Monday, December 04, 2006
"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life
-St Francis of Assisi
I love this small prayer. It acts as an internal compas helping me to direct my thoughts,relationships and actions..
St. Francis' prayer is a bold one, asking for strength to give of ourselves to meet the needs of others.
Of course I often find myself falling short .. But it sort of inspires me to try to do better..
He is one of the saints I adore cos of his beautiful thoughts, focus on peace , his love for animals, birds and the enviornment..
So if you're bold enough, pray the prayer.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Omg ..!! It took me hours.
What’s wrong with me..? The clothes, cosmetics and junk jewelry I have wasted my precious time, money and energy to buy senselessly and hoard for years is amazing.
Why don’t I realize that shimmer and glimmer on the face only suits models on magazine covers?
That jeweled bidhis make me look silly and decked up.
That chunky ethnic jewelry I buy from handicraft shops looks so garish and gaudy on me that I finally just push it back after wasting time contemplating whether I should wear it with my handlooms.
They only make me resemble Protima Bedi on a bad day.
That bohemian style doesn’t suit my looks personality or my lifestyle.
That jeweled stilettos are only good to look at. They are h horrible to wear esp in evenings.
That organza makes me look fat. Organdie pricks my skin.
That drop earrings and huge hoops only make me feel my age. I would look foolish in them.
What makes me buy all thee things. Which of the seven vices..?
Is it greed? Or pride.?
Why don’t I realize that I will never use these things?
They give me some pleasure when I buy it.
But they are hardly used and just serve the purpose of irritating me. Cluttering my cupboard.
Making me realize that my lifestyle is too busy for all these things.. That I am getting old. ..
I should realize that I am a mature woman . A busy professional juggling her home and career.
That I should have a vision about the my lifestyle, personality and choices when I shop.
That I always end up wearing the same few soft simple snug handloom churidars with white Kurthas and shawls, tiny elegant jewelry and soothing light silks in mild shades that makes me feel feminine...
That my feet only tolerate soft, cushioned, snug footwear.
That all I need and use is a good cleanser, toner , moisturizer , a coral pink lipstick and mascara and a tiny black bindhi. And of course a perfume..
I was ruthless this time. Removed all the ‘hardly worn' clothes, cosmetics and footwear.. To be handed out to those who will use them, enjoy them..
And I have taken a resolution that I will only buy what I really need and use..
I will simplify my life..
Wish I could do it with my thoughts, emotions and relationships too..
Thursday, November 09, 2006
“I hate it when you open your mouth.”
( angry and insulting)
“I TOO hate it when you TOO open your mouth.”
(Angry, insulted ,eager to strike back)
“Shut up! Both of you.. Don’t start in the morning itself..!!”
(loud and commanding)
Snippets of conversation I heard from inside a hut during my morning walk today.. An old woman lives there with her son and daughter-in-law.
I couldn’t help agreeing with her..
We all have this tendency to score and win during our arguments.
We use hostility, rudeness, sarcasm, finger pointing and idle threats, to win at any cost..
We even bring up unrelated issues from the past..
These only serve the purpose of only hurting the other person.. destroying relationships..
The basic issue is often never addressed..
Let us avoid the instantaneous 'tit for tat' responses..
Let us try to solve the problem in a clear and honest manner.. Present our point of view respecting and validating the feelings of the other person..
Let us be conciliatory.. Reasonable..
It is always better to avoid emotive statements isnt it..?
Let us not jump into conclusions before the other person finishes speaking.. Let us face the facts with an open mind without trying to interpret (often wrongly) the other persons motive..
Maybe we need time to cool down before the discussion..
If so , let us shut up, hold out tongue, grit our teeth and if possible keep smiling..!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
“When we look deeply into the heart of a flower, we see clouds, sunshine, minerals, time, the earth and everything in the cosmos in it. Without clouds there could be no rain, and without rain there would be no flowers..”
- [Thich Nhat Hanh]
Yes..! The heart of a flower.. One of the most beautiful things in this world..
Thank you jaguu for clicking this pix for me... Meeting you on that clouded afternoon was a lovely experience..
Ps. He is exactly as I had imagined him to be
Well built.. and Rugged in a Tee-shirt the color of this flower..
Gentle brown eyes..
Sweet.. Sensitive.. Soft-spoken .. Unassuming..
Exactly the kind of young man I would love my boys to grow up to be..
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
THIS IS HOW IT IS.. NOT HOW IT
Might have been..
Should have been..
I wanted it to be..
Hoped it would be..
Planned it would be..
I ACCEPT THAT THIS IS HOW IT IS.
Now I get on with my life..
When our our life experiences are not matching with our ‘shoulds’..
When situations are plain unfair, but there is nothing we can do to change them...
When the perfectly rational decision is to let it go..
Monday, October 16, 2006
Alexis is one of the real gems I found in the blogworld and I feel that it is apt that it is he who tagged me to write about my blogging..
so here I go..
1. Are you happy/satisfied with your blog, with its content and look? Does your family know about your blog?
Yes I am quite satisfied. However I would love to add more pictures preferably taken by me.
Yes my family knows about my blog. Hubby dear and my boys seem to have a love - hate relation ship with it.
2. Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog or you just consider it as a private thing?
Only a very few close friends know about it. And I prefer it that way. For obvious reasons
3. Did blogs cause positive changes in your thoughts?
Sure. It has opened a lovely word where smart, intelligent and caring people voice their inner most thoughts and share their emotions and experiences.. Definitely this wonderful world has made positive changes in my thoughts. Positive changes in ‘me’.
4. Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or you love to go and discover more by yourself?
There are some blogs I love to visit regularly.. They keep my blogging going. I also try to visit those who comment on my blog as well as go blog hopping too. Depends on the free time I get. Which is really very little..
5.What does visitors counter mean to you?Do you care about putting it in your blog?
Yes I have put visitor's counter in my blog.. It is interesting to go through the reports and analyze them.. It sort of motivates me..
6. Did you try to imagine your fellow bloggers and give them real pictures?
Yes. That’s part of the fun of blogging.. you get to know people from their words, their emotions, and their comments.. It sort of builds up and as time passes and slowly you have an image of the person..
In the real world it is the other way round isnt it..?
I don’t know why, but creating an image for each blogger like putting a jigsaw puzzle together , gives me a thrill.. Also I believe that this image will be a true one
7. Admit. Do you think there is a real benefit for blogging?
Yes there is a real benefit
It has offered me connection and bonding with some special people , widened my horizons and has given me the pleasure of being the part of a warm wonderful community..
8. Do you think that bloggers society is isolated from real world or interacts with events?
Never..!! It reflects the inner world of the people living in the ‘real ‘ outer world.. and I have always believed that the inner world is the true world..
9. Does criticism annoy you or do you feel it’s a normal thing?
Criticism both positive and negative is normal and expected.. positive criticism encourages me.. I feel that there should be more frank positive criticism..
Negative criticism.. Well..it disturbs me .. For a few days.. Though I try to ignore it..
10. Do you fear some political blogs and avoid them?
I don’t fear or avoid them.. I am not much interested in them too..
11. Did you get shocked by the arrest of some bloggers?
No. It is to be expected I suppose..
12. Did you think about what will happen to your blog after you die?
Hmm.. I have thought about it.. It will die with me ..
But I expect hubby dear to put up a notice in my blog that I am no more so that my dear buddies are at least kept informed about it..
13. What do you like to hear? What’s the song you might like to put a link to in your blog?
I love melodies..soft sweet ones..
This blog is an expression of the goodness I would like to cultivate within me and share with others..
I read this poem by Wordsworth as a fourteen year old and was instantly hooked .. This is my ideal woman. This I what I would love to be.. And I would love to put this poem a link to this blog
She Was a Phantom of Delight
She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely Apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;
Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;
A dancing Shape, an Image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and way-lay.
I saw her upon a nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A Creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears and smiles.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
A Traveler between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
To warm, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright,
With something of angelic light.
Thank you alexis.. Doing this tag was a beautiful experience.. cos I was writing about something that i hold dear to my heart..
PS. That is the pix of the blooming 'arali' in my garden.. thats how blogging has brightened my life..
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
It is good news my dear sweethearts..I clarified it from the police myself..
The boy was handed over to his parents.. The goondas were kept under police custody for a few days and released..
It seems the boys family had to payback some loan.. The police has told them to pay it back as early as possible..
Three cheers to our cops..!!
And three cheers and hugs to our dasappen who did score..!!
Thursday, September 28, 2006
His clothes were dusty. sweat and tears ran down the gaunt face. His teeth chattered. He smelled of filth, hunger and fear.
“Call the police..!!”
“They will kill me..!!”
