In the late afternoons, Nat's foster girls play outside in the blazing Indian summer sun.
I am not going to lie. I can't handle that much heat.
So, in a spirit of sisterhood as well as self-preservation, I often spend playtime lounging in the shade of the second floor balcony. From that relatively cool vantage point, I can not only call back and forth with the girls as they careen down the steep driveway on various wheeled contraptions, but also enjoy some interesting views.
^ Directly below me lies the front gate, which is guarded by watchmen at all hours of day and night, and the smooth, cool walk that leads to the house. No one gets in or out without me noticing.
^ Our home is in an area of the city called Jubilee Hills. Not gonna lie, it's pretty swanky by Indian standards. Across the city, on another hill, the buildings are definitely more ragtag. I admire the contrast and count my blessings.
^ I've been delighted to discover that the front yard of our home is devoted to a vegetable garden. Love to see the deep green foliage and tender produce flourishing in the red, well-watered indian soil.
^ And here is Ground Zero of playtime at Joy Home. It's hard to make out the steep incline from above, but the girls settle onto their bikes and scooters and multi-person flying machines up top near the gate, then let 'er rip down the hill and into the lower level garage. Like children everywhere who are allowed to take risks, they know their limits perfectly well, and despite the speed and inherent danger of their play, I have witnessed not a single accident or spilled tear.
^ But wait a minute. What's this? From my unseen vantage point, I witnessed quite an interesting sight. One of the children's Indian caregivers flirting with the watchman?!
Not gonna lie. That is a major scandal.
So I reported my findings to Nat, who then confirmed the details of this secret tryst with a trusted staff member. Within twenty-four hours, the brazen woman was fired and immediately removed from the house.
Which just goes to show that you never know what you might see from up on the balcony.
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Here is the full story of my trip to Hyderabad, India and my visit with the Indian Princesses: