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Showing posts from February, 2014

Facing up to my life, not Facebook!

Yesterday morning, 11 am.

A pressure cooker full of vegetables and dal steams away shrilly in the kitchen; on a nearby bench lies a mass of coriander and methi leaves yet to be cleaned and sorted; beyond that, in the sink are dirty dishes, needing to be washed; the child sits on the floor in the adjoining room, tinkering with his mechanical set--toys scattered in a circle around him. Of course, he is blissfully oblivious to the line of books he has knocked over, in a corner.

I have not breakfasted yet. (Little man has, thankfully, else he would have been starving by now). Nor started cooking, let alone made any sort of effort at cleaning (my cook/maid played truant again, the third time this month, sigh).

Then I hear a couple of familiar 'pings' on my 'phone and before you can say, "what a mess", there I am checking Facebook. I had posted a couple of photos of said child and my friends are loving the photos. I am gratified, naturally. And say so in my replies to …

Mornings and other mundane joys

Every morning, when I wake up, I need to be alone for a bit. Just me, myself and my cuppa--filter coffee sweetened with bella (jaggery in English, sarkaram in Malayalam). Sometimes, I do add a bit of sugar, truth be told, specially if it's organic jaggery (which tends to be a little bitter and less sweet, as compared with its normal counterpart).

I read somewhere that mornings are best for regrouping one's senses, restoring the spirit, so to speak. And if I've been tossing and turning all night, then this me-time in the morning, even if it is only to savour my coffee in silence, makes me feel infinitely better.

So, the early morning hour is something I jealously regard as my time. And I tend to get extremely irritable if my space is invaded by either doddering child or sleepy husband. Poor things.

But then, we all have such routines. And children, more so than adults. Our little fellow, for instance. He likes me to carry him first thing. And crabby creature that I am, I …

No sorry, no thank you...Nope, we're too modern for all that.

The other day, at my local library, I saw a little girl approaching the heavy glass front door. Now, this door is one of those -push-or-pull-with-all-your-might-contraptions, you know the kind where you push when you're supposed to pull, and vice versa. I knew that little girl wouldn't be able to budge it, so I moved forward and held it open for her. And right behind her, breezed in her mom, dressed in casual pants and shirt and probably in her early 30s. And probably at least five years younger than me. So there I am standing there holding the door open, and there's the young mom, walking in happily, with not so much as by your leave. As if I wasn't there at all. I felt like a doorknob.

Whatever happened to little courtesies? If a stranger opened the door for me, let alone for my child, I would thank that person. But no, not this young mom. So now, that little girl will grow up thinking it's fine to not say "thank you" when someone does something for her…

Love makes them whole

There's a couple I see sometimes, on my walks around Richard's Park. They are both physically challenged and both use crutches. They come there on his specially modified two-wheeler. And then they sit together for hours, on one of the park ledges.

I notice them because they are always oblivious to the rest of the world. Curious onlookers do watch--because, well, as a people, we are often not sensitive in such matters. And the couple obviously do attract attention, because, well, they look different, with their crutches placed neatly next to them, and because they always sit embracing each other.

To be honest, I feel I am violating their privacy if I even look at them. And yet and yet, I find them immensely inspiring too. For one thing, they are so comfortable with each other. I've seen them sit there for about an hour or so, till twilight darkens into night, talking to each other, laughing, and just being together. They seem to share a connection that the rest of us able-b…

Old man and the street

An old man accosted me yesterday morning. Accosted is too strong a word, but I am not sure how else to put it. He saw me just as I walked out of our apartment building, and started talking. Something about telegrams and mental illness and NIMHANs and medicines.... All the time, I was thinking, "Oh hell, why me, why me! Why can't he go away and bother someone else"? I was going to pick up little man and I had just 10 minutes to go.

But he just wouldn't walk away and kept rambling on. Was he mentally ill? I am not sure, he certainly appeared lucid enough. He didn't seem disoriented or lost, as a person with dementia would seem to be. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Naveen, our building's security guard (who lives here with his family), watching. I glanced uncertainly at him, hoping he would come shoo the man away. He didn't.

And yet, I didn't, couldn't, walk on, pretending this old man didn't exist. Instead I wondered why was he doing …