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Moving On.....

Friday, March 08, 2013


The Beautiful Gulmohar in all it's blazing Glory
Ritu's Chemo backlash has subsided and we are now getting to resume some kind of routine once more.She has been cleared to attend the Office if she so wants--as well other Social activities.The backlash luckily was not as violent as I had feared it would be---so that is one thing that I'm more relaxed about.Her earlier Chemos in 2009 had had minimal backlash while mine were terrible---given the more advanced stage and toxicity used.
Summer is literally barging in on us--the Tempratures are soaring and the pleasant Winter interlude has finally ended.For me these are poignant moments---for Sudhir loved to see the Seasons change.It is truly like watching a Miracle take place--the Sky changes it's hue from a deeper Cobalt Blue to a lighter Azure one which will fade into the lightest of Aqua in the height of Summer.For me it has always been wonderful to see the hot colours contrasting with the bright,blazingly brassy Sunshine of Summer.The sight of the deep Orange and Red Blossoms of the Gulmohar standing outlined in all it's glorious Beauty symbolises the Indian Summer for me.It brings back a horde of Memories---of my own childhood as well the childhood of my daughters.Sudhir and I would drive down to Kolhapur each Summer from Bombay/Mumbai.The journey those days lasted 9-10 hours and keeping Sayali busy for that period needed plenty of inventiveness.It was this same Gulmohar that granted me a brainwave.The entire route was dotted with Gulmohar Trees--some in full bloom and some just with the first flush of budding out.I told her that she was announce each Tree which was in full bloom and count these on our way Kolhapur.While this gave her something to do it was some time before Sudhir got used to her sudden full throated yells of "Doomb!!Doomb!!" from the backseat!!In Marathi the term is "Laal Bund" meaning Blood Red.Sayali could never remember the entire word and replaced it with Doomb as a shorter version!!I would also point out the various Hill Forts or Gadhs that dotted the stark Summer landscape to both Lotta and Sayali---the craggy forts rising up into the Sky in the Summer haze .The Sahyadari Range of the Western Ghats is a steep one---and has many peaks which were fortified by our ancestors in ancient times.The legendary King--Shiv Chhatrapati carved out a Kingdom based on these Forts as his base in the 1600s and gave a tough time to the powerful Mughal Empire of Delhi.The Marathas evolved into a powerful influence in Indian History---leaving a great impact on it till 1818 when it was broken by the British.This way I'd teach them both a bit of both History and Geography---telling them about the Geographical Landmarks as well as the Historical ones.I'd also string the various exploits of the Marathas into stories and they'd listen with rapt attention.The trick was to keep them occupied--for these were the pre Air Conditioned Car days--and the dry hot Wind that blew in through the open windows of the Car was blisteringly hot and dehydrating!!Besides later Ming and Tina joined us--these two mini Lhasa Apsos were blessed with thick long hair and though I'd chop their locks each Summer they still would feel the heat immensely!!
There are plenty of Memories of the strawberry blonde Tina--fondly called Da Tuna by the girls--half out of the front window on my lap!!She was fat,cuddly and heavy---and the constant effort of trying to haul her in gave me great excercise for my arms--and muscles like a wrestler's!!Ming was more disciplined--he'd curl up in the centre of the backseat and snooze or just poke his disdainful nose a wee bit out of the window on either side--he never played favourites between the girls.Tina on the other hand had lots of attitude-----there were certain things that she loved to complain long and loud about!!During our journey Sudhir had to ensure that the speed never slackened,that we did not pass any Trucks for she hated the smell of Diesel exhaust---and that we took regular halts for plump,rounded little Da Tuna to stretch her fat little legs as well as relieve herself!!I have yet to see any female Dog so obsessed with her looks--a truly vain little b***h!!Ming on the other hand was wiry and springy-----a live wire who just couldn't sit still!!
Despite the extreme heat, those drives were the best---passing dry bare Hillsides full of dried Brush onto lushly Green Fields of Sugarcane--the way the Soil changed colour--from a dry sandy hue to a nondescript Brown and later to a rich loamy Black--I loved it all!!Sudhir and I would sing our favourite Songs--both Hindi and Marathi with a sprinkling of English ones too---his mellifluosly tuneful tones mixing with my off tune ones--but both of us having a ball!!The girls would also join in--at times purloin the stage by singing their own medleys--there would be "Maria","The Sound of Music" and "Edelweiss" from the 'Sound of Music',"Feed the Birds","Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
" and "A Spoonful of Sugar" from 'Mary Poppins' as well as some Hindi and Marathi songs too.Those drives are today saved in my Memory--bathed in the afterglow of nostalgia these are some of my most precious moments archived in my mind.
There was something timelessly primal and right about it--I felt a part of my Country,it's History and the Landscape---one with my environment!!Those days we were young and hardy----both Sudhir and I enjoyed the Heat,Dust and just being alive with gusto.The beautiful expanse of an Indian Countryside baking in the Summer Sun has to experienced--for no Picture or Photograph can capture the intensity of the ambience ever!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OVERWORKEDJANET 3/9/2013 5:52AM

    Those are nice memories!
I remember the long car rides with my two." Are we there yet?"

