Compliments of HICOCKHALEY
Borrowed from CHERIRIDELL
Where is your Cell?
Your Favourite Thing?
Your Dream last night?
What Room are you in?
Where do you want to be in 6 years?
Where were you last night?
Something that you aren't?
Wish list Item?
Last thing you did?
What are you wearing?
Something you are not wearing?
Your Favourite Store?
When is the last time you cried?
Where do you go over and over?
Five People who email me regularly?
Favourite Place to eat?
Favourite Place I'd like to be right now?
Today is Sudhir's first Death Anniversary--a year has gone by but the void in my heart is still aching as much as it did when I saw him lying on the Bathroom floor last year!!That one moment shattered Life as I had known it into a zillion pieces around me----and for the first time after almost 42 years since our Engagement on December 29,1969 I was standing by myself--totally, completely alone!!The overwhelming panic and loneliness that I felt in that one moment has stayed with me throughout the last year---and contrary to common belief--Time does not heal--it sharpens the Pain and Loneliness even more acutely as it passes by!!
For more than a month now my mind has not been focussing---it is by sheer determination that I'm functioning somewhat akin to normalcy----but only I know what it has cost me to do that!!!In this last one year besides my immediate family--my daughters,grand daughter and sons-in-law,it is Sudhir's sisters and Ritu that have been my mainstay emotionally--never really intruding but offering unconditional support as and when needed. Sudhir was the youngest of his siblings--his sisters were very emotionally attached to both their brothers---but it was Sudhir who was their baby--the one they really protected since childhood.Sometimes I think it was because of the way both he and I thought our marriage was the way it was--I was the eldest and as such had it hammered into my head that my sisters were my responsibility since I was just 4 years old--he on the other hand being the youngest in his family was used to being pampered and cossetted---so we were both well matched!!We were passionately and desperately in love when we married--but two very strong self opinionated individuals too--and the first few years of our marriage were spent smoothing out the rough edges.Here I will certainly say that our Commitment to each other being as strong as it was helped us tremendously.No matter how bad our fights the fact that we were a single Unit together helped us surmount our differences and as Time passed we began taking on each other's Personality traits--for instance when we got married Sudhir was in the habit of clamming up for days and pacing up and down incessantly whenever something I did irked him--I on the other hand was very vocal and loud and once vented--cool again!!!By the time he died, he'd become pretty open and vocal about his peeves and I'd started sulking---something which amused us then and still amuses me today.
Our life truly centered around each other and for the last 11 years it was just the two of us---him and me.Today just because he is no more I have so much Time hanging on my hands--just a year back I did not even have a second to myself in which he was not a party!!!I try to keep myself busy by doing things I took an interest in all my life---but I can no longer read non-stop the way I used to earlier---discovered this in London earlier in March that my interest in Books is waning.Nothing appeals any more and because I was scared of slipping slowly into Depression, I started my Catering Business 15 days back.It has definitely perked up my interest in Cooking once more--for Sudhir was my greatest Fan where Food was concerned--he loved showing off my expertise in that Department by carrying regular Tiffins for his friends on Wednesdays and Fridays---I'd wait for his hurried but jubilant 'Phone call after the Meal from his Cell---speaking so softly that I'd have to strain my ears to catch whatever he was saying!!That evening he'd come back home as pleased as Punch and beaming all over his face--- Pride and Pleasure writ large all over his entire being!!!Today the fulsome Compliments from my Customers and the polished clean Tiffins that come back show that my efforts are appreciated does help in soothing my aching heart a little but that empty painful void remains--perhaps never to go away as long as I live!!!Rest in Peace My Love--and till we meet again help me to survive too!!!
Various Moods of Sudhir
In India our Nine Night Festival called "Navratri" has begun in full swing---today is the 4th. day.This ends with great Ceremony on the 10th day of "Dasera/Dasraa/Dussehra" when the entire length and breadth of India celebrates the triumph of Good over Evil.Right outside my Windows the Streets are brightly lit each night with strings of multi coloured Fairy lights and the mood has turned festive--each night there is also plenty of Dancing to live Music--with everybody dressed in traditional clothes---something that always lifted my mood.Not this year though---my mood like my heart is heavy and no amount of superficial light hearted bon homie can put me in a better frame of mind.
I tire myself out to the maximum--concentrating on just getting through one day at a time---thankfully my tired body falls into a sound dreamless Sleep each night---replenishing my Energy reserves for the next day.Tomorrow besides being Sudhir's first Death anniversary is also the "Lalita Panchami" dedicated to the Goddess Shantadurga ,our family Diety---and once more she has proved to me how blessed he was!!Lalita Panchami was a day I used to celebrate with great fervour and festivity because there are 5 such " Maha Panchamis" dedicated to The Goddess each year besides being the usual two each Lunar month--in the waxing and waning cycles of the Moon in the Hindu months.Tomorrow too the Food would would be cooked as an Offering to the Goddess--everything cooked according to an extensive ancient Menu--all without Onion and Garlic!!!Sudhir relished everything I cooked--the highlight being the" Kheer" cooked with plenty of slivered Almonds,Pistachioes and strands of Saffron.For him I'd instruct Vanita to make "Puries" for Dinner--a deep fried puffy Indian Bread--unhealthy but oh so tasty---one of India's ultimate favourites!!!Tomorrow I'll still be cooking the Vermicelli Kheer but it is just an empty gesture now--may The Almighty forgive me for it--for somehow the urge to go all out is no longer there anymore!!
