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Why????

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Reaching Kolhapur on Thursday evening and being enveloped in a bearhug by my cousin Sanju at the Gate of his Bungalow spelt out the change to me---very poignantly!!!The last time it had been my Uncle--Shyam Kaka--who had welcomed both Sudhir and me at our arrival in Kolhapur in May 2010.Sanju's hug said so many things---among them we're here for you and we love you being the most important!!My Aunt's hug was equally warm but different----in that hug there was also the regret and the pain of two women meeting for the first time after the loss of their husbands.My sister-in-law Ashwini just enveloped me in her warmth---just giving me comfort and strength.
"Aambaa Baaee" as the Goddess Mahalaxmi--Patron of Kolhapur--- is fondly referred to by the residents of her town has been Blessing the Town with Her Bounty for more than several thousand years now.Ensconced in Her ancient Temple in the centre of the Town She presides over Her Domain with great Love----freely gifting away Prosperity and Peace to everyone who lives there----it may be a very sleepy town at first glance but it is also the richest for there are more Multi Millionares living in that particular square footage than anywhere else in India!!These days there is a lot of rush surrounding Her Temple---thanks to modern methods of travel Devotees come from all over the World to pay Homage all the year round.For me She has always been a source of Strength---but this time I just didn't want to meet Her---a surprising first for me---somehow the motivation to do so was missing!!!
She however would not let that happen---and the day our visit to the Temple was supposed to take place I awoke a bit earlier than usual,bathed and before I knew it we were on the way there!!!Once there Sanju came face to face with the Head Priest---a good acquaintance of his--- who on being told that Sanju's sisters from Mumbai were desirous of an Audience or "Darshan" of the Goddess he immediately led us to Her through a small side door---and within moments I was standing in front of Her----face to face.The Ice around my heart began to melt as I just gazed at Her wordlessly---my tears flowing silently down my cheeks.My mind kept asking Her "Why?? Why him and not me? And if it had to be him--why not the two of us together??Why have I been left to deal with living alone?" over and over in my head-----and to my great surprise She replied.The words just came into my head---" It was his time to go---not yours--and the reason for your surviving after him is hidden in the Future so just be patient---it will all be revealed to you in time!!"
Coming back to Mumbai I heard of the death of my friend Mitra's brother---who happened to be a heavy Diabetic.That brought back a flood of so many dark memories---the whole scene of when Sudhir passed away began replaying over and over in my head-----and all my uncertainties about his death---had he called for me before he died and I hadn't heard him---did he suffer---that I failed him----have all resurfaced with a vengeance---but I still have no answers.I'm trying to cope the best I can but I miss him so bad that it is like a physical ache---one that will perhaps never go away---no matter how hard I try!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAIN454 2/6/2012 11:05AM

    Love you Komal. emoticon
I am praying for you always. God bless.


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NITAINMN 2/5/2012 7:50PM

    Thinking of you Komal:-) Its not easy going back home, especially where you both had good memories of. You are a strong woman and with the help of your family, will do fine.

I have a few friends back in NY, who cried each and every time someone lost their husband....that may happen over and over, given. Its a difficult situation first time and every time after, I was told. Hang in there kiddo. That is just nature's way of comforting you. Time is the best healer. Regarding those questions you were asking, I still remember the e-mail you sent me as to how the physician had informed you, he was gone quickly with no pain. Please do remind yourself that! You are truly blessed to be comforted by Ambe Maa, who I am sure foresaw what was to come in Mumbai. Take care dear.

You are an inspirtion to the rest of us. Wish I could give you a real hug. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/5/2012 8:00:39 PM

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XXMILAXX 2/4/2012 9:34PM

    emoticon Time will help you heal..but some feelings will never go away. Stay strong.

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PUDLECRAZY 2/4/2012 11:18AM

    Sending you love and big hugs.

Those are questions to which there are no good answers.

This missing will never go away, but the physical ache will. It has really been a short time since your husband died, especially in comparison with how long his friendship and love were part of your life.

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OVERWORKEDJANET 2/4/2012 6:24AM

    You will face your questions the rest of your life. As you found with your Goddess and within yourself, be patient. I for one, am glad I get more time to know about you.I wish you
Peace and hope that you continue to enjoy all the good things life has to bring you even though you will enjoy them in a new way.
Janet

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BOVEY63 2/3/2012 1:35PM

    Oh sweetie, I wish I could give you a real bug hug. So many positive thoughts and prayers coming your way.
emoticon emoticon

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*MADHU* 2/3/2012 1:44AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SONPARI1 2/3/2012 1:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ZANNACHAN 2/3/2012 1:32AM

    *Hugs*

I don't think we ever stop missing our loved ones, but it does get easier to deal with over time. If that makes sense. But I know it's hard--and it's even harder when we can't understand the reason for it. Sometimes I guess it just was that person's time, and all we can do is take comfort in knowing that they are at peace.