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CHERIRIDDELL 3/9/2013 12:46AM

    Oh Komal what a wonderful story.Your blogs always make my day I feel like I am there in the back seat with the girls (and of course patting Ming ) I am so pleased to hear Ritu is not suffering greatly after her treatments. I will continue to remember you both in my prayers. hugs,Cheri

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RAIN454 3/8/2013 11:53PM

    So glad to hear that Ritu is doing better. I am in awe of this story...in all of my visits to India, I have yet to see a tree with color let alone in full bloom. Love your stories. The road trips sound like fun times and can I just say that i commend you on spelling out "supercalifragilisticespialidocious
" ;) hehe..just kidding! Have a good happy weekend. OH and happy Woman's day!! (its belated now for you but there's still another hour in my day ;))
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Comment edited on: 3/11/2013 10:19:06 AM

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So Grateful....

Sunday, March 03, 2013


My Friends and Me in our Condominium Compound--May 2011
Left to Right:Fatima,Kishori Ben,Mitra,Kanta,Radha Ben,Ritu and Me.
What you are all seeing is my group of Friends--there are a few of them missing but we have over the years become a pretty close group.There are a few of them missing in this Picture---Pushpa my closest friend,Anuradha almost a foster niece,Vijaya my neighbour who lives opposite me,Bhabhiji who lives just above me and her DIL Sonia as well as Shashi Tai form the entire group.I wouldn't place them in the same category as my friend Pushpa--who is like an older sister to me or Anuradha who has become like a niece instead of my next door neighbour---but the fact that they are there is one of the comforts of my life today.After Sudhir died, this Group began by holding my hand and now we've all progressed to being each other's support system!!Today each one of them is volunteering to help out with their time--for instance they've shown a willingness to sit with Ritu while I run my errands so that I can do so without worrying about her---and also to sit with her during the Chemotherapy in the Hospital--a process that can last upto 8 hours!!Each one of these women is willing to do her share to help me out and it is this support that I value.The feeling that I can fall back on these people--because they live in the same Condominium does raise my confidence level!!The feeling of not being alone means a lot to me---and while I may not need to take them up on their offer I still am grateful to them for offering the instant reassurance that I'm not alone till the rest of the Family reaches me.My sisters-in-law--both Sudhir's sisters Kunda and Suhas as well as Nina his sister-in-law live in the Suburbs and given the Traffic situation can take hours to reach.Besides all 3 are much older than both Ritu or me---a fact that has not stopped them from offering their whole hearted support!!At the moment Mikki sat through with Ritu on the 28th.February during the first Session of Chemo--next one falls on the 21st. March when Mikki will be in Singapore on official business.Hopefully someone from Ritu's Office will help out--and guess we'll get through that as well.Man is a social animal and these social relationships are as important to nurture as are Blood ties--for we never can stand alone!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 3/8/2013 2:56AM

    What a lovely group of friends you have.You and Ritu are in my prayers.Your Spark friends may be thousands of miles away but we are here for you too! You are never far from my thoughts! hugs,Cheri

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RAIN454 3/7/2013 6:43PM

    Thats so nice to have a group of supporting friends like that. You are so blessed. Im sure between all those beautiful women are some really delicious spreads shared during your visits with each other :)

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MIRFA71 3/5/2013 12:31PM

    Its very comforting to have dear friends and neighbors you can rely on, and who are always there for you.

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BOVEY63 3/4/2013 12:26PM

    It is so wonderful to have a support system to help each other through both the bad and the good. So glad you have such a good one!
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RIDMYCOCOON 3/3/2013 1:35PM

    So lovely to have dear friends emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 3/3/2013 10:13AM

    How wonderful to have such a large supportive group of friends pouring love into your life. emoticon

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SAASHA17 3/3/2013 8:37AM

    so true on the last part!!

glad u have sucg a wonderful group of friends!!

take care
Manasa

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OVERWORKEDJANET 3/3/2013 5:56AM

    Great support. I hope you all get to have fun times too!

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XXMILAXX 3/3/2013 2:55AM

    You and all of them are very very fortunate to have each other! That's a blessing.

