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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The Vegetable Patch and The Condominium Garden in the Monsoon
There is an expectant hush in the Atmosphere---everyone is waiting eagerly with bated breath for the Rains!! We Indians are mad about the Monsoons--for us the Monsoons mean the Season for Romance and Love.For me since my earliest memories I have always adored the Monsoons.After we got married we both were crazy after the Monsoon---and have had many such interludes in the Rains of which I'll write about a bit later.Lotta,Meha and Mehul as well as Kartikeya love the Rains---however Sayali hates the Monsoon with a vengeance!!If there is one lesson that Kartik has learnt well since they got married it is to keep well out of her way when it rains--Nature shows attitude outside while she does it in the house!!
The Monsoons of my childhood had a wild beauty about them.Chandigarh was still in it's infancy though progressing well--and this meant that the spectacular Show the Monsoons put on each year was something I loved and have never forgotten.The hot Summer nights would be spent sleeping on the Terrace under the Stars each night.The beautiful scent of "Raat ki Rani" or Queen of the Night hung around in the Air , mixing with the scent of "Mogra"--- one of the many varieties of Indian Jasmine---to form an intoxicatingly heady Perfume pervading the velvety nocturnal Atmosphere.The Summer Showers began visiting us around the end of May each year-- often times preceded by swirling Sand Storms which my mother hated but I loved---the smoky,musky scent of the Sand swirling around the house made me long to somehow taste it.Since childhood I've loved to taste the wet Earth after a Shower--and I would try to poke my tongue into the tiny cracks in the Window panes just to taste the Sand thereby annoying Mummy immensely!!The Summer Showers would arrive with a lot of Fanfare---the crashing of Thunder,the strong Gusts of Wind accompanied by the flashing of spears of Lightning in the Purply dark Grey Clouds---the swirling dry leaves riding on the frenzied Air Currents.This would bring out the Peacocks who with raucous calls would spread out their beautiful Tails and dance in joyous abandon--tossing their necks and displaying their mind blowing Plumage to whoever was watching.I truly feel that I have be blessed to witness this Dance many times as I too rushed out to dance with equal abandon in the Garden--again irritating my poor mother terribly!!
As Chandigarh developed the privilege of watching the Peacocks diminished considerably.That was when we'd only see this returning from our many Treks or Picnics.Most often the heavy downpour would force us to park under the Trees of the numerous Thickets lining the Road and then we'd be the privileged few to witness this beautiful phenomenon.The majestic spread of the richly coloured, iridiscent Peacock plumes is a like a very rich spread of Brocade cloth.When fully spread out in the "Fan" formation the magnificent tail ripples and dips creating various patterns as the magnificent bird jumps from one foot to another---it is an awe inspiring sight--indescribable in it's sheer Beauty and Magnificence!! My childhood also was very rich in simplicity and the proximity to Nature.I grew up surrounded by such natural beauty--the magnificent Mountains in the distance and the rich experience of varied Wild Life,Flora and Fauna have turned those days into treasured Memories--hoarded in my mind with the sheer clarity of my tender years.
Luckily for me Sudhir was as mad about the Monsoon as I was.Our bedroom window in the old flat in South Bombay had a Metal awning.The tattoo the Rain beat on it was the first signal we had about the arrival of the Monsoon.Regardless of the hour of day or night,the two of us would rush out into the street and drive down to the Chowpatty Beach.We'd sit there for hours just enjoying the show of the ferocity of the Thunder and Lightning playing against the dark leaden Sky while the Rain beat a stacatto tattoo on the roof of our Car.There would be many occasions when we would watch the Rain swept stretches of the pavements of The Gateway of India from our favourite Table in the Bay window of the Taj Mahal Hotel.When we shifted from the family home into our own Flat here,we had the beautiful sight of the Vegetable patch next door.Watching the Rain and Wind lash the waving fronds of the Coconut Palms as they tossed about wildly in the Thunder and Lightning was an awesome sight-----thick,huge droplets pouring down their trunks into the fertile soil was an extremely satisfying experience.When the girls grew up and began leading their own lives--specially after Lotta got married---Sudhir and I began going out on long drives into the Western Ghats.
The nearby twin Hill Stations of Lonavla--Khandala were just a 2 hour drive away and Sudhir and I still young enough to enjoy the romance of these impromptu Dates on the Weekends.The usually dry steep slopes of the Western Ghats would be lush and green--clothed in a thick,velvety soft cover of waving tall Grass.There would be foaming White Waterfalls cascading down from the craggy Cliffs---rushing Earth wards with a loud cry.The looming,dense Grey Clouds overhead with the spears of Lightning snaking through their depths and the Wind sweeping around in fast,short Gusts was the stuff that we see in the Bollywood Films.These trips had such an uplifting effect on both of us and definitely gave a new depth and meaning to our relationship and married life.
Today as I wait longingly for the much anticipated Monsoon I am missing Sudhir with a deep,physical ache.However there are times that I can lull myself into believing the he is still lying next to me ,holding me close as he used to--curled into his embrace while Nature puts on a rip roaring Show outside our Bedroom windows!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDYAMK 6/6/2013 10:36PM