He gasped, skulking towards the shadows of the dark room
The x-ray technician froze. He watched the boy as if in a trance.
"Call the police..!! Don’t allow them to take me away..!! "
He pleaded, his sunken eyes looking around wildly for a place to hide.
“They starved me for two days….”
“Please someone call the police….!!”
He pleaded at the small group of patients and staff who had gathered around..
The crowd watched in alarm and panic as four or five men rushed inside the room..
Realization dawned as they watched the brash tee shirts clinging to sweating, lean bodies.. Arrogant flashing eyes and colored hair.
One man caught hold of the boy and started to pull him..
“No.. no..” the boy fell down to his knees weeping..
I was on my way to the lab when I saw a big crowd in front of the x-ray unit.
Something was terribly wrong..
People had a stricken look.. They were whispering to one another..
I could hear wisps of conversations..
“Call the police..!”
“Must be trying to get loan money back..!”
“Call the police..!”
“We must lock the door..! A gruff voice was speaking feverishly.”.
That was when I noticed Dasappen shoving people apart.. Trying to close the door..
As the crowd parted I saw few mean men trying to pull a petrified looking boy who was shrieking something
My heart was beating fast..!!
“Yes..! We had to lock the door..!!”
Suddenly I felt a blunt hit on my back..
“Move.. move.. “A cold commanding voice ordered and I felt myself being shoved out of the way roughly..
He looked about seven feet tall ..had golden brown colored hair and wore a tomato red colored tee shirt.. he walked into the room..
My heart was galloping..!!
“No we shouldn’t allow it.. we had to call the police..!”
I ran to my office..and dialed 100..
I spoke rapidly..
“Ma’m we have already got the complaint.. Police is on the way.. The voice was crisp..”
I rushed back.. And watched the scene in horror..
Everything seemed to move in a slow motion..
A huge crowd had gathered.. The boy was pleading something as he was being pulled across the foyer.. Few people had joined in the fight and was pulling the boy back.. Some were talking excitedly into their cell phones..Dasappen was in the center. Hugging the boy from the back.. His face was buried in the boys back.. His body was bent as he strained to pull the boy
Suddenly the golden brown haired leader took out a knife and flashed it in front of him..
There was a collective gasp. The crowd parted.. Many people moved back..
“Where was the bloody police..?”
I couldn’t bear it.. The boy was being pulled ahead slowly.. Surely
The procession had reached the porch and was progressing along the drive way..
I ran behind the crowd....
They were taking him towards a Qualiz parked near the gate..
I could see Dasappen still clinging to the boy.. Oblivious to every thing around him. his face buried in the boys back.. he clung.. Obsessively.. Compulsively..
“Dasappen..! I wanted to shout.. Let go.. They will hurt you..”
There was a collective gasp once more as a police jeep swerved in through the drive way.. My heart danced as I saw police men jumping out..
The inspector roared something..
The men froze.. Their body language changed.. There seemed to pass some unspoken communication..
I was surprised.. The men didn’t try to run away.. They just stood there.. Docile..
The inspector spoke something to the boy and the men.. Handcuffs were placed on all of them including the boy..
All of them walked towards the jeep like trained Labradors..
The Goondas seemed to have some unwritten code of conduct. All of us watched in spellbinding silence as the police jeep drove way followed by the Qualiz..
Pandemonium broke out..!!.. Everyone started speaking excitedly..!
“Must be loan money..!”
“The Goondas were talking about money..!”
“What if the police had not come..”
“Doc are you hurt..?” Someone asked..
“Nothing..!” I giggled.. “I will be proud to tell my boys about being hit by a goonda !” I laughed..
Must be “ Pacha vikraman.”. Gautam commented his mouth full of the chapathy and chicken he was gulping down,. as I told about the tall leader with golden hair..
Taj sat and stared at me. his huge eyes shone with excitement.. Peeps listened silently..
Imagine..! Goondas in Mama’s hospital..! Thank god Dasappen was not hurt..! I exclaimed..!
Dasappen..? The psychotic whose son died..? Peeps looked curious..
I had forgotten about Ravikutten.. his death.. No wonder Dasappen had clung so adamantly to the boy..
Next morning the first thing I did was call Dasappen to my room..
“It was only because of you that the boy was saved.. Somewhere his parents will be thanking you .”I smiled at him warmly..
“Yes the boy was saved only cos of me..” Dasappen spoke in his usual gruff over confident style..
I smiled again..
“Bala is worried that they will hurt me ..”
“Don’t worry .. they wont remember you specifically.. .”.I smiled .. “And they are under poliuce custody na..?”
Dasappen continued to stand there..
I wondered if I should say something about Ravikutten.. But I refrained myself..
I smiled again..
Dasappen.. Continued to stare at me.. strangely.
I felt uncomfortable.. The glitter in his eyes unnerved me..
Was it his psychosis..?
Or was it cos his eyes were moist..? Was he thinking about his Ravikutten..?
I wished he would leave..
Yes I was feeling uncomfortable..
My eyes too were becoming moist..
Thursday, September 21, 2006
He is a constant headache for the matron.Cos of his tabs he can’t be put on night duty. He lectures to the supervisors about how things have to be done.. Taking x-rays.. Doing the lab tests.. Dressing the wounds.. Dasappen has a definite opinion
Everyone sniggers behind his back.. They make fun of his stocky barrel shaped hairy body.. The squinting glittering eyes.. His over enthusiasm in his work..
No body takes him seriously.. Cos every one knows that he is a psychotic on tabs..
No one dares to call him a psycho at his face..
“Lie down there you bitch.. Ill show you whether I am a psycho or not..” He once roared at a lady attendee who taunted him about his madness..
But I had a fondness for him. I couldn’t help acknowledging his sincerity to his work.. His loyalty to our institution.. That he ploughed ahead despite the odds and provided good education to his kids..
One boy and one girl..
How are your kids ..? I would asks him casually..
Dasappen would puff out his barrel shaped chest .. The squinting eyes would glitter proudly.. His voice would become still gruffer with emotion..
I was away on a training when Dasappen's son’s body was found dead in Vellayani Lake..
The boy had gone for an interview.. And had just disappeared into the thin air.. The body was found three days later..
Accident.. Suicide.. Homicide.. Rumors spread..
But Dasappen had a definite opinion..
“It is homicide.. My son knew swimming.. He was murdered and thrown into the lake..”
I decided to wait for the post mortem report..
In case of drowning, the lungs are examined in detail…
Presence of planktons.. tiny microorganisms found in water.. are also looked for.. Their presence within the far off blood vessels and within the lung tissue indicates that the deceased was alive and breathing and his blood circulation was functioning when he fell into the water.. The plankton went in through the water that was inhaled in.. Crossed the blood vessels and were transported into the lung tissue.. and other parts of the body..
It wouldn’t be seen in far off blood vesels and tissues if the person was dead while he fell into the water..
However suicide can’t be ruled out by this test..
The post mortem report came.. Planktons were present in the lung tissue and
“Maybe he slipped and fell..” I told Dasappan gently..
“No ma’m.. He was murdered..” Dasapen was dogmatic. The eyes glittered as he stared at me..
Maybe he had reasons to believe it..( I knew that he had some problems with his sister’s husband.. There had been physical fights..) Maybe it was the belief of a father who believed that he knew his son well.. Maybe it was the part of persecutory delusion of a psychotic..
Dasappen refused to believe anything else..
It is seven years after his son’s death now..
Dasappen still works hard.. With enthusiasm.. And self-righteousness.
He didn’t fall into deep depression.. He didn’t have a nervous breakdown..
I wondered if the medicines he took helped to blunt his pain..
I hoped so..
And he still believes.. That Ravikutten.. Blood of his blood.. Soul of his soul.. Was murdered and thrown into the Vellayani lake..
( to be continued)
ps.I'v included some additional info about planktons/diatoms in drowning
Drowning associated diatoms
Rajvinder Singh, Rajinder Singh, Mukesh Kumar Thakar
Department of Forensic Science, Punjabi University, Patiala-147002
Drowning is type of asphyxial death by submersion in a fluid, whether or not the fluid is aspirated into the lungs. This is considered as the cause of death if the death occurs within 24 hours of the insult and if survival is beyond 24 hours after the submersion and implies that recovery has occurred after the insult it is called near drowning.
Diatoms are among the well known water planktons. Every water body has its own diatom diversity. Diatoms are autotrophic in nature and different genera are found in both marine and fresh habitats. Diatoms belong to class Bacillariophyceae and further divided into two orders i.e. Centrals and Pennales on the basis of their symmetry. There are about 10,000 species and 174 genera of diatoms having different shapes and sizes ranging from 1 to 500μm. Diatoms are commonly found in water bodies like ponds, lakes, canals and rivers etc. but their concentration can be low or high in a particular water body, depending upon the season. With regard to another feature-the water depth limits to benthic distribution-there is no incontrovertible evidence for autotrophic growth of diatoms below about 100 m.
