From the moment we arrived at my Tezpur home, it became obvious that this was to be my nirvana; the perfect place of peace and happiness. It must have been so years ago too, but something about leaving it and coming back made it all the more evident. The weather conspired just so that we couldn’t venture out of doors much, with rain pouring intermittently, and the more I stayed inside the walls that held my childhood, the more I found myself getting retrospective. So I decided to remove all distractions, which included deactivating my Facebook yet again, and surrendered myself to soaking in wholesome goodness. This has been a much needed break from the hullabaloo of a “big city life” and turns out the sleepy town of Tezpur has a lot to offer that I could never get anywhere else in the world.
To begin with, there was always someone visiting us; neighbours wishing to see little munchkin and say hi to me after not meeting me for a long time, family friends wanting to catch up on everything we’d missed together… People would drop in unannounced, and it seemed perfectly normal. My shy little girl turned dancing diva in the blink of an eye, and totally basked in all the attention lavished on her. From being cooped inside a house with just me for company, she has now gotten used to having a room full of audience willing to clap on demand, and demand she does quite frequently. Be it for each morsel of food that makes it from plate to spoon to her mouth, or a jig to the music from her very own “Leaptop” (the Leapfrog laptop), we all clap because it makes her smile. Anything to make her smile. Even my Deuta making silly noises and dancing to her tunes, and my Mamma marching up and down the house with her shouting “Let’s go Tanvi, Let’s go!” I can see her grow in front of my eyes under the tender nurture only grandparents can provide, and it does my heart good to see her learning so much without even knowing it to be learning.
As for me, I am reveling in conversations. Not on the phone, not on a screen, but real, face to face conversations. I would sit and talk; answer queries and ask about them in return. I would happily ramble on about the mundane; it doesn’t always have to be earth shattering or deep. Living outside had quenched my innate instinct to reach out to people without having the need to, so much that the first reaction on meeting someone would always be to tuck myself inside the shell, but I can feel it coming back. I want to share bits of my life with the people around me; it makes me feel cared about, and I had thoroughly missed it.
Of course, wholesome is what wholesome eats, so I let my mother fill me up with simple home cooked meals that spoke to my heart more than my tummy. Dishes from my childhood days that never quite taste the same when I cook them, dishes with ingredients that I can never find outside Asom… I kept demanding and my mother kept obliging me. I could feel my body get fitter, healthier. I went out on evening walks with my Deuta and had every intention to do so everyday but the weather had different plans. My skin glowed and hair shined away from all the dust and pollution, as though it were too washed anew in the monsoon. The one time I let myself indulge in something sinful, my body revolted and got me out of commission for two days straight, but I will get to it later.
Keeping with the wholesome theme, I decided to read the classics I had missed out from my childhood, and turns out there are a lot. When I reached India, I was in the middle of The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, and I found myself completely absorbed in a book after a long long time, something which all the fluff in the world can never do. I usually stay away from sagas; I like my novels to be limited to a short time span, but for this book I made an exception. It was paced just right, and although it had tragedy abound, I consoled myself with an ending that indicated hope. There’s something to be said about the hangover of a good book, though. You want the satiated feeling to linger on, and yet you are hungry for more of the same taste. I decided not to venture into something new that might disappoint me, and so I finished rereading Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen in one afternoon, like a sorbet to cleanse my palette between courses, and when a stomach bug left me like a vegetable unable to do anything but collapse on bed, I took up Anne of Green Gables.
I know, I know I should have read it long time ago; I did have the ebook with me for a long time too, but well, better late than never, they say. So while my mother entertained, fed and cleaned miss munchkin, I flopped and drowned myself in the book. There’s not much I can say about the book that has not been already said, but it is one of those books that make me wish I could read it for the first time again, know what I mean? For the longest time, my epitome of a classic coming of age book was Little Women, and maybe that book will always hold a special place in my heart, but Anne of Green Gables has sneaked its way to a close second. And oh the descriptions… The pretty pictures the book paints… Of all the wild flowers and brooks and tall trees… And the fluid language and sentences that make you go “Oh…!” I had half a mind to shut the screen and close my eyes and let those thoughts dance around in my mind a bit but I was in too much of a hurry to read more. Oh well, maybe the second read. And definitely on a paperback this time.
So there. That’s how my wholesome diet of soul, body and mind is going. Meanwhile, the husband has finally found a place for us in Dubai after house hunting over three days and having looked at over thirty units. We might be traveling to Dubai sooner than expected so my dreams of a prolonged holiday might remain only partially realised but I am making the most of what I have right now, and what I have is more than enough to keep me happy and peaceful for a long time to come.