Deepa's kids don't have to 'go out' anymore | Milaap
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Deepa's kids don't have to 'go out' for sanitation purposes anymore

Written by Akshay Balan Publish date 25-Oct-2017

It's nearly noon. My stomach growls just as loud as the heavy duty two-wheeler I rode. I'm hungry, but I figured I could do fine to eat after meeting Deepa. But I did not expect to walk into her entire family eating. That sure did not do any good to my hunger. "Hi," I said. Deepa didn't seem to be eating. She moved from the kitchen to the living room and back again, serving all the dishes to her two daughters and her husband. All three who sat on the floor eating looked at me perplexed. I personally reach discomfort when someone shows up while I'm eating, so I knew how they felt. Or so I thought. One of the girls asks me, "Did you have food?" To be honest, I was expecting her father to ask me who I was, what I was doing there standing at the doorway staring and why I looked dumbfounded. But the kid spoke again, "Amma! Someone is at the door! Should I ask him to sit for food?" Deepa comes out of the kitchen carrying a utensil stacked with dosa. She looks at her daughter, looks at me and then goes to her family to serves the food. After which she slowly went back into the kitchen to bring back a metal plate. She places it right next to her husband and then looks at me. "Come in, please. Sit here." I did not hesitate. As I sat, I introduced myself. Deepa and her family listened. after which she said, "My husband doesn't speak while he's eating. Some habit that his family follows." I look at him and he nods. Not wanting to disturb his peace, I went back to eating silently. But Deepa did not stop speaking. After all, she wasn't eating. "I'm glad you could join us for breakfast," she said, smiling. I check my phone to see the time. It's past noon. Breakfast? I'm thinking lunch. And I said so. Deepa laughed. "It's a holiday, isn't it? Because of the Navami festival. The kids and my husband slept in late. So it's breakfast." I nod and accept the meal to be my brunch. As we had our fill, I learned about Deepa's life. Her husband does farming at a field nearby and that's pretty much what keeps them going. Two kids, both girls. I speak to them for a bit. "I am top of my class!" says one of them."Me too." says the other. "Both are." says the father. Deepa's husband had completed his meal. He went to the bathroom to wash up. "It's not just a bathroom. It's a toilet as well. We have it together. Built it this year with a loan. And thank goodness for it. My girls are growing up real fast. Can't have them going out like that anymore." Once, the phrase 'going out' used to be synonymous to defecation. For Deepa's girls, it would just mean what it really means.

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