When drowning takes place, diatoms enter into the lung cavity of a person through the aspirated water and this water exerts a pressure on lung cavity and rupturing of the lung alveoli takes place. Through these entrances diatoms can enter into heart, liver, kidney, brain and bone marrow. As diameter and thickness of lung alveoli remains between very small therefore it is not impossible for all the diatoms to penetrate into the body organs through the lung cavity and diatoms which can penetrate through this capillary network are called “Drowning Associated Diatoms” (DAD).
Analysis of diatoms present in the lungs, liver, spleen, blood and bone marrow has for many years been undertaken as a confirmatory test in possible downing cases. However, the diatom test has been controversial since numerous cases of false negative and false positive results have been documented. Careful analysis of diatoms is a useful means of determining whether or not death occurred while the face was submerged in water. Before diagnosis of death by drowning an emphasis must be made on the morphological and morphometric studies of diatoms from the putative drowning medium because penetration of a diatom in lung capillaries depends upon its size and density Hurlimann et al. (2000).
In forensic investigation, while solving cases related with drowning, one can easily detect diatoms in the viscera of drowned body, if drowning is ante-mortem and diatoms are present in that putative drowning medium. The diagnosis of drowning by diatom analysis should be considered positive when number of diatoms is above a minimal established limit; 20 diatoms/ 100 µl of pellet (obtained from 10 gm of lung samples) and 50 diatoms from other organs (Ludes et al.1996) and further matching of diatoms from bone marrow and drowning site can strengthen this supportive evidence and a positive conclusion can be drawn whether person was living or not when drowned. In the present study a detail survey of the literature has been undertaken and an attempt has been made to provide some important information about the specific types of diatoms, which are commonly recovered from the various body organs of drowned persons.
Monday, September 11, 2006
It was monsoon..
Dark angry clouds swarmed over the dull gray horizon.
The rain lashed down drenching the leaves.. soaking the ground…. puckering the surface of the lake with millions of ripples. Dipping the waterlillies..
The coconut palms swayed.. Their leaves surrendering to the cold, harsh wind and the incessant rain..
It was at about 11.am that the 'body' was found..
‘It’ lay among the reeds.. near the banks.. bloated.. skin soggy , blistered and broken in areas..
Dasappen shivered in the hostile biting wind , as molten heat rocked him in waves..
He couldn’t call ‘It’ Ravikutten..
His slim, smiling, earnest Ravikutten..
He couldn’t see ‘Its’ face..’It’ lay prone in the gray muddy water..
But the curly hair was familiar.. The striped polyester shirt and dark gray pants were familiar..
They had gone to the textile shop in the town to buy it two weeks back..
No the local tailor wouldn’t do. It had to be sharply stitched..
“Smart formal look is needed for the interview Acha.”
Ravikutten’s dark smooth cheeks had been flushed with excitement as he read the interview card. His dark eyes glowed earnestly..
Front office staff.. For a star hotel in Dubai..
‘Yes. Ravikutten will get the job.!.”
Bala had beamed at him as she lovingly pressed the shirt and pants once more.. Smoothing away imaginary creases.. The night before.
Ravikutten would be leaving for the interview.. In the first bus in the morning..
Dasappen had nodded .. His heart almost bursting with pride..
‘They had made him a graduate hadn’t they..? And a diploma holder in hotel management and catering too..!’
The agent was asking for seventy-five thousand .. fifty now.. Twenty-five six months later. He would have to make final withdrawal from his PF.. But it would be worth it.. Ravikutten would look after them.. Ammu had to be married off.. But that could wait another two to three years.. she had just started her MA..
Yes Ravikutten would score..!!
His slim, , smart smiling earnest Ravikutten.. His first born.. His son.. Blood of his blood.. Soul of his soul..
The molten pain was rising high.. like crashing waves....Fiery.. Icycold..
Gripping.. Soaking.. Crushing and Blinding him..
Dasappen could hear himself howling.. Like an animal..
(to be continued)
Thursday, August 31, 2006
I glanced at my watch…
“I should have remembered that it gets dark early in November. “I chided myself.
The lights of the traffic roaring ahead colored the raindrops blue, green and red… It had started to drizzle.
Peeps was away. My car was in the workshop. It had been a casual Saturday shopping with my boys aged 7 and 5... Not that I needed anything urgent.
Just an excuse to pamper ourselves. Wandering through the shops.. Cosmetics.. Clothes.. Black forest cake and Milkshake with Ice cream for the boys.
Gautam was raising his face to the sky in abandon.. His tongue catching the raindrops falling down.. His shoelace was undone. His tee shirt trailing down from his jeans..
Taj stood pulling my shawl.. he looked sleepy.. his jeans lay hung low on his hips.. the bottom trailing in the mud..
I tried to wave frantically at the auto rickshaws but they just whirred past ahead.. Fast..
I glanced at my watch..
“Lets walk “. I pulled them along. Walking towards Palayam.. I was sure to get an auto there
The rain was gathering momentum. The trees in the university college campus looked sinister..The VJT hall looked threatening in the dark. I looked for the reassuring policeman often seen near the Spencer’s.. No he was not seen anywhere..
Ooh..! One auto was slowing down..
"Where to..?" His eyes measured the three of us huddled against the rain.. Without even an umbrella..
“”Kumarapuram.." I shouted raising my voice above the rain..
“No.” He shook his head snobbishly...The auto whirred ahead..
The sadistic pleasure in the ‘no’ was evident..
Rain plastered the hair to my skull. My clothes hung to my body dragging on my steps.. I drooped..
I could feel the eyes on me.. Young.. Old.. Measuring.. Weighing.. Teasing.. Curious.. Inquisitive..
“Oh yes..!” Another auto was slowing down..!
I clambered in pulling my boys along before the driver could open his mouth.. could speak..
“Ok. “I sounded breathless..
I leaned back on the seat.. hugging my boys towards me... my eyes closed thankfully..
I could feel Gautam’s eyes on me..
I smiled at him reassuringly..
His eyes gazed at me..
“Why did you agree..?”
“It is late na..?”
“But it is too high..” He sounded indignant.
“It is dark na..?”
"But it is not fair.."
He looked disturbed..
“You are a coward.. You allowed yourself to be bullied.. Emotionally blackmailed.. "
His eyes accused me..
How can I explain it to him..?
I boss and admonish men in my work place.. I don’t suffer fools or bullies gladly during the day. I drive alone in the city even after 11.30pm cocooned in the safety of my car.
But in the night.... surrounded by staring eyes. If I am alone.. I feel strange..
My confidence falls.. A familiar deep unexplainable dread cloaks me.. I feel the eyes on me.. My voice become high pitched.. My breath quickens..
And those eyes stare at me.. Disturbing me.. Making me want to run to a safe haven..
Maybe it is my fault.. Maybe my response brings out the killer instincts in those around me..
Yes.. Maybe it is my fault.. Or maybe it is the fault of the men in my State.. Who look at me as if they have not seen a female of the species..
I have accepted it as part of being a woman.. Infact I have even included it in my profile..
Recently Parvathy ventured out alone at night. in my city.. To assess the problems faced by women who travel alone at night..
There were discussions about it in the newspapers and TV shows..
I felt happy to read it.. At least some women were trying to change it, not just accept it like me...
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I have seen it happen in many blogs.. Now it has happened in mine too..
Anonymous posting insulting comments..
"this one reveals the several faces of the self proclaimed angel Dr….. … …..(my name) In blog, you could fool others, not always in real life. Those who know you.......... knows the real …….(my name)"
Frankly …sincerely… I am unable to recognize the anon.
I have received a few anonymous letters in my professional life too.. Insulting and threatening ones..
I know how I should deal with them.. Throw it into the dustbin and forget about it.. I do the first thing but often the words haunt and disturb me.. For a few days..
I wonder who the anon is.. And why she /he hate me..
I am a person who lives by my own rules.. I do what I feel is right..
I can be very bitchy.. if i feel that the situation demands it..
I am not here to “fool” anyone about my virtues..
This blog is only an expression of the goodness I would like to cultivate and share with others..
I blog only for positive emotions.. Cos I feel that we all need positive emotions in our lives..
“Angel” “hope” and “love” were chosen with these thoughts in mind..
There may be lots of negativity in our lives but I don’t think anyone would be interested to read about it.. Anyone would benefit from it..