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DRASADAF 2/3/2012 1:10AM

    Dear komalji....lovely blog...truely u r a strong woman and definitely there is a reason for u to move on...u know maybe someone needs u too....ur daughter..maybe ur granddaughter ..it has to b someone or some reason...nothing happens without a reason....just think of the wonderful years u have spent with ur husband may his soul rest in peace...b strong and take up some serious writing....u r blessed with this art just make urself busy with it or something u like but easy too...u will feel gr8...i always remember u in my prayers...may god almighty give u strength...Ameen..

Comment edited on: 2/3/2012 1:14:14 AM

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SAASHA17 2/3/2012 12:00AM

    Hugs n lots of live is all i cansend ur way.


Manasa

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LAURAKS555 2/2/2012 11:24PM

    emoticon emoticon Because hugs and love say what words can't.

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Facing the Future

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tomorrow we leave for Kolhapur---that wonderful place to which my Umbilical Cord is tied tightly!!!This will be my first visit since Sudhir died---and the first time in 41 years that I'll be alone---I'm wondering if I can face it!!!This place--- specially old Hotel Opal----has been the base of so many wonderful Memories that Sudhir and I shared together!!Our daughters were an integral part of the earlier years---but since 2001 it was just him and me----and our beloved Kolhapur!!!
The old Ancestral home in the old part of this ancient Town has been sold---and the last link with the Past--our Uncle too has passed away in October 2010----so this is a trip to a new uncharted chapter in my life.Sudhir and I were first Cousins---his mother Atya was my father's older sister.Therefore the place,the ambience was a common love---both of us craved the familiarity of our childhoods.It was a place where we changed to being children again---for a very short span!!!We enjoyed being childish with each other, reminiscing ,squabbling,quarreling over minor issues---like for instance---each time we visited my eating Ice Cream at Imperial's---an old Ice Cream Parlour was always a must for me.This Ice Cream is hand made with full fat creamy Fresh Milk in a churn and still retains the purity and taste of that earlier Era---the ancient,decrepit appearance of the tiny Parlour adding an allure to it.It was a reason for a furious and heated argument between us---which ended as usual---my having my way!!!A deal would be struck---I'd eat only a very small portion of that Ice Cream---for the one that I love has scoops of the Stuff drowning in a bowl of Fresh Cream!!Hence my portion was 1 scoop of my Ice Cream in a little Fresh Cream----the taste of my hard won Victory would linger for an entire year on my tongue---till I could eat it again.
Sudhir spoilt me silly---I'm realising to the enormity of his indulgence gradually as the days pass.I never had to be worried about so many things---for instance my Health Insurance Claims---for the first time I'm realising how much he protected me---I literally lived in Utopia!!Our marriage was a true bonding of Souls--he was my Love,my Life---my everything and we bonded not just physically but mentally as well.Today I try to find him in my head---to bounce Ideas off him and seek his opinion---but he's slowly slipping away---no matter how hard I try to stretch out and grasp a firm hold of him!!Today I'm beginning to think for myself and till I find my feet will stumble about looking for the right answers!!!
My brother and sister-in-law will go out of their way to ensure that Ritu,Kunda(Sudhir's sister) and I have a good time---specially being extra sensitive towards me----but things won't be the same!!!Seeing my uncertainty Ritu was contemplating dropping the idea---but something inside me is urging me to go---and face my old Memories.If I can come to terms with the situation in our Flat---where we shared the major portion of our married Life---then this is just our Home Town---- where we took Vacations but never lived!!Maybe it will act as the much needed Catalyst to my numbed and frozen Soul---for the past 3 months I've been living on the surface---drained and hollow inside!!!It's as if I too died with him---but my Body carries on the motions of everyday living---a strange calm has taken over---and my reactions are frozen completely!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRASADAF 1/26/2012 11:08AM

    U were so lucky to have such a dear husband just bask in those memories and try to b happy ..dont hurt him by being in pain ever...i know its easy to say but god help u dear auntyji...really....i wish the best for u...tc

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LAURAKS555 1/26/2012 12:44AM

    Hugs to you on this hurdle you'll jump. I lost my mom, who was also my best friend, and know what you mean by "try to find him in my head." When I'd do something dangerous and fun like driving too fast, I'd 'hear' her in my mind. emoticon emoticon

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ANITAS66 1/25/2012 8:45PM

    Take care Komal.

