Jumblicious. How does that sound for a headline? Hurried and rushed and slapped together without much thought? Yes? Now imagine living in it. In a (crash) course of 40 days I have realized that I am indeed the human version of a pampered house plant. You disturb my surrounding and I’ll question you about the sunlight, water, ph level of the soil, the brand of vermicompost and then in the comfort of my new home (swanky as it may be) – droop. And droop hard till my head touches the bloody ground. The two phases of denial and anger had merged into one big dark mass within and turned me into an agent of pure ‘ghyan ghyan’ and it set as quickly as strong glue. As suddenly as lightning.
Ghyan-Ghyan is unique
There is no English alternative for ghyan ghyan. However if I were to try, “techiness” would be the closest word. I’ll still be loosely describing it. Tiredness and disappointment mixed with some amount of grief turns one into a termagant and there is nothing you can do to get rid of it as instantly. Oh my God! I have not enjoyed this at all and thankfully acceptance flowed in soon or maybe its that one great night out with friends and a legendary band on stage that kind of eased it down.
But you cannot blame me
No house-help, lots of work piled on, kitchen sink overflowing on me for no reason, and a sizeable number of really bad house helps- one of whom actually managed to cook a very bitter curry just put me over the edge. I had pramila for so many years and this was just too ridiculous that someone who earns her living as a cook won’t know the basics of garam masala. No, don’t patronize. If I am paid for a service, I am expected to do justice to it regardless of the social and economic strata I belong to.
Then one of them, in a day when I needed her the most, told me she wont turn up because someone’s child got lost, and to find an alternative. Now that shit is serious. I call up everyone I know and ask for help. Find one. She turns up two days later saying, we got the kid and she will be working from that day onwards! What is this? A joke?
I asked the lot of you on my instagram for help too and some of you gave some solid advice which i have- thankfully- adapted to. That basic paste is a game changer.
And yet, lunch comes from a lunch house to our home because I do not get time to cook in the mornings. I took a bit of time to warm up to the idea but the food is so clean and so tasty, I love it. Dinners have been at home and I take utmost pleasure in cooking it!
From a set routine to this- it took me a while to wrap my head around it all!
And in between I think of mom and how effortlessly she cooked everyday
Last April, on the 11th, on a video call I heard my mom’s passing away. Delta had wrecked havoc in our lives by then and tests were delayed and we couldn’t make it to her funeral. I remember the exact words, the exact tone, the last conversation I had with her in the morning, her very feeble voice, then the nurse’s voice and me falling down on the floor. Then seeing her go decked in flowers…and bidding us goodbye forever. I saw her ashes, and I remember how I felt that that’s all that we truly leave behind. Dust to dust and ashes to ashes shall we return. It felt like one side of my heart had eroded away so quickly, so swiftly that there is now a gaping hole inside- the intensity of which I am yet to feel. Your body, in shock, cannot fathom pain.
In the middle of this great migration, grief found its place too. I was putting the washing load and shedding tears and I don’t know which emotion had manifested. Grief or ghyanghyan or nostalgia.
And then some people found it very convenient to follow up for the deliverables. Not their fault but man was I totally out of touch. That itself was painful because I am rarely out of touch with decor and design.
This was not home. Inside out.
But then there was tea, love, flower and bread
I think I started falling in love with this house as recently as last Monday. I generally wake up early because my children wakes me up at 5:30 and then I make a cup of coffee. Or tea. Then I sit alone in the living room and look at the creek. The flamingos come to feast on fish, small boats go about their business, a very soft wind blows from the living room through to my studio space creating the most epic cooler-like cross ventilation. Most days, this time of the day, as I look out of the window, I feel a rising melancholia in my chest. A lump in my throat. I voluntarily travel the labyrinths of time and relive small happy memories. Then voluntarily miss them.
8 years is a lot of years to not feel a thing.
But then, something strange happned.
Last monday I looked out of the window, routinely, and felt blessed. I felt calm; like a thin sediment of sand has settled over a tumultuous river bank. For the first time I wondered if many people get to see flamingos from their house or boats for that matter! I finally have a studio, I found a great house help, I found an electrician who is as good as Sahil (massive plus), deliverables are going out. There was suddenly a sense of belonging, a sense of settling down and it came as quickly as those jolts of melancholia. Why, what triggered it, how…I have no idea.
Suddenly I look around me and I tell myself, home. I make a nice bread, order stuff from IKEA and jot down the lights I need to add. Suddenly, out of the blue, it was my house. Yet again.