Last month when I was home, I spent as much time as possible working in the garden and sadly, not getting even a hint of a tan; I have always had anti-tan skin. Right in front of Shailaja’s (maid, tailor, woman-Friday) house, next to a pot of tiny yellow wildflowers and where Blacky is tied, there is a capsicum plant. Two capsicums had grown; one had got stolen, she said, by an old woman from a well off family in the neighbourhood. The other was hidden away in a black cover and left to grow some more.
A few hours before I was to board the bus back to the city, while looking over when Shailaja and her family were replanting some beds of kohlrabi, she picked the green capsicum off the plant and gave it to me as a present, saying they all wanted me to have the first one from that plant. That was, without doubt, one of the most memorable gifts I have ever received. I have always known that it is the thought behind the gift that matters, and this is one present the memory of which will always remain very special to me.
I suppose I have some parts of my life set out right after all.