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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/25/2012 8:37PM

    You are seeing the person he saw! You had eyes for him, now you need to see yourself. He knew you were confident, smart and funny.
You have much life left to live and I ,for one, am glad you choose to share it with us!
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NITAINMN 1/25/2012 5:33PM

    Dear Komal, I can already see you feeling comforted by fond memories of Sudhir by God's Grace. It pleases me enormously to note your memories are all happy and easy to share with your friends....God bless and count your blessings! Not many people can boast about all that joyful living. However, its sad to lose the love of your life and harder still to keep on living and move forward. So, I say hats off and keep it up for its only making you stronger, more independent and less vulnerable dear! What a blessing to have family that you can depend upon! emoticon

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BOVEY63 1/25/2012 1:07PM

    Have a wonderful time and enjoy all the beautiful memories you shared with Sudhir and your family. I love reading about your and Sudhir's love story.
emoticon
He will always be with you - a love that strong won't disappear.

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PRACHI17 1/25/2012 8:14AM

    Let us know how it went , .. take care

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XXMILAXX 1/25/2012 4:56AM

    Your memories will keep you strong and close to him.

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SAASHA17 1/24/2012 11:43PM

    i know its hard but ur doing so good and its all sweet memories..cherish them and have a nice trip...

Take care
Manasa

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PUDLECRAZY 1/24/2012 10:51PM

    So many changes, and hard ones. I think this will be a bittersweet visit to Kolhapur, one which will be both hard to do, and rich with sweet memories.

I wish you a lovely visit, and peace.

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Nostalgic Day!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lonavala has always been a favourite Family Getaway---a place where Sudhir and I escaped to with the Girls often when they were very young and even as they grew older it remained a hit place for us.This was because firstly it is very conveniently situated just about 2 hours away then---and barely 1 hour 30 minutes today from Mumbai---so always has been easily accessible---even for short trips.Besides in those days it sported a thick Green cover---and in Summer too remained extremely cool and pleasant--providing us the much needed relief from the sweltering Mumbai--then Bombay Summers.Besides it was a rustic place--a small Hamlet or Village if you like---and therefore the ideal place to relax and unwind.
A Client of Sudhir's had a Cottage there set in a huge Orchard full of various varieties of Fruit Trees---there were sweet,juicy White and Pink "Jaam" Trees,Jackfruit,Mango and the prolific "Jaamun" Tree---literally so laden with sweet, juicy Purple Fruit that it would bend over under the weight!!! We'd hire this for 15-21 days from them and stay there--just lazing around,reading Books and playing Carrom or Scrabble/Boggle---those were really restful Vacations!!!They had a "Maali" or Gardener who was a fabulous Cook so this was a true Vacation for me---everything from early morning Tea was taken care of!!The most enjoyable experience there was eating the "Matka" Kulfi----the Vendors would come calling every evening at the door--Earthern Pots of these balanced on their heads.The taste of this Indian Ice Cream still lingers on my tongue---and I still marvel at the ingenious way they managed to freeze these!!!It used to be like a Sacred Ritual---the Vendor would carefully lay his Pot on the Ground,slowly untie the Red Cloth covering the mouth of the Pot---reach into the Pot to remove a thin Aluminium Cone----scrape away at the lid---and then unmould the conical Ice Cream---made with thick evaporated Milk,Sugar and different Flavours----onto a freshly washed beautiful Green Leaf larger than a Plate---cut the frozen Cone into 5-7 circular discs-----and then offer the Leaf to the Customer to taste---and savour!!!Trust me--one was never enough---for this simply melted in the mouth leaving one craving more!!!
The Trip on Friday was vastly different from those ones---Lonavala today has grown tremendously in size---and most of the Green Cover is gone---the Landscape today is dotted with Week End Homes---set in individual plots of Land or gated Complexes with all the modern amenities like Swimming Pools,restaurants and all the other Trappings of today's living.The only thing that still remains today is the peace and quiet of the earlier days.Pushpa's Bungalow is a lovely and spacious one---set in a beautifully maintained Garden. It was a very new experience to be there with my Friends---for after the School Pic Nics I had attended as a child it was the first time that I stayed away from the house without Sudhir and that too for an entire day!!!The Day began at 8 a.m.---when all of us gathered in the Street outside our Complex and boarded the Bus---a huge 24 Seater for just the 12 of us!!!Once we hit the Road and cleared the Outskirts of Mumbai we ate a lovely Breakfast--Vegetable Cutlets,Chutney and Cheese Sandwiches---stopping only at the Golden Arches for glasses of hot,freshly brewed Tea---and once that was done---with our Batteries freshly charged---the Fun and Games began!!There was a game of singing 'Antakshari"---a game in which two Teams play against each---answering the challenge of their Adversaries with Songs beginning with the last letter of the earlier one.This is a very fast paced Game----and the first to flounder is the one who gets Minus points--and the one who flounders most loses!!!What a cacophony there was----at least 4 Indian Languages flying about---Hindi,Marathi,Gujarati and Konkani----for both Teams wanted to win!!This continued till we all ran out of breath---and declared a Draw!!!Once in Lonavala we played a few other Games before Lunch---and replete with the tasty Lunch settled down in the spacious Porch to exchange tall stories and Jokes-----it was a truly enjoyable afternoon.
Everyone was pleasantly tired on the way home---and rode home chatting to each other and listening to the popular Hindi Songs of a by gone Era---drowning in the Nostalgia of Yester Years.Reaching home at 8 p.m. we ate a light Dinner---and drifted off by 9p.m.---completely tuckered out---tired but happy!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 1/24/2012 4:35PM

