This the first time I’ve been to my uncle’s new house – in fact I hadn’t realised he had moved. He, along with his wife, two sons, one daughter, one daughter-in-law, and his mother, now live in a single floor, but spacious bungalow opposite the some Ranger headquarters. There is a garden in front, and one in the back where vegetables are grown, though the season has changed now so most of them are dying now. But there is evidence of aubergines, oranges, mint, tomatoes, salad leaves, and spinach.
They also have a cat called Shehroo (this translates directly to a something like a nickname for a lion, like calling him ‘Lion-y’). He’s a little poorly from vaccinations and flea treatment, and only two months earlier had a little of kittens with next door’s cat, so everyone talks about him all the time. When we sat in the living room after arriving, in lieu of saying hello, Shehroo came and sat in the middle of the entire group for a couple of moments, then wandered back to the edge of the room to sleep.
The rest of the day has been spent in the following ways:
- Eating. (there is no way to say no to food. I have tried in vain. I managed to last half a day. Every time my grandmother sees me she worries that I haven’t eaten. I am also a vegetarian which concerns my family greatly, but they are being very hospitable and understanding, and so are willing to make me purely vegetarian food.)
- Sleeping. I hadn’t thought that I was tired, but at around half one ended up falling asleep, and then woke up at half-five. I was exceptionally shocked.
- Trying to remember Mother’s Day. So in the UK today is Mother’s Day, and I had already bought a card which one brother had signed, and then signed it myself. I had wanted to go out with my cousin to by flowers, but fell asleep. In light of this, after a quick phone call to him when he was out, he very kindly bought some in my stead! So Mother’s Day happened! Just.
- Seeing family.
‘Seeing family’ requires a better explanation that what can be put in a bullet point. My family is large and exceptionally lovely. Today we saw the families of two of my cousins. We spend a great deal of time simply laughing and discussing chickens. The major topics today, in fact, have been my dad’s chickens back at home, and Shehroo. The kids have grown since I last saw them, and many are preparing for exams over the next few days, and so the visits from the families are shorter than usual, but sweet all the same.
I have also been following my Bhabi (the daughter-in-law of the house) and my cousin (the daughter of the house) around the house relentlessly. They’re very accommodating. Bhabi also showed me how to make some roti – which is necessary because I make it so infrequently I may as well not know how to at all for how bad I am at it. She’s very patient with me though. My cousin too, spends a great deal of time with me. We discuss movies (how do you define good acting), vegetarianism and veganism (no, eating chicken is not permissable), and university, amongst other things.
I’m pretty tired now, so I’ll stop. The mosquitos are descending and the evening heat is gathering in the house. I am wearing one of my new salwaar kameez, given to me by my uncle who is endlessly sweet and also keeps trying to feed me. Unfortunately, much more food and all of these clothes will have to be resized.
Until next time.