Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Blessing Called Friends And Family

It’s a month into 2018 and we’ve had 3 cuts, 2 dislocations, 2 doctor visits, an MRI Scan, a viral infection and a surgery between my two boys. I’ve been stressed, exhausted and at times, at my crankiest. There were times when I felt guilty, scared, clueless and anxious.

The first time the little boy fell down I was away at a meeting. The school, when they failed to get me on phone, reached out to my friend who, along with B, went to the school, picked up the little boy and brought him home. The mommy guilt crept in for not being there by Adhrith's side when he was hurt. I was torn between attending work and going back home. My friend stood her ground, told me to finish my meetings without being worried, made my little boy sleep and took care of him in the same way I would have. By the time I was back, everything was taken care of by daddy dearest and Nitika aunty.

Two weeks into January, B dislocated his shoulder twice in the same week, and a doctor visit and MRI revealed that he needed a surgery to take care of that. As we sat wondering where to get the surgery done, Achan (my dad) went a step ahead and shared the report with our family orthopedic surgeon back home, and suggested that it was best to get the surgery done in Kerala because of the family support back home.

Yesterday, B got done with his surgery. I was scared deep in my mind the last whole week although I tried being calm and cool in the outside. There were times when I lost my cool, cried my heart out, and even fought with B. I am calmer now, heartbeat back to normal and as the day comes to an end, I can’t help but think of the blessing called friends and family in my life.

This month showed me how I always have help just a call away, sometimes even before that! This month showed me how there is always someone to listen to my vents be it late in the night or early in the morning. I know I couldn’t have passed a day without these people in my life. As B was wheeled to the operation theatre, all of a sudden I felt scared. Right then, a message came from Achan - "just relax". That message brought exactly that! Amma, whose prayers are the best one that I believe in, was with me the whole day  and helping me with everything when B was wheeled back to the room. My sister in law, for whom it would have been way past her bedtime, kept messaging me, chatting about random stuffs and kept me engaged until B was out of the surgery. Right from my family to my in-laws to our friends, there were a lot of people who kept checking in on me every now and then leaving me ever so grateful for their presence in my life. Even certain things that I use in my daily life – a watch, bracelet, my current read, a few tea bags, wallet – gave me a feeling of having the people who gifted me these right by my side, holding my hand and giving me the strength when I felt scared. If it wasn't for family, little Adhrith would've had a major melt-down by now. There were times when he felt disturbed and wanted to be with me but his two best friends at home - Muthassi (my grandmother) and Achu maman (my brother) stepped in and took care.

I have no clue how I would’ve cruised this month without this support. There have been many times in life when I’ve argued with friends about how valuable the support of friends and family are. I’ve had many people who tell me that they know how to live on their own and doesn’t need any family support. And like I tell them, of course you can. But then, you will have to live through your sorrows and worries on your own. There will always be hurdles in life, and without people support it is definitely difficult to move forward. There’ll be no one to comfort you when that mommy guilt creeps in, no one to take care of your baby when you are held up with other unavoidable commitments, no shoulder for that comfort when you need it the most, no one to help you take decisions when you are confused and definitely no one to say, “don’t worry, we all are there!”. Trust me, there’s definitely nothing greater than the blessing called friends and family. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Pachakanam Trip - When Cell Phones And Internet Became Old World!

It was out of a random conversation one late night that the Pachakanam trip ideated. A friend has a plantation estate there, the boys had been there a couple of times and when the idea of going for a trip came up, the most popular choice was, of course, Pachakanam. In between, a lot of other places came up, but finally we stuck to Pachakanam itself.

Since we were short of time and the place was booked over the weekend too, we decided to do a 1 night 2 days trip during the Gandhi Jayanthi long weekend. We were 12 of us and we started off from Trivandrum early in the morning on the 1st of October in three cars. 

