There is no way that I could go about my day or tackle the work I have to do without my support system, which includes many people of course, but today I’m going to tell you about the ones at home.
Our team at home consists of three extremely wonderful women who keep our house cosy, clean and warm. We all feel very lucky to have them working with us. What I love most is their knowledge of Indian remedies. I’ve asked Manbhari ji, Anita ji and Lakshmi ji to share one of each of them with you.
Whenever we have had a fever, or more violently, when Livio had dengue, Manbhari ji would pick a leaf from the papaya (papita - one of my favorite Indian words) plant. She would cut the green leaf of its stem and then mash it into a paste with a stone pestle and mortar. This horrendous potion of ground papita leaf is one of the strongest antidotes to a strong fever.
Whenever we have a change of weather, or it’s monsoon, or it feels slightly chilly, or maybe a bit hot Anita ji prepares her immunity potion. A mix of honey, fresh turmeric, fresh ginger, tulsi and black peppercorn. She boils the ingredients all together, and puts them in a large teapot and allows it to cool. I drink this potion throughout the day, if the weather is cold I have it hot and if it’s cool I have it cold.
For those of you who know me you know that if there is anything that scares the hell out of me, it’s mosquitos. I’ve lived in India for fifteen years and seen a lot of wild creatures, bulls, monkeys, snakes. Nothing. Nothing freaks me out, makes me jump out of my seat like those tiny little ferocious demons. The mosquitos.
So when monsoon comes to an end, and those monsters come to life again and roam our alleyways, pillage our homes, Lakshmi ji pulls out the dried neem leaves, burns them in every dark corner of the house starting with the stairwell, and like a warrior, protects us all.