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Pitchumani and his non vadama wife – Chapter 07

Meera prepared food, mostly north Indian dishes and served. She, then helped Liz to dress up in Indian style, with sari, pottu and bangles and when we were about to start, Meera asked us to relax for some more time, picked up the car key and went out with athai. I could guess that they have made a pilot trip to give their impression about Elizabeth and also inform Seshus that Pitchu was yet to marry and the children were not theirs. This was to create a conducive climate  before Elizabeth reaches there. Amazing girl !
Meera returned after an hour when I was about to start with my guests, Alamumami’s called Meera.
” Perias, I am going to drop Pitch and Liz in mama’s house.”
“Not without me”
“Yes, without you.”
“Okey, then do one thing. Leave the car with Pitchu and you take an auto to return.”I said, “pitchu, you can keep the car till you return to U.S. Hope you have not forgotten the road rules here and your Indian license is  still valid ”
I miss many things on the U.S.A roads though they are wide, even and decently demarcated :
Buffaloes, traffic constables, beggars and above all human beings. Except in cities like New York or Washington DC, no people are found on the roads,leave away the highways, even on the suburban roads.
Though you are not sure of returning home safely in Indian roads, there is a thrill in driving, expecting someone to jump before your vehicle, from any direction other than above. Here, I long to see, a marriage procession, with the bride groom on a horse, men, women and children in colourful dresses dancing on the roads accompanied by the band musicians, least worried about the traffic jams caused by the procession; I long to hear the sound of horn at least from one vehicle when thousands of them are plying in lines, one after the other, in high speed; I long to see a temple procession with women, clad in their best, carrying decorated mud pots filled with water and topped with a bunch of neem leaves followed by a Potharaju, whipping his back with a big coir rope and making noises; I long to see  bullocks dragging the carts behind, moving absolutely unconcerned about other vehicles, but in straight line and to the correct destination, though the driver will enjoy a good sleep till the destination is reached.
Not even a street dog, cow or even a crow !
When Meera took them to Seshumama’s house, I felt that my importance was snatched by her. Let her come back.
Even after half an hour of her return, Meera didn’t tell me the reason for her neglecting me and therefore, I casually remarked,
” Meera, it is good that you spared me the trouble of dropping my guests to their house.I could clear my table” I remarked concealing my anger with an untimely smile.
Chiding me for getting annoyed, she explained the reason:
In Seshumama’s house, womenfolk keep away from the pooja room, kitchen and main hall during their monthly periods and Alamumami wanted Meera to verify from Elizabeth that she was not presently under such restriction !!
” Could you have ascertained it from Liz or could I in your presence ? ” She asked, showing a V sign.
I couldn’t visit ‘Seshadri Nilayam’ for the next couple of days. However, I learned from Meera, that Pitch and Elizabeth received a very cordial welcome.
Mami and her elder daughter Lakshmi, received them with ‘harath’y and Seshumama, collected the two dollar coins dropped in the arathi vessel by his son and instead, handed over two, one rupee coins to his wife and daughter. Coins are coins .
Mama , who seldom wears shirt while at home, was seen with a colour T- shirt, gifted by his son sometime ago and mami, wore one of her best Kanchi sarees, bought for her wedding. Athai was in her usual starched and pressed bright white dress and children all were also in their bests. Mama and mami became very emotional and with moist eyes, went inside, in two different directions. When they returned, Athai had already served coffee and some snacks. Elizabeth was, contrary to expectation, quite comfortable, whereas, Pitchu was a bit uneasy with the dust here and there.
” Three days are over since Pitchu and Liz arrived, but you have not even started making arrangements for their wedding”, Meera reminded me, when I was enjoying my morning coffee, on the terrace of my house.
“Bhagyavantham prasooyeda”, Kunthi blessed Draupathy, when she came to take her blessings; nothing unusual about it. But the next few words are unforgettable. ” Ma sooram, ma cha panditham”.
“May you be blessed with a lucky son, but not a brave or scholarly one”. The agony of a mother blessed with children of extreme valour and wisdom, but living in misfortune and misery cannot be said in a better way”
I continued with my high voltage assault on the unprepared Meera .
“I have often heard mothers saying that their children should become Einstein or Bill Gate. I tell them to pray for a normal healthy child without any mental or physical disorders, with a strong but kind heart and plenty of luck.
“I used to preside over the meetings of the parents of the mentally disabled children and some of them used to express their fear that, after their passing away, there were none to look after their unfortunate son or daughter and therefore they wished that those children per-decease them “. I continued .
“I am sure that my grand mother would have blessed her daughter in law, as Kunthi did, and that is why I am born as a lucky guy to have a friend like you, Meera’
” Mera thamak karaabh kardiya, aap. subhe, subhe- you have spoiled my moods in the morning” Meera chided and exhorted, “why don’t you go and see what is happening in SN, instead of torturing me with your monotonous monologue ?”
I was about to take my vehicle when my friend Dr. Chalpathy Rao came in parking his vehicle on the front.
Some are serious as if the burden of governing the entire universe is on their shoulders and some, despite heavy responsibilities behave  as if they have come to this world for a holiday and every day is a holiday for them. Dr. Rao belongs to the latter category. He is a respected cardiac surgeon in the city. His patients’ hearts are as dear to him as his own and he dwells in their heart almost as an integral part.
” There is a nest hanging from the ‘nimbu chettu’, near the well,” he remarked, tasting the red wine handed over by Meera, ” ask the kids who play around not to destroy it ”
I had never noticed that nest hanging from a lemon plant in a corner.
We don’t often observe the changes taking place in our garden or even in our own body or in our behavior, unless others point out.

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