Monday, May 24, 2010

Extreme Makeover

Mammi isn't one to pass up an opportunity for a home makeover. When she saw our place crawling with critters and dusty cobwebs she re-organized, swept, and brushed with the vigor and zeal only an expert-homemaker can muster. Thus began our version of spring cleaning- Kheda style.

Equipped with a bucket of light blue whitewash and one paintbrush Nikhil and I swathed the bumpy walls with color. It took the majority of the day; either one of us painting from 9:30 am to 6 pm, save for lunch hour. Ma cleaned every crevice and busted the homes of lizards using a trusty hard-bristled broom. As we painted she prepared a delicious breakfast of aaloo parathas. Lunch consisted of brinjal and potato sabji with some leftover parathas. I relished her meals, knowing they can't be recreated through our fumbling efforts.

Our 'before' collection of spices was a minimalistic salt, pepper, sugar, and turmeric. Our 'after' spice shelf included cumin seeds (jeera), cardamom, ajwain, and garam masala. These additions don't include a multitude of American goodies such as chewy granola bars and Kashi cereal. I've already finished my share of cereal bars - the temptation was too great.

Confession: I'm being spoilt. In the morning I woke up to find a neat, folded stack of my clothes waiting on the charpai. The room was swept, the almonds soaked, and Ma was doing yoga. It was only 6:30 am.

I have my moments of frustration. Like Ma using two buckets for bathing instead of one. Or not washing dishes immediately. But then I tell myself she's used to a certain way of life. It took us 2.5 months to develop our day-to-day systems for conserving water or using the fewest utensils possible.

Already, I overhead Ma using a few Mewadi words when conversing with the locals. Even though she's been here only three days Ma is adjusting quickly and gifting us a culinary heaven. I won't be surprised if Nikhil and I gain a few kilos over the course of her stay.

The Beginning

The End

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