I don’t come here to fight.. Or insult..
I come to love and share beautiful emotions
I don’t know if my posts sound too self-righteous and goody goody… If I come across as a self proclaimed angel..
The previous post was actually a note to me.. I posted it cos I felt that it may inspire someone somewhere..
I have deleted the comment and enabled comment moderation..
Cos I don’t want any negative emotions in this space..
But I would like to clarify something..
No I am not an angel..
I am just an ordinary woman.. Ploughing ahead.. Pushing ahead..
But I would love to be an angel.. Even if it is only for one second..
It is my dream…
Thursday, August 17, 2006
There is a silent universe slumbering within me…
My only truth.. My only reality..
I can plunge into its mesmerizing depth and vastness.
Slowly.. Surely.. In silence and solitude…
This world is all that matters to me.... My outer world is only a reflection of this inner world..
This world has to be soothed, nourished and lovingly nurtured..
This needs constant focus on my part..
Physical vibrancy ..Contentment… Gratitude… Forgiveness... Sharing… Order.. Simplicity.... Prayer... A sense of contribution.. The right thoughts.. A lovely self image.. Silence..Stillness ...Contemplation....Love and warmth..
All these enrich and fertilize this beautiful world..
Rush.. sickness.. anger.. hurt.. bitterness.. frustrations.. guilt.. and treachery and jealousy drains and shrivels it…
When my inner world is lush, vibrant and enriched I feel great.
Lovliness, Sweetness, Laughter, Joy , Confidence and Glow oozes out of me…
Caring.. soothing..nurturing..healing and inspiring the people around me..
My gifts are unleashed…
I become the rippling ocean.. The mountain mist.. A valley of flowers.. The molten sun.. The drenched mother earth..
I become a lovely elegant pearl..
I become an angel...
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Rituals and routine didn’t impress me while I was young..Spontaenity… Variety..Adventure.. Different from the ordinary.... That used to be my mantra..
But now I feel different..Order… Doing a few things.. The..same way.. At the same time each day.. Sooths me..
Ringing the bell in my boy’s room .. lying on the bed.. as soon as I wake up every morning…. Daily morning walk, seeing the same scenery and the same smiling faces.. …Watching the NDTV news …all the four of us… chatting and joking as we have breakfast... Saying Rosary and a Psalm daily.. Laying down my steth.. cell… glasses and pen the same way, on my table before I start my work….. Having specific dishes on some specific days.. Lighting the candle before our family prayers at dusk.... Watching the night sky in solitude and silence every night..Pampering my body and face with bath and lotions before going to bed.. The familiar fragrance of camphor melting..as I slip off to sleep..
Simple pleasures of life.. But.. Ha..! So soothing.. So comforting.. I find all these things stabilizing me ..I find it binding and connecting our family in a beautiful manner....
No they are not just superficial things..
There is tremendous power and strength in rituals and routine...
PS. Thats my familiar scene every morning.. I walk along that road.. I start getting withdrawal symptoms if i miss it for a few days..!!
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
1. Most desired celebrity
Masculine.. sexy.. intelligent.. Adorable..warm..tender..
sensitive.. sense of humor.. He is the best...
2. Want to do this some day
Swim in the sea... don’t think I will ever do it..
After my drowning experience I am scared of water..
3. Want to visit this place
Mount Kailas and Manasasarovar...
Hindus view Kailas as the abode of Shiva, and for them
it is a goal of pilgrimage.
Mount Kailas (22,028 ft, 6,714 m), the famed holy
peak, is situated to the north of the Himalayan
barrier in Western Tibet. This legendary snow-shrouded
rock dome is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites
for Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bonpos
At the slopes of Kailas, a
stream is said to pour into Manasarovar and from this
lake, flow four of Asia's great rivers the Indus, the
Brahmaputra, the Karnali and the Sutlej.
I would love to visit there and dissolve in the
majestic silence... heart wrenching solitude and sheer
4. Random Favorite
Bold, intelligent, beautiful, spunky, straightforward,
has her own awesome style..
I fell in love with her on reading the first paragraph
of the ‘God Of Small things’…
Monday, July 17, 2006
Steaming cylindrical pieces of creamy white ‘Malabar’ kappa with crushed onion, crushed green chili /red chilly laced with coconut oil and salt..
Ooh..! My tongue burns in pleasure filled memories of those monsoon evenings as I soothed the spicy taste with hot coffee…watching the rain drops pattering down..
Milk, egg vanilla essence sugar.. Beaten and cooked over a water bath and poured into ice trays and chilled.. That was ice-cream for us.. Frozen and crunchy or smooth and soft.. We licked it up.. Greedily.. Like puppies..
Prawns marinated in spices dipped in corn flour paste and deep fried.. We gulped it down in dozens..
Pidi and chicken mulakuchar
The ultimate comfort food.. Globules of rice powder dough cooked in coconut milk and mild spices paired with very spicy chicken curry with fried and grounded red chilly.. Delicious.. Delectable. It is still my favorite dish..
Appam and mutton stew.
Soft lacy white appams with a bland ( she didn’t add much spices) mutton stew in thick coconut milk.. She prepared it for all those Christmas and Easter breakfasts.. Still do.. ( Appams are ordered these days)my sons pig out on them.. I too shamelessly..( That’s why she orders them these days I think..)
Just milk, rice, cardom, sugar.. I still don’t know how she managed to concoct that delicious semisolid stuff that filled us with heavenly sweetness
Inji kari and Manga kari
The steaming hot kanji, mangakari and inji Kari she made on Good Fridays.. Made us obsessively gulp down the lunch… our stomach growling after the breakfast that had been skipped..
Light yellow bland buttermilk she made lovingly when our tiny bodies or minds were hurting. Along with plain rice it never failed to soothe out or troubled bodies, emotions or soul..
Rock cake, sponge cake, lazy daisy cake, lemon cake, chocolate cake,
I remember the aroma of the cakes baking in the oven filling our home … welcoming and tantalizing us.. on those long lost evenings as we walked into our garden after a hard day in the school..
The ultimate gourmet dish she prepared for special occasions.. Basmati rice, prawn with thick gravy, coriander chutney.. All these layered and baked.. To form a multicolored layered dish.
Bittu’s mamma tagged me.. Im supposed to write ten dishes that I miss from my moms cooking..and I enjoyed doing it..
Yes I miss my moms cooking…While I was a child she used to painstakingly try out new elaborate, exotic dishes while we waited in bated breath for the end product. Somehow she doesn’t do that now.
I enjoy cooking.. But I don’t have the patience to try out elaborate dishes.. I stick to simple yummy stuff.. 'Life is too short to stuff a mushroom’ That is my motto..
My mom is different.. Her ‘life’ is her family. She is so focused on cooking and caring for us..
My eyes are moist as I write this.. She injured her fingers in the grinder today while she was preparing breakfast.. Lacerated wound… two fingers with split nails.. Wound ha been sutured.. She is on antibiotics and painkillers.. She stays 200 km from me..I couldn’t go to her.. I just monitored everything over the phone. She should heal in a few days..
I can’t help thanking you mom.. For all the hours you sweated over the stove.. Stirring.. boiling.. frying and baking.. Burning your hands, cutting your fingers, scalding your cheeks. Eyes watering and sneezing over burning spices.. To quench our hunger.. Tickle our palates and make us grow…
people i wish would take up this tag..
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Sunday, July 02, 2006
"Be quick to listen,
Slow to speak,
And slow to become angry."
-proverbs( the bible)
I love this chapter in the bible.. It is a treasure- house of ancient wisdom thats relevent in our daily lives today....but its not so simple as it appears..
I wonder if Iwill ever be able to master the one given above..
Thursday, June 22, 2006
He looked at me in alarm…As if I had suggested castration..
I spoke sweetly. Hiding the anger and disgust rising within me..
“But I will have to undergo anesthesia..”
“It can be done under local anesthesia..”
“I wont be able to go for work..! I will need rest..”
“Just a few days only.. you are a clerical staff.. you can go for work.”.
“What side effects..? Nothing..” I was starting to enjoy myself..
She sat there staring at him with hopeful eyes.. Eagerly hoping that he would agree..
The man who had promised to cherish her.. protect her..
His wife the mother of his three kids.. She had undergone three caesarians..
And three induced abortions..
Why couldn’t he take up a bit of pain..?
Was chivalry something you read only in romantic novels..? Not to be expected in marriage..?
She was missing her periods again..
Her caesarians had been in a mission hospital that didn’t do family planning procedures..
His company paid for treatment there.. So she had not been sterilized even though her abdomen had been cut open thrice..
Our hospital was conducting a free laproscopic sterilization camp..
Someone had motivated them to come for the camp..
