Bundle of joy
A week ago I received the three covers, dandily packed and cellophane taped. They carried the redolence of amma’s hands and the warmth of Chennai house. It contained the carefully chosen perky Patiala skirts, two jeans from the very own Lee shop at Pondy Bazaar and not to forget the sealed boxes of home made, ghee emanating sweets, rarified ‘chakka varati’ (jackfruit jam) and my favorite murrukkus from Krishna sweets at Adayar.
This was one among the many bundles I have received from home in the past two years. That moment of turning into a five year old holding those doled out packages is an inexplicable bliss of its own. It may be difficult to comprehend the feeling as one of nostalgia or maudlin or happiness; but all of it in one sheer moment. I gladly undid the parcel, gathering the niceties inside, realizing how unknowingly dormant that part of me was, which ached to be a daughter and pampered.
Being the much hyped “Only Child” of the family of three, I had my share of being coddled and protected; not just by parents but for being youngest in family circles as well. I still recall the night, when eight year old veena akka was scolded for venturing into my space of the bed, spread in the long hall of grandpa’s adobe. I, the cocker-ed five years old, pretended to be asleep and willingly rolled over to her side sauntering all over her, giving her a hard time.
When I had weaned off being the wicked spoilt brat, I was still fussed around as a teenager and loved unremittingly. Somehow, I had till date remained the divu all my life. It made me wonder if I had grown up, without appa and amma by my side and if only I could be their bundle of joy forever. I uncannily remember the elaborate arguments, when amma refused to let me cycle to school alone at thirteen, unless accompanied by a friend who would have to come over to my gate n pick me up.
Though the wiles of her shielding nature were pertinent, it was only after living seven seas away did I know that my contestations of “When will you ever let me be independent?” were not easy for her to grant, since she possessed more gray hair to know that living life is not easy. Ironically, I was brought up to believe in myself and urged to attain independence; but not of the foolhardy nature I was asking for.
It brings to my mind the incident of an equally cosseted cousin, who had made the much unanticipated STD call from his hostel room complaining “Amma, there is no mug in the bathroom. What should I do?” And today standing thirty something he is turning a dad himself! These little episodes make me believe that even the most grown-up adult still lives in the womb, wanting to be the child. And contradicting, there is no such thing as a grown-up; you are always a child to somebody all your life.
I copiously grab the home-made ribbon pakodas, munching down the sweetness of amma’s love wrapped in them, smiling to be the daughter which is the priceless gift of all times!