Ruminations 2 — The Generosity Of The Less Endowed
“Would you like to eat Kathal curry (raw jackfruit) tomorrow?” Kirti asked me. Everyday she would come up with a different vegetable to cook and asked if I liked it.
She would then say, “I have left the Kathal curry in choti bhabhi’s (younger daughter in law’s) fridge upstairs. Don’t forget to have it tonight.”
Kirti, a slim, young, tall, quick and active maid attracted my attention. I was visiting my sister in India and Kirti’s demeanor, her serious focus on the task at hand and her agility did not go unnoticed. She came each morning to prepare breakfast for my sister’s household.
My frequent trips to my sister’s place in India in the past were short, but she spoiled me with her pampering, ensuring I ate everything I loved. Though younger to me, she made sure I did not miss out on anything. But, this trip was different. My brother in law was seriously sick and I wanted to be with my sister during this difficult time. She worried about him incessantly and her focus this time was to nurse him back to health. And, rightly so.
It happened to be the month of fasting and it was only my second night in India. I planned to stay here for the next few weeks. I woke up for the early morning meal before sunrise. Sahar, my sister’s daughter in law hesitantly presented me with a bowl that contained a small quantity of cooked vegetables to be had with the Indian bread.
Sahar and I would have nothing to eat until sunset after this meal. The simple meal consisting of Indian bread with cooked vegetables seemed sparse. What happened to all the leftovers of the previous night?
Sahar mentioned disappointedly that all the food had been consumed. Seeing the sad look on the young and beautiful Sahar’s face, I held back my own disappointment, but added that we would have to save some food for our early morning meals.
The next day Sahar instructed Kirti to put away some of the food in her apartment fridge upstairs. No doubt mentioning the debacle of the previous night.
Kirti took no time in absorbing the instructions and immediately set about saving some food in Sahar’s fridge. She would then…