Yesterday I visited my aunt in Kottayam.
My arrival coincided with that of a charming cardiologist from the USA.
“Auntie” was delighted with his attentions,
especially as this courtesy visit was combined with an unofficial cardiological assessment.
Something her daughter had skilfully brought about.
Auntie has been feeling tired, which is perhaps understandable for a woman in her late eighties.
But what struck me was that her favourite and most trusted member of staff was absent.
The young woman, who usually sleeps in the house with her, is taking a holiday.
When Anu, my house-boy, takes time off to be with his family
– a well-deserved break –
my home suddenly seems enormous,
the hours of darkness almost interminable,
and sleep strangely illusive.
My solution is simple.
Now, whenever Anu takes his holidays,
I go away on tour with a good friend.
An option that physical infirmity has made sadly impossible for my aunt..
Picture of Lake Vembanad taken at dusk on the road back from Kottayam.