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Her Gift: A tease of a Lens

Small talks and bigger matters

INDIA | Thursday, 15 May 2014 | Views [102] | Scholarship Entry

She was short and black with oily black hair except for a few white strands-not the desirable kind I was used to. I remember someone say that she was my only of my mother’s age but I can never agree on that. Nevertheless she was much more interesting. She taught me songs that must be sung in order to not feel the weight of the full pail while drawing it from the well. She took me out to the fields when she had to cut grass for the cows and also to see elephants that had come to the neighborhood houses to clear the ‘dangerous’ wood before monsoon. She even let me wear her colorful bindis. She had quite a tensile spring on her heels and didn’t spare the calf or me from the boulder hedges. She told me stories of Persian (which by the way is the old name for Dubai) ants which were poisonous and the healing power of Persian perfumes. She called the Calf Babloo and took care of it like her son.
She might not have been the ideal domestic help to my granny and used to often get reprimanded when my pale skin gave away the population of insects in the places we had been. But she did hava a solution to evil eyes and insects (burning the end of one’s hair and coconut oil respectively). She might have been and will continue to remain just another Jane down the road. But to someone she gifted a new Lens.

Living in Mumbai, one of the most modern and fastest cities in India it’s not a rare sight find people who find it difficult to adjust to the slow life of a familial village or small town even for the few days they go for once in a blue moon. Very often you find these prodigies unforgiving and abusive of the different ways of life. The reason being, what I infer, the inability to connect to the environment there. The way you look at a place is definitely going to be determined by the people you meet there as they are the ones that induct you into that surrounding. I do not undervalue the induction that my ancestry has given me, but my perception of that world would definitely be something less if not for Remani. The reason why I strive to end up in my maternal house in Kerala every summer is to not miss out on a human interaction that no metropolis or serene resort can ever replicate.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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