Good morning! Last night wasn’t too bad as I immediately called dibs on the long section of the couch last night, so I didn’t sleep on the floor. Rise and Shine before 7am!
The ladies were already awake making breakfast in the kitchen or preparing for the day with showers or feeding the small children homemade baby food. This family creates everything from scratch and utilizes space and materials. Indians are resourceful. After a lady showered, she came over near the place I was sitting, turned on the ceiling fan, and used it as a blow dryer. I never thought of that! As it was nearing my time to shower, I had seen a shower head in the bathroom and a smile appeared. Arthi told me the shower head works and taught me how to use the hot water. My first thought ‘I’ll be taking my first hot shower side leaving the states’. Well, the water was warm, but the shower head drizzled
For breakfast, I ate 3 dosa & that filled me up. However, they informed me that 3 wasn’t enough and 5 was the normal. Really, though, I couldn’t eat any more! One of the ladies commented to me this morning “you didn’t eat right yesterday”.
As breakfast was finishing up, conversations were in Tamil (language) as I just sat back and relaxed, not understanding what was going on- just enjoying the experience.
The ladies continues on with the cooking and the cleaning. They started to prepare for lunch. The children were all playing together with an occasional disagreement and running to mommy!
Biriyani for lunch. I remember it being good, but I didn’t eat much. the majority of the day was lounging around the house with the ladies cooking and the guys out of the house. Honestly, I probably fell asleep on the couch at some point. I tried to ask multiple times if I could help, but the answer was always No! At one point, I was scolded for helping clean up one of the child’s messes. This morning, I discreetly gathered the pillows and folded the blankets, but immediately dropped them when one of the ladies entered the room. At one point, the children had puff rice all over the floor. I started to scoop it up and take it to he rubbish, and the mother of the house scolded me. Guess what I did instead? I ‘played’ dump truck with Arush (Arthi’s 6 month old son). We filled the dump truck full of rice puff, drive it over to the rubbish bin, and dumped the rice out. He giggled and chuckled with smiles in his face & I wasn’t scolded!
We – the entire family:children, moms, dads. aunts, uncles and friends- piled into cars and headed over to dad’s home village. We went to a street vendor – it’s was Malathi’s mother. we took pics with g’ma, dad, Malathi, and myself in front of the shop. Malathi’s mother also toured me around we house, which was connected to the shop. The store room for the shop was located just behind the shop (technically inside the house). Across the street and down two houses was dad’s mother. We all gathered at her house. we also snapped lots of pictures. Ravi (Malathi’s husband) wanted a ‘California’ pose with me, so I taught him to ‘surf’. We took pictures as though we were surfing. As I always wear my sunglasses, they fell off my head as we were ‘surfing’. We then put he sunglasses on Ravi and snapped more pictures! Everyone laughed- big belly laughs! Throughout the time we were snapping pictures, many more people arrived at the house. They continued to introduce me to different people and we snapped more pictures. At one point, we ended up dancing to Indian music. The entire crowd was dancing!
After the dancing and the visiting and the laughing and the snapping of many pictures, we piled into the cars. Fourteen of us piled into two small five seater cars. Remember from day 1 in India: the driving laws are recommendations, not enforced laws. We drove out to Sumathi’s farmhouse. The last 5 km of the drive was on a bumpy, unpacked dirt road. We entered beautiful gates into a long row of coconut and palm trees followed by rows of banana and more coconut trees. The road ended at the small house, a well on the left with cows behind. The servants who ran the farm took us out to the coconut and banana trees where we chopped down coconuts and bananas. They also gave me some tools and taught me how to tend to the land. We chopped open the coconuts, drank the coconut water inside, then sliced the coconut in half and scooped out and ate the tender coconut from the inside. Let’s talk about fresh fruit!!!!
After we had our full of coconut, one of the other servants went out to milk the cow. They offered me milk! I drank and was surprised to taste sweet. I commented on the sweetness, and Sumathi told me they added sugar. Delicious milk & fresh!
After milk and coconut feast, we jumped into the water. It was an 8x8x8 block filled with water! Many of the ladies and some of the guys and all of the children splashes around. We laughed, splashes, and enjoyed cooling off in this heat.
Dinner arrived! Another family in another car with more friends came to join us for a feast, a campfire, and more dancing. We had idly, parotta, and eggs! Yes, hard boiled eggs. Don’t forget the rice – that was there! oh did I mention, they served me fresh milk – straight from the cow – without the sugar.
We started a campfire and danced around it! They dressed me in a sari and taught me to dance while we enjoyed the campfire and each other’s company. We danced and sang and acted silly.
At some point we left the farm and returned to Arthi’s place between 11 and midnight when I promptly fell asleep on the ‘bed’.