Throughout the journey, a couple of us, 'the perpetually hungry teams', ensured that we had sufficient pit stops for food breaks.The first of the stop was at the Indian Coffee House due to the sudden craving for the Bombay Toast. As we munched on these triangle beauties and tried to analyse the difference between the Bombay Toast and the French Toast (we didn't find any!), we reached a favourite among the boys - Janardhana Hotel, an old shack kind of place with two tables and benches, serving the good old 'Pazhankanji' with curd, chutney, pickle and fish curry. The initial apprehension of having pazhankanji amongst a few of us were wiped off completely as soon as we had the first mouthful of this goodness. After a few more pit stops for changing cars, loo breaks, buying snacks and picking up a friend enroute, funny conversations and some crazy driving moments later, we reached Pachakanam by afternoon. 

The beauty of the place is mind-blowing and I fell in love with it more when I saw the pictures. Lunch awaited us - Rice, Moru, Beans Mezhukkuvaratti, Cabbage Thoran, Fish Fry and Pothirachi, which was lipsmackingly good. Fresh produce, simple food and hunger - all added to the taste and none of us could stop eating.

After a small break we set off to enjoy the plantation and the scenic beauty. A few off-roading sessions (at one point, I did pray hard and thought of my little boy) later, we reached a beautiful stream right in the middle of the road. We played in the water until dusk and it was time to head back to the bungalow - along with the leeches that were persistent (and successful) in getting onto our bodies and sucking the blood out.

As the night set in, the barbeque was set up and we sat outside the bungalow chatting and enjoying the weather and the mist. We spent the night playing dumb charades - after a long long time and how fun it was!, and having random discussions on the current affairs. After dinner (the best flaky parottas after a long time!), as one by one bid good night, the remaining few of us sat and talked about random stuff through the night and almost until the break of dawn.

The next day we woke up to a droolworthy breakfast of Appam, Egg Roast and Cardamom Infused Coconut Milk. The highlight definitely has to be that coconut milk - so full of flavour from the fresh cardamom plucked from the plantation. We then headed towards a private waterfalls within the estate and spent a good few hours there splashing water on each other, taking a good dip in the water and standing under the waterfalls. Soon, it was time to head back home after yet another amazing lunch.

The best part of the whole trip was, since there was no network coverage, mobile phones were  completely forgotten. We spent time together enjoying and living the moment, making memories, and totally cut out from the rest of the world - no facebook to check, no instagram to post, no whatsapp messages to send and no phone calls to be made. Just the twelve of us and the present to enjoy!

By the end of the trip, the one night stay felt too little a time to spend there. None of us wanted to head back home too soon. But sadly, we had to pack up and head back, already dreaming about the next time.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

When Words Played Hide And Seek

It's been a while since I wrote. At first, it was about taking a break, in my effort to find the right thoughts to pen down. Then, laziness took over. As much as I wanted to do something about it, the will that it had over me seemed quite strong and I found comfort in procrastination.

In the last couple of months that I went missing, I went through a roller coaster of emotions - excitement, happiness, worry, disappointment, relief, anger, and more. We went for a weekend getaway - a staycation of sorts which was a perfect family break.  A very dear boy got married to the love of his life and for the first time in my life I danced all night and stayed awake to watch the sunrise. Someone shunned me for not minting money and hence not being successful, and as much as I know that I don't measure success by money and despite being happy and content with the life I lead, this conversation brought me down, and it took a lot of positive thoughts and energy to get me back on track. Then there were certain things that shook me, brought close people closer and changed my whole outlook of life. I am not lying when I say I wanted to pen down each of those. But each of these emotions exhausted me to the core leaving me with no will to gather my thoughts.

Meanwhile, this sabbatical of mine made me realise the power of words even more. I had friends and acquaintances messaging and checking on me, wondering what happened, gently nudging and pushing me to write. I realised how this little space of mine became a good conversation starter, brought back long lost friends, turned old school mates to friends, and I felt grateful - to words, and to the ones who became my friends through these words.

Indeed, the world around me inspired me daily to write, but when laziness holds you in its clutches, it takes a tonne of effort to get back. With this post, I am trying to get back and I really hope I do. Because, amidst all that I do, it is this that gives me much joy, soothes my soul and helps me stay sane.

Like when you wake up from sleep and your voice is all groggy, or you try to walk for the first time after a surgery and your steps are shaky, it might take a little time for me to find my feet again. But that's ok. Because, end of the day all that should matter is a lightened heart and a calmer soul. And a couple of people who holds you close to their heart!