‘How do you spend your time here?’
Some of my friends in India, who comes to USA on a holiday, ask me, within a few days, ‘how do you manage to spend your time here?’ They have a point. Neighbors here, don’t come home for a ‘chai par charcha’ in the evenings or we don’t entertain them when we meet on the street corner imitating cat calls of the Upper House or the ‘tushum tushum of the Lower House of the Parliament.
We also miss the fun of bargaining with the vegetable vendor who comes to our gates and invite us to come down, by his standard sweet yelling, which many times we wait for. We can’t with or without a banian, carrying a shoulder bag, go to the corner shop, chat with the owner, assistant and other customers for a full hour and return with a few packets wrapped in newspaper, with the satisfaction that we made a great sacrifice for the family.
We can’t, after bath, come out barren chested and spread the wet clothes for drying on the rope tied in the front balcony or back trees of our house, moving the cloth up and down and making sound big enough to reach the kitchen, to announce the great work we did.
While driving we can’t shout at the two legged and four legged friends crossing our way, magically appearing from all sides barring the top, nor escape the cop for a driving lapse, by parting with a chai or biryani paisa.
All these funs I too miss here. But I love living here as my outer world and inner world are here. Without any disrespect or ungratefulness to my ‘Anantha Jyothi’ in Hyderabad, I can say that now, my home is where my children live with their spouses and kids. They take care of me, looking into even minute needs, ensuring that I don’t miss anything in life. More over, my nephews and their spouses who are here, too shower all the affection and care on me.
My inner world are my writing, reading, singing, musing, dreaming, Nature study etc. They are with me through out, with the result, I have no spare time for nagging or disturbing the peace my daughter or daughters -in-laws, sons or son in law. With the constant company of my inner companions, I never felt lonely, though I have been alone barring the company of my younger brother, most of the past several years.
I am not very traditional in my thinking or ways of living. I’m flexible, don’t insist on a specific way of living. I enjoy any food prepared at home as well as in Mexico, French, Italy, Japan or Chinese kitchen, where my children take me to.
I don’t ask them, what they do, why they do and don’t tell them what they should not do on a subject where my knowledge is zero or abysmally below theirs. This lesson , I learned from my wife. I used to receive several phone calls, even at odd times, but she never raised her eyebrows wondering who could be on the other side.
I don’t shout at my grand children but shout along with them, making them ashamed of their pitch.
I still, would like to go back to India to spend sometime there attending to my personal works and also touring places to meet my friends and relatives, which include the gods, throughout the length and breadth of the country.
The country we live in is sweet, if our homes are sweet.
Homes are sweet, if we are sweet.
We are sweet, if our wives are sweet.
Wives are sweet if they don’t question us about the odd time phone calls!
Keep the wives sweet, wherever you are!