As she takes her morning bath, Ada Lakshmi is adored from half-a-world away; Vasanthi's wonderful coffee; Suji's first wedding gift
All those gathered around grin in adoration as they look at the computer screen... Bhanu, Ravi, Sujitha, and Murthy. Bhanu and Ravi are Sujitha's parents, Murthy her uncle.
The unfinished tattoo on Sujitha's arm contains the names, "Anil" and "Soundu," framed between angel wings. When finished, a portrait of Soundarya and Anil will also be framed within.
And this is who they so adore - Ada Lakshmi, the daughter of Murthy and Vasanthi's son, Vivek and my niece Khena - the two people who took an American family and an Indian family and with their love made us one family - that family love extends also into Apache and Navajo. Although they have not met, Sujitha has connected with Lavina and everybody on Facebook.
Ada is taking her bath at the family home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Every day, Murthy, Vasanthi, Ada Lakshmi, Vivek and Khena get together like this over a Google connection.
Khena and Ada Lakshmi, after the bath.
Have I mentioned Vasanthi's coffee? If you have never had south Indian coffee prepared by one so skillful as Vasanthi... it is... wow! I just cannot come up with the proper adjectives to do it justice. She does not make it with water but with milk. It is smooth, it is rich, it is... wonderful.
Ganesh, son of Ravi and Bhanu, makes a coffee toast.
The little girl in the picture on the wall behind is Vaidehi, Vasanthi and Murthy's other granddaughter, from their son Vijay and his wife, Vidya. We had dinner at their house a couple of nights ago. As soon as I get the chance, I will make a post and all who view it will see that Vaidehi is an energetic, enthusiastic and mischievous girl.
Truly, she is.
Suji and her coffee. People here have their coffee in tiny cups... usually even tinier than this one. Last time I was here, Murthy gave me a set of tiny Indian cups. When I am home, I usually have my morning coffee in a tiny Indian cup - both because I love the cup and to help keep me from drinking too much.
Here, Vasanthi keeps a larger, American cup, just for me, and fills it at least twice, maybe thrice, each morning and then again in the afternoon and also at night. I drink every drop.
To drink Vasanthi's coffee is kind of like taking a short trip to heaven.
After her trip from London to Mumbai, Pune and then here, Suji was left a little tired. Her brother gives her a place to lay her head, but, being a brother, teases her a little bit.
After I returned to the US following the wedding of Vivek and Khena, Soundarya sent me a link to an online album she kept of pictures of family, friends, cows, puppies, dogs and bugs. I was taken by that album. There was tremendous love in the photos... so much love... plus a good dose of fun and mischief.
Right now, the groom, Manoj, or "Manu," remains in Pune. The bride and groom will not see each other again until the wedding, which will begin March 12 and continue on into the afternoon of March 13, with many rituals to follow over the next week. It is customary for an aunt to give the bride her first wedding gift.
So Aunt Vasanthi does just that.
Then all present followup with their blessings and well-wishes.
Among her gifts - what will be a most beautiful saree. After I spend a little time in India and then return to the US, I kind of miss seeing the beautiful clothing Indian women adorn themselves in every day.
During my first two visits here, no one in the family had a car - they all got around by motorbike, bus, taxi and auto-rickshaw. Now Ganesh has a car - a cute one, made by Tata. At $4000, it is billed as the cheapest car in the world and it gets better than 60 miles per gallon. Ganesh just got it. Tiny as it is, even the back seats have more leg room than many American cars I have ridden. There is not much room for luggage, though. Like a Volkswagen Beetle, the engine is in the rear.
I love it. I want one. But they don't sell them in the US.
I want one!
Ganesh drives off with his father and sister and mother, Bhanu, who waves from the back seat.
Tonight, I will shift from Murthy and Vasanthi's house to Ravi and Bhanu's.
I should note that I am keeping this blog on Alaska time. So, this will post at 6:10 PM Sunday, but here in Bangalore it is 8:40 AM, Monday.