Crying auntie and laughing cows

Today I feel a long way from home. Yesterday one of my sisters had a little baby girl and my tears of joy when she told me merged with tears of sadness that I wasn’t there to give my sister a hug and drop my first kiss onto my new niece’s soft, divine-smelling head. Another miracle in our midst. Then one of my closest friends just sent me a photo of her brand new engagement ring. Again, such a pang that I’m not there to oooh at the ring in person and give her and her fiance a massive celebratory hug.

Still, I have made my choices, and recognise the heart-achey feeling I’m experiencing is one of the sacrifices I have made to be here. If Chris were here, he would say, ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it’ and we would have our usual argument about the validity of this phrase, with me retorting, ‘Of course you can – the whole point of having a cake is to eat it!’ It’s not that I don’t appreciate and wholly support the message the phrase is trying to get across, it’s just that the irritating pedant in me doesn’t think the phrase quite works as it is. Surely a more accurate (although admittedly not as catchy) phrase would be, ‘You can’t eat your cake and simultaneously have the benefit of looking forward to eating your cake’. Aaaanyway, let’s change the subject (but I’m right, right?)… 😉

I told Prashanth that I’d become an auntie and he said, ‘What, you’ve turned 40?’ Turns out a woman is called auntie once she hits the big 4-0. I then wet the baby’s head with a turmeric tea at the Cafe but it just didn’t cut it – not enough bubbles, tipsiness or family to share it with… 😦

Still, time is passing by quickly. Tomorrow is the Makar Sankranti festival in India, which is a harvest festival signalling the beginning of spring. One of the traditions of the festival is to clean the cows, cover them in yellow turmeric powder and decorate them with garlands, then feed them sugar cane. I am happy the cows have their day of being pampered (if you can call being smeared in powder ‘pampered’) as these urban specimens are otherwise are a pitiful lot – bones sticking out, open sores on their legs, a dull look of resignation in their eyes, bellies full of plastic bags from their bin-foraging, probably dying from the inside out. I’ve already seen my first yellow cow – although was gratified to note that this one actually looked quite healthy.


So, the sun moves into another zodiac sign (Makara is capricorn) and I move into another week of yoga. Feeling a bit ‘meh’ about it today, partly due to wishing I could teleport myself to Hull (I wonder if anyone has ever made that wish before in the history of mankind – my sister and new niece are in Hull by the way) and partly due to my inability to sleep at the moment. I will blog about India’s unbelievable capacity for ceaseless NOISE in another post, when I’m feeling a bit more zen about the whole thing. I could take a lesson in stoical zen from this chilled out, coloured-in fella…


3 thoughts on “Crying auntie and laughing cows

  1. I know this feeling. You love where you are but you also wish you were somewhere else too. Perhaps you wish you could have your cake from your favourite cafe but enjoy it in someone’s house (I think I’m over thinking the phrase now). Anyway, huge congratulations to Charlotte – I hope she and baby girl are doing well. Can’t wait to see a picture. Hope the psychedelic cows help with the homesickness. Love Juliet.

    1. Yes, I’m sure you must get this feeling a lot – it’s kind of bittersweet – great that we have such loved people elsewhere to make us feel like this, but tough nonetheless. Sorry I missed the three (and a half) of you at xmas – it was lovely seeing some piccies and you all look really well… 🙂 xxx

  2. Becky, you are a wealth of Mysore knowledge! Thank you again. There was me newly arrived in Mysore thinking that the yellow cows were a kind of hi vis modern day health and safety development in India brought about by perhaps one too many black and white cows getting hit on the roads at night.

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