All was back to routine. She sighed and sipped her morning cup of tea. It had been a flurry of activity and nerves the last three days. Her uncle and aunt were visiting along with their son and daughter-in-law and their two kids.
Se had fond memories of long stays in their home as a kid. And it was the first time they were coming over after her marriage. This felt special and she had wanted to make the occasion special.
After the phone call, she was excited to make it all happen. After all, there were just three days to lunch. And she was surprised to get cold feet because “what to cook?” kept flashing in her mind.
Sticking to what she knew best had been a really good idea, but she had not wanted to make her standard menu of biriyani. The guests were coming from Hyderabad and who could top a hyderabadi biriyani?
She smiled now as she remembered how she had wished and prayed fervently for some creative outburst or a flash of divine intervention to make that ho-hum flavour change to wow and yum!
The next day had been spent cleaning, clearing and sprucing up the house. When looking in the drawer for a table runner, she had come across two rose scented candles that she had completely forgotten about and now were placed on the coffee table.
She had smelt them more than once in the kitchen these last two days. They had brought back memories of holidays in her grandmother’s house in Kerala and the garden with bougainvilleas and ferns and roses and how every meal had a distinct flavour that still made her mouth water.
She had decided then that she would keep the menu simple, homely and easy so that it was also a pleasure to make. Her grandmother had looked happy as she had gone about her daily chores and that happiness reflected everywhere in the house.
She had bought the fish and the meat and everything else that would be needed. On the way to buy ice cream for the kids, in case they did not like fruits, she stopped at the florists and bargained for some pink carnations to match the runner.
That was how flower vase on top of the refrigerator had been put to some use for once. And in keeping with the homely theme, the simple fare was served with all lending a hand and bantering and bits of gossip and lots of laughter.
The hours had flown away and it had been time for them to leave. “I’m so glad you didn’t make biriyani,” her aunt had said, starting another fit of giggles.
All was back to routine now. As she stretched and finished her cup of tea, she was glad she had stuck to her instincts and made the lunch part of good memories for all.
The above excerpt was written more than three years ago, when I was probably obsessed about writing in the third person. But, I found the general feelings and thoughts echoed, as I got ready for friends who came to dinner Saturday night. But, to my credit, I was a lot faster this time!
As usual, it was simple, traditional and homely fare with lots of yellow roses and strong scents of green tea and lemon wafting from a corner in every room... was a little conscious of the 'doggie smell' that we don't even realise is there. I am thankful for the time spent together, the laughter and teasing and God! do I need to meet old friends more.
Have a lovely Sunday :)