    Oh I love when you write about your adventures of your life, you describe every thing it is like I am right there in the middle. I love storms that thrash about , we have no monsoons here in the States. When I was in Colorado there was a fierce storm the light bounces differently there because of the mountain ranges.i stayed up all night watching it. You describe the lush of the mountains & forestry it is like I want to get up out of my chair & walk into it. Thank you for sharing all that you do.

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MILLISMA 6/5/2013 8:49PM

    Now I will think of you every time we have a heavy rain storm. What wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing with us.


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BOVEY63 6/5/2013 4:34PM

    It sounds like a wonderful time. We don't have monsoons but I will spend these rainy days we are having with my loved one!

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CHERIRIDDELL 6/5/2013 11:47AM

    We don't have monsoons but I love the rain.I love reading your precious memories I think it is a wonderful way to honour Sudhir to share with your friends all the things you did with Sudhir that made him special The depth of your love for Sudhir is always palpable.

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SAASHA17 6/5/2013 9:19AM


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Small World

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The view of the Vegetable Patch outside our Bedrooms in Mumbai
These last few days I've been in a wonderful mood---drifting in and out of some of the most beautiful Memories of my life.Reminiscing about my childhood and my memories with my cousins made me so euphoric that the sweltering heat too couldn't make me fret!!For me that is the only thing that bothers me as I grow older---remembering my childhood Summers makes me feel as if my character has undergone a sea change--I spent my entire day outdoors in the Sun--- both during the Summer and Winter and never ever thought that some time in the Future I'd be shying away from the Sun to this degree---something that has caused me to incur a severe Vitamin D deficiency!! Well it is nothing that short walks in the Sunshine and weekly Sachets of Vitamin D solution can't cure so I'm not overly bothered about it.
At the Physiotherapist's yesterday I actually conversed with a couple whom I've been seeing on a regular basis every day.Besides exchanging polite smiles we'd not moved much further till day before yesterday the wife heard the Nurse call my name and announce my turn.The result was that yesterday she tentatively said a "Hello" and broached a little small talk--and then finally asked me if I knew Sayali who'd studied in Bombay Scottish High School?On my confirming that Sayali was my daughter,she then told me that her two daughters travelled by the same School Bus to and from School daily and then told me her name.I was shocked to learn that we've lived in the same vicinity,our daughters were reasonably good friends---but we've never met!!The most astonishing coincidence is that my nephew Nikhil lives in the same Building as this lady--but despite our frequent visits there our paths have never crossed at all!!I knew that it was a small World--but just how small--that turned out to be a revelation!!
All this has been pushing me back into happier times and a result of this is that I'm coping better with my grief now.Besides we had the first short Showers yesterday afternoon.Not the thundering tattoo we used to get but a gentle pitter patter which cooled the Temprature and made for a very pleasant evening and night.Today the Sun is back in all it's ferocity and as I write this,is blazing down--turning all that slight coolness into a steaming ,sweltering day!!However these are just the pre-Monsoon Showers--maybe the coming days will bring with them the rolling Drums of Thunder,the Dance of Lightning streaking it's way in the dark,roiling Sky and the sharp cool gusts of dusty Wind sweeping it all up to swirl the dried leaves into the Sky--and of course finally the thrumming clatter of the huge Raindrops as they come pelting down furious,ferocious and hard--- hitting the parched Earth with an intense velocity--releasing all the intoxicating aromas of the Earth,Flora and Fauna as they wash away the Dust and Dirt.A beautiful,Green emerges looking freshly minted and new---the entire Atmosphere changes as the balance of Nature shifts into a new mode!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDYAMK 6/6/2013 10:26PM

    How beautiful to gaze out your bedroom window to this vegetable patch. How hot does it become where you live & is the humidity really high ?

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BOVEY63 6/4/2013 2:42PM

    That is a beautiful view!
How fun meeting someone with whom you have had so much in common and yet never met before.

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SAASHA17 6/4/2013 7:05AM

    it is a small world:)

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CHERIRIDDELL 6/4/2013 6:18AM

    It is indeed a small world.I loved this story about meeting the mother of one of Sayali's friends.It also put me in mind of how technology has changed our lives for the better ,For who would have thought that you in Mumbai and I in Edmonton would have become frineds ! It is a small world after all!

