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Memories of a Little Girl Called Dolly! (X)

After we returned home early in the morning, the kids did not see us. Mom and I have respiratory problems, so a poor Brahmin woman used to work in our home. She came at 7.30 in the morning and gave us one instant coffee. Then she cleaned up the place. After that she gave us one filtered coffee to perk us up. She had brought cabbage and onion with her. She made a very tasty upma from the sabzi, sooji rava, ghee and coconut oil. She brought and gave a plate each to all of us. Though it was not as tasty as Mom’s cooking, it was very good. Dad had to go to the office. He was getting ready for that.

Ronak with His Mummy Aunty
Ronak with His Mummy Aunty

During the trip, we had invited our relatives to Thirupati, whoever wanted to meet us. We did not have the habit of visiting them unnecessarily during vacation, etc. Since my maternal grandfather’s times, the elders in our extended family did not have the habit of letting go children without any restrictions even during vacations. They would always arrange for admission to some classes or the other. There was only one exception – Mom’s elder maternal aunt’s husband, a military doctor, who picked up Mom immediately after she was born and had been taking care of her. He would insist on us visiting them for at least 15 days together at a time.

After we were born, he was not there for long. He took his last breath directly in front of the main deity at Thirupati while prostrating in front of it. He never got up. A lucky man! He not only served India, he was a very good disciplined doctor. He had never forgotten his Hippocratic Oath unlike some doctors today.

Dolly with Her Mummy Aunty
Dolly with Her Mummy Aunty

Coming back to our trip to Thirupati. We ladies went together to Kalahasti in the previous afternoon in our van. The gents were taking rest. Kalahasti is a place where they perform poojas to remove naga doshas. Mom is alive at this moment because of a snake’s blessing before her birth. I will write about that story some other day. Because of her connection with the snake, Mom insisted that we visit Kalahasti. We performed a mahapooja there, did some shopping, had dinner and returned to Thirupati at 11 PM. All the ladies were chatting for the whole night and we all dispersed the next morning. We find it difficult to sleep in the train. Therefore, when we returned to Mumbai we were very tired and sleepy. So, the Brahmin woman took some cooking materials and said that she would get us lunch from her home. She left after spreading a carpet on the floor for Mom because after bathing Mom would not sleep on the bed. My sister and I took the bed.

When she left, Dad also went to the office. Mom was about to close the door. Ronak, after seeing his Appa Uncle leave, ran to our home. He began fighting with us, “Why did you go without telling us?”

Ronak with His Mummy Aunty
Ronak with His Mummy Aunty

While Mom tried to soothe him and pamper him, he got stuck to Mom’s body like he could not be moved away. He also warned us that we should not go anywhere without informing him next time.

While talking, Dolly came running to our home. Not finding her brother in her home or on the ground floor, she had realized that he would be at our home only. She fought with Ronak and pulled him away from Mom. Then she occupied her lap fully, without allowing anyone to come near. She kept scolding her Mummy Aunty, “You should not have gone without informing us.”

I have captured these scenes on camera. Mom was too tired and sleepy, but had to manage the 2 children. Dolly’s mother realized that both of them had come to our home, because they were not at their home or the ground floor. She came and saw our condition. Then with a lot of difficulty and drama she took them away. More to come…

To be continued…

About Gayatri T Rao

A double post-graduate (MSc. - Botany and MA - English Literature) Gayatri T Rao is a Senior Multimedia Journalist with vast experience in writing on varied topics.

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