“APPA! It’s blazing hot and to make matters worse there’s a power shut-down. Coming to the village during the summer vacation was a bad idea. You had promised to take us to a theme park,” yelled Sundari at her father.
“Calm down, princess! Gopi is sick and Amma is busy taking care of him. We’ll go to the theme park next time. I brought you here so that you can spend time with Paatti. Now, let’s go to the verandah. It’s quite breezy out there. Paatti is also sitting there,” urged her father.
“I love Paatti but… there’s no internet, no TV, and no air conditioner either in this place. Why does Paatti like the village more than the city? Why doesn’t she stay with us anymore?”
“This is her hometown. She wishes to live here for some time. She’ll come back to the city whenever she wishes. Besides, it’s a beautiful place. You will like it once you explore.”
“Hmm, whatever! Do you see how my dress is fully drenched with sweat?”
“You should have worn the cotton pavadai given by Paatti instead of this fancy polyester frock.”
Soon, Sundari’s father led her to the verandah. It seemed relatively cooler there. Lakshmi Patti was busy pickling the cut mangoes in a huge jar.
“Sundari kutti ! What’s wrong? You don’t seem cheerful,” asked Paatti.
“Paatti! It’s too hot here. And it’s so different from the city,” said Sundari, bursting into tears.
“Oh, my darling! Let me bring you a cup of buttermilk. It will cool you down.”
Sundari sat on Paatti’s lap and quickly gulped the buttermilk.
“I hope it cooled you enough, my darling. Now, I will take you to the farm. There is a pump set there. You will have fun taking a cool shower there,” said Paatti.
Sundari held Patti’s hand and walked down to the farm reluctantly. Paatti asked the gardener to switch on the motor so that Sundari could experience taking a shower from the pump set.
“Wow! It’s like a mini waterfall,” shouted Sundari. Her face brightened up like a thousand-watts-bulb.
After frolicking for a long time, Sundari patted herself dry and wore the simple cotton pavadai. She also relished drinking tender coconut water and munching coconut jelly before heading home.
“Do you still feel hot and…angry? Or have you cooled down, princess?” asked her father once Sundari returned home.
“Appa! I had a lot of fun. It’s indeed a beautiful place.”
“Good girl! I’m glad you realized it soon. Come, let’s have lunch now. Paatti has prepared curd rice and lip-smacking mango pickle to beat the heat.”
“Sure! My stomach is grumbling. I will ask Paatti to feed me.”
Sundari had her lunch as she listened to an interesting story narrated by Paatti. Soon she fell asleep on Paatti’s lap with a smile on her face. She was oblivious to the heat and her anger had magically evaporated too.
Paatti – Grandma
Pavadai- Traditional South Indian skirt
This story was written for the May month prompt ” Blaze” by Penmancy. It won a special mention.
Picture Credit : Pexels
It was first published here;