    Hey Komal, Glad you had a fun time with your girl friends;-) A much deserved and well enjoyed! Wish I was there with you.....I am relieved much to hear you keeping yourself busy.

One of my friends' niece has recently bought a flat ( as you guys call apartment)in a highriser (condominium). I saw the photos and yes, its still a beautiful island...can't imagine how pretty it must have been before modernized.

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XXMILAXX 1/24/2012 4:03AM

    It sounds so amazing..take me with you... Glad you enjoyed it!

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LAURAKS555 1/24/2012 2:17AM

    I'm so glad you had a great time! I'm also glad the peace and quiet remained the same despite the population's growth.

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BOVEY63 1/23/2012 12:05PM

    It sure does sound like a fun trip.

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*MADHU* 1/23/2012 9:04AM

    Looks like you had a great time...I miss the Lonavala trips too - may have to make it a point to visit it the next time I come to Mumbai :)

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SAASHA17 1/22/2012 11:11PM

    that sounds like a fun trip...glad u took it...take care

Manasa

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Fun Time!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'm slowly settling into a new Routine and am keeping myself extremely busy----so busy that I fall off to sleep as soon as my head touches the Pillow most nights.There are still some sleepless ones but Mumbai Weather has turned chilly and my bed is right next to the Window----so those nights I spend bundled up,gazing out at the Night Sky from my Window---warmly ensconced in my cosy bed!!!Getting the house in order after the minor changes I made takes up most of my time---and every evening I take a 2 km. walk with my Friends.My Family and Friends are trying to make me feel better by taking me out and generally being around me---encasing me in their loving warmth.My extremely busy Schedule for the next 3 Weekends is as follows.
Tomorrow we go out for a day to Lonavla--a tiny Hill Station near Mumbai---where my friend Pushpa has a Weekend Home---set in quiet and sylvan surroundings.There will be 12 of us---maybe more and we leave at 8 a.m. Friday morning----all of travelling together in an 18 seater Bus---so lots of merriment expected throughout the day---so guess should really sleep well that night!!!The entire Day has been planned with lots of Fun and Games---the "Youngsters" among us have ensured that!!!Besides the Food has been catered for too---so all that remains now is to just relax and enjoy the experience!!!
Next Week brings up our National Holiday of Republic day on Thursday-----and our short trip to Kolhapur to visit my Aunt and Cousins there.My sister Ritu and sister-in-law Kunda will be coming along and for the first time in 45 years I'll be staying at home---instead of their Hotel Opal!!!Every time Sudhir and I visited Kolhapur we'd stay at Opal---where a very large chunk of my Memories lie.Now our Ancestral home too has been sold and all that remains of it are precious child hood Memories----it will be a bitter sweet experience!!We'll be staying at this beautiful new Bungalow that my cousin Sanju and his wife Ashwini have built is huge---large enough to accomodate at least 6-7 houseguests at a time---very comfortably!!Life has turned a new Page and one must go with the flow!!
The weekend after that is planned for the Seaside.The Company Ritu works for has a Beach Shack right on the Beach in a Mumbai Suburb called Malad.We'll be going there on the evening of Friday 3rd. February and returning home on Sunday 5th. February---this time the group will be made up of my sisters-in-law Kunda,Suhas and Nina and my two sisters Mikki and Ritu.There's a Cook at the Shack who'll cook for us---but knowing Ritu and Kunda they'll be itching to cook too!!!As for me I prefer cooking in my own Kitchen or those of either Lotta's or Sayali's---besides if this is supposed to be a Holiday--then it should be exactly that---so as far as I'm concerned I will only lie back and unwind completely!!

