Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Torn into two..

I remember hearing older women saying that they could not go anywhere alone because their husband are helpless without them. I remember hearing this and being annoyed with them for putting themselves in a situation where the man of the house wont be able to find his toothbrush without the woman putting the paste on it for him and handing it over to him. For having to starve if she is gone, going out in crushed, dirty clothes coz he knows not how to wash and iron. Gender based roles being played at their extreme. I hated it.

I also remember hoping that marriage would not change anything much. But then I would see my aunts coming to meet us without the husbands and then letting their hair down with their mother. I also remember cousins not being able to come and spend the night chatting as the husbands would take them away after dinner, not being able to talk on the phone for long etc. I used to wonder why, and get annoyed that the woman needed to be taken away, back to her married home, by what seemed like force. Against her internal will and wishes. She went quietly..and I thought..that wont happen to me. I shall go and come as I please and nothing will change.

Well, realization has struck. I would love to go and stay with my mother for a few weeks, knowing that the husband shall survive without me. He is capable of making Dum Aloos and Palak Paneer, so the kitchen is safe, he is sort of capable of finding his own things, even in a mess of his creation, he kind of knows where his things are unless I have moved them. He is ok with a fast internet connection and a Nikon within arms reach. I am sure he shall miss me etc etc..but he is an independent person.

However I am in torn into two. The need to go home, get to India, and the need to stay back and be with him. My love for my mother and family, it seems, occupies a different sector of my heart and is there permanently and does not overlap of overshadow the sector of my heart that loves the husband. Its weird, wanting to go, but not really, wanting to stay, but not really. And I know what is going to happen..the usual..when I am here I want to be there with mum, when I am with mum I want to be here with him. The solution perhaps lies in living in a house that contains both these people! But that is not always possible.

Thus the realization has struck that perhaps some of these aforementioned women went home because they HAD to, while the others seemed to make noises about not wanting to go, but doing so happily, as they missed their spouse. Perhaps they were, like me, torn into two.


Friday, October 24, 2008

I Love You

He sat there, surveying the world from his seat. Blond eyelashes flicking up and down to see things and people as they passed by. A frown of concentration furrowing his brow. His shoe kicked the air and he resettled his padded bottom into his pushchair.

Sticky bright pink sweet in mouth, he looked up with blue eyes with flecks of green.

"I love you mummy", he said.
"Love you too", said she.
She bends over to reach him and asks, "Wont you share your sweets with your dad?"

Out came the sweet from his mouth, dripping with sugar, colour and saliva and also LOVE. He took it out of his mouth with his grubby, chubby fingers and offered his sweet to his father.

"I love you daddy" he said.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I am Stoned

Well looks like the bad days are here to stay. I have been in and out of hospital, for a few weeks, with the most excruciating pain I have ever had the misfortune to feel...was diagnosed with Kidney Stones and sent home with truck loads of painkillers and antibiotics. Have been asked to join the queue that social medicine demands. Was told to wait for further instructions about when I shall be seen/ operated/ cured and sent home. So the days go by in bed, being in and out of chemical induced sleep. However this blog is not (always) about the mundane inanities of my I shall tell you the deepest secret I have held inside me since I was born.

This secret was discovered through one of the tests that I underwent at hospital, to understand why I was in so much pain, whereby a dye was injected into my body to see what is inside me. Dye injected and 20 mins later I am X-Rayed. And then on a computer screen came the image. The doctor sat there scratching his head. Trying to locate the stone in my kidney it seems. While the husband and I sat there, just staring at the screen. Something did not seem right. Well..I seem to have 't(w)o many' things inside me..I seemed to have more than 2 kidneys...yes I have three.

Ladies and gentlemen I have been blessed with 3 kidneys and now know the reason for never suffering from hangovers. Ever, despite drinking copious amounts of alcohol in small spaces of time.
Apparently its called a 'Duplex' system and means I have an extra kidney. Strange things. The weirdness of life just got multiplied 10 fold. Much thinking of strange thoughts and speaking them out happened. Why? How? Does it mean anything strange/ sinister? Do I need to have it removed? What the long term impact? I was told that its not so strange apparently.

