(This is what i thought i would write on Yugaadi day; but sleep and unwillingness took over)
We are a typical middle-class Kannadiga family. You know, the
we-love-Rajkumar-no-matter-what-Kaaveri-is-ours-Tams-may-go-take-a-walk and yes, Narayana Murthy-for-President
One of the family traditions i am rather proud of is the annual sit-down lunch, on festivals such as this one. A tradition that is, like most, dying. Very unfortunate. Indeed.
You know, the sort of lunch where amma cooks a multi-course meal, with her hair still wet and tied haphazardly; a lone yellow sevantige flower popping out, seeking attention from somewhere under the black mess. A lunch cooked while tapes of very old Kannada devotional songs blared on, waking us kids up, and adding a flavour of their own to the simmering paayasa, hayagreeva, hoLige saaru.
The sort of lunch where appa sits to eat, still in his Kanjeevaram mogaTa, the one he got in his wedding, the one with red and green borders. The sort of lunch where he would always playfully chide amma for getting confused with the order of serving kosambaris and palyas; something the over-worked woman never managed to master.
The sort of lunch we sat to partake of, smelling of happy shikakai (with violent red eyes) and the welcome smell of freshly opened new clothes, with the noisy anticipation of the treat in store. The sort of lunch where we would all squat on those small, square, intricate mats laid on the floor, eating off of the very large steel plates that were drawn out only on special days.
The sort of lunch, which was as a rule, followed by the most satisfying slumber, post which we would all sit and watch television together.
The memories rush in as cruel reminders as to why childhood was infinitely better than this pseudo-adulthood. Especially, when on a day like today, the brother grabs a bite on the couch; and i throw things down the gullet as i move around the house trying to locate my helmet and mobile phone.
It is almost cruel how a family affair i am rather proud of, is a vestige of the past. So much so, it is hypocritical to refer to it in the present.
I somehow now understand what amma means when she says,
'Children should never grow up.'