I have been at home for the last five weeks. I fell ill and was diagnosed with jaundice. The first week or so, I was on bed rest and that part was awful. I threw up a lot, couldn't bear to look at food, lost weight rapidly, and itched all over besides looking like a bride who had forgotten to wash off the turmeric over her body after the haldi ceremony!
But these weeks at home (a rare, rare thing. Actually, this is the first time that I have been at home for so long, doing, as they say, nothing!) gave me some simple pleasures and how I loved them. Today, I was writing my diary and I listed them down.
1. Sleeping in the afternoon after spending a leisurely hour at the dining table relishing a home made meal with my parents.
2. Watering the plants in the garden and plucking lovely, fragrant, moon like white mogras and handing them over to mummy so that they can be used in the puja the next morning. Or arranging a bunch of garden flowers in a large bowl which is to be placed on the bedside.
2. Waking up after an afternoon nap at 4 and making a Prerna Special chai for Prerna and papa. The recipe for the Prerna Special chai is : a few leaves of Tulsi, mint, lili cha (lemon grass), chai masala, a sprinkling of Saunf and ginger are added to water which is set to boil. Once it does, add the chai patti and sugar. The milk comes last. Let it simmer, raise the container a few times over the gas ring, let the chai simmer again and it's ready to be served in a lovely blue porcelain cup! We had the tea on the swing on our porch. We discussed mundane things, there was no rush to go any where, no fixed agenda. Once while we were having our tea, it rained. The water came all around us in a lovely pitter patter and while the roof over the swing made sure we didn't get wet, a lovely fragrance of wet earth surrounded us.
4. Friends and family come over to 'visit' me. How I looked forward to those visits!
5. Gossip magazines. I begged my father to take me to Landmark and while I was there I bought gossip magazines, Agatha Christie's and a couple of more books. You know, I had never really cared about gossip magazines. But they are so interesting! Did you know for instance, that Rosa (Saif's ex) didn't know that he was married when she started going around with him (or so she claims!). Or for that matter Mika thinks that "A girl's figure turns me on. Her face doesn't really matter... All my wishes have been fulfilled. I have a huge fan following, have bodyguards and just got a Hummer..." Do you care? I don't but when you are home and sick, gossip magazines can spice your life up! Or so I discovered!
6. Sitting on the porch with clean white sheets of paper, lots of sketch pens and water colours. Trying to copy the flowers or recreate the birds on your paper.
7. Waiting for the monthly groceries to arrive. Then sifting through the bag and taking out packets of sugar, tea, biscuits, wafers, coffee. Finding clean, good smelling glass jars and carefully emptying the packets into them.
8. Spending two hours on rearranging your wardrobe and looking into details like --- putting soap wrappers between clothes so that they smell good, tying small red satin ribbons on the wardrobe handles, going through your earring collection.
9. Having a friend come over with an unexpected gift, just to cheer you up.
10. Trying to make yourself useful by sitting on the dining table and chopping the greens.
11. Having the beauty parlour lady come home and do your pedicure. Even if you haven't gone out in weeks and wouldn't do so for weeks. Just for yourself. So that your toe nails are in shape and they are painted in a beautiful, soft pink.
I realise the wisdom of Susan Madam's words: "Prerna, sometimes your body falls sick just because it wants you to pause and do things that you might not have done otherwise."