The Kids, their Friends and the Kitchen table

go to site Rekha and Anish, Baba, as he was called, grew up in Leprosy Hospitals situated in isolated locales in the Himalayas. Their friends and companions when they returned home from school, were the patients in the wards and the adults who worked with us. The campus kids were much younger. John and Jenny, the Nakami kids, who were around the same age as ours, studied in Kathmandu and came home only during their school holidays, when the four of them were inseparable.

follow url Our home ended up as popular sleepover destination with their school friends. The kids would come back with Rekha and Baba, after school. They loved riding home in the old land Rover , thrown from side to side, every time the driver lurched to miss a crack or crevice on the untarred road from Patan to Lele.

frauen in münchen treffen Anandaban Hospital was built on a clearing in a Pine Forest, with no fences or gates. No roads to cross. No crazy traffic. No horns. There were a zillion trees to climb, slopes to roll down and you could kick a ball for as far as your eye could see, without any fear of breaking glass.  For kids growing up in the crowded and dusty city of Kathmandu, that was as close to heaven as they got. The kids who tumbled out of the landrover in various stages of disarray , looked like delegates arriving for a Miniature United Nations Meeting.  They were the kids of  Expat parents working in Kathmandu in the early 70s. In the beginning, I worried about feeding young palates, that were unused to our food and level of spice.

go site When they came home after playing in gay abandon over field and slope, they would have a bath, change into their pyjamas and come hurtling down the steps, to crowd around my kitchen table, ravenously hungry. I quickly learned what they enjoyed eating in a group. Puffed up hot Puris rolled up and eaten with jam or sugar was something they enjoyed immensely.

letterkenny dating There was no telling the adventures the puris could have enroute to being eaten. Sometimes the kids ate the centre of the puris and peered menacingly at each other, pretending to be pirates. Sometimes they were brandished about as weapons in mock fights. Some puris, threatened to end up as flying frisbees and had to be rescued. Midway,  we would run out of Puris and we would need to knead fresh Dough and roll out fresh batches to cut , a task they all enjoyed, helping with gay abandon, as the flour, dough and rolling pin flew all over my slippery kitchen floor.

follow url One picture that always brings a smile to my eyes, is young Ben Bury sitting at the table eating his way through a pile of puris he called “Buris”. Ben must have been 7 or 8, when I first met him. Ben loved puris and he loved them with sugar. There was no guarantee that the puri and the sugar would reach his mouth in one fell sweep. Enroute, the sugar could spill on the table, his face, shine on his ginger hair and coat the front of his pyjamas. But he did not care. He just sat there making appreciative noises as he gurgled “Buris, Buris” with happy eyes as big as saucers. He looked as if he had gone to Heaven. Bless him. Sometimes I baked a Casserole, or did Macaroni and Cheese or sloppy Joe, or a Shepherds Pie and served it with soft, homemade, buttery dinner rolls, that they loved. There is no greater pleasure in life than cooking for and feeding an appreciative bunch of hungry kids.

Even through High School and College, Rekha and Anish brought their friends home and they all always ended up around my kitchen table, in all the homes we moved to in Chennai.  Laughing , joking and sharing their lives with me.  If I close my eyes, I can see and hear the happy hours these kids spent in our kitchen.

I had no idea that the years would roll by so quickly and they would all grow up so fast and disappear. I may have taken my eyes of the stove for a moment, to savour the scene a minute longer and to save the still as a memory, to treasure a lifetime.






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