The funeral is supposedly today, and she said she will be back by Friday. I think we can take her word on that since she hasnt taken any of her belongings with her, only her purse. She found a seat in the ladies compartment of Trivandrum Mail, standing in a queue and supervised by the railway police (which is a good thing. Earlier, male relatives or railway porters fetched seats for many of the women travelling in the unreserved ladies compartment; porters, of course, for a price.) Her return journey could be less tedious if my dad manages to procure a reserved berth in the train for her.
Nowadays, tickets for travelling in the unreserved compartments can be booked 3 days in advance. I had managed to sneak out from office at lunch time and buy a ticket in 2 minutes' time at the ladies/senior citizens/handicapped counter, which was surprisingly not closed, like in the peak-hour evenings. The evening queue lines are crazy too and one can never hope to board the train on time.
We have requested the services of Manohari, who had looked after the kids in January, and who had expressed a desire to work for us again if necessary. She had been pestering my partimer Kala to find her a job as a cook, and had even offered to make a biriyani for me any time I wanted. I will order a poori-potato masala first!