I remember the first time I went to the Glare beauty parlor. It was late in September, the weather was finally becoming bearable and on my way home for lunch I saw a lady in a yellow salwar suit come out, and I decided on my way back to the office I would go in there. When I went in for my first pedicure ever, I met Nirmali, who called her boss (Mala) and excitedly exclaimed in the local language that the foreigner that they had seen pass earlier that day had come to the parlor.
It has been two months since that day, and somewhere in that time I have crossed the line from foreigner to family. I am now affectionately called Melissaba. (similar meaning to auntie), I have a place at the dinner table, and they are always happy scoot over in the family bed and grab an extra pillow if I need to stay the night. They told me I have a soft heart and that is why it was so easy for me to mesh into their family.
Some of my favorite memories that I will always cherish include but are not limited to:”
- Mala’s son’s 7th birthday. I went early to help with the cooking and decorating. I really felt like a part of the family, I was so fun. It was on that night that they declared me a part of their family.
- Nirmali invited me to her aunt’s wedding. Mala went with me to pick out a Mekala sador (traditional dress) and make sure I got a fair price. On the day of the wedding I went to the parlor and the helped me pin the dress and also did my makeup. They let me do my own hair and that’s a huge compliment, it means they like my style. I went to the wedding and Nirmali proudly introduced me to all her family.
- Playing cricket baseball or badmitten with Mala’s kid’s in the front yard.
- Mala trying to teaching me how to cook and laughing so hard at my oddly shaped roti.
- Just sitting in the parlor with the two of them enjoying each other’s company, whether we are talking or just smiling at each other.
|Nirmali and I at the wedding|
|The Beautiful Bride|
|Mala, her sweet children and I under the mosquito net ready for bed|
|Mala's son's birthday party|
These are going to be the hardest goodbyes I have to say.