Memories from another day . . .



These days, my middle name is Maudlin, Mi. Yes. Foolishly sentimental and emotional. Perhaps being a Mom does that to me. Although, why not? You loved me as much as, if not more than I love my son, so you’d understand. Good ol’ unconditional love. […]

Memory lane and a red bra

Memory lane and a red bra

I stepped out into our verandah this morning, Mi, just to enjoy the no-pigeon-ness. Sure there are feathers floating around but a far cry from the poop carpet. Oh, two glorious weeks of not scraping shit. I still haven’t done anything to beautify the place […]

Life is short. Enjoy the coffee!

Life is short. Enjoy the coffee!

Five deaths in the family in the first half of 2016, Mi.  If that’s not an indication of how temporary our existence really is, I don’t know what is. It is surreal to receive news of a death.  Talk about fragile lives!

Do you remember that early morning in July, more than a decade ago, when the ring of the phone tore into the peaceful morning, shattering our own peace in the process? As it is, late night and early morning phone calls are viewed suspiciously as they can never be good news, if we are to believe history.

But that morning, the phone was especially cruel. Sury answered it, while the rest of us huddled on the sofa in the living room, anxious to know who and what it was.  I am still stunned to recall how speechless Sury was, holding the phone. The words just wouldn’t come. Our beloved Kondu mama had passed away, that too on his birthday.

We were all ready and packed to leave the next day for his 60th birthday celebrations.

As I write this now, tears are streaming from my eyes – not just with  the sadness that fills me, but thinking of what a wonderful human being he was, Mi. I may not have had a conventional childhood, but I had uncles who gave me the gift of their time, and treasured memories. I feel nostalgic to remember waking up in the morning to see a bar of Cadburys chocolate and a tray, filled with water and envelopes floating in it to ease the stamps off them, so I could add them to my collection. I think of his enthusiasm filling the house on Sundays, urging the women in the house to take the day off while he cleaned and cooked and did the laundry with the radio blaring away. I swear I can smell the detergent soap. Then he would buy movie tickets and send Kittu mama and manni off in a taxi to spend some time together. The rest of us would enjoy a tea party at home with the record player  giving us Cliff Richard and Tom Jones, followed by MS Subbulakshmi. Something for everyone.

And how can I forget the long letters he wrote me every week! I loved reading and replying to them and he’d treasure those. I still remember the denim jeans and jacket design I sent him and my thrill when he brought them during his next visit. I wore them for the longest time and gifted the jacket to our Shnu.

He introduced me to limericks and gifted me the whole rugby jokes book set. He gave me Wayne Dyer and Normal Vincent Peale. James Hadley Chase and Harrold Robbins. MAD Comics. He taught me the phrase “Don’t make an issue out of it” and it became my mantra.

Sigh. He was the quintessential good samaritan who literally gave the shirt off his back if he saw someone shivering in the cold. I love to recall how, as he walked home, the street hawkers would shower him with blessings for funding their little businesses.

Who knew he would leave us so soon? It was so painful to travel to Chennai to attend his last rites when it really should have been a birthday celebration.

Fragile lives, yes. Why, I feel cheated about you passing away at 64, so suddenly. So people console me saying you didn’t have prolonged suffering, but if years of chronic illness at the mercy of experimental medication and a whole week on a ventilator with a collapsed lung that had no chance of inflating is not suffering, I don’t know what is.

If life has taught me one thing, Mi, it is not to hold back when it comes to telling someone I love them. And as you would say, show them! Do the things I want to do now, not later. Some day is not a day of the week, eh?

I feel particularly blessed to have enjoyed an unusual childhood, going through five schools from grade 1 to  10 and three colleges before I graduated with honors. Funny life. It has taught me to be open minded, flexible and ready to adapt. I laugh when I think of how Paati always marveled at my attitude – when I was “there” I was happy. When I was “here” with her, I was equally happy.

To think I’ll turn 53 next month feels quite weird, because, I am really only 24, right? And I still haven’t got the guts to cut my hair short.