Once the initial shock wore off..the jokes began..about going on vacation by selling the third kidney, about being a tri-renal beast, about being just about human, about being able to give love from the bottom of all my three kidneys, about out drinking all people, about eating extra for all my organs etc etc..When the stone was discovered I was told that Beer helps. Now I am being told to drink up..afterall three kidneys can do a much better job of filtering and cleaning than 2!!

The joke has now moved towards my being called a Medical Tourist, I can get things sorted in 2 weeks in India..while the National Health Service is going to see me only at the end of Nov to start solving my problems..hmm. Hospitals in India now welcome Medical tourists with open arms, as can be seen at the Apollo hospitals website, dedicated to welcoming International patients at the airport itself. They have a special marketing division, with costs in US $ for anyone who wants to come in. The idea being medicine should be accessible to all..preferably those who are able pay in the case of Apollo I would think. But I am not just discovering the world with my new found kidn-eye-s!!

On top of all this I spent Saturday night watching Michael Moore's film Sicko...again...liked where his jaw drops open when he sees the NHS hospital in Hammersmith paying patients money for the cost of transport to and from the hospital. Not complaining anymore about NHS.

....still in shock over too many things and the randomness of my life..burnt my finger this morning too..looks like the bad days are here to stay and I should start writing pleasantly surprised entries for when I do have a good day or two.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Queen Googles.

There is a Royal Channel on YouTube..and it now has the video of the Queen's visit to Google offices in London. I like the Queen's reaction to the giggling baby video on youtube, the excited American employees and the accent in Nikesh Arora's English,"google is about cool, quirky, funky things"

Sure thing...must be they have seen a 26% rise in profits.., its the best company to work for according to The Fortune online..
Google is also 4th out of the 20 most admired companies in the world..and Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergei Brin are the 4th most powerful men in business today..*

The Queens visit to Google..seems slightly ironical to me..or is it just me?

*If you are wondering about the first 3..well Apple and Steve Jobs..Goldman Sachs..(!!??!!) News Corp..etc beat them to it..

Monday, October 13, 2008

Of Dust..

Lately have been ill, and thus have been lying in bed, high on pain killers and medication. Which means the man is incharge of the house..the cooking and cleaning and washing and shopping. Needless to say he now knows where things are in the house, things like the washing powder, disinfectant wipes, broom and brushes, he knew about the vacuum cleaner etc..he does help you know...
So I spent the weekend lying down to watch TV and come in and out of sleep, while he hoovered the house, cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, washed machine loads of clothes and loaded the dishwasher. He also proceeded to cook dinner (and lunch) for me.

The conversation last night was about dusting, a concept alien to most men. The Man says, ' I dont understand dusting'...the eternal debate of dusting first and or vacuum is like a chicken and egg conversation in the house. He does not see the point, or for that matter the dust. Which lead me to point out, that it nneeds doing or, he shall be able to write things in the dust on things. Specially things like the TV screen, which he proceeded to explain with the tiring wisdom only seen in engineers talking to non engineers...that the TV screen attracts dust. Which lead me to point out..dust falls everywhere and needs cleaning.

He does not agree, so now i am planning to write things on surfaces once they have been coated with dust..

The few smart arse lines that came to mind were:
~ can you see me?
~ this is dust..
~ If you can read this, clean me
~ I love you
~ Hah! proved you wrong
~ Dust is a fact of life
~ Nobody loves me
~ I demand cleaning
~ Wife is right, dust exists
~ Eat Dust!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Goethe's Faust...(Part I, Scene III)


I am the spirit, ever, that denies!
And rightly so: since everything created,
In turn deserves to be annihilated:
Better if nothing came to be.
So all that you call Sin, you see,
Destruction, in short, what you’ve meant
By Evil is my true element.


You call yourself a part, yet seem complete to me?


