6 am: Another beautiful morning. I step outside to find the cloud-fleckered sky incandescent, the sunlight muted by the brushstrokes of white. On my way to the fields for morning duties Narabda Bai calls out. "Have a cup of chai!". I tell her I don't drink tea, but this lady doesn't take no for an answer. So I return a few minutes later, sipping her piping hot, very sweet chai.
7 am: The sun is coming out now. It looked like it was going to rain last night, when the lightning was putting on quite a show. Sadly, our veranda looks dry. In a few hours, the temperature will rise significantly. For now, we enjoy the cool weather while it lasts.
8 am: Chatting with Ma and reading the e-version of the Hindu newspaper while cooking daliya. Multi-tasking at its finest. More often now, the daliya spurts out from the whistle of the pressure cooker. In two days, we'll be leaving this pressure cooker along with many other of our six-month old belongings here.
9 am: Let the studying begin. Logical Reasoning problems, NCERT maths, general knowledge from Manorama yearbook and vocabulary. I change the order of studying to mix things up. Occasionally we eat a snack- a packet of Parle-Gs or home-roasted corn-on-the-cob. Before I know it, it's already 4 pm. Time for lunch.
6 pm: Lunch is finally made. Nikhil makes sabji, I work on the rotis. Sometimes we alternate. The weather is pleasant again. Cloud cover has lessened the heat, although it seems the unrelenting flies have made annoying me their life's purpose. For the time being, I enjoy the 2 hours before darkness by reading or learning more fancy words...like 'lugubrious'. C'mon now, who uses 'lugubrious' to mean 'exaggeratedly mournful'?
8 pm: It's dark. And our day is pretty much over. We could turn on the light bulb, but that would mean our veranda would be invaded by thousands of little pillbugs that give off a horrid stink. Those and 2 inch long grasshoppers. The geckos that live on our walls have fattened up because of all the insects that come out at night. Hence, the light stays off. The end.