Share it with me if you like - Friday Reflections
Sheela aunty was once again arguing with the Vegetable vendor, The water tanker had to horn to send the voice to the last house in spite of not a soul in front of him. Shekar Uncle's usual routine of kicking his scooter was more of a habit even when it would start in the second one. The sound of the bells announcing the end of the daily worship when everybody in the household stand around to have their hand waved across the pious fire . These little ( Ok , sometimes big) made my morning , today was different . It was another day of parade , small talks , introductions , show around the house, is there something you want to talk , expectations and the void.
Growing up in a joint family , staying in of one of row houses in the busiest streets in Chennai came with its own pinch of sugar and salt . Not a day went without laughter even after the biggest of fights and also not a day where you have a minute for self . Leave alone the family even the aunty in the last house would know what has been made for all three meals in each of the houses. From the age of 15 , it was my responsibility to serve the morning filter coffee to all in their preferred quantity, time and cups. I must add that coffee is more than a favorite drink to me , it connects me with all, it allows me the time for myself when brewing it and rejuvenates me when I take my first sip. I craved more of this in the recent days as all around me had come to a standstill with my coffee time as well being given to my younger sister . So what did I have to do ? Pick up a Saree every other day ( could be mine, mom's aunt's ,sisters), get ready in a style which would be different from the previous time but have the look of a worthy bride every time .
Today being the another day , It was a red Saree with green border , the green bangles in my hand were making far too much noise rather than Shekar Uncle's scooter or so it seemed. Each one came in to adjust either the neckpiece or the earrings but never forgot to state their agony as well. I understand that it was getting too much as the last 9 alliances had somehow not worked. They never blamed me , only the degrees that I held , the saree I wore , the neighbor's devil eye , sometimes even the time the groom entered the house. The sweets were ready , the chairs were set, all the elders were dressed to the occasion , the little ones were waiting for the guests to come and go ( the sweets were then theirs, you see ) . My elder sister who had arrived yesterday came in to tell me that I would be required to come out in the next 10 minutes . I felt nothing unlike the first time when I just wanted to walk away from this . Yes, every time I met someone , my heart wanted some signal to say this was the one , thankfully none of it worked and my heart was also normal. She reminded me to remove my glasses before I walked out . Doing so dutifully , I walked outside , greeted all with a smile and before I could offer anything , he said , he wanted to speak to me separately. When I walked in to the room with him , I realized that he was the same one whom I have seen many times at the shop down the road .
He requested if I could make him a cup of coffee ( Coffee was served outside) as he had heard it from many in the street about the coffee I made( I told you, nothing remained a secret ) . I actually found myself feeling a sense of freedom and relief , I went in to the kitchen and by the time I had finished making it , I had all the women in my house telling me what else I could have done . I didn't mind the noise , picked up that yellow and white cup , poured the steaming hot filter coffee for 2 and went in again. We would have hardly interacted for 5 minutes by which time my parents felt this was stretching a little bit .
With no expectations , just feeling happy , I walked back into the room to escape from all of the usual expected questions and What I saw their changed my life forever . Next to the cup of my half finished coffee , was the Diary Milk Silk Caramel chocolate which I purchased every time I went to the shop. There was also a note under my glasses "Your coffee time is yours, never leave it unfinished for anyone , not even me ! and yes that chocolate is the only thing I could catch a glimpse of you asking for every time I saw you there, we could share it if you like ". After all I thought arranged marriages are made in heaven!