The surgeon was a bit reluctant.. there was bound to be adhesions inside the abdomen after the three surgeries.. passing in the laproscope and navigating it to ligate her fallopian tubes would be difficult..
The anesthetist was reluctant.. she had a history of allergic asthma.
He had created some nuisance in the ward when he was asked to sign the consent form for the surgery.. asking hundred and one questions to the duty nurse.. that’s why she sent him to me..
“I suggest that you undergo vasectomy and spare her from all these risks..” I smiled sweetly..”
“Anyway medical termination of her current pregnancy can be considered only after one of you undergoes a permanent sterilization procedure..”
I was firm.. I knew he wanted that.. didn’t want the burden of one more child..
He started to squirm on his seat.
“Well… what do you say..? There is definite risk for her.. I can understand your reluctance to sign the consent form.. “
I was really enjoying myself now..
Cos he didn’t want any risk for himself. was willing to put his wife to risk..but was not willing to sign the consent form.. wanted to blame the surgeon probably if something happened..
“Well what do you say..?” I persisted..
He wouldn’t look at me..
I leaned back on my chair..
“There is a definite risk for your wife. even though she is willing to undergo the procedure.” I couldn’t help making the dig..
“You can undergo vasectomy instead.. The procedure is much simpler and you are a healthy man.. I drove in the point..
I shall think about it.. He started to rise.. He wanted to make good his escape
“ I don’t think you have a choice.. abortion shall be considered only after one of you has undergone permanent sterlisation..and the surgeon is reluctant to do lap sterilization for her.”
He had vasectomy two days later.. he was sullen .. brooding … probably scared about his self-image... About his masculinity..
She underwent MTP two days later. ..quietly.. no fuss..
Didn’t she know that she had a choice..? I wondered.. Why were her needs not given importance..?
To use contraception..? To find a surgeon who would do sterilization along with her caesarian..?
To refuse abortion..?
Maybe she didn’t have choices.. I told myself.. Only he had that privilege..
After all he was the breadwinner.. Wasn’t he..?
Thursday, June 15, 2006
“When I was captured I was placed in an underground prison. I was angry and afraid, but I was also determined that I would not be defeated by the experience. During the first week of captivity, three points came to my mind, which were of considerable help during the long days alone. They were.
No over sentimentality.”
-Thoughts from a prison cell from Terry Waite
Friday, June 09, 2006
My father often tells the story of an old man. Who went to a temple in the Himalayas. He traveled long and after a tiresome journey, finally walked up the steps of the temple, to see the poojari locking up the gates of the temple.
“Please open the gate I have traveled long to come here” said the old man.
“The temple is closed for the next six months. The deity has been taken to a temple in the valley.”
The old man was disappointed.. It was getting chilly and dark. The poojari felt sorry for the old man. He handed over his shawl and told him “Sleep near the verandah. U can make your way back in the morning.”
The old man sat in the front of the temple, shivering in the chilly, misty night, and surrounded by the huge, silent mountains. He must have dozed off. He felt someone patting him awake and saw the poojari standing in front of him.
“I couldn’t leave u here. I will stay with u. We can play dice to pass the time.”
They spent the whole night, playing dice. Finally it was morning and the old man’s eyes were moist as he walked down the steps. He knew that he wouldn’t be healthy enough to make the long journey 6 months later
As he walked down, he saw the poojari climb up from below.
The poojari looked amazed. “Are u still here?”
“Still here?” The old man was confused.
“Yes I remember you were here 6 months back. I am here to open the temple again..”
Realization dawned on the old man. He had been playing dice with the deity of the temple…! He had been protected in God’s arms, not for a night but for 6 months..!!
My father used to tell this story to impress upon us that God would protect us and look after us.
We just had to trust in him.
The gates of the Gangotri temple are closed on Diwali and are opened again after 6 months in May. During this time, the idol of the Goddess resides in the Mukamba village near Harsil.
I wondered if this was the temple where the old man in my father’s story had played dice with God for 6 winter months. I was also surprised that Mukamba village was the group of cottages that had caught my curiosity during my morning walk.
Gangotri is a small pilgrimage town. The place was crowded with pilgrims. Lots of tourist buses and jeeps were parked.
There is a lane winding up the mountain side, to the temple. The lane is lined by restaurant and small shops offering curios, brass vessels, bottles to carry water and beautiful chains made of Rudraksha and exquisite tiny coral colored beads
The temple painted in silver was a small one with huge bells hung in a row in the front ... Water from the Ganges is offered for pooja there. There was a meditation hall and broad steps leading down to the Ganges.
I was amazed to see people taking bath in the freezing water. Probably the belief that they would be cleansed of all their sins made them tolerate the cold chilly bath….
Some people were offering pooja. Some were floating small bamboo baskets of marigolds and lighted candles in the water. I too collected the water and floated the baskets of marigold.
Somehow, I didn’t feel any spirituality among the chattering crowd all around.
Few young men approached us asking if we were interested in trekking to Gaumukh. It was 19 km from Gangotri where the Bhagirathi River emerges from the snout of the Gangotri glacier. One gets a fine view of Mt. Shivaling from there.
Six km from Gaumukh is the Tapovan, a beautiful high altitude meadow above the Gaumukh.
I knew I wouldn’t make it. Gautam wanted to try it, but there was nobody else to accompany him. So the idea was dropped.
We spent two more days at Harsil, soaking up the nature. ..
The stimulating scenery was slowly becoming too much for my senses…. Somehow I felt burdened with all the beauty. The poverty and hardships that the locals faced were striking. The people seemed to cling to spirituality for comfort. There seemed to be a tiny temple every hundred meters.
Women worked very hard.. I saw women chopping wood…. carrying logs, firewood, provisions and water up the mountains.. And doing manual labor and tarring of roads alongside men. There seemed to be no natural source of income.. Not much agriculture. Tourism was confined to the few buses filled with pilgrims who came to visit the temple.
There were very few hotels … they served only roti, sabji, dal and chaval.. we had to sit and wait for the hotel people to go and buy the provisions from the nearby shops and then cook it for us. My boys were getting restless. Their tummies were growling for chicken and mutten..!!
I was getting restless too..
The harsh cold climate… the terrain. The strange food , The poverty and hardships around me were making me homesick.
‘Gods own country’ with its soothing scenery, swaying palms, serene backwaters, gentle rivers , mild climate and homely food was beckoning me back. I wanted to go home..
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
We were in high spirits…!
The breakfast had been lovely. It was served as a buffet in a large tent they called “The Mess”.
Delicious hot porridge, piles of toast, butter and jam and a tray full of a doughnut like sweet that was served with apple sauce ... Coffee/ Bournvita. I watched my boys gulping down like starving Labradors. I too decided to forget my diet for a day and silence the rumblings in my stomach. Hmmm..The mountain air had made all of us ravenous..!!
My heart danced…! We all piled into the Qualis. The driver switched on the music… “Meri sawalom kaa…jawab dooo…Doooo naaa….” Sang the lover..The melody fit into the curves and twists in the road. I giggled and started singing along with funny actions. Pinching Taj’s cheeks and pulling Gautam’s hair. Peeps pretended not to see. The boys looked in embarrassment at the driver. But I just sang along.
The road carrying on from Harsil, enters the dense green gorge of Bhiron Ghati. After crossing the Jadh Ganga river, beyond Lanka, the road winds its way to a halt at Gangotri at an alt. of 10000 ft, 24 km. from Harsil. All along this route, we were surrounded by dense green pine forests, enchanting views of snow mountains, around… and the ravishing Ganga in her different moods sometimes serene and wide.. sometimes narrow and mysterious deep down in the valley .. but always stealing the show..
I don’t like to repeat myself... The scenery was spellbinding. Was it the physiological acclimatisation to the high altitude…? The twists and turns making me giddy…? Was it the smell of the blue pines that filled the crisp, chilly mountain air…? Or the visual splendor of the flowing Ganga and the snow peaks that seemed to touch the sky
Heavenly.. Divine..No wonder it drove me crazy.
One sight that filled me with amazement was the Suspension Bridge at the Bhiron Ghati gorge.. The bridge was built over a deep ..deep gorge formed by the Jadh Ganga. Built by E.E Wilson..
A legend prevails in the mountain villages of a holy trail in the Garhwal hills, that the restless ghost of a raja rides his half Arab-grey horse across the rocky trails on moonlit nights. The ancient Ganga weeps in sympathy at Harsil as she listens to the retreating hoof beats swing by the dilapidated bungalow on the road to Gangotri. It was here that Pahari Wilson or raja Wilson as he was referred to settled down with Gulabi, a local girl in his Wilson hut, a grand bungalow.
