Know your roots #shortstory

‘It’s summer.  I don’t want to go to your hometown.  Did you not tell me it’s 40 degrees there?  It will be too hot for the kids,’ grumbled Rosa.

‘This is the perfect time for them to be acquainted with their roots.  They should know what an Indian summer is like.  Shouldn’t they get acquainted with their grandparents? My culture?  The soil should know them, recognize them.  Here, they will never know what it is.  They will only learn about your roots, ‘ said Shankar.

‘If it ever gets too hot,  I will pack my bags and come back with the children,’ Rosa warned Shankar.

And thus, with stuffed suitcases full of gifts for Shankar’s parents and other family members,  the family of four – Rosa, Shankar,  Bindu and Joy left for Kerala in India.   They planned to stay at Shankar’s home for the vacation.  Shankar wanted the children to soak in the atmosphere, understand where he came from.

It was a disaster from the start.  The children did not understand a word of Malayalam.  The grandparents could not speak English.  They communicated with a lot of nodding, shaking and hand movements.  But, they managed.

The children, never having seen this unfamiliar landscape with backwaters, coconut tree bridges, hibiscus and jackfruit trees everywhere,  would wander in the village trespassing properties.  But, the villagers got accustomed to it and they would wave their hands at the children and offer them buttermilk or juicy mangoes and jackfruits. Continue reading