Let’s celebrate that beautiful and cheerful thought with some nice strong filter kaapi.

And some melancholy Sting. How fragile we are…

Rocking the #BarAThon Challenge from 1st to 7th August 2016.
Today’s Day 3 and the prompt is “Fragile Lives”
I am with Team #CrimsonRush

What you don’t know

What you don’t know

I must disagree with the adage that goes “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”, Mi. Considering I suffer from infobesity and that I am curious as a roomful of cats about everything I come in contact with, I just cannot bear not knowing something. […]

Stranger than fiction

Stranger than fiction

Sometimes, real life is stranger than fiction, Mi. Circumstances, priorities and perspectives transform us in ways we never even imagined. Of late, I’ve been finding it funny how family members don’t care to keep in touch. When I take the initiative to call them, they […]

DIY and some self help

DIY and some self help

R was right you know, Mi. He usually is. After freaking out over the long pending laptop repair, I finally got the broken child fixed. So now I no longer have to fret over the wobbly screen. Although, to the laptop’s credit, I must say it was behaving well in spite of my shenanigans.

Oh gosh that was one scary day when I suddenly fainted and took the laptop, wire and all with me, and crashed to the ground.

Actually I was working on something, and wanted to go pee. So I got up and suddenly had that funny light-headed feeling – with the awareness that I was going to fall, but unable to do anything to control it.

Sury was walking up and down, from the back door to the front door, talking on the phone and he had just reached the front door when he heard a deafening crash – that’s what he said later. Imagine his stunned surprise when he rushed in and saw me in a heap near the door, right next to the large carton I was using to dump stuff we don’t need! The laptop was on the floor, and my lovely ABCD table?

Splintered. The room looked like mayhem.

All because I had gotten up, and swayed in the direction of the wire that went from the laptop to the plug point. Crash! Freaky eh?

So anyway, we cleared the mess and Sury had the foresight to press the laptop panels together. Miraculously, it worked. And continued to do so until I decided, enough and got it repaired. I have been wanting to buy a small laptop that I can carry with me when I travel but in my true style, have been procrastinating over it.

Then I thought about my old laptop – which of course weighs a ton but is smaller than the current one. I thought why not experiment with reinstalling its OS….and did. Vista to Windows 7. Successfully. I now have another working laptop, except its mousepad’s left click is dead. Still, a good backup system. Which leaves me wondering whether I really should buy a carry around laptop. Why not just NOT do it? So I’ll procrastinate some more. I am getting a little tired of the device overload. I mean, trying to simplify and in the process, complicate? Bwahaha.

It has me thinking – why should I even carry work when I travel? Why can’t I simply catch up on reading? I can anyway check email on the phone and even manage to respond. So I’ll hold that thought for a while longer. I also considered getting a keyboard for the tab…then decided against it. I have the distinct feeling of having done something super wise! Haha. Presently, I just carry a couple of books when I travel, so I will simply stick to that routine. I also carry the spirally bound notebook to write and doodle in. And we all know that I carry the phone mainly to click photos.

Can’t help thinking of Kittu mama fondly here. How he loved to tinker with things. Sunday afternoons were devoted to picking our Ansonia wall pendulum clock apart and putting it together again. I never understood why he did that with a clock that was working perfectly fine. Then the Murphy radio. Oh! Wasn’t so successful putting that back together. I remember how the radio repair guy would laugh when he saw Mama with the parts pocketed in a double newspaper sheet… and help him out over a happy cup of chai.

Those were the days eh? Perhaps I’ve inherited that family trait from him. I had my own version of it – sweating in a corner tinkering with audio and video cassettes, transferring them from one case to another, laboriously .. manually winding and unwinding the tape, sometimes splicing them to make a mixed tape. Sheesh. Even Vidur used to think I could fix anything. Still does!

So, be that as it may… I just might attempt to reinstall the OS in my main laptop to speed it up. Fingers, toes and every other digit crossed for this digital endeavor, eh? What’s the worst that can happen anyway, as Unca used to say.