Mystery still shrouds the adventurer EE Wilson’s origins. Some believe that he came from Lancashire in bonny England. Others say that he left the British army in disgrace and found refuge amongst the Garhwal Himalayas.
When Wilson built the suspension bridge at Bhairon Ghati Gorge Over the Jadh Ganga, the locals were too petrified to venture into it. Leaping onto his Arab, Wilson galloped up and down the bridge. Even today, on a full moon night, the locals believe that Raja Wilson rides again….
Thank God the last night had not been a full moon night…!!
I wanted to take a photo of the bridge, but photography is not permitted.I tried with my camera hidden in the shawl.. but just when I was about to click, a guard came and told me..”Photography karna mana hai ma'm”
The Qualis moved ahead..Wow! We were reaching Gangotri…!
(To be contd.)
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
The camp nestled deep in the valley .. in an apple orchard.. the trees had just started to bloom.. A view from the back of the tent.. our tent was only about six feet away from the river..
A walk along the river bed.. note the millions of stones..
Ganga in the predawn darkness..
It was the sound of flowing water that woke me up... The quilt and the blankets felt soft and warm... Images of last night flashed across my sleepy mind..
The biting, bone chilling cold… Walking in faint light to our tents. Whisky was a must to heat up our bodies.. Even Taj was given half a peg.. Hot dinner.. Crawling under the blankets..
Peeps lay fast asleep..
Ooooh..! I was at Harsil..!
I felt so excited..!!
Then I heard a scampering noise. A head peeped into our tent..
I smiled to myself..
Gautam and I always got up early during holidays.. We were too excited to sleep..
Peeps and Taj always slept and slept..
I jumped out of the bed, snatched my camera and pulled on my shoes..
I wanted to explore..!
I zipped the door open and got out..
Oooh..! It looked ethereal..!
About ten tents stood facing each other in an apple orchard.. A faint mist hung all around..
Gosh..!! We were surrounded on all sides by huge mountains.. Most of them snow capped..!
The fresh cold air whooshed into my breath and filled my heart with exhilaration..!
Gautam's eyes glowed in the faint light.. Mist blew out from his breath as he spoke..
I followed him.. He was taking me to the back of the tent..
My heart stopped.. The visual splendor that lay out before me was spell binding..
She looked so pure and divine..
So Crystal clear that you could see millions of white rounded polished stones on the river bed.. She was milky white in areas as she flirted with the wind and silver grey as she danced along the bigger stones... . Her skirts seemed to be silver tipped as she rose in spray and foam here and there....
Pure soft silvery white beach stretched out on both sides.. Studded with the same amazing white stones..
Deep dark pine wooded mountains surrounded on both sides. Their peaks frosted with pure white virginal snow..
There was a pregnant silence all around..
My heart danced… I wanted to float ….. And gather all the loveliness around me..
I wanted to surrender myself to the glory… the splendor..
I walked as if in a trance. Wow..! There was a bridge.. ! I crossed to the other side.
Dark deep woods.. Huge pine trees.. Deodars.. Silver firs.. I walked on. There was only the sound of birds chirping.. And the musical sound of Ganga flowing..
I sat on a fallen bark.. And sipped in the silence the enchanting, bewitching, ravishing Mother Nature showered on me..
Ganga was beckoning me.. I started to walk along the beach.. Her dry river bed… Studded with millions of stones, she had polished out from the mountains..
I removed my shoes..
“Acupuncture walk..!” I told myself..
The camp was soon far off.
I was alone.. Not a soul to be seen.. Only the river, the mountains, the birds and the deep pregnant silence..
It was then I noticed the driftwoods. Lovely pieces.. Huge ones.. With hundreds of stories to tell if you cared to listen to them..
Some of them smelt so mysterious and sensuous..
I saw a temple ahead on the bank.. Over a piece of land jutting into the river..
There were steps leading up to it..
I walked up.. A local woman and her daughter were offering pooja..
On the east side of the temple,another set of steps lead down to the river.. An arch was seen over the topmost step from which hung a huge bell. The arch looked as if it was the frame of the most beautiful scenery I have seen in my life..
Dawn was breaking out on the eastern sky.. The view was spectacular.. Ganga was broad, deep, dark powerful, wild and majestic.. With mammoth mountains as backdrop.The mist gave mystic air to the whole scene..
I seemed to be floating..!!
Few log cabins set in an apple orchard formed a village near the temple.. Probably the families who looked after the temple ..The poverty was stricking..
I noticed something there..The local people seemed to be very spiritual.. Maybe the struggle against the harsh terrain, the climate and the stricking poverty made them seek spirituality as a comfort..
Few young women came out smiling.. Light skin, grey eyes, nubile bodies.. I wondered if Raj Kapoor had chosen Mandakini from this area.. They all seemed to resemble the pure heroine in his film..
I grinned at them..
“Main from kerala..”
My Hindi is horrible..
“Keral..?”.. They looked at me with wide eyes.. As if I was an alien
“Thumara jagah bahuth acha..” I smiled at them..
They giggled ..
I clicked their photos, they clicked mine.. With the mountains, the temple and the Ganga as the backdrop..
"Kal ayega main." I grinned at them as I waved goodbye.
I walked back slowly. Embracing, savoring and saving each tree, each stone, each driftwood and each drop of water in my heart. I filled the pocket of my sweater with the beautiful polished stones…to be used as paperweights. I would have collected some driftwood also, but I knew that I would be ragged terribly if I turned up at the camp carrying stones and twigs. besides i would need a lorry to take the huge ones home..
The camp was stirring awake... The generator was running
Peeps was sitting and sipping his tea. . I zipped open the door to the toilet. Thank god….! There was hot water!!
Gautam looked fresh after his bath. Taj was still sleeping….
It was time to get ready, have breakfast and visit Gangotri…
(To be contd…)
ps. plz click on the pixs for better view..
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Dehra Dun was a disappointment…… Just an old, dusty town……
I don’t know why, I had imagined it to be a lush green hill station with crisp mountain air, quaint cottages, misty meadows and picturesque schools.
Maybe it was because I had heard about the glamorous Doon School…. Or maybe, it was my cousins who used to come from Dehra Dun during those summer holidays long back…. They would come..... with their glowing pink skin, lustrous hair and a confident air about them making me feel a scrawny, ugly duckling than ever.....
‘Doon’ means valley mama’ Gautam pointed out when I murmured my disappointment.
Gangotri can be accessed only by road. Our plan was to camp at Harsil and to visit Gangotri on the next day. We could stop at Mussourie on the way.
We started our journey at 9:20 am.
“The view on the way would be worthy of the tedious journey”. I hoped.
Mussourie was another disappointment. A shabby town with old buildings and a few hotels. We didn’t feel like getting down there.
Our Qualis moved ahead slowly. The road was winding along huge mountains. The mountains looked sort of dried up. People were few in number and the poverty evident. There were waterfalls and ropeways in between but it all looked sort of dusty and dry.
They towns on the way were also unimpressive, shabby and dirty. There were no good places to eat. The roads were narrow and bad.
We had tea at Uttarkashi, another unimpressive town.
“The road ahead is bad.” The driver told us.
It was 5 pm.
“The route from UIttarkashi follows the Bhagirathi river with sharp twists and turns. Sometimes the road ascends high above the valley, while at other times, it drops right down to the river. The entire Bhagirathi valley is amazingly green and at Harsil, the river suddenly opens out into this wide picture perfect valley, cutting a broad path with sandy beaches on both sides, surrounded by apple orchards, pine forests and beautiful snow mountains. It is this beauty which made Raj Kapoor choose Harsil as the setting for his film, Ram theri Ganga Maili”. I remembered reading it..
I looked forward to the glorious view.
But our perception was different. It was getting dark. The Qualis trudged ahead slower than a snail. There was a light drizzle. It was getting chilly. There were not many lights to be seen. Just the narrow, rugged, winding road……
From the way we were climbing up, we knew that the valley on one side was pretty deep. The roads were water logged at the base of the valleys. We had to climb all the way up and then down towards, the bridge, to cross the river as we passed from one mountain to the next.
It was almost nine pm. We were tired and hungry. There was not a single restaurant to be seen.
Finally, the milestone showed that Harsil was only a few kilometers ahead, but there were no lights to be seen ahead. Each kilometer felt exactly 1000 metres.
Finally, we saw four or five lights ahead. Few men covered in shawls were coming out of a shop. We asked for directions. To the camp. They showed a path winding deep down into the valley. Into the eerie darkness..
There was just one light. The gate was closed. The sound of a generator could be heard. There was an arch above the gate which said, “CHARDHAM CAMP”. A bell hung down from the arch.