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RAPUNZEL53 6/4/2013 4:39AM

  I enjoyed reading your blog!

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Monday, June 03, 2013

First of all the pain has lessened--thanks to both the Physiotherapy Sessions,Excercises and Medications.I'm now beginning to glimpse the glimmer of light at the end of the Tunnel..LOL!!By and by the Week had it's ups and downs.The downs were the continued increasing heat--each day worse than it's predecessor in climbing to a greater level of sweltering Humidity!!The up was a flying visit by my brother and Sil from Kolhapur en route to Europe for their Summer Vacation.It was a beautiful interlude for us--specially me as it meant a day spent in great company!!
Ashwini and Ritu went out shopping and Mall hopping while Sanju and I chatted--mainly about Sudhir.We both sat and listened to the Songs he had recorded and later viewed the short Videos that Sayali had recorded of him on her Cell Phone--it was very poignant and yet very heartening--and somehow it eased my pain too!!So since last Friday I've been living in a mood of nostalgic euphoria. Sudhir's sister Suhas too came over to meet Sanju as we all are first cousins and that was when the swapping of tales from our childhood started.We must have spent 4-5 hours reminiscing----about our old Ancestral home,our enigmatic Grandma Akka and her idiosyncrasies and last but not least about each of our individual childhoods in general.The surprising thing was that though our childhoods were so far apart of each other the fact that even today we can find signs of the old days in many parts of the old Town formed a common thread for us to string our memories on the same thread!!
Sanju's father our beloved Uncle Shyam had never wanted to marry because he was the only son who continued to live at home with Akka.That Akka was an unknown quantity and her moods were pretty complex to understand was actually the reason for his remaining unmarried.He had seen his sisters-in-law suffer at her hands whenever she paid his brothers a visit and since he lived at home his conscience didn't permit him to put any young lady in that unhappy position of sharing a hearth and home with his mother!!All this thinking and philosophy went for a toss the moment he set eyes on my Shashi Kaki---he fell madly and irrevocably in love!!They married in January 1961--he was 38 years old and she was 20 years old!!That Akka gave Shashi Kaki a very agonisingly hard time was apparent to all yet despite that it was Shashi Kaki who looked after Akka on her deathbed---keeping the bedridden old lady fed,clean and comfortable for almost the last 6 months of her life.Our beloved Shyam Uncle passed away in October 2010 and it was after that Shashi Kaki changed.Till then she was happy to live in his shadow--but today she has emerged as a prolific writer who contributes to the Local Newspapers and Magazines on a weekly basis.For me she has turned into a role model--and given me a new direction to follow!!I salute people like her and my mother--their sense of commitment over rode their personal differences to emerge in the selfless manner in which they gave freely of themselves whenever Duty called---contributing without a murmur to the well being of people who had wronged them grievously!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 6/4/2013 1:06AM

    How wonderful to have such good company . I am so pleased that you are feeling better the pain can be very wearing and I hate to think of you suffering . emoticon

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MILLISMA 6/3/2013 9:14PM

    So great that you had company and such a wonderful visit. Glad to hear that you are improving. God bless.

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BOVEY63 6/3/2013 1:10PM

    It is always nice to share loving memories with a special person!

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LOOKINGUP2012 6/3/2013 9:05AM

    Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it.

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SAASHA17 6/3/2013 7:07AM

    take care...and Yes I admire such people too...but sometimes its okay to be a little assertive...hehehe...do ur duty but live ur life too..what if sometimes Life doesnt give u that chance...

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Battling On

Monday, May 27, 2013

Like my very dear friend Cheri--I too tend to battle against the odds and like her am practical enough to accept the inevitable--in this case The Body is winning so far!!Despite the Physiotherapy and the Vitamin D3 Sachets the pain is still bad at times--because according to the Physiotherapist I'm suffering from a combination ? of 3 ailments--the onset of Pelvic OsteoArthritis+lower Lumbar Spondioloisis and Sciatica---all rolled into The Body together.The pain is a combined product of all three together.Well so be it--I CAN and I WILL beat this too!!
The loss of Sudhir's physical support is more poignant than ever--I miss him being there terribly---but I'm learning to reach him in the depths of my mind and through my wishful dreams.The first step to dealing with this is accepting a temporary defeat--I may have lost the Battle but I will not lose the War!!I have made suitable changes in my Diet--for if I'm to turn into a temporary Couch Potato I wouldn't want my weight to bludgeon further at all!!So thanks to the Internet I've got myself a list of what I should eat---more specifically mainly a list of stuff readily available in India!!As the Monsoons draw nearer each day the prospect of subsisting mainly on various Soups and Multigrain Toasts on a daily basis does gain immense appeal!!I am looking forward to the coolness in the Air---though on the flip side the Damp may affect the Body adversely.Maybe the intensely sultry Heat too may affecting all of us adversely--for Lord knows that there are many folks suffering due to it!!
Last but not the least,I have drawn upon my inner reserves of strength to combat this as The Almighty and I are again playing a Game together and though handicapped by the loss of Sudhir's physical presence I will surmount this too!!I and not The Body shall win the War!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 6/4/2013 1:02AM

    You are in my prayers Komal and you will win the war.We tend to be very stubborn and never give up! love and hugs,Cheri

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BOVEY63 5/28/2013 5:18PM

    I do believe your body will win the war!!!