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Update

Friday, March 01, 2013

The axe has finally fallen--Cancer has been confirmed.My sister Ritu has been advised 6 cycles of Chemotherapy and these hopefully will work on the Cancer in the Lymph nodes.The first Chemotherapy cycle took place on Thursday.Now we are coping with the aftermath of the treatment.Thank You, all my very dear SP Friends for praying for her.Your continued support and Prayers will help to get her back on her feet very soon.I am also very grateful to The Almighty for being with me and holding my hand to lead me out into the Light of Hope and soothing my mind and soul and restoring a normalcy to our daily routine.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAIN454 3/7/2013 6:44PM

    Your sister is in my prayers as well as you and her family as she fights through this.
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BOVEY63 3/4/2013 12:25PM

    She has my prayers!
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RORYLYONS 3/3/2013 2:14AM

    Many blessings & prayers for your sister... emoticon

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RIDMYCOCOON 3/2/2013 12:26PM

    So sorry. we'll do. Take care friend emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 3/2/2013 9:06AM

    emoticon Praying. So glad Ritu has your support. Underneath are the everlasting arms.

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OVERWORKEDJANET 3/2/2013 7:23AM

    I will be thinking about her and you too!
Don't forget to care for yourself. emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 3/2/2013 1:46AM

    I will continue to pray for Ritu and for you.hugs,Cheri

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SAASHA17 3/2/2013 12:19AM

    Hugs n prayers

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An Empty Mind......

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Ritu (in Blue) with our sister-in-law Ashwini in Kolhapur,April 2012
The present situation that I'm in has made me terribly restless----it is the uncertainty of the result that is making me dance like a Cat on a hot Tin roof!!Making the rounds of Hospitals--however well appointed---is not something that anyone looks forward to---and apart from my regular Check-Ups I try to give these a very,very wide berth!!Ritu is 7 years younger than me and at age 52 years one would have thought she knew better how to look after herself!!She had a Hysterectomy in which they removed her entire Reproductive system---after which she stayed with us while she underwent her Chemotherapy and Radiation.Mummy was still alive then and pretty sick herself---but then she had the satisfaction of knowing that everything was under control before she passed away in January 2010.
After everything came back to normal I kept tabs on Ritu to see that she followed up her Check-Ups regularly--till October 2011--when Sudhir passed away.After that I was so absorbed in my own misery--and trying to come to terms with the sudden Vacuum in my Life--that somehow I wasn't able to look beyond my own needs.It never struck me that despite holding an extremely responsible job in a Multi National Company where she interacts with all the Top Brass she'd be stupid enough to let her Health issues slide---enough to cause grave concerns about a relapse of the earlier Ailment.I am now literally keeping myself busy whenever we're at home--for she's staying with me now--and spend my time Meditating--a necessity that helps keep me sane and on an even keel.The Stress is what is making me restless---and I'm only praying for a light malady curable by Chemotherapy and Radiation at the utmost!!All I will say is that God is Great--and since He has been there for me always I am convinced that this time to He will grant me the strength to cope!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAASHA17 2/25/2013 8:08AM

    I am praying for Ritu, Komal!! It will all be OK...

love
Manasa

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MILLISMA 2/23/2013 8:48PM

    Prayers for you and Ritu plus extra hugs.

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LOOKINGUP2012 2/23/2013 1:08PM

    Sending prayers your way for this difficult situation. emoticon

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BOVEY63 2/23/2013 12:25PM

    So many prayers and loving thoughts coming your way!
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OVERWORKEDJANET 2/23/2013 9:52AM

    Don;t forget to care for your own medical issues!

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CHERIRIDDELL 2/23/2013 3:22AM

    Oh Komal I too am praying for you Ritu is beautiful and I am crossing my fingers and toes it is just a minor blip , something easily gotten under control . Love,hugs, and healing vibes ,Cheri

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Unhappily Busy!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Each time I decide to turn regular on SP something or the other intervenes---but this time it is really serious!!Both my sister Ritu and I are Cancer survivors--Ritu had undergone a Hysterectomy in June 2009.A chance Infection brought out Lymph Glands in her neck--and the CT Scan revealed many more of these stretching up from her abdomen to the neck.It looks like the Disease has resurfaced---but since the Biopsy Report has yet to come can't say much!!Keeping my fingers crossed that it turns out to be just a Lymph Node Infection---but it's really hard to live normally while the sword hangs over our heads!!Pray for her please---your Prayers will help us face the worst if it so turns out!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANU_20 2/25/2013 8:18AM

    You both will be in my prayers.... sending positive energy your way!

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MIRFA71 2/25/2013 4:29AM

    Prayers for you and Ritu. emoticon emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 2/23/2013 1:09PM

    Will continue to pray for her complete healing.

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CHERIRIDDELL 2/23/2013 12:09AM

    Komal not a day goes by that you are not in my prayers and I will add Ritu immediately ! love & hugs,Cheri

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OVERWORKEDJANET 2/22/2013 8:45PM

    Many prayers to you and your sister! emoticon

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KDAILEY70 2/22/2013 8:37PM

    emoticon

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BOVEY63 2/22/2013 8:30PM

    Many prayers being said for your sister and you, and lots of hugs too!
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CALLMECARRIE 2/22/2013 8:26PM

    You are in my prayers. God bless you and your sister. I can't imagine how difficult that must be.

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