting family and friends. Kids sprawled out on the cool mosaic floor piecing together puzzles or painting or coloring. Ginger tea and snacks plunked in front of the TV. Springy, soft dosas for dinner.
The sameness of the routine was vaguely comforting. The linked hands as the three girls ran around the house heart warming. The clothes strewn over suitcases, the nylon string that ran across the room drying clothes under the fan, the balcony that overlooked tenements. It was the little things that screamed home.
Visiting friends, eating feasts every day, the vacation was over before we knew it. Back home to the silence of the bubble, I sit back ruminating, remembering and wistfully clicking through the pictures of our trip. Each photo tells a story. Recollects a moment frozen in time. Records a milestone. Reminds me to count my blessings.