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*MADHU* 5/28/2013 10:35AM

    Hope you feel better soon emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 5/27/2013 9:56AM

    Wishing you better days. Take care.

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MILLISMA 5/27/2013 9:54AM

    As we age, the battle continues. I'm sure in retrospect, many of us would do things differently when we were younger if we had really thought about what the outcome would be. I have always loved working in the yard and at times put my body through a lot completing one of my projects. I am paying the price now but will continue to work in the yard....much slower I might add.

I too know that if I could get the weight down, it would help and I continue to work at it. Not going as well as I would like but I won't give up.

Hope that your pain lessens.

hugs, my friend....Mary Anne

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Ours not to Question

Friday, May 24, 2013

The rigmarole of Doctors and their Fundas has once more begun spinning out--and with apologies to Lord Tennyson it is "Ours not to question why---Ours to hear and meekly comply" is the order of the day!!Luckily for me, belonging to a Family which is related to a wide spectrum of well known Mumbai Doctors is a boon--one or the other is always there to consult!!This time it was the Orthopaedic Specialist---and and though the Doctor was tied up luckily an appointment was made available by my sister -in-law Suhas at the nth hour!!As I hobbled in to consult him the first thing he remarked on was my obesity.Well I've been plataeued for many years now---and now am resigned to the fact that Obesity is here to stay!!
Briskly going about bending my legs as if I was a Ragdoll and poking and probing them mercilessly he cheerfully informed me that I was reasonably healthy for my number of Ailments--and advised an X-Ray and a Blood Test to check my D2-D3 levels as well as my B12 level as well.As suspected it turned up that I have severe D2-D3 deficiency while my B12 just clears the mark.Result?An extra tablet at night for B12---and weekly Sachets of D-2-D3 medication.Also Physiotherapy,Sonography and Diathermy as well.So today was the first day of the Sonography---quite a pleasant surprise in fact---the main Pain point being gently massaged in circular motion for about 30 minutes.Helped ease the pain considerably and encouraged by that I quickly sat up--only to be admonished to be gentler? with my poor Body---so here we are again once more--The Body versus Me--even though we co-exist in the same shell!!
The admonishment led to a mild Lecture--I'm not to climb the Stairs too often,before getting out of bed each morning there are certain excersizes that I have to perform to ease the overnight stiffness,standing on my legs for a long time without a break is a no-no and holding any posture too long is not to be allowed.Not just that I cannot walk continuously as I am used to doing---even my Walks need breaks every 5-10 minutes!!So while I'm relatively young my Body is ageing fast---and is using such painful black mailing tactics to get it's own way!!!That's why I say Folks--listen to your Body when it refuses to do something and change your ways early for the benefit of the Body you live in--or like me one has to pay the Price!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 5/25/2013 11:50PM

    Trust me I feel your pain.I tend to do battle with my body regularly and the latest indignity thrown at me is I have to use crutches.Which my doctor assures me is not bad for someone who was supposed to be in a wheelchair years ago but it still feels like a betrayal of the shell when the mind is still willing to me !!!!

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BOVEY63 5/24/2013 4:54PM

    Hope the therapies help to ease your pain.

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MILLISMA 5/24/2013 3:20PM

    So sorry to hear all that you are going through. Hope things improve for you and that you have less pain. Thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers.

hugs...Mary Anne

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LOOKINGUP2012 5/24/2013 12:48PM

    I'm so sorry you are going through this. I pray the doctor's advice will be most helpful. So happy the therapy felt good. May you be blessed with bird song and beautiful flowers to view to cheer your spirit.

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ANU_20 5/24/2013 8:47AM

    emoticon and Thanks for the reminder... need it every now and then because we do tend to take our bodies for granted way more often than we should and subject it to all kinds of tortures on the planet... from over stuffing it to going on Crash diets and what not ...for all the wrong reasons!

Take care!

Comment edited on: 5/24/2013 8:48:02 AM

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ELRIDDICK 5/24/2013 7:15AM

  Thanks for sharing

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