I am recovering from a rather bad bout of the flu. I caught it during the last two days of my trip to Bangalore to meet the fam-bam. I still managed to enjoy my time at home. Ate too much and lazed way too much.
It was lovely spending time with the mother and grandparents; and the uncle and his fiancee were in town as well. The siblings came down from Madras and we regressed into being kids. There were times of tension– too many of us in too small a space and we eventually did start to get on each other’s nerves. But, overall, a good trip. Now that I am back, I miss the grandparents the most, sad to see them grow old. The grandfather looks rather shrunken and he burnt his hand making tea while I was there. He is still chatty and funny and coming up with brilliant new business ideas, so that is something to be thankful for. The grandmother was running herself ragged cooking and working, but wouldn’t allow anyone to help. I am really grateful to be able to spend time with them. I have learnt that we can never get enough time with the people we love and never learn everything there is to them. And I am a person who likes to know everything!
I seem to have passed the flu to my family. My parting gift to them. I am generous like that. Mine is nearly done with, just have a hacking cough that sounds worse than it is. The upside to being ill was I couldn’t sleep and was awake at the crack of dawn to watch the Oscars live. The red carpet outfits were rather meh, nothing stood out in a good way. The dresses were either a snooze, too embellished or accessorised terribly (I am talking to you Scarlett Johansson). Neil Patrick Harris’s hosting skills was bordering on boring, thought the whole John Travolta -Idina Menzel bit was rather funny. Also, the Oscars as usual played it safe and it was easy to predict the winners. However, it was nice to see that ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ took home some awards.
I am meant to be working on a story (another story, not the one I mentioned in my previous post). Too many quotes and information to go through. So instead, I am listening to the soundtrack of ‘We Bought a Zoo’, Cameron Crowe movies have the best music. I also love the soundtrack for ‘Almost Famous’. I just finished re-reading ‘Wolf Hall’ while I was in Bangalore and I am now moving on to ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ for the second time. Watching the TV series made me want to read the books again. I am reminded how brilliant Hilary Mantel is, the writing is superb and she manages to bring the characters to life so deftly.
Wow, this is quite a long post and I shall leave it at this. Rather abrupt I know, but I am hungry and think will go see what leftovers in the fridge I can turn into my lunch.
In a house by the sea, surrounded by trees, I lie in bed reading. Sometimes I wander from room to room– rooms filled with paintings, rooms filled with books.
I eat home food, crisp dosas and spicy chutneys, sambar rice and spinach poriyal– food I haven’t had to cook.
I go out, I am driven around. I smell the city and the sea, I see the people, I hear the language, I read the signs in Tamil, and I realise how much I have missed you.
You can be dirty, crowded and hot, but you are also laid-back,cultured, kind and lovely–Madras, my heart will always belong to you.
Sometimes I get so anxious I almost can’t breathe, my throat constricts, my chest aches and I have to fight to suppress the sobs that are trying to get out. I know I should breathe through it and try not to worry. But, it’s so hard. I feel like I have lived with this feeling of anxiety my whole life, it lies within me waiting for an opportunity to well up. Family, fights, unknown situations and sometimes even going out of the house alone cause anxiety in me. I worry about my parents and if they will ever be content and whole, I worry about my siblings and their future, I worry when I have to take a flight, I worry about being hit by a car when we are on the road, I worry about being left all alone, I worry that no one will ever understand what goes on in my head and will dismiss me as being silly and of overthinking things. So, I have decided that when I am anxious I will try not to show it. I will breathe, I will keep it in me, I will talk myself out of the feeling. As much as I want to control everything and everyone around me I cannot. I cannot protect my family from slights and suffering , I cannot make anything better by being anxious and staying up all night worrying. People make their own decisions and are in charge of their own lives. I can only take care of myself and so I have to do that.
(This was supposed to be put up yesterday but the power went off)
Today is Shirdi Sai Baba’s day, so the Sai Baba temple next door has been playing bhajans the whole day, something they do every Thursday without fail. The mother is in town, and it is her first time visiting us at our place. Luckily, the weather has been very un-March like. Instead of the usual heat and dryness, there was a freak thunderstorm with hail stones the size of marbles crashing down a couple of days ago. So for now the weather is cool and pleasant, hope it lasts while the mother is here. We spent the day cooking, watching reality shows and snacking. The mother has already re-arranged the furniture and knick-knacks (it pains me to say this, but it looks better after she moved things around) in my home. She claims she is a bit afraid of me because I keep reminding her to use coasters and wear house slippers so that the floors don’t get dirty– she said I sound like her mother (I take that as a compliment because my grandmother keeps a lovely home). We have been in constant communication with the grandparents in Bangalore, my grandfather had a cataract surgery this morning. All seems to be well (knock wood), but at the age that they are we all tend to worry about them a bit. My brother has gone to help out, drive them to the doctor and keep my grandmother company, like the good grandchild that he is. This has been a random update from my random life. Until next time, good bye.
update: The mother and I are already starting to get on each others nerves, the close quarters I guess. This will hopefully be rectified by the weekend outings I have planned. Also the grandfather seems to have recovered well from his surgery, he won’t allow the eye drops to touch his eyes unless he can get some chocolate before and spent the morning texting all and sundry.
It has been awhile and it is not like I have been too busy to write here either. Bangalore was great, felt like a kid on vacation. Was pampered by the grandparents, shopped with the mother and ate way too much. Spent hours just lazing about, reading and chatting with the family. My grandmother has a secret garden on her terrace and I found myself enchanted by it. I would water the plants, sit there with a book and was the first one to see the water lily bloom. Was quite magical.
My mother-in-law and aunt-in-law spent a couple of nights with us in Bangalore and it was rather nice. They are very laid-back and no-fuss people and we spent a good amount of time together gossiping and eating as usual. I was a bit sad to come back to Hyderabad, I miss that feeling of being surrounded by family. Also, I realised my gparents are becoming old and I don’t know how much more of these sort of visits I will have with them. I truly treasured this visit though.
I came back to Hyderabad bearing sambar powder, new clothes and some pretty jewellery. It was a good trip, only slightly clouded by a general medical check-up which had me undergo a whole bunch of tests etc. The last week in Hyderabad has been meeting doctors, going for a scan and hopefully meeting another doctor in the next couple of days who can make a proper diagnosis. Still don’t have a clear answer to what the medical problem is and what the next step is, so will leave it at that.
Off to the city where I was born tomorrow, Bangalore. One of my favourite places in the world, where I spent numerous summers, where my grandparents live and my mum as well. Spending a week there, looking forward to the yummy food, the club and being around family.
Will miss the husband, but as they say, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’.
Yesterday I turned 29. Yes, my birthday falls on September 11. Also, my brother’s birthday is on September 11, though he is five years younger. We get a few looks and double- takes about it. It was a quiet birthday, I put that down to my advanced age. A nice bottle of wine was drunk, C and I watched a few episodes of Parks and Recreation and brownies were consumed.
It was a day that didn’t start out well, but worked itself out by the end. Another year goes by.