Summer Vacation -2

‘Nyaval?’

‘Yes, Ammu, nyaval. Haven’t you seen nyaval fruit? Maybe you haven’t. Deep purple in colour, about the size of a marble.’

‘Can you eat nyaval fruit?’

‘Of course you can. They have a slightly sweet and sour taste. I used to eat them a lot when I was a schoolgirl. And that reminds me of a girl, a certain Devu from Madathil House. She was famous for her black tongue. Once she remarked that my eyes reminded her of two dark nyaval fruits on a ceramic plate. I was really scared that I would go blind. I couldn’t get a wink of sleep that night.’

Suddenly Muthassi bent down and picked up a gauze-like dry leaf lying under a coconut tree and said ‘I could use this as a strainer when I make oil out of scraped coconut kernel.’

I continued walking towards the nyaval tree and asked Muthassi, ‘ Where is that Devu you talked about now?’

‘Oh, Devu,’ Muthhasi reflected with a wistful smile. ‘She died a long time ago.

Now I am the only one left. All my friends – they all are gone. Karthu, Vadakkermuri Chinnammu, Marath Kunju- all my companions, dead and gone.’

‘Are the all dead?’

‘Hmmm’

‘So now you are alone, Muthassi, without any friends.’ I felt sad for my Muthassi, lonely in her old age, so I went up to her and hugged her close.

‘Don’t worry, Muthassi. Haven’t you got me? I’ll always be with you,’ I consoled her.

‘Yes, Ammu. That’s more than enough for Muthassi.’ She tightened her hold on my hand, and so we crossed the field and reached the courtyard in front of the house.

‘Muthassi, just look at your hands, with all the veins standing out! I can’t even see veins on my hands. Why is that?’

‘You are a small child, Ammu, whereas Muthassi is a worn-out old woman.’

Muthassi threw the dry leaf into the front verandah, and we went on to the bathing enclosure next to the pond. A towel and a red soap dish with a piece of soap in it were lying on the steps leading to the pond.

Seeing the soap dish, Muthassi threw exclaimed, ‘I forgot that I had left soap here. I am lucky the crow didn’t steal it.’ ‘Why Muthassi, do crows eat soap?’ ‘

No, but a crow might take it away, attracted by the colour.’

Dear Muthassi, I thought, how naïve she is.

That used piece of soap was not at all pretty. And yet she thought the crow would steal it. A piece of soap worn down by use, looking like a fragment of a tile!

Was it likely the crow would be tempted enough to carry it off?’

‘So Muthassi, you think the crow knows what is pretty?’

‘Of course, Is there any doubt? The crow has a keen eye for beauty. Otherwise why does it carry off small oil bowls?Ammu, birds are very intelligent. They have more common sense and knowledge than human beings.’

‘Why is that?’

‘It is like that. That’s all.’

With that cryptic remark, Muthassi took my dress off, dipped in the water, soaped it and placed it on a stone.

to be continued…..

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chandu
    Apr 12, 2009 @ 17:25:43

    aah gripping story.. can’t wait for next part.. post it fasssht plz

    Reply

  2. Sum
    Apr 13, 2009 @ 10:27:20

    Nice story Preeti……..
    Waiting for the next part…..

    Reply

  3. ekta
    Apr 17, 2009 @ 15:53:43

    hi preeti, am back in bangalore…my new # is 9663308376…mail me urs

    Reply

  4. ekta
    May 11, 2009 @ 20:38:24

    ohh so frequent trips to mum….where r u staying in b’lore?

    Reply

    • preeti prasad
      May 12, 2009 @ 21:51:52

      this time I came home nearly after 6 loooong months yaar! I stay in Anandnagar Near R.T.Nagar.

      Reply

  5. ekta
    May 29, 2009 @ 22:57:19

    thats toooo far from my place….ohh 6mths u were away….

    Reply

  6. Ricky
    Jun 02, 2009 @ 06:16:06

    The story is going very well so far. I still don’t know what it will lead upto so that makes it more engaging. I love the relationship that Muthassi and her Ammu share with each other and wonder if the next generation of Malls and Cellphones will ever share such simple relationships with their grandparents or will the stories of the grandparents will be lost forever.

    Reply

  7. Ricky
    Jun 02, 2009 @ 06:18:40

    What are you and Chandu talking about? 😛

    And will you gals not post your cell numbers on a public blog…hello …grrrrrrr !!

    Reply

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