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Picking up The Pieces

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The last month or so has been very educational--I've gone from being a Financial Dunce to becoming literate about certain aspects of handling my Finances.There is still a very long way for me to go yet before I can claim to be knowledgeable but the fact that I'm learning to cope is for me the most encouraging aspect of Life right now!!Luckily for me Sudhir left things in a very smooth working order---and 90% of the changes were seamless and smooth.Besides he had built up a very good rapport with all the youngsters working at our regular Banks--resulting in me getting sympathetically helpful advice about how to reinvest and so forth.
Now it's the day to day routine that is undergoing a subtle change--gradually the old order is changing.Sudhir never liked me to cook just enough--he needed to see a healthy amount of Food on the table at meal times--and so did I --both of us suffering from a hangover of our respective childhood as well as the earlier years of our marriage!!Both of us were brought up to believe in four square Meals everyday made one strong and healthy---and as a result my daughters too were reared on the same principles.While the children were growing up both needed a lot of Food--not because they had huge appetites but because of the manner in which they consumed it.Lotta would literally peck at the Food during Mealtimes--it was the in between periods that she'd consume bowlfuls of the prepared Vegetables and Curry-Rice combinations at regular intervals during the day.My most favourite memory of her is sitting with knees drawn up on her bed--with pillows behind her back as props ---a book placed against her knees and a plate balanced on her stomach--munching away as she read through the book!!The situation would worsen on the Weekends--and on each Sunday and Monday my old help --Krishna Bai would sweep out more than a dozen bowls from under the Bed---a visual reminder of the eating spree of the earlier day!!!Sayali on the other hand would be unabashed about eating only the Meat--Goat Meat,Chicken or Fish---the choicest bits would all be fished out and demolished----the Salads and Vegetables getting a cold shoulder--as did the Rice and Breads!! While Lotta never discriminated between Vegetarian or Non Vegetarian Fare--Sayali was unabashedly Non Vegetarian and made no bones about it.However after they both left--- in Lotta's case because she married and Sayali for higher education at RIT---it was a struggle downsizing the portions because both Sudhir and I were not Food Addicts!!
That was not all that difficult but the real test is now.Both Chhaya Bai and Vanita are small eaters--as a result we are left with plenty of left overs--in small Tupperware Containers which slip into the back and get forgotten till someone remembers these.Since all three of us hate to waste food,emptying out the 'Fridge every single day has now become the norm---Menus are decided according to the left overs and sometimes we end up not cooking at all!!Also the quantities too are now reduced to half the earlier ones--and may still be reduced further--leading me to question our earlier appetites!!!These are however the minor things---the worst is the Loneliness i feel---even when I'm surrounded by people!!
A new routine is now gradually getting set--Ritu has gone back home and stays over at the Weekends now.I've relieved Chhaya Bai of keeping me company at night--and sleep on my own now.The Food needing to be cooked in the evenings can very easily be done at Lunchtime--and Vanita too will now be able to spend more time with her family as I've relieved her of the evening chores from the 15th.September.Poor thing--- she comes,makes just 3 rotis,warms up the rest of the food,serves me and then hangs around till I ask her to go!!A waste of her time and energy for things that I can well do for myself!!Of course these changes are initially on a Trial basis--but I think I will be able to cope by myself.Sudhir has gone and factually now Ii'm by myself--the sooner I stopped depending on others the better it is.Just because they do certain things out of their love for me--it is not fair to impose on them for an indefinite period!!!I have to learn to stand alone--and the sooner the better!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PRACHI17 9/14/2012 12:15AM

    u are so brave. I wish my mom could use the internet /computer. She feels lonely all the time and has no outlet what so ever .
I like that you connect with folks here and are making new friends.

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JUDYAMK 9/13/2012 8:59PM

    You have been & still are so loved by family ,friends & those that know you. I have had women come into the pharmacy after their husbands have past away that never wrote a check I had to teach them how they are on their own some of them have grown children that do not even help them out with anything it is so sad.I could never do that to my Mom she is 82 I live 2 minutes from her. You are so blessed in so many ways. I know you miss your beloved Sudhir. Take care

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BOVEY63 9/13/2012 12:49PM

    So glad that Sudhir left things in such good order for you and that you are adjusting to all the changes that have come your way.

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RIDMYCOCOON 9/13/2012 11:38AM

    It is a blessing to be surrounded by people who care for you. You will be stronger everyday by accepting their support along the way to standing alone. You are strong.

