Perched up on top of a high chair in dull green saree with pale golden border, and red wall serving as background, she was a perfect motherly figure. Looking at her smiling face, I immediately felt welcomed in the household – a simple home with just the basic necessities. A Ganesha fresco is what I saw first as I entered the living room. It was apparently made on the occasion of her son Rajesh’s wedding a few years back, he now has a young daughter as well. Rajesh is also a political worker; I couldn’t exactly make out his political affiliation, but I somehow assumed that it would be either Shiv Sena or the MNS. Its weird how I could assume something like this so easily, rather disappointing I would way.
The grand-daughter continued playing with her neighbourhood friend, while Bhavin chatted with aai and I looked at the wooden utensils and other broken toys of the kid. I liked the setting, it was new but still relaxing. And it was quite there, except for an occasional dog bark, or a neighbourood dog playing, or the utensils in the kitchen.
The day passed off like this, we also followed it smoothly. Partly climbed up the hill behind the village, saw the village school (where Bhavin studied and his dad taught), saw kids playing Cricket (what else!) and a nice wholesome lunch. Most were almost surprised that I didn't eat mutton for Sunday lunch, and so a special vegetarian meal for prepared for me. I also looked most of out place (long hair and odd clothes), and drew some stares from the other villagers. Even Bhavin looked like an outsider.
A week later I was in my hometown Nainital and still looked like an outsider, my language more refined, my mannerisms alien and my stamina limited. Almost like a tourist at home.