we are back and she just got browner, and most likely nuttier.
while growing up our marker for evaluating a vacation well spent was to see how much browner we were. thank god i did not grow up like many of my punjabi cousins who were taught to look after the colour of their skins with care. they clucked their tongues when they saw me, loor loor phirti hai isliye kaali ho gayi hai.
when i tried to tell them that i was never fair to begin with, they would say, no, no, you were, when you were little. look at your mum. and your dad, when he was young. ( he was also the kind who ' loor loor phirta tha').and my mum, uske paon mein chakkar hain, kabhi ghar nahin baithti, chalo uska complexion to kharab nahin hua.
so luckily,my loor loor phirne wala father, and paon mein chakkar wali mother ensured that i was not fair. and the browner i got, the more thrilled they were.
one week into sanah's vacation, i look on with pure pleasure- my little brown nut.
she jumped into the narmada and swam, at noon. she flung her clothes aside.
she found trailing me, as i trailed my crew, who trailed my subjects, in the hot hot sun, more compelling than sitting in the shade and feeding a goat.
i came back from my shoot one afternoon and found her stuffing a little hole in the ground with twigs and leaves and a little piece of paper. the paper was the fish she was cooking for me. the leaves were the oil. the sun, her fire! my little baby was cooking fish for me in the sun, in a gandhian -no meat/no alcohol/no smoking- hospital.
and sitting in a vehicle going from one village to another, the hot hot breeze did its bit to bake us gently.
she survived. i survived (not the alcohol/meat ban).
we are back, the browner , the better.