I’m speaking the truth to you, and modestly.
Even if Man’s accustomed to take
His small world for the Whole, that’s his mistake:
I’m part of the part, that once was - everything,
Part of the darkness, from which Light, issuing,
Proud Light, emergent, disputed the highest place
With its mother Night, the bounds of Space,
And yet won nothing, however hard it tried,
Still stuck to Bodily Things, and so denied.
It flows from bodies, which it beautifies,
I hope the day’s not far away
When it, along with all these bodies, dies.


Now I see the plan you follow!
You can’t destroy it all, and so
You’re working on a smaller scale.


And frankly it’s a sorry tale.
What’s set against the Nothingness,
The Something, World’s clumsiness,
Despite everything I’ve tried,
Won’t become a nothing: though I’d
Storms, quakes, and fires on every hand,
It deigned to stay as sea and land!
And those Men and creatures, all the damned,
It’s no use my owning any of that crew:
How many I’ve already done with too!
Yet new fresh blood is always going round.
So it goes on, men make me furious!
With water, earth and air, of course,
A thousand buds unfurl
In wet and dry, warm and cold!
And if I hadn’t kept back fire of old,
I’d have nothing left at all.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Making Mistakes

As a parent you never want your child to come to any harm. You want to make the best decisions for them, and you hope in time your children make the best decision themselves. However the point of letting go, which opens the possibility of mistakes occurring is a scary one. When is it right? if ever?

Letting go, and saying, your life, you decide. I will not push you, pester you, into behaving and doing things which I (the parent) would be happy with, is hard. Its hard to not emphasize, insist, brainwash, convince and often also use emotional blackmail, knowing or unknowingly.

As a child I sometimes found it hard to do what I wanted, as I knew I shall meet my mothers disapproval. I found it hard to resist things, but I knew I could not disappoint my mother. Being the middle child, I got over the 'approval' need mighty quick. Soon I would do what I wanted, which often lead to arguements, fights and many a tears for me, but never lies.
My mother is a tough cookie and she is not open to manipulation. Sad. She has seen through me, and continues to do so even today. She was not the modern parent, who wants to be a 'friend' and a popular one at that. Often being a friend of your child makes it unfair to pull rank as a parent when needed. We cant always be liked, and often doing things in the best interest of your child, is met by tantrums and 'i dont like you' type of comments. I guess its part of the job. Being disliked is the price you pay for correcting and guiding your child. And its often the harder route. Agreement and popularity and ease of parenting come as a package, at a steep cost.

It is only later in life that I could make decisions independently and stick to them. Initially I found hard taking decisions which my parents did not like/ were not in agreement with me. They said so clearly, this is what We think, now its up to you. hmmm! Tough one that. Sometimes the ma-isms were tacked on for further effect.

In my mid twenties, my mother told me something, which I will always remember. She said, we parents are like hands, we hold you when you are small, as you grow, we help you walk, and then the hands stand by your side, protecting you, but not holding you. If you fall, we shall pick you up, but dont keep turning around to check, we are here, always, walk ahead, confidently, make decisions as an individual, because standing as we are behind you with our support, we cant see what you see. Walk ahead, knowing that if you stumble or fall we will be there.

What she later added was, our life experiences are different, you see things which I cant imagine, you meet people, see places, do things which I have not. Your decisions are based on your sight. I am a parent, but sadly, now that you have grown up, you need to be let into another secret, I (mother) dont know everything. No I am not the walking encyclopedia you thought I was as a child. I know a lot, but not everything. This I admit came as a surprise. Mum not knowing everything, meant she could make mistakes too. This was hard to digest and took me a while to get my head around.

That I think is parenting, letting the child know what you think, what is right, wrong, black, white and also grey, and also your own limits as a parent. And let them decide. You can not influence them or push them without getting a reaction. You cant be popular or liked all the time. You dont own them. They have their own personalities, character traits and destiny. As a parent, you just need to be there. Always, unconditionally, without sarcasm, scathing remarks or bitterness. Dont chase your children away with disapproval, welcome them to discussion! Let them grow into thinking individuals who see logic and reason and have the confidence to chase their own dreams.