Peeps got out into the biting cold and rang the bell, while we sat in the warmth of the jeep, cocooned in sweaters, shawls and woollen gloves.
(To be contd…)
Saturday, May 13, 2006
I was in my Op yesterday when the cell rang.
It was Taj on the other side.. he sounded strange..
“Hey what’s the matter..?”
I am used to my sons calling me while i am on duty .. for demands for something nice to eat to be bought on the way home, to bitch about the other.. To complain about some vague health problem.. and it’s the third one that makes me immediately jittery..
“Mama..” he started to sob..
“OMG..!! what’s the problem.. ?”
I forgot that a patient was sitting in front of me.. I forgot about my ‘calm doc act’
“Mama I was zipping my shorts.. my ding-dong is trapped in the zipper..”
His sobs came out louder..
My baby in pain.. and I am so far off..
That’s a situation when I lose control.. I lose all my professional coolness..
The jelly soft mother in me surfaces.. almost to the point of hysteria..
I blabbered something to the patient .. called my colleague.. sent the patient to her and was out of the hospital in two seconds..
The car wouldn’t run fast enough for me.. I cursed at the traffic jam..
My baby was in pain and I had to sooth it away..
Ooooff..! I had reached home..I honked at my gate repeatedly..
He was rolling on the bed crying and howling.. wouldn’t permit me to look or touch....
Finally I coaxed him.. tried to unzip it.. no it was jammed and edema was building up slowly..
Ohhhh..! he was yelling.. tears streamed down his cheeks..
"Ok we will go to the hospital." I soothed..
“Go away…!” He howled at Goutam who was standing and watching the scene , grinning spitefully..
“Go away..!!” I yelled at Gautam..
The maid came running..
“What happened..?” she looked confused.. she had seen him sitting and watching the TV only a short time back..
“Go away..!!” my baby screamed in pain and shame..
“Go away..!!” I yelled at her… Hiding my 13yr old’s private parts..
“ The surgeon will give local injection and remove it..” I hugged him tight.. kissing his tear soaked chubby cheeks..
“I want anesthesia..!!” He screamed.. “Not injection..!!” ..
“Ok.. ok..” I fussed.. stroking his hair..
But he couldn’t walk.. the pain was too much.. he had himself cutoff the shorts away with scissors.. only the zip was attached to the body..
I rang peeps..
We took him. Wrapped in a dhothi..
The pain subsided as soon as the local anesthetic was given..
The pediatric surgeon tried his best under local anesthesia.. but the zip was jammed.. Edema was building up..
Finally emergency circumcision had to be done under general anesthesia..
He is ok now.. Shy about the incident but loving all the pampering he is getting now..
A small act of carelessness.. but the pain and shame he suffered was terrible..
I felt so incompetent and frustrated .. Unable to do anything.. Even taking him to the hospital, I couldn’t manage myself..
The soft ,emotional side of me that I hate.. The mother in me that i love ..
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
“Being a woman is hard work. Not without joy and even ecstasy, but still relentless, unending handwork. To become and remain a woman commands the existence and employment of genius.
The woman who survives and be happy must be at once tender and tough.
She must convince herself or be in the process of convincing herself, that she, her values, and her choices are important. In a time and world where males hold sway and control, the pressure upon woman to yield to their rights - of - way is tremendous. And it is under those very circumstances that the woman’s toughness must be in evidence.
She will need to prize her tenderness and be able to display it at appropriate times in order to prevent toughness from gaining total authority and to avoid becoming a mirror image of those men who value power over life, and control over love.
Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible and live long lives.
The struggle for equality continues unabated, and the woman warrior who is armed with wit and courage will be among the first to celebrate victory.”
Forty two years of being “In all ways a woman..”
Thank you God for all the blessings…
Happy birthday to me…!!
My birthday wish – I wish that the days ahead filled with
Order.. quietness.. simplicity… elegance…dignity.. calmness…, sharing… good cheer… refinement…prayer.. forgiveness.. beautiful sunsets.. starry nights… bible.. night breeze.. nature walks,. lots of sleep.. pure water to drink lavishly… music… flowers.. books lots of them....sprouts.. Soyabeans..fruit…, nuts( supposed to be good for me)… … oil baths…greenery.. laughter..
And my sweethearts besides me to share all these things with…
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Geo has tagged me..
so here I go..
5 people who top your shit list..... And why:
1.Men who make snide remarks about women in general. (Brings out the claws in me I suppose)
2.People who cut others down. ( Well we all hate bullies don't we..?)
3.Hypocrites and goody -goodies. ( they bring out the worst in me esp when other people believe them)
4. K.Karunakaran. (I abhor everything about him.)
5. George W Bush. (For obvious reasons)
Close brushes with death/danger:
We had gone to visit my cousiniat Ranni.I was looking forwards to dipping in the Pampa river which flows behind their back yard. Her son came with us but he was in the hostel..Had just come for hisChristmas hols and didn't know that river sand had been removed from the river bed in some of areas he thought were safe..
One minute I was fooling around, my feet firmly on the river bed. we were almost in the centre of the river that was almost dry . And next sec I i found myself going down deep into the water..
I don't know swimming but I was not worried cos peeps knows, and he was standing nearby.
He jumped in and tried to push me towards the banks but it was deeper and deeper there cos the sand had been removed from that .
He kept pushing me up in the air on and off and I would take deep breathes and sink down again like lead.. in between I could see my maid throwing some shawl towards me but I couldnt grasp it.
After some time I could feel his pushes becoming weaker and weaker.. I felt myself going dee
per and deeper and started to suffocate .. I almost lost my consciousnes..
In between I thought of the response of my parents, relatives and friends when they heard about my death..
Then I felt strong hands holding me and pulling me towards the bank..
Some workers on the other side had heard the commotion and dived into the river to save us..
I vomited out some water and felt soooo cold and damp for the next twenty four hours.. later came to know that a woman had died at that spot exactly one week before.. ! and that we should not go to bath at 12 noon.. ghosts comes and pull us down..!!
Peeps was panting with the strain That is the only occasion when I have seen him in a panicked state..
( Geo u made me write something I always block off from my thought Especially the part when I sink deeper and deeper.. feel suffocated and almost lose conciousness)
5 Preferable modes of suicide, in descending order:
I simply refuse to even think about such a morbid thing..!!(even for Geo)
5 Guilty pleasures:
1. Diary milk , milk halva, jilebis.. (those red succulentulent ones), gulab jamun with icecream.. ( I love everything sswwweeeeet)
2.Sleepin round the clock.( good for preventing wrinkles Supposed to be more effective than even visiting a spa.!! )
3.Buying endless no:s of sequined jeweled stilletoes which I rarely use cos im too tall for them and cos they r too harsh on my feet
4.Taking oil massage on every single day. Whether im on night duty or on tour. I skip it only if im on overnight journey..
5.Sittin and dreaming for hours.
5 things you never want to forget:
1.the first glimpse of my babies
2.my grandparents and a fav uncle and a fav aunt who r on the 'other side'
3.my college days.
4.the first time I wore my doc's coat and steth.
5.a soft buttery voice.
5 things you wish to forget
1. my aging :(
2.my morning sickness days :(
3.my ugly duckling days..( I was not a cute and lovely girl child..) :(
4.some unkind relatives :(
5.betrayal of a close friend or two. :((
5 really exotic dishes you have tried:
1.frog leg fry.
2.Rabbit meat fry.
4.Pigeon meat fry
( my grandma's sis cooked it for some unexpected guests. She told us only after we had eaten it .. I cried and cried in sadnes and guilt cos we all had loved my grandma's pet pigeons.. )
No nothing more.. only 4 no:s. Geo u made me realize that I need to have more gastronomic
5 crushes/loves in your life... in chronological order (even initials or nicknames wud do. Oh, no ID attempts orpleasests pleez):
1.All those Tall Dark and Handsome Mills and Boon heroes ( thats what made me devour all that stuff..!! Iused to read them even on the nights before my exams keeping them inside my accademic books so that my mom wouldn't find out that i was not studying for my exam..!!
god i was hooked..!!
2.Imran Khan (his masterful arrogance made my knees go weak. )
3.Mel Gibson - (well those sexy eyes and butt could make me swoon even today.. )
4.Jeyan - sexy body, deep voice and the habit of raising one eyebrow..
5. Emran Hasmi.. (Jesus..!!! He is getting better and better..!!)
A weird dream u have had
Me in a crowd when I realise that im the only one in...ahem... my birthday suit.. :))
the rest of the dream comprises of howI try to escape as cooly as possible..!
I get this dream on and off..