  
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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/19/2012 5:11AM

    Have a great time, enjoy the company.

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XXMILAXX 1/19/2012 1:21AM

    emoticon Sounds great, enjoy to the fullest!

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LAURAKS555 1/19/2012 12:17AM

    It sounds like you can't help but have a wonderful time! :) I'm glad you're going.

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BOVEY63 1/18/2012 11:37PM

    Have a wonderful time! So happy you are surrounded by so much love and friendship.

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SAASHA17 1/18/2012 10:40PM

    Enjoy and have fun Komal...I know u deserve it...

Hugs
MAnasa

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SRITHI97 1/18/2012 10:27PM

    Enjoy!have lots of fun with family and friends. Take care.

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Things left undone!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I have never lived alone by myself---got married very young and moved into a Joint Family--- from where we shifted into our own Flat---and became a Unit within a larger Unit!!!Somehow the bonding between the four of us--Sudhir,our two daughters and me---was so strong that Summer and Winter Vacations were always Family time----and we spent almost all out time together!!Since we almost always drove down to Kolhapur--our ancestral Town---we carried along with us Scrabble,Boggle,plenty of Books and a medium sized Carrom Board to keep ourselves and the Girls amused in the long,hot Summer afternoons while Winter afternoons were spent cuddled up in warm,cosy "Razaaees" or Quilts--hand made and stuffed with Cotton.Later as the Girls began growing up we began venturing all over India---specially the North--and here the Climate always was very chilly even in Summer---specially in the State of Himachal Pradesh---situated on the Himalayan Foothils called the Shivalik Range----meaning the Snow covered Land.
A visit in 1983 to Kashmir is perhaps one of my fondest Summer Vacations we spent together and like the Moghul Emperor Jahangir one just has to admit that it is Paradise on Earth!!The very Air carries the heady scent of Crocus---for that is when these Saffron bearing Flowers bloom---and the babbling Rivers specially the Lidder at Pahalgaam---Kashmir is truly a Feast for the eyes,the Olfactory senses and oh yes---the Tongue!!As the Girls grew older we travelled further by Train---both Sudhir and I loved the journeys----sitting like two excited children on opposite Berths peering out at the tiny Hamlets and rural Stations we passed specially at night.Our daughters weren't interested in the Scenery---and preferred the Upper berths---each carrying a pile of Books to demolish on the way---for the Bombay---New Delhi journey lasted 22 hours--for we took the Paschim Express mostly---the superb Rajdhani was a later addition.We were served all our Meals on the Train but I still made Meat and Shrimp Pickles with crisply fried Parathas to carry along with us--besides a dozen hard boiled Eggs,Ham Sandwiches and Biscuits to eat along the way.There were also the Goodies available at each Station we stopped--and were added on to our consumption of Goodies with great relish!!!
It was the smaller Stations which were very fascinating---the Trains slowing down a little there but not stopping---their dimly lit single Platforms looked so poetic and invitingly tempting that added an air of iresistable Romance to the whole thing!! Both of us had then decided---that once the Girls grew up and moved out after their respective Weddings---both of us would take Train Journeys to these tiny Hamlets and just spend some time there---discovering the rural flavour of those fascinating places!!Unfortunately we never got around to doing that---something both of us genuinely missed---and deeply regretted!!Not just that we also never got around to just sitting out on our little Balcony and enjoying the heavy Monsoon Downpours---with cool sprays of Rain Water splashing over us!!We just never got around to drinking Mugs of steaming hot Soup in evenings of our short Mumbai Winters on the Balcony either---Sudhir became an extremely busy Lawyer as he grew older---and to be honest I too enjoyed the Jam that added taste to my Bread and Butter!!
However the list of things we actually enjoyed as a couple--specially in the last 11 years far outweigh those that we didn't-------I think we fell in Love all over again with each other---but this time it was with a deeper Understanding of each other's natures that enhanced our Compatibility---leading to such a cohesive Bonding that even today it is as if he's still with me physically--only invisibly so!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PRACHI17 1/25/2012 8:17AM

    Love reading your blogs :) you should write a book you are really really really really good

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XXMILAXX 1/17/2012 12:08AM

    emoticon

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BOVEY63 1/16/2012 11:49AM

    You have such beautiful memories; and I love reading about them. You and Sudhir have given your daughters a wonderful legacy.

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