Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Dudes, this year has not started well at all. At the end of last year my parents lost a family friend and at the beginning of this we lost an uncle.

And of course despite the best intentions I have not kept to my promise of writing more. As usual I have the excuses. And normally I would pooh pooh them away as immaterial, call myself a procrastinator and move on but this time hear me out willya? I had a terrible case of bacterial tonsillitis: one so painful that I was in tears when the doctor was checking them out. After a 7 day course of antibiotics which knocked me back into exhaustion I have rarely felt, I was all better. For the first 3 of those 7 days I relied heavily on V to look after the kid each evening and then finish his work. He was as exhausted as I but held in there like a trooper and all round good guy.

I then had a week of feeling fine. Back to work and evenings of play food bathe milk story and sleep routines with my child. We flew to snowbound Switzerland for the weekend to attend a farewell party for friends moving east. All in all life was back to normal. Then on Monday afternoon my throat started playing up again. I could feel my tonsils inflate like lifeboats trying to make their escape. It’s back and this time its viral, a different ball game apparently. As painful nonetheless. I am on a combination of painkillers as apparently antibiotics will have no effect. And I literally have no voice.

I guess this is when all that writing will help…..I am reduced to working by passing notes to colleagues and using sign language with my child. Such are the days. I am going to see a nurse practitioner tomorrow. I am going to lobby to have my tonsils removed. I have had a long and unhappy relationship with them and I think it’s time we break up, gateway to allowing unhealthy germs in be damned.

I can only hope February is better.

Monday, January 17, 2011

That Great White Sofa

I first learnt about death when our dog died - I was just about to enter my teens. I only understood its permanence and the meaning of absence with two deaths in my early twenties, first losing my grandfather and then a few years later my college flatmate. Both were sudden and unexpected, shocking jolts to the heart which I thought of only as a muscle and not so much an emotion.

I haven’t been writing at my unbelievable pace(!) because at the very start of the year the vast but close circle of my mother’s first cousins has suffered a terrible blow. We lost my Ravi maama, first cousin to my mother, beloved husband to M maiji and father to my cousins M and R. Even coming after an illness it was sudden and unexpected, a text alert from my mum in the wee hours of the morning. My mother was distraught, her sobs disallowing any words to be spoken as I uselessly held the phone and let her cry. It is impossible, in my view, to find words that adequately describe how empty the world can suddenly seem. She needed to cry and I needed to listen and tell her I loved her.

My tears came later. I am not big on crying, preferring the comfort of a closed bathroom with a running tap to mask my own. But no matter who says what, sometimes just crying through it can express some of how you feel, whether you do so in private or public. When the crying is done what’s left are all those memories of his big laugh, his amazing sense of humour, his bravery in the armed forces and how adored he was by us all. He told me at my brother’s wedding recently that my son had our family’s mischievous smile but that his cheeks could do with a bit of Mathur fattening up. That is my last memory of him. I know that lives are to be celebrated but that is the world’s hardest thing when it seems bleak and harsh and less one very important person.

I cannot even imagine what my cousins and my aunt are going through but I know that each of them has a life of memories to do with maama and these will bring a smile to their faces in time. There are no words that I or anyone can say that will bring them closer to closure - that is a course each person must run alone - but I do hope that knowing so many people have them in their thoughts helps in some small measure. And as unreal as it sounds while in the very middle of very real grief, I can only add that time takes away some of the raw pain and leaves behind a plethora of memories.

I like to think of life after this one as a large white sofa; the image gives me peace. And everyone I know that’s gone before us congregates at it for their evening drink and a bit of a chat, sharing jokes and passing on news about us to those gone before. I can imagine my nana and his brothers sipping martini’s, smoking pipes and the odd cigar and cracking jokes only they get. I know they wait for news of us and I know maama will be most welcome, his smile and infectious laughter joining theirs to be the murmur of the heavens above.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


Hello New Year!

I'm still here!

I'm still here?



I promise.

To do better?

One can only try!

Please try hard, ok?

Will you still come read my endless series of things and random lists?


Well, see you tomorrow then.....

Happy New Year!