Thursday, April 30, 2009

Domestic Horrors in Eighty Clicks

The ever amusing Maid in Malaysia has tagged me for this one. Since I've been pretending to/trying to run a home for some decades now, I obviously have a huge stock of disasters to choose from, mostly in the elemental fire and water categories or rather joint category, wherein I'd put on something to boil/sterilise, forget all about it, and remember only when strange fumes commanded my attention and baby bottles and saucepans and pressure cookers had burned to a crisp.
The only good thing about the disaster I'm going to write about is that IT WASN'T REALLY MY FAULT*!!!!!
In the early nineties, we lived in a rather large, ramshackle house, all of one and a half floors. The other half floor was an open terrace. Well, with great enthusiasm, courage, and the landlord's funding, we decided to get the inside of the house painted. My youngest child was probably two or three at the time. You can imagine what a great venture it was- four bedrooms, a drawing room and dining room, a kitchen, a couple of balconies that needed painting, and tons of books, clothes and toys and assorted children and furniture that needed to be saved from the paint. Since the house was being painted for the first time in years, there was also much attendant plastering that had to be done.
We'd also decided to go in for different colours in different rooms. Our bedroom, downstairs, was a pretty pale blue. After what seemed like an endless time, the house was back to normal, more or less, and I was sitting in my bedroom with a cup of tea, admiring the clean and pretty walls. It started raining, which was fine with me, until I saw a patch of damp springing up on the wall overlooking the back yard. The patch of damp quickly turned into a small torrent- water was actually pouring through my brand new wall. Heart sinking, I rushed up to the terrace. Water was pouring into the storm drain and rushing down the pipe, which was quite normal. I peered over the wall and saw that there was a huge mound of sand blocking the drain pipe exit. I did rush down and made a futile attempt to unblock the pipe, but my heart wasn't in it. The newly painted house had completely lost its charm. I cleaned up my room as best as I could, but the water stains continue to haunt me, fifteen years after we left that house.

(*And of course it was all my fault- I should have made sure that the workmen had removed the leftover sand before finally leaving the premises).

I tag Itchy, Dottie, IBH, Unmana, Parul and Yashodhara.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Waiting, hopefully!

Dad and I got home this morning, after one day's stay in the eye hospital. The doctor examined him in the morning, and was very pleased with the results of the surgery. Now we have to wait for the eye to heal, go for a couple more check ups, and for Dad to then get a prescription for new spectacles.
Thank you all for the good wishes.
I will keep you posted about his progress.
Thanks once again.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wanted- good wishes.

Dad is going in for cataract surgery on Tuesday morning. My mother has successfully undergone cataract surgery in both eyes over the past few months, and is doing well. Dad, though, has major mobility issues. He has had all the eye examinations so far with the help of my driver, who has picked him up from his wheelchair and seated him at whichever examination seat he needed to be on. My frail, almost skeletal father still manages to surprise the doctors and technicians with his lucidity and excellent English. Somehow it is assumed that a physical wreck is unlikely to house a sharp mind.
The nurse who took his ECG was very kind- she praised him for his fair skin and good looks, and of course was happy to point out that I was much darker than him. A little flattery is good for him, even though he does take it with a pinch of salt.The home nurse has shaved and shampooed him, and we have taken special permission for her to stay with us in the hospital.
It is not a major surgery. But one that he is very keen to undergo, so that he may enjoy the privilege of reading again. Please pray that he may do so.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

around the world in eighty clicks

A tag started by HBM and passed on to me by Itchy. Here are the rules:
Just write a post of your own (five things that you love about being a mom) and find someone to link to and tag-someone from your own country, if you like, but definitely someone from another country, and link back here (at HBM's) and leave a comment.

Five things that I like about being a mother:

(Since all my kids are now officially adult, I can think of stuff which is a distant dream for most young mothers, written here in no particular order.)

1)My kids are old enough to make me cups of tea. They may not be around very often, but when they are they do ply me with cups of tea on request. Three of my kids also drive me around when required. I really love it when the youngest drives me around town, and not around the bend as a teenager is wont to do.
2)I love borrowing my daughters' sarees, the one garment which can fit any size! Since we are in different cities, we have a running saree exchange programme whenever any of us travel.
My girls also spoil me thoroughly with the kinds of baubles I love wearing.
3)We all have loads of things to talk about- from the most trivial to the personal, nothing is taboo.
We can also all laugh ourselves silly over absolutely ridiculous family zokes. ( Yes, that is something just acquired from the older son)
4) In times of crisis, all of my kids are absolutely steadfast rocks. Our solidarity as a family is what keeps us going, coupled with our penchant for gallows humour. It pulls us through.
5) They are wonderfully cheeky and irreverent. I love it, though at times I think a few smacks would be in order.

I tag 2B's Mom, Moppet's Mom, Mimi, Aneela and Mona.
Clicking across the globe at New Zealand, Singapore, Australia(2) and Dubai.

The Three Gateways

All of us deal with words, usually everyday, in our communication with the people in our lives, and with much of the world around us. (Some people, like your humble author, even talk to the cobwebs in the ceiling corner, or to the pile of dishes in the sink. They may not be able to reply, but I'm sure the dishes are relieved to know that they will soon be sparkling clean, and the cobwebs probably either tremble in fear at their imminent demise, or just shrug nonchalantly, knowing that there is often a gap between statement of intent and action, especially where cobwebs and I are concerned.)
I grew up with many aphorisms and proverbs about the importance of the courteous use of language. Most of us did. And yet, either by careless use of words, or by intent, our words can be hurtful weapons.
Perhaps it is better to be like the wise owl in the verse:

A wise old owl
Sat on an oak
The more he saw,
The less he spoke.
The less he spoke,
The more he heard.
Wasn't he a wise old bird?

The impulse to speak up is so strong, that we often do not really think about the consequences of our speech, and much of the time it is inconsequential anyway. Some polite conversation, some chit-chat about the weather, about the kids and their holidays- blah blah blah. Mostly harmless.

But some conversations, whether oral or written, can get so painful or so personal, it is good to remember the old saying about speaking only if your words are true, kind, and necessary. So many relationships falter because of harmful, unnecessary words. Our emotions are probably more visceral than verbal, but once they are verbalised, or triggered off by certain key words, they do take firm root in ones thoughts, and often take on a life of their own. Of course this is far more likely to happen with negative emotions and negative verbal inputs, since we often take all the positives in our lives as our birthright.

It's a tough balancing act, finding one's equilibrium between stoic, uncommunicative silence and effervescent 'chatterboxness'. But the three gateways are a useful guide- let our words escape our lips/pens/keyboards only if they are worth being uttered by virtue of being true, kind and necessary.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

At the very Core

Of all relationships is a single word,
If it's not there, or lacking,
no relationship will never
take off
or be meaningful
or not frustrate.
Who teaches it to whom?
As children, we learn from
all whom we see
how they deal with others
of different stations
in life.
With the others
in their lives, both significant and not so very,
but part of human interaction.
Not just human either-
both the plant and animal kingdom,
the Earth, the sea, the sky........
And, of course, your Self.
No licence for selfishness,
but an acceptance of yourself
as a worthy member of the species
as valid as any other.
Guard it well.