January 10, 2010 – Visit to a Friend and the Spice of Love
This morning dawned with the sun making an valiant effort to shine through the fog (and finally managing by about 12 this afternoon for several hours at least)
And so it was colder again, but not nearly as cold as last week.
I had promised to visit Devi, one of the massage girls who’s story you might remember from last year…very poor family but lovely people and always nice to visit (if not somewhat difficult due to a language problem). So this morning a went first for breakfast and had another “cooking class” as Lalita, due to her health issues, cannot work and so she has asked her brother, a chef with 10 years experience to come help her out. Well, he made the most delicious parantha (she SAID he makes much better ones than she does when I first ordered it and worried that she would not be making it)…and so I asked if he could show me how he stuffs them, since mine always “leak” all over the place when I roll them out. So he did!. It seemed so simple when he did it and I will try his technique as soon as I get home.
I then spent some time at the internet and finally met Devi when she finished work at 1. (Sunday the clinic is only opened ½ day). And to my lovely surprise, Laxshmi was also coming (her kids went with grandma to a beach outside of Calcutta for the three week winter school vacation so she is really having a holiday!), and the also said that my lovely new friend Eli would also be coming and would meet us at ram jhula.
So we set off and from that moment, until Eli and I left 3 hours later, none of us stopped laughing! It was really lovely. We arrived to find a new
addition to the house – a TOILET and shower which was just built, and a big relief for me! (Well, later when I went to use it I found that it was not exactly what I thought, but at least it was a place to relieve myself without going outdoors in the “jungle”. We then had chai and cookies, just chatted and joked and enjoyed the company of so many women…women are just wonderful… spoke about clothes, men, neighbors, etc.,and just had a lovely time. Then I asked to see the new cow, and the even newer calves (both male and of absolutely no use to them!!), so we all went outside and you can see the pride in Devi’s mother’s face when showing off her cow…her prize possession. .
Then it was time for lunch and we all headed back in, and the bed we were all sitting on, became the dining room table, and we all happily ate large plates of rice, dahl made from chickpeas and chappatis. It was, of course, spicey for me, even though it was prepared “not spicey” in my honour, and I couldn’t eat to much, but it was enough to keep me for the rest of the day, and the company was so pleasant that the meal became a feast for kings! It was also prepared with so much love, and everyone was so excited to watch me enjoying my food, and what better spice is there for food, than love? I had brought bars of chocolate for the two younger sisters, and for dessert we were all offered a square of this precious treat. What a lovely meal! The next to youngest sister by the way, metamorphosized since last year. Last year she was still a little girl and this year I found her to me all grown up, a young lady, 17 years old and quite a beauty! All the girls are quite pretty and I mentioned to Devi’s mom that she has beautiful daughters and that of course is all ANY mother has to hear to be happy. All in all, a wonderful visit for everyone, and of course we could not leave until we promised to return. Knowing how little this family has, their hospitality is overwhelming and I know it gives them great pleasure to be able to share what little they have with others. We can learn so much from them.
Eli and I headed home. Ended my day with an amazing card reading which was just so beautiful that I decided to write about it, but it will be posted on my Mindfulness Journal if you are interested…here is the link: