Since last three weeks, I have been on a cleaning spree on weekends only to make Abbas crazy. He just wants to eat, sleep and relax on weekends. When I am doing all the laborious tasks, he feels guilty and does pitch in but after a while he vanishes into thin air. Mannu is my trusted helper and like my tail she’ll follow me wherever I go, whatever I do. Tammu and her dad chill in front of the idiot box and offer to help once in a while. The final touch was pending. Kids’ day care was closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. We had off only on Wednesday, I took the day off on Tuesday. After seeing Abbas off, mom-daughters trio went on clean-up extravaganza. By lunch time, our house looked too neat for a house where 2 three-n-a-half-year olds lived. Mannu kept on asking “Deewani kab hoga?” I didn’t wanna correct her, it sounded funny…
In the evening, the Diwali spirit was in the air. With crackers lit all around, diyas, candles, chuni lights glowing away to glory. We too decorated our balcony with chuni lights, diyas, a traditional uruli with floating tea lights… Kids were asking me when we were going to burst crackers. I was not sure about handling the two of them alone while bursting crackers and preferred to wait for Abbas. I finished ironing truckload of clothes which was an arrear task from the weekend. It was kids’ dinner time already but there were no signs of Abbas’s arrival. I gave him a call and he said he would be late. Fed dinner to kids and put them to sleep. They were reluctant to sleep but gave in only when I promised them that I would wake them up when Baba comes home. Abbas came home and called them but they were deep in sleep.
Next morning, I woke up with a backache. After putting the Rangoli, the pain only amplified and I was walking with my hand clutched to the back like old granny. Abbas scolded me “Aur cleaning karo!” I admit that I am an extremist, I work in binary mode. I know nothing in between. Abbas tells me that I need to chill and do stuff at a slow pace. I either do nothing at all or if I do, I’ll tend to do everything. Anyway, at my mom’s place we have this custom of having an oil massage and then a hot water bath by applying besan. So after a quick breakfast, I gave a nice oil massage to the twins and to Abbas. All the while I narrated to him the tales of Deepavali celebrations of my childhood. He massaged my feet and hands as well. We all had the best bath of the year. I lay down for some time in between and Abbas said “You don’t have to cook. Let’s go out for lunch”. We got all decked up and left home.
Post lunch we went to a newly opened mall which had all hi-fi brand outlets. I just wanted to come out of the place as I could not even afford to window-shop such extravagant stuff. Mannu started nagging “Kichu Khabo” (meaning – wanna eat something). Not even an hour had passed since lunch. We came out of the mall in Bulu and told her we’ll buy something for her to eat. She went on and on and on. I was totally pissed off and said “Mujhe kha le” (meaning – eat me up) She sure has inherited strong foodie genes from me, my sis and my dad. We have a secret li’l tummy in there which can open up even after a heavy meal. Abbas bought a Dairy Milk, she gulped it down in nano seconds and said “Kichu Khabo” again. She is one step ahead of me!
We came back home… my back ache had subsided. Lit diyas all around the house and we went downstairs for burning some crackers. Abbas had bought a box of crackers last year and had burst only half of it then. We burst the rest this year (Surprisingly they were all fine. I had kept them open in the sun during the weekend) Tammu was too scared and began crying when she heard huge sound waala crackers around and clung to me. Mannu was jumping in joy. When Mannu held a sparkler, Tammu also got motivated. We came back home, I rustled up dinner quickly and we went to doze off.
Trvia: I missed making fish fry on Tuesday (Diwali eve) as Abbas came home late. This is part of the custom in Konkan coast. People take oil baths and bathe fish in oil. (As kids we loved this custom coz all other festivals meant strict veg fare) During Diwali, cost of Lady fish sky rockets in Mangalore.
On another note, today is our Bulu’s birthday. I made some Mocha brownies. Although I had intended to make a car shaped cake as suggested by RS, yesterday evening I realized that I had only a little more than a cup of maida in my pantry. Brownie was the only choice I had.
Leaving you all with a few pictures…