5 most valued personal possessions:
1..my wedding ring
2.my diamond nose stud..( it has given me only good luck)
3.my music system ( id die without it)
4. my santro ( well.. I wouldnt mind if it was replaced by a by a brand new car.. )
5.my accademic certificates .
5 favorite superheroes
1.The... giant in alladin's lamp and all those lamps some lucky people find.( who wouldn't love a giant slave who makes all ur wishes come true)
2. Phantom .. handsome, sexy. mystic.. and so debonair and polished when he wore ( unlike Tarzan the ape )i used to be so jelous of diana :))
3.Astrix and Oblix.. (adorable and cute whether they had eaten the majic potion or not ;))
4.Karna of Mahabharata..( so handsome and golden with conjenital golden 'kundals'...poor guy.. was a bastard and his mom too let him down.. my heart used to bleed for him. I hated krishna and arjuna for ganging up against him)
5.Bheema of Mahabharata ( after reading the book randamoozham)
5 people who should pass the parcel )
immigrant in canada.
Actually I was reluctant to do this tag cos of lack of time... but i couldnt refuse geo so I did it...
But I enjoyed it...!
I suppose all those confessions have cleansed me.. And made me fit to visit Gangothri.. !!
Well I suppose geo knows the best..
No wonder he is my darling..!!
Ps. Plz excuse the spelling and grammar mistakes. The checker is not workin and I dont have the time nor patience to do it myself.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Pristine virginal snow.. ! Lots of it. .!
Wilderness and silence that makes my heartbeat stop for a second.. And then heart quicken.
The smell of the blue pines . Breathing in the fresh crisp cold mountain air.. green medows..
Watching the morning mist sweeping down the valley cocooned in a blanket.. Sipping sweet tea..
Strolling down quiet country lanes lined with aged chestnut trees, not a sound to be heard except for the sweet chatter of the birds and the gurgling of streams..
Quaint little churches where I can light a candle at dusk
These are what i am seeking for..
But there seems to be a lot of places to choose from.. in Uttaranchal itself..
Any suggestions. Any tips..?
Ooohh..! I feel so excited..!
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
I walked out of the cottage in the predawn darkness. The fact that we were the sole occupants in the resort of twelve cottages filled me with ecstasy. I breathed in the crisp chilly air deeply.... A faint mist hung around..
The Astamudi Lake shimmered in the faint moonlight invitingly.. Mesmerizing me..
I knew that I would find it besides the lake..
The perfect silence that bewitches me.. Tantalize me..
I know it is there.. On the other side of all the chatter around me.. Beyond my grasp.
I can glimpse it here and there.. Behind the palm leaves swaying softly in the wind.. In the bark of huge trees.. between the patter of the raindrops..
I sat down and closed my eyes. Oooooh ..! Yes..! It was coming slowly.. Softly…. Engulfing me.. Sweeping through me…
I let myself go.. Drowning and dissolving in it to my hearts content..
I slowly opened my eyes. The world was stirring awake.. The first streaks of light were breaking out in the eastern sky. The lake shimmered joyfully in the rosy dawn .. Birds twittered... Some swooped down fast into the water and flew away with their prize catch. A cow mowed somewhere..
I sat there.. cocooned .. In the loveliness around me.. Till the sulight was more than I could bear..
Peeps lay fast asleep in the cottage. Food.. Alcohol…. A sexy roll in the bed.. Deep sleep.. That is holiday for him.
He smiled indulgently as I describe my morning experience..
“U missed it.. u should have avoided alcohol ....why do u block out your senses when u are on a holiday.?’ I fail to understand the fascination men have for alcohol during celebrations and holidays..
'You don’t understand.' He laugh lazily.... 'What is a holiday without a good booze..?'
P.S. That was the sight when i opened my eyes..I thought id share the pix with u..
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Sunday, March 26, 2006
I drove fast. I was late. My gut burned. There had been no time for breakfast. My PMS didn’t help.
It was Sunday. And I was on duty.. For the next twenty four hours.
I had got up late. The aftermath of a late Saturday night watching the idiot box..
My maid takes off on Sundays.
Some damn pipe had broken in the city. There had been water shortage. The milk had curdled on boiling. My boys had hated the breakfast I had fixed in a jiffy. . The house was in a mess...
I knew it would be worse when I came back.. With only three members of the male species left alone for twenty four hours in the house it was bound to be..
Peeps sat and sulked.. He always does when I am on Sunday duty..
The railway gate was shut… I waited impatiently. My hands drummed on the steering wheel. I noticed that my nail polish was chipped.. My irritation mounted. I hate going around with chipped nail polish.. looks so unprofessional..
I watched the people returning home from the Sunday mass and Sunday shopping.. There was a lazy air about them.. I felt envious..
‘Damn.!.’ I was twenty minutes late..Dr Laksmi whom I am supposed to relieve would be furious by now..’
‘Hmm.. The gate was being opened..'
My irritation mounted further as I waited for the confusion to be over.. Auto rickshaws and two wheelers ran crisscross e trying to poke in.. Engines roared.. Horns blared..
I drove faster.. Past the hospital gates.. Towards my parking slot that I guarded jealously..
That was when that the boy ran in front of my car.
My feet jammed on the brakes.. Fast. My heart hammered.. I was sweating.. Adrenalin through my body already burning with PMS.
The young child was running towards a well dressed young woman who was standing by the window of a car.. Chatting to the people in it.. And she had not noticed anything..!
I parked the car and got out. I felt furious. But other than staring at the group maleovalantly there was no time to give them the tongue lashing they deserved..
And my doc act in the hospital is always calm.. and controlled..
Dr Laksmi was waiting.. Impatiently.. I murmured my apologies without giving her any eye contact..
Op patients would be waiting .. I proffered to attend to them before taking ward rounds.. Being a lazy Sunday, I was the only doc in the block.
‘Yes. One RTA case.. Head injury is suspected.. General condition is bad.. CT scan report is expected any time now.’
I decided to see that patient first.
He was in a bad shape.. Drowsy.. In shock..Multiple injuries.. .. Broken ribs..
I checked his vital signs.. Hmmmm... Ok..
The CT report was brought to me..
OMG..! Extra dual bleed...!
I needed to talk to the relatives.. He should be shifted to a higher center with facility for neuro surgery.. Blood had to be arranged..
I noticed her as I walked out of the ICU…. The young well dressed woman I had noticed in the drive way.. My lips tightened.. I had no time for that irresponsible woman..
She was coming to me.
Close up, the lovely face looked tired.. Her eyes were swollen.. The face flushed. The smartly cut hair needed a wash..
‘Doc how is my husband..?’
‘ Your husband..?’ I was confused .. I had thought that she had come to thank me.. And apologize for her carelessness..
‘Hmm.. Mr. Sharma..’
‘Mr. Sharma..? ‘I was confused..
Then it dawned to me .. OMG..! The RTA case..!
‘Yes doc.. We are from Mumbai.. Came here for a holiday.. Was on the way to Kovalam when the accident occurred..’I don’t know anybody here.. '
She looked bewildered and tired..
‘Oh..! The poor poor girl..’
‘But to whom was u talking in the drive way..?’
‘ The local rotary club members.. My father is a senior member.. He told me to contact the local club..’
‘Blood has to be arranged fast .. He has to be shifted .. I don’t know any hospital here..’
No wonder she had not noticed her toddler dash in front of my car..
Remorse coursed through my body.. I had been so quick to judge her.. Condemn here for being careless..’
Absent maid…. Curdled milk…. Chipped nail polish…. Messy house…. Loss of a lazy Sunday.. None of it was an excuse for being late.. And driving so fast especially in the hospital compound where I am not supposed to honk the horn..
I badly wanted to help..
“Don’t worry, we will help you.. First tell me what your husband’s blood group is”
‘O negative..’ ‘I know that it is a rare group.. ‘
My blood curdled..!
Holy Mary Mother of God..!!
‘O negative ..?’ I stammered.
I remembered my son as I had left him today morning.. Sprawled on the ground.. Reading the Sunday newspapers scattered around him..
Gautam’s blood group is O negative..
O negative.. Universal donor..
But can receive blood only from another O negative person..
And searching for his rare group.. In an emergency.. In a strange place is my deepest dread..
As it is for my mom.
Cos mine is B negative.. Another rare one..
But I would be able to help her.. My close friend owns a blood bank .. I smiled at her.. Calmly..
Thursday, March 23, 2006
It has come again.. That restlessness...That heaviness in the gut.. That slight lingering pain...That vague longing.. My mind keeps searching ...For what...? I dont know..
Nothing special has happened to me..Then why..?
Does everybody get these feelings at times I wonder..?
Is it given to me..? As a gift..? To seek more from life..?