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    It is time for you to develop a hobby, my friend.
Whether it is in the fine arts or fabric arts depends on how much you wish to invest.
Take on-line classes to enhance your new finance powers.
You have traveled been well-loved by family members and friends.
It is time to see who and what Komal will be.
We certainly know she is a strong and passionate woman! emoticon

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Again -----Mumbai!!!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

A view of the Flower Market

Aerial View of the Vegetable Patch outside my Bedroom Window

Another View of the Patch

The Temple of The Goddess Prabhadevi

The Bonfire at The "Holi" Festival in our Condominium

The busy corner of The Arterial Road a stone's throw away

The Sidhivinayak Temple nearby

Sudhir's Work Area----Mumbai High Court

Another View

The flooded Oval Maidan opposite the High Court in the Monsoon

Our Favourite Cafe--Samovar---at Jehangir Art Gallery

The Chatrapati Shivaji Musuem (formerly The Prince of Wales Musuem)

Another favourite Haunt--The Sea Lounge at the Taj

The View from the Bay Window

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel,Mumbai

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDYAMK 9/12/2012 10:22PM

    Thank you for sharing

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ZANNACHAN 9/10/2012 11:29AM

    So beautiful... and so lush! Michigan is a pretty fertile, damp state but nothing like Mumbai!

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BOVEY63 9/9/2012 7:11PM

    You have such beauty surrounding you.

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    Sights of beauty. I need the smells and the sounds.

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SAASHA17 9/9/2012 1:02PM

    Oh i remember going to samovar cafe with mom dad. Loved the food n i had my first grown up coffee here:-) yum. N the art gallery was amazing. Cudnt finish touring the museum though. Take care


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ALICIA214 9/9/2012 12:54PM


Love the photo's Thanks for posting them. emoticon

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The Mumbai I Love!!!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Tall Glasses of Falooda!!!

Java Plums

A Fruit Vendor's Stall

Spices at The Market

A Street Market

The Mumbai Market

The Banana Stall

Bread Fruits--extremely Yummy and Popular!!

A view of the Vegetable Market

Another View

The Bombay Duck Fish

Some more Fresh Fish

Fresh Pomfrets

Variety of Mouth Freshners

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PRACHI17 9/14/2012 12:19AM

    Whats a bread fruit ? whats the hindi name for it ?

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MIRFA71 9/9/2012 4:02PM

    wow... a riot of colors with the spices..

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ZANNACHAN 9/9/2012 11:34AM

    Beautiful pictures! And so colorful!

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DRASADAF 9/8/2012 2:35AM

    oh i miss them all soo much... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FRAN0426 9/7/2012 9:50PM

    Beautiful pictures and what gorgous colorful fruits and veggies

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BOVEY63 9/7/2012 9:46PM

    The colors are awesome and everything looks so good.

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    I love the variety and colors.

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0309COOKIE 9/7/2012 2:49PM

    Everything looks so rich in color.

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RUNSTOLIVE 9/7/2012 1:20PM


Though, I have to say, the duck fish doesn't look ANYTHING like a duck. :)

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SAASHA17 9/7/2012 1:14PM

    Promfret please....YUm!!!!!

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Eccentric Idiosycrasies!!!

