A Rainy Rakhi with Roti

The month of August is filled with holidays. I have had at least one day off from school every week since I started teaching. Today is Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi for short. On this day, sisters and brothers celebrate their relationship. I didn’t get to experience any Rakhi specific activities but I did have a simple and enjoyable day off. I would have loved to go on an adventure but it has been raining romantic comedy style for over 24 hours.

Since I had so much time on my hands, I decided to work on my roti making skills. I made my first attempt on Sunday. The little flatbreads came out a bit too thick, almost pita like, but still tasty. Today I made sure to compile the best directions from various websites. The rotis came out a little better but there is still room for improvement. The bread is supposed to bubble up and separate and I only had a few pieces that managed to half heartedly bubble.

During the one hour that the rain let up, I decided to go and get some veggies from the market for lunch and dinner. I didn’t have very many small bills so I was a little bit hesitant in deciding what I wanted. As I was staring down at the assortment of vegetables I heard, “hello, hello, I know you!” There was a man frantically waving his hand and motioning for me to come over. Once my eyes focused, I realized that it was someone that I did in fact recognize. A few weekends back, Stacia and I had been looking for one of our friends near the lake. We were really lost and we asked the directors of a local cricket club if they could help us figure out where we were and where we needed to be. They were very helpful and friendly and we stood there chatting with them for some time. This man was one of the club directors. So, I walked over. He asked how we were doing and where Stacia was (she was at school). Then he made sure to point out the best vegetable sellers at the market. I took this opportunity to ask about all the funny looking vegetables that I had never seen before. He told me their names and how to prepare them. He also gave me change for my 500 rupee note.

I just love when I get to experience a little neighborhood charm. Usually its in the form of a nod from the newspaper wallah as I walk down the street to catch my morning bus. For me, these little interactions are very comforting. They make up for the dog fights, the restless infants, the political rallies and the faint yet constant toot of car horns that are usually audible at any given time of the day or night.



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