We’ve recently returned from vacation, and I hope to post some reflections soon about how nicely that trip soothed our souls. Until then, here are a few snippets on the way life goes for us in India these days, all centered around the fan.
For quite some time, Reuben has adored the fan. (Many babies like fans, I think.) I am sure he likes the motion of the fan, and I know he also likes its breeze. The fan was the first thing Reuben acknowledged, with a gesture, in front of an audience. If you were to ask Reuben about his best friend, I think he might point toward the fan.
Miss Leila is dying to be able to speak Tamil, the language spoken by JP’s family. I believe that Leila understands a lot more than she is able to verbally reproduce, and that means Leila speaks a lot of gibberish these days- sometimes to us, sometimes to Tata and Ava, and sometimes to the room at large (and any imaginary play friends that might be present.) One of the actual phrases that Leila has picked up, and that she uses frequently is, “Fan enga?” A favorite game with Reuben is, “Where’s Reuben?” or “Reuben, where is Tata?” or “Reuben, where’s the fan?” (Fan enga?) Leila has made this phrase her own. You can hear her play, Reuben enga? often. She loves to say, Fan enga? And, much to my consternation when I was trying to find Reuben’s towel the other night, she just kept saying, Towel enga? instead of helping me find the towel! For the rest of my Tamil-speaking life, I am sure Leila will end up being my little translator.
Two days ago, rather out of the blue, JP said to me, “There is no sound more gratifying than that of the fan starting up again when the power comes back on.” I couldn’t agree more. We have entered the hot, more summery season, here in India. I guess true summer does not arrive until May, but it is more than warm already this March. As the heat comes, we inevitably loose power more often. With more air conditioners (and fans) running throughout the city, the power supply gets a little weary and worn. So, “The Powers that Be” shut off electricity in different parts of the city, at various times, to conserve energy. During one of our stays in India, we would loose power for an hour at the same time every morning. The predictability was kind of nice. During this stay, we just never know. It could be in the middle of a load of laundry, or in the middle of a shower, or while baking a cake. If you’re lucky, really, you’re just sitting there playing Fan enga? because the good news is that Reuben can find the fan with or without the power. But, like JP said, we all rejoice when the power comes back, and the fan creaks to life again.