The Pickle Jar- Part 1

short story, part 1 ,pickle jar, indiblogger

I was ten back then when I found out about the pickle Jar. Was it a boon or a curse?

It was a long way back home, dwarfed by the immense power of destiny, covered in a muddied ragged shirt. I contemplate on my journey so far. The other side of the hill was longing for my return. Two hills away is where I come from, my small village and my home, a small hut built of mud and sand, the one that often shook when the monsoon winds blew. A spare key to the latch was hidden in the creeks of the southern wall over which wild flowers grew. The light hardly made its rays persistent in that dark space inside. It was always foggy and damp but warm. Warm because in it was love. My mother’s love who would often be found preparing a meal or cleaning that tiny space off the dust.

Draped in a cotton saree and her nose ring shining through the darkness, we would find serenity in her arms. I was ten back then. When her light brown eyes brimmed of tears when she heard me run.

“I want to go” I had thundered that night. Father was still in his deepest sleep, that was when his snores would deafen our ears.

“You are just a kid, you do not the know the world outside” She smiled at first, thinking it as a childhood rant.

I knew that smile. That was never going to change. It would be foolish of me to convince her. Naren uncle had promised a better life, better home, better food in the city. I would return when I would have got everything. Being the oldest amongst the four children. I decided to run.

Back then I thought I was brave and determined.

It was a five-day journey on foot and 2 days on the vehicle. Bandra, the city, a home awaiting my arrival. So that night, I packed my bags with curried potatoes, dry rotis and left over ragi ball that was preserved for the next day’s morning ragi malt. Now for that treasure that promised me riches. I steadily walked through the small place, hopping around the sleepy legs of my siblings. My mother turned in her sleep while my father’s snore had reached the cow in the backyard. everything was in place. I climbed the walls of the hut, it was a bricky and an easy climb, at the end of the rack above was an earthen pot, the big one that would fill water for the house for two days. I clenched my teeth and drew it near me. It was heavy and bottom of which creak-traced the muddied rack above.

There you go, I heaved as I pulled it closer to me. tied a thread around the nook and slowly left it down to the floor. Is it really the pickle, a tiny voice in my mind screamed. My parents would always talk about the pickle they stored on the rack above. The one that promised us a better life. We never tasted the pickle though.

It was the money. I knew it for father always used to climb up with pennies jingling in his pocket and climbed down empty except making a grinning face of how tasty the pickle was.

And one night I heard them talk about the money saved in the pickle jar and how it would help us all in the future. The future where I would be married off and my sisters to a well settled family. The importance of it faded as the vision of the tall buildings and luxury cars raced in my eyes. I wanted them all.

Thirteen years later, I am coming back home, to where I belong. To the place that taught me to smile and to trust. The place that was showered with blessings of a smile that guarded our family. It has been a long time indeed.

To be continued…

 

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Guardians of Your Health

Living an healthy lifestyle is the most cliched topic for all families over the years. If coconut oil to your hair or a ragi ball to your stomach is meant to keep you healthy, it is the wisdom from our grandmothers. If a peg can keep you warm and healthy during the cold winters, the grandpas up for the wisdom mike.

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Health and being healthy has been on a constant roll for over the years, through the generations where our parents thought exercise will reach the necessary health criteria. The definition chameleoned when our seniors hit the gyms or the posh lady next door chose water aerobics in the pool.

But have you known a secret, of the  people who cook in the house have a power to save you. They are the guardians of your health. If they mess up on one single thing. From the vegetables that is to be washed  to the oil used that controls the cholesterol in your body. The family suffers. The ladies in the house hold up that responsibility in most Indian families.

And we all stand as an yield of the years experiment on us. The food we eat to the computer games that we choose to live in. Everything has overcome a massive change over the years.

Today, the world hasn’t remained the same and so has the beliefs or the practices carried like a mane has been so.

The dominos and burritos took over the ragiballs. The yearlong parties took over the winter pegs. The automatic vibrating machines took over the exercises. Oh right, the facebook scrolling became the new thumb trend for exercise. Phew, but we are still sane to get back to reality.

It’s all about balance.

I have a regime of my own. In a busy schedule that my day is packed with. I still find time. Defining an healthy lifestyle cannot be generalized and for me, staying fit and healthy is about balance.

A good night’s sleep and a morning walk, sometimes replaced with yogasanas for the flexibility starts my day. It is then progressed with a glass of warm milk, stealing the wits of my grandma, using a pinch of turmeric and a bit of crushed peppers during winter.

A daily routine that doesn’t glue me to the incessant calls or the frantic deadlines is something I dream of for my family memebers. To have something that can make you work without being worked up, a job that you like. Or you tend to like the job you already have, period.

You need a healthy heart and a fit body. Walk around often when you have to sit for longer times. Include raw vegetables to a quarter of the breakfast. It has been a blessing to the family. Yes, I will opt for junk foods, once in a fortnight maybe. But the veggies and greens with broccoli and eggs will be a part of the healthy diet. Not every day will be only noodles and omelets. But of the rich culture my ancestors have passed on. With a snack every day, sometimes with green tea or few more times with French fries and deep fried treat to our palates. With the right cooking oil and perfect tissue base, we eat to our heart’s content.

Then the day vapourises with laughter and merry with family and friends. A day with learning one new thing at a time. A day with some time for yourself. Maybe I will sing with my coarse voice or read a book in the shower. Or follow my passion with a bit of writing compensating with a bit of gardening.

That, my friend is a day well spent. That is a day well maintained and being mentally and physically healthy. It is all about balance. You are going to change tracks, we are all going to mess it up but we will find our balance, through and through. Balance has it all.

And finally meet one person after retiring for the day who can take all my craziest ideas and laugh at my serious decisions and put me to a sound sleep as I listen to his healthy heartbeat.

I have a last thought before falling to a deep sleep. It is about the guardians of your health. When Good brands promise you of health, accept it, trust it and use it. Because they hold the same responsibility as the person who cooks the daily food with it.

After-all, if you are healthy, so will your family be. If you are happy, so will your family be. So don’t forget to take care of yourself.

I am joining Saffola #ApneTareekeSeHealthy  initiative and sharing my ways of being healthy in association with BlogAdda.