Friday, September 07, 2012

These days stray moments that have now turned into Memories have me in splits each time I think of them---and all of these are connected to our various quirks and foibles--otherwise called Eccentric Idiosyncrasies!!Sudhir and I had many such habits which irritated the Hell out of each other---and resulted in many of our innumerable spats!!!Today perhaps this is what I miss the most in my day---Life is suddenly so very quiet and DULL!!!
Sudhir would get irritated by certain things--first and foremost being my naivete!!Being 9 years older than me he was obsessively over protective about me--despite my protesting long and loud against it.He remained my Knight in shining armour till the very end.The second thing about me that really irritated him was my constant nagging--if he was asked to do something I'd nag and nag him till he did it---with quite a few choice epithets hurled at me!!Funny thing was that both of us were extremely conscientious--so actually nagged each other incessantly and only blamed the other instead acknowledging a common trait!!I am a hoarder and an impulsive shopper---as a result of this there were many things that he disapproved of--things I bought but did not use!!!Despite that he'd indulge me--just to shut me up!!As a result I'm beginning to ferret out all the things I bought and using these as much as possible.His biggest peeve was my Tupperware--I have so much of it that I will have to gift most of it away for me to reduce it's numbers--but seems like an impossible task!!!So I guess a Tupper Will is perhaps the only answer!!
When we got married Sudhir would regularly dress in 3 piece Suits---and it would irritate me to see him being so uncomfortable in the hot,steamy Summers in Bombay.The reason for this was that I had seen my own father's transition from Western clothes to the more comfortable Indian clothes and Cotton was my greatest weakness even then!!On the other hand Bombay Dress Code dictated fancy dressing--and just as I could not understand how Sudhir could be so nonchalant in so many layers of clothing, he for his part could not understand my penchant for wearing Cotton mostly instead of Silk and Brocade.While these Suits were his regular dress code Silks and Brocade were the bane of my existence--specially in the hot Summer months when I couldn't get the heavy Silk/Brocade Blouses on--for the sweat would make the lining of these cling and stick to my flesh instead of sliding on easily!!I then worked out a method--I'd line the arms of the garment with powdered Brown Paper and stand in an Air conditioned room or under the Fan turning at full speed and curse all the while till it finally slid into position!!This amused Sudhir extremely-----the only help he offered was keeping a Napkin handy for me to use!!
Another pet peeve of mine was the way all the Bedrooms had both the Air Conditioners and Fans at full blast.Having grown up in the North indian Climate I was used to the dry heat of the Plains and sleeping out in the open under the Stars each night---enjoying the cooler night Air.Here however the humid heat had a draining effort on one's energy levels and the extreme difference in the temprature inside and outside our Bedrooms made things worse.The Regulators of both the Air Conditioners and the Fans had been removed so there was no way to adjust the Temprature in our Bedrooms----resulting in both Nina and me bundling up each night to combat the artificial chill!!To add to the discomfort we slept on stiffly starched Bed sheets---which used to scratch and scrape against the skin leaving angry red welts.Sudhir's Kurta Pyjama used to be so stiffly starched that I swear it could very easily have stood on it's own after being loosened around it's edges!!The first thing I did when we shifted here in May 1975 was to ensure that all the Regulators worked and ensure soft,unstarched sheets on the Bed---the Bliss of this can never be described in words!!!
We had a large domestic Staff---the Staff actually outnumbered us!!!That meant that there was nothing left for me to do during the early days after our marriage--and since I conceived Lotta almost immediately after our marriage I spent most of my time just reading Books on topics ranging from Ghost Stories and Fiction to Dr.Spock----- and eating like a glutton.This was an extremely trying time for Sudhir--I'd make him drive all over Bombay just because I wanted to eat stuff available in a particular region of Bombay---regardless of the Traffic and hour of the day---or night!!The rest of the time I alternated between a firm conviction that the Delivery would kill me and the remaining in telling Sudhir how I'd haunt him if he even so much as glanced at another woman after I was dead!!I will say this to his credit--he took all this torture with a grin--for my obssesive possessiveness added a feather to his cap or so he'd say!!
We actually mutually agreed to disagree on each and every topic of daily living--he'd interrupt my narrative of my day and tell me what I did wrong according to him--and I'd lose no time in returning the compliment as fast as I could.He thought I talked too much and too long (I do) and should actually answer every question in a concise and to the point manner--and I thought he was over critical of me.He thought I needed to be nudged towards certain things and away from others and made no bones about it.I have a very small handwriting--thanks to the Nuns----and till we got married he just couldn't get enough of it through my lengthy,long winded Letters---once we were wed he insisted on my printing things in Block Letters--he didn't like reading the fine scrawl anymore!!Another thing that irritated him was my having a good time without him.Each time I went to my Kitty Parties or out with my Friends he'd pick an argument with me that evening out of the blue over inconsequential topics--and we'd get going in full speed once more.His ability to fight logically infuriated me--and mine to end up blathering about nothing in particular amused him immensely!!He knew that he could always get a rise out of me--and despite being aware that I was actually being needled on purpose I still always rose to the bait!!!
Actually I was watching Tom and Jerry on the T.V. a few days back---and it suddenly struck me---I was Tom and he was the wily Jerry!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PRACHI17 9/14/2012 12:27AM

    I say the same thing to my husband , i am not pregnant but I tell keep when i get preggrs .. if i die i will haunt him , and he does not have my permission to marry again for atleast 5 years.
We fight about tupperware too , he tells me container store is my heaven :P
and i light up each time i step my foot in it .. oh well :)
lovely blog , you should write a book .. did i tell u that before ?

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ZANNACHAN 9/9/2012 11:41AM

    I love your stories of you and Sudhir!

And I agree with you on starching sheets--who wants their sheets to be stiff?!?

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BOVEY63 9/7/2012 9:44PM

    I love the comparison to Tom and Jerry! That is so sweet!

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SAASHA17 9/7/2012 1:14PM


TOm n Jerry indeed...

