8 Apr 2016


Unassuming. That’s what you will first think of when you see her. She wears pastel-colored churidar sets and carries a maroon-colored handbag everywhere. She does not wear a bindi ever and her hair is always tied in a ponytail or a bun at the base of her neck. When I stayed with her, I tried to get her to tie the ponytail a little higher but it slid sneakily back down after a couple of hours. And I know better than to try to change old habits and comfort dressing. 

She is always obsessing over her sons, trying to get them to wear sweaters and socks during the harsh Delhi winters, always handing them cups of ginger tea as they all sit and watch WWE matches, and worrying about the length of their hair and the size of their tummies. Her little brood.  

When I was packed and ready to leave, she stuck a steel tiffin box in my hand without much ado and stalked off. I thought she had packed dinner for us. But no, she had spent the last hour making pazham pori because I happened to mention a lifetime ago that of all the things Malayalee, banana fritters are what I absolutely love the most. She'd remembered. 

She did something she didn’t have to for someone she didn’t have to care about. I was also part of her brood brigade now.