Sunday mornings are meant to be lazy. I used to wake up at around 8; take a hot cup of tea from Amma, and head to the verandah and sit down with the Sunday supplementary papers, browsing through them, while waiting for Appa to leisurely finish the main Sunday paper. Without needing to get to office, Appa, over his second cup of coffee, would read the paper for hours (especially the ads, which he loves). It being a no office day, there would be no breakfast, except for yesterdays rice mixed with curd.
After breakfast, my sister and I would make ourselves comfortable in front of the television, completely immersed in the world of Mowgli and Uncle Scrooge (strangely, unlike the other kids, we never watched Chandrakanta). Appa would don his favourite blue checkered lungi and his dirty baniyan, mount a broom on a stick, and begin his weekly sunday chore of cleaning the upper reaches of the house, the corners with cobwebs, the fan blades etc. Often he would order us to clean our tables and book shelves, but Sunday was not supposed to be wasted cleaning. For me and my sister; doing anything was a waste of precious waste of Sunday time. Appa’s sunday cleaning ritual earned him the nickname: “Kuppayo Saamio”. The cleaning ritual would end with Appa dusting off everything in sight, disturbing our TV viewing with his cleaning of the TV, VCP etc.
Meanwhile, Amma would make her busy in the kitchen, and fill the house with the delightful aroma of the sunday afternoon special lunch. Often, it would be Vengaaya Sambhar (which is locked in a close fight with murungakka sambhar for the title of “King of Sambhars”) with aloo-deep fry and parappu-usli, accompanied by rasam and papaddam. Another sunday favourite would be Keerai Molakootal (the eternal queen of molakootals) or Avail. The light breakfast was the best appetizer for the delicious sunday lunch. As if the aroma was not appetizing enough, Amma would give me and my sister the awesomest tel-malish for the sunday head bath, making us more hungrier for the delicious food.
Delicious lunch would follow an siesta and an old Sivaji movie on the VCP (rented from Balaji rentals, whose collection of Sivaji movies, Appa would have exhausted, twice over) or a Rajesh Khanna movie on DD, with bhajji or bonda or some similar dish. Sunday evenings were always a little sad. I would be jealous of the whole day that went by and angry at the school week that I had to wake up to.
I completely waste Sunday’s in Madison, by staying awake till the wee hours on Saturday night. Winters are even more depressing, because by the time I wake up at 3 in the afternoon, the sun is getting ready to sink back in. So, basically, I just wake up into the sad Sunday evening, cribbing about a non-existant Sunday and the horrible work-week ahead.
Today was surprisingly different. Despite sleeping late, I woke up at 9 AM (actually 8AM, thanks to daylight saving). On any other given Sunday, I would have forced myself to go to sleep, but fortunately, today, I decided to wake up. And, I woke up to a beautiful day, the sun shining brightly, the snow melting slowly. Made myself a piping hot cup of strong chai and settled down to continue reading the refreshingly funny novel : “Chinaman” by Shenan Karunatilaka, which is about a dying drunk journalist, trying to make his mark on the world by making a documentary on the best player that never played for Sri Lanka, Pradeep Matthew, a mysterious left-arm spinner. A little later, I decided to finish the long overdue laundry (I had to, I had run out of socks anyway), which slowly sucked me into a cleaning frenzy, which in-turn brought back memories of Appa’s cleaning on Sundays. After frenetic vacuum-ing, I had to cook. Eating out would have spoiled the sunday that I was re-living. While the vetha-kozambu and cabbage curry was busy cooking, I helped myself to an awesome tel-maalish and shower, and finished the afternoon with a piping hot lunch of vetha-kozambu sadam, in an lazy sunday afternoon set up by Rafi and Kishore (music from this site; highly recommended).
Appa does not drink. If he, he would know how perfect the beer I just finished was!.
I am off to the Grand Canyon for four days. The first time, I will be spending spring break doing something, instead of being miserable with myself. Yay!