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The Early Years!!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Sudhir and Me --1977
This Monday was my Birthday and I was missing Sudhir terribly--since it was the first one without him!! I was talking to my Friends who dropped in that evening to wish me about all my earlier Birthdays with Sudhir.Each one was made extremely special by him!!The first one just before our marriage he surprised me by flying in from Bombay and standing on our doorstep in the afternoon---literally thrilling me to bits!!The next one was after our marriage just after Lotta was born--and he sent me a beautiful Letter (those were pre-email days) written on a Rainbow coloured set of Papers cut out in the form of a Heart--I still have all his Letters safe--and read one every day--it helps to miss him a little less this way!!The ones after that would see him take the day off if it was a working day---and we'd make our way to the Taj for Lunch,then a Movie and finally eat Dinner out--this was our routine on both our Birthdays--his and mine--since they fall just 20 days apart!!The excitement in his voice when he'd be the first one to wish me on the stroke of midnight each year made me feel extremely special and beloved.That set the tone of my day for me---the day would truly become special and take wing on a happy note for me.
Life changed and grew busier as he began to make his mark in the Legal field--he worked extremely long days during those early years.He'd leave early in the mornings and come home late--so I'd give the Girls two Suppers--a light one as High Tea after School at 6 p.m. and Dinner at 9.30 p.m. after Daddy got home--this was one Meal we all ate together every single night till both the Girls moved out--Lotta after her marriage and Sayali to do her MS at RIT in Rochester NY.Sudhir was a very hands on father--in fact Lotta was an extremely cranky baby and would constantly be crying--The Lord alone knows why!!She was otherwise an extremely healthy Baby--only she'd keep me awake throughout the day and night--and Sudhir would do his share of the night duty even after a hard day at Court.He believed in both of us being equal partners in our marriage---and the kind of marriage we had was a rare thing among Indian couples then!!There are many moments that are fleeting--but remembering them gives me a very warm glow--because they show his love for me in the minutest aspects of day to day living.
Very often the two of us would sit in the Living Room after the Girls slept--for they slept in our bedroom.The reason for this was the huge, old, gnarled "Peepul" Tree outside their Bedroom window.Our hired help somehow put the idea of it being haunted into their heads and at night it's shadow would fall on the wall opposite their beds.The weird shapes created by the rippling leaves and branches swaying in the slight Breeze would scare them out of their wits and finally to get a good rest we got a Cot with wheels made to order--and this would slide under our double bed each morning!!We used to talk a lot--discussing each and every aspect of our day with each other--sometimes Sudhir would sing--he had a beautiful voice--and I'd make requests--for thanks to yelling myself hoarse at the girls during their chilhood I can't sing even to save my life now!!Those are the moments I miss the most--just the two of us cocooned in the darkness,holding hands and Sudhir's melodious voice singing to me--- beautiful Ghazals which are poetically lyrical Love Songs in Urdu!!This factor remained constant in our lives--I'm very lucky that he thought to record his voice--there is one old Hindi Film Love song in particular that he would always sing to me---and which is recorded in the Computer---I listen to it each morning and it helps me to begin my day on a positive note!!
As the girls grew up the tenor and the way of Life for us too changed.We began going out on Lunch Dates--he'd just call me on the spur of the moment and ask me to join him for Lunch either at the Taj or The Oberoi Sheraton (now The Trident) and I'd rush off dropping whatever I was doing!!This pattern continued till my Heart attack--after that the Lunch Dates stopped because of the strict Diet restrictions I had to follow.However last year he just suggested lunching out at the Taj again on my Birthday--and we did.Today it is a memorable event because we spent the entire day together repeating all things that we used to do---just enjoying the day with just each other for company after a very long time.It was raining pretty hard and as we drove along past the Worli Sea Face and then the Marine Drive we both enjoyed the Sea crashing and foaming at high tide--huge cream flecked waves rolling in from the Sea and crashing against the Sea Wall,splashing the people standing there and drenching them to the skin!!Both of us simply loved this Weather and managing to actually get "our" old Table next to the Bay window at The Sea Lounge in the Taj somehow made my day all that more special!!!It seemed as if we were both caught in a Time warp--the Past and the Present merged and everything just stood still for us---mentally we went back to our Courtship days!!Today I feel as if Sudhir knew that this would the last Birthday that we would celebrate together--and that's why he made an effort to turn it into something so very beautiful and extremely special!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

*MADHU* 9/6/2012 5:13AM

    Belated B'day wishes...thank you for sharing warm memorable moments emoticon emoticon

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DRASADAF 9/6/2012 3:57AM

    Wow how romantic indeed...happy birthday Komalji....

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BOVEY63 9/5/2012 1:04PM

    I so enjoy reading about the yours and Sudhir's beautiful love story!
emoticon emoticon

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ZANNACHAN 9/5/2012 11:33AM

    Happy birthday! It sounds like you have great memories of your birthdays together... that's wonderful.

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MESSYGIRL_28 9/5/2012 10:59AM

  Wishing you many many happy returns of the day ! Hv a gr8 b'day! emoticon

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SAASHA17 9/5/2012 7:34AM

    happy birthday Komal:)...Those are wonderful memories to have...
he was awesome... emoticon


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    You have such beautiful memories of being cherished!
You are a lucky woman to bave had such a man!

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XXMILAXX 9/5/2012 5:01AM

    emoticon emoticon :-/ Lovely and bittersweet memories. Happy birthday, glad you were able to get through the day.

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ZRIE014 9/5/2012 12:45AM

  nice picture emoticon

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