Her hands were continuously working on those pile of clothes.The warmth of the sun and the smell of breeze were still emanating from those clothes...making me feel like just snuggling on them. Her face would beam with pride as she stacked up those clothes in neat racks, categorizing them according to size.
I still remember her squatting down with a bar soap and scrubbing brush...teaching me how to hand wash the clothes, with out wasting water. Every drop of water was precious, after all it was Chennai. She would wrinkle her nose in displeasure as I used to hang the clothes on the clothesline. She used me lecture me on the art of drying clothes. Her hands would then handle those freshly washed wet clothes as an artiste approaches his canvas...untangling all the folds ....each and every inch embracing the warmth of the radiant sun. Her work done she would smile at her own artistry....satisfaction bordering those lips. This was my Grandma. I used to spent my whole summer vacation at her place and today I can tell she has deposited many thought provoking moments in my memory bank....which I retrieve every now and then to enrich my life today....
Today I don't have to hand wash my clothes... washing machine has taken over....and there is the dryer which helps us dry clothes in winter!....But as I would like to deposit some rewarding moments into the memory bank of my kids, drying clothes in my patio with them is a task which I wish to undertake.
The other day as we were enjoying those wonderful moments at our patio I was approached by my neighbor. I could read a sign of displeasure on her face.
"Why don't you use the dryer?" , she inquired.
"Its very bright and sunny today. I thought it would be better for the clothes and also for my pocket...and more over my kids love doing this chore", I replied.
She was still not happy. " You see, people here do not dry their clothes outside", she continued...
"oh, what a pity..." I thought...
" I know ... I still wonder why people here do not dry their clothes outside?"I replied.
I knew she was considering me as an old fashioned Indian, not yet ready to adapt to the modern American life style.
I realized there was no point in explaining to her about the joy I experience while hanging those clothes with my little ones.They were learning numbers ,colors and were also being home schooled in sharing and taking responsibility.These were simple joys of living I wanted to LIVE....for I am sure they would one day be retrieved by my kids from their memory banks and help them LIVE their lives!!!