It’s about time that I updated you on my mum’s life in India. 

My most recent trip was a couple of weeks ago, and I was despondent about going, partly because I spent most of MsDD’s Easter holiday away from home, away from her, and partly because when I went to see mum in January, it was clear that she no longer recognised me. She was quite gloomy and uncommunicative. I was very sensible and rational, and told myself that this was because I form no part of mum’s day anymore. The nurses, who were keen to get her repeat her amusing little quips, are now her whole day to day life so of course she won’t treat me, a virtual stranger, as one of her gang.

“LThey’d just had a ridiculous heatwave in Neral as I arrived and some of the floor tiles in the common day room had lifted so this part of the building was too dangerous to be used by the frail old ladies and gentlemen. (They’re looking into replacing the tiles as soon as possible.) It’s really difficult to keep an open-plan building cool in 45 degree heat, so the ladies and gentlemen were taking turns having everyone around to theirs to hang out with the air conditioning and watch TV.

I spent quite a lot of time with my mum watching Marathi TV and railing at the characters in the soaps. We revisited an old joke when two characters shared a hug and I put my hand up to shield us and yelled “Break!” which is what my mum always used to do at any public display of the tiniest bit of intimacy. I think this made her chuckle.

On one occasion mum did recognise me, I think, when she asked why I wasn’t at school but it was fleeting. 

And so it goes. And I’ve booked another trip for June.