Day: Feb 5, 2020


The past five days we have been a cantata of sneezes: are we/ aren’t we with …corona- what ?! Headlines continue to scare with one kind of baddie or the other. The choice we have is to erase some new news for the memo of something good.

(Info on the Virus link here).

So, we decided it was the usual raw throat common cold with some amt. of fire in nasal chambers, Haha. Some of us recovered, two of us are out of bed, one of us had dizzy spells, another was pukey, two of us had a determined fever for three days, we all ate well. Mid purrs & sniffles, I remembered Thitha’s kashayam:

Kashayam is South Indian vernacular for a hot brew for when you have a cold! 😄

My recipe: 5 Ginger flakes in hot water+ 1 cinnamon flag, 1/2 lemon, pinch of pepper, teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and ofcourse honey. This thing has powers.

I add green tea to my own cup, also a sprig of mint leaf for that extra something. Its working wonders in the region of throat and around. My Doc sis has a steady supply of vitamins for us, but this Thitha’s brew is something!

Thitha is my husband’s mother. She lived 6 months after Pa passed on, Thitha looked like she could’ve been my own Ma. Pa said that when he first saw me.

They were pure South Indians, and so gracious, never interfering with anyone’s personal choices. After an early dinner they’d go up to their terrace garden. I loved them like my own, and they treated me as if they’d been waiting for me their entire lives. Have you met people like that? It’s not that I was fantastic but that they were generous and accommodating, saying nothing about anyone’s acid washed jeans, hairstyles or choice of music.

There was the time I caught a cold in our 4 am bus to the hills of Coorg, this restful hill station by the Konkan range. It can’t be just me colouring up details: this is a region, green rich with coffee estates, cinnamon, pepper, among mountain ferns and orchids. You don’t want to go there and waste time being ill.

When Ma gave me this Kashayam, horrific dark though it looked, I welcomed it. And still do.

Will it cure CoronaV? Nah, but it makes you feel better. It unclogs ears, shocks temples, smacks brain, and does things to yelling sinuses.

Back to human misbehaviour as compared to my perfect mother in law’s existence…

Recently in our newspapers one politician called the other Coronavirus!

I can think of a few people in my life who’d suit that title, but that’s not something I’m proud to confess… feeling that way about people. I’d rather behave like Thitha and Pa. Esp Thitha, her life was like a healing Spring, a Balm of Gilead. One vacation at their beautiful villa in the hills, there was a small fight between relatives, something too tiny to talk about, but it was hotting up. I went rushing in to find Ma Thitha, she was usually around the kitchen garden, plucking green mangoes to pickle, or scolding myna bird in her guava tree. But today Ma was calmly opening two cake boxes. “Serve cake,” she said as if she knew it could shut everyone’s mouths for something nice.

She was right!


Hey. Stay warm safe well and happy. This life was given to us, to cherish.

Practice Love” my Bible reads. Even the Holy Comforter knows what a tough call that is, especially with those outside our comfort zone. His words will always be my ultimate Balm, but am eternally grateful for the Gift of Thitha and people like her.

This above quote on Menu at a great Thai restaurant nearby.


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