Mumbai is springing up everywhere

I was determined to get going early this morning and got up at 7 to go to the gym in the hotel for an hour’s workout. This left enough time to have a proper breakfast, pack and check out before my taxi was scheduled to arrive at 11.

It was about an hour after I had eventually left, after a taxi mix-up, that the Trident Hotel telephoned me to say that they’d found my travel purse with all my money and cards in it on one of the sofas in their lobby. Pretty impressive since I’ve had to change my Indian telephone number with my SIM card.

So back we rushed through the Mumbai traffic to retrive the purse. Ugh. I was so annoyed with myself. I’m usually the one that everyone else relies on to take my purse and keys and pick up stuff that they forget. I left my keys at home for the first time in decades the other day. I swear, it’s the beginning of hereditary dementia.

I was so angry with myself that my carelessness had put us three hours behind. Some people say I’m hard on myself but, with all the juggling I have to do, it’s really important to be organised. It’s true that I wasn’t actually going to be late for anything, but I was desperate to  get on and see my mum: these short trips to India and the travelling and sorting out stuff time involved mean I can only actually see my mum on three days and this makes me feel guilty.

The nearer we drew to our destination on this 21/2 hour journey, the more I was filled with trepidation. What if she doesn’t recognise me? What if I find her in poor health? I was becoming quite tetchy with the driver who qurestioning each one of my directions several times over. Surely a mere woman could not possibly know the right way to this place somewhere in the countryside. It was only when I pointed out that this was my seventh trip in a year that he was slightly mollified.

I dropped my suitcases, grabbed a packet of Haribos – my mum likes sweets but has no teeth to chew them – and went to see her straightaway, not entirely sure what to expect, and guess what: she recognised me imeediately without prompting and even remembered my name!

The nurses and doctor say there’s actually been a huge improvement in my mum’s condition: all her health problems have disappeared and she’s cooperative and settled. Who would have thought? She no longer takes food out of her mouth and throws it on the floor. She eats well and seems to be enjoying her life.

Well, you can imagine my delight and my gratitude to the nurses, who have looked after my mum so well. My mum says that her doctor suggested she should come here, and that she’s been here about a week but that she should be coming home (to London) in a few days time. She’ll let me know when she comes back and then she can come and live with me and she can cook for herself and I’ll cook for my children. It’s all worked out!

I pointed out that it’s very cold in London at the moment and this made her stop for a bit and think: it’s nice here, she says, and when you’re used to being warm, the cold is difficult to bear.