Amanda: Kavitaji’s Words of Wisdom

May 23, 2011

I lived with two Indian families during the course of my stay abroad.  Most Indians value family a lot, and many live in large extended-family homes.  With servants, sibling quarrels, dogs with a vengeance, the drama of existence, and the strangeness of American boarders…there was never a dull moment in either of the houses I lived in.

What I loved most about my host families though, were my two Indian host mothers.  Like any good mataji, Krishnaji and Kavitaji made sure we were well-fed and happy.  I shared several interesting and insightful conversations with Kavitaji over tea. One of my favorites occurred when I commented on a Bollywood actress in the newspaper.  What ensued was a lesson on staying young and beautiful from Kavitaji:

Kavitaji:  We Indian women know how to look young and beautiful. How old you think my mother is?
Me: Eighty??
Kavitaji: Okay no.  She had hard life.  She is only 72.
Me: Oh. I’m sorry.

Kavitaji: How old you think I am?
Me: um…???  Forty?
Kavitaji: Nooo! Forty-seven…aha.
Kavitaji: You want to know secrets to staying young and beautiful?
Me: By all means!
Kavitaji: Three secrets. First, put mustard seed oil on your hair every night.  Keeps grey hairs away.  You already do this. Second, drink 8 liters of water a day.  Third, be happy, which you already are!

Words of wisdom from my sweet Kavitaji!  I am pretty sure drinking 8 liters of water a day would turn me into a human filtration system…but besides that, looks like I’m on the path to eternal youth and beauty!

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