What I will be doing tomorrow is just going through the motions and I'm praying hard that I get through the day somehow----for this is one of the major hurdles I have to live through!!!
Laughing at something Sayali said!!!
A Human heart is like a "Maha Sagar" or an Ocean as the renowned Marathi writer/playwright Jaywant Dalvi termed it in one of his Plays.One can never really fully plumb it's depths or understand it's Secrets!!!My heart too is like the Ocean--what thought will rise to the surface like Flotsam I myself do not know!!The 19th. of October is fast approaching--and with it Sudhir's first Death Anniversary--a day I'm dreading!!It is one fact in my life that I still have not come to terms with completely.
There are times when I feel he is in the Kids' Bedroom--for it served as his Study--dictating his stuff into the Computer Microphone---and the Computer typing away!!He had a very soft,melodious speaking voice and rarely raised it or shouted.Whenever he was annoyed or angry his voice turned softer but cutting and steely--it could literally rip one to shreds!!!That was one aspect of his that I took care never to bring on--for once started these phases could last for days!!! I also miss the Mess he created---there would be several Print Outs lying around on the Wicker Chaise Lounge under the window littering it.One of our arguments centered around the disposal of the unwanted Papers---since I was a Legal dumbo there was no way I could tell which ones were the correct ones to keep---so both Vanita and I left these where they were--only to be asked sarcastically later as to why we couldn't keep the Room clean???Prudence dictated that we keep quiet---which for me would be difficult--for I'd try to argue my part--only to be caught inescapably in an irrefutable Web of Logic!!!
He was very good with his hands and would have made a very good Mechanical Engineer had there been no Family Taboos against allowing him to study Science!!!His ability to master Technical aspects of many things was always something to be proud of for me.In India we very rarely do things ourselves--for all kinds of Services in helping maintain our life styles are just a 'Phone call away!!For instance--the usual Electrician/Motor Mechanic and Wheel Services guys are available at every street corner---so are Pathology firms who send their Representatives to collect Blood etc. Samples from home---not to mention Doctors who will make House Visits as and when needed!!!Not just this, we also have fallen into the habit of calling up our local Chemists,Grocers and Vegetable/Fruit Vendors on the 'Phone,placing our Orders with them and getting everything delivered home--one need not even step out of the house unless imperative!!!Therefore Sudhir being able to do small repairs around the house actually made me proud---but I showed as if it had amused me!!!For the first time after he died I had to send my Printer out to get it repaired-----otherwise coaxing it to work when it turned recalcitrant was Sudhir's forte!!He loved tinkering with Stuff--and 75% of the time could repair Stuff successfully.
Most of all I miss his actual presence around me--pretending he has gone out and will be returning later is just a sop--for my heart knows it is just a pretense!!How empty a house feels when it goes from being a home into a house--an empty shell where one survives day to day is indescribable--there are truly no words to gauge the depth of that Emptiness!!I am literally drawing on the very dregs of Courage to pass through these next few days--but how exactly will I face it and how I will actually react--only Time can tell!!!
Well I'm getting orders--like the Spider I invite these poor Folks into my "Kitchen" instead of "Parlour"!!!The Ingredients are fresh and the Food is good,light and tasty----making those that eat my Tiffins love it.The biggest problem however is balancing the Books!!!Not that I lack advice---like my new employee Ramesh tells me "Mummy you are giving it away free!!!"He also works for another person in the vicinty who runs a Catering Service---Ramesh tells me that his stuff is not like mine.The raw Vegetables are not so fresh,the Dal and Pulses of an inferior quality and that fellow uses Hydrogenated Oil with plenty of Trans Fat instead of pure Ghee--something I'd never be comfortable doing---not even in my worst Nightmare!!!
So I've made up my mind to make a Budget for buying Stuff---the Vegetables are bought fresh daily and prepared and put in Tupperware Containers to keep fresh---I use Multi Grain Chappati Flour instead of Whole Wheat since it provides greater Fiber and a good quality Ambey Mohar Rice that is easy to digest in our humid Weather as per Ayurvedic Principles.I also use Rice Bran Oil for cooking Food and Sea Salt for seasoning it.My Pulses are Organic and my Vegetables as far as possible Farm Fresh and Organic wherever possible!!!All this definitely pushes my cost up---but what it nets me in return is according to me far more valuable.Since I cook myself the Oil and Ghee are used sparingly---and my Stainless Steel Utensils help in keeping the Food healthy as it cooks.All in all my Food is healthy,filling but light---as it is non Oily it provides incentive to work rather than making one sleepy!!!
I do realise that I need to break even--if not with a marginal Profit initially---till I send down my roots in this Business.Add to this my lack of Math. experience---turning my enterprise into a formidable hurdle for me---but I'm loving the experience too much to give it up!!So wish me Luck my Dear Friends---to sustain myself and grow fruitfully---and not throw in the Towel because I didn't break even!!!