Chill and Heal

This year I am “Indi-spired “increase my vocabulary as much as possible, so I looked up the  dictionary for the meaning of vacation. We’ll look at it along the way.

Once upon a time Vacation began on April 11th and would be over on May 22nd.it fixed, and Bhima-ajja my grandfather’s brother would come home riding on the Java motorcycle he owned and we would zoom down the dread perampalli forest, ambagilu, over the Kalyanpur river, and turn right into Kolagiri to Belmaar, where all of us would collect, and vacation meant sugarcane fields (mouth ulcers due to over eating of sugarcane), mangoes off the tree (a challenged intestine due to over-eating again) cashew apples, and sore throat due to binging. Vacation meant stories from Kittadoddamma and Padmavati-amma. Jaggery coffee with Melmatta ajja, it was quite a distance coming to think of it, today I hail an auto then we didn’t think twice about sauntering down.

We would move from one cousins house to the other, entire ging-a-bing of cousins,  it was a peak into the adult world that was shut to us during  school.  The politics of  Jayanthi who came to milk the cows, the romance of kitta and lakki who tended to the sheep and worked as farm hands. The proposed alliance between Mala aunty and the third son of Neelavara Udupa so things went on.  there were weddings to attend, and Jatre to go to, night long Yakshagana and god knows what.

The rest of the cousins had absolute freedom, while my mother would insist on holiday homework of one page each of English, Kannada and Hindi copy writing and revision of maths exercise of the year gone and tables one each written five times. Of course we did learn how to bend these rules, but we did do it.

October holidays were shorter 3rd October to 28th October we visited some out of state relative or went for a conference with dad, that meant we got to see new places and meet a different set of people. That was fun in its own way.

By the time we reached college vacation took a different meaning, though it still meant travelling like true Indians we went to places where we could avail home hospitality and catch up with cousins our peer group. These were the days before summer camps and holiday “personality building” and god knows what not. We really relaxed, recuperated, and were rejuvenated.  When we returned to school we were thoroughly bored out by the fag end of the vacation and were rearing to meet our friends and plan new horrendous activities to harass the teachers.

Vacation also means intermission and respite or time of respite from something, like the morning rush of packing two lunch boxes before 7.15 am, rushing to pick thick the kids from school, dropping them to classes, handing the cooking, laundry, tidying, dusting, de-cluttering, and my clinic  I would just drop the kids at my mother’s place. While I interacted with other kids, as resource person for various workshops. that was my vacation time.

Since I seem to reporting instead of storytelling or narrating, its time I vacate this slot, that is leave this space until the storyteller returns… the last meaning of vacation in Merriam-Webster the act of vacating.

Good Job Done

My first Job,

When I saw the prompt my response was to write about my stint as teacher at the nursery school, when I was all of seventeen. But as usual, thought I should look up the dictionary to see what exactly the word meant… we talk of a Shilpa Shetty and her nose job, we talk of Job’s trail, we talk of Jobbing between semesters and so many things,  so here is what the Merriam-Webster has to say about Job

That Job is a  piece of work, especially small taken on order on which work is done….In that case my first job would be drying the papads, made by grand-mom, out in the sun with remuneration being zilch and the president awarded himself…in this case yours sincerely a papad popped into my mouth when I thought no one was seeing.

Then there is the context of something done for a private advantage… usually a criminal enterprise that could be damaging or destructive bit of work… well I guess some things better kept under wraps we shall not confess about the stolen gulab jamoons or the pepper in Aunt Agatha’s curry.

Then there are undertakings that require unusual exertion with a regular remuneration This is rather interesting, I had finished my 12th standard and was awaiting the opening of the medical college there was a good 4 months gap between the two.  When the campus decided to start a nursery school within the campus so that it would be convenient for everyone. As the school was new, and funds were low there were two teachers for a group of forty kids and they needed teacher helpers, here I was sitting at home, and I volunteered.

The kids thought it was rather fun, to have a teacher who wore skirts as those days teachers draped saree’s formal wear or wear to work was never the ubiquitous salwar-kameez that the Indian woman wears from the bathroom to the ballroom, but it the era of the Kota and Organdie saree’s. it was also the era of tied hair, so had a high ponytail like Veronica and Betty from the Archies.

The day would begin at 9 am and the kids would be all over after all they were preschoolers someone would howl, the other would decide to climb the window, one kid found the washing machine interesting, she would dump everything she found into the washing machine and command,”Washy-Washy”.

Part of the job was to teach them song and dance… the same Mary had a little lamb and god knows what, until a Oriya teacher joined in, she told the teacher in charge, since you are teaching them English, let the kids have a variety  I shall tell teach them Oriya songs and tell them stories from Oriya folklore.

That was the time I realized that the children’s rhymes and the folk stories were the knowledge imparting tools of civilization.

The four months were amazing and exhausting all for a princely amount of  500/Rs. In today’s scenario my remuneration would have no value because 500/- is demonetized!!

 

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

 

Adventure Takes the cake

Early years of my life were in a joint family then we shifted to a medical college campus which was extended family. Manipal more or less still works on the same principle. Everyone knows everyone still worse anyone’s business is everyone’s business. Privacy was an unheard of word except in the dictionary. Mind you all in the guise of being concerned well wishers.

It is not really as bad as I make it out we had great adventures sometimes I wish these kids could have an adventure like that. Stealing mangoes, swimming in the river when parents were napping, peeking to the “adult books” were minor thrills.  There were slightly more injurious ones little setting the crackers off at Rama teacher’s class, or running the tape recorder at M.R.Bhat class this were a little more risky as it meant if we were caught then sitting down with pain would a matter of history.

There were also some community learning which we had, like one day we decided to bake a cake… I think we started off with marble cake and then shifted to sponge cake and eventually we were willing to settle for whatever emerged. Now baking a cake was a delicate operation as it meant there would be hovering eye of the cook, or the mother even if did circumvent these hurdles there was the maid next door and the auntie across the road all lurking as potential threats.

But when we only had to take a decision and universe would deliver it, Nirmala’s house was the last one in the enclave, she had no neighbours, the auntie in front was recluse, and the maid in her house was a willing accomplice and this particular instance she was out of town, oh! Yes her mother was a gynaecologist that meant she was busy too. Somehow we did not consider the Fathers as threat.

Anyway we got the recipe down, we were to use 2 cups of flour if I am not mistaken we did pick up the two cups, recipe said all purpose flour, and this was the flour that Nirmala’s cook Rajamma used to make chapatti’s, puries  and she also dumped into the dosa batter if the batter got too thin, so we knew we were on the right track.

Then there was egg to be added 3- egg whites to whisk. We cracked the eggs which all over expertise that we were cracking the eggs for the first time, we managed to spread the egg in uniform quantity into the mixing bowl, the kitchen platform and the floor, now came the sugar, we ran out sugar so we decided to add Jaggery, the baking powder had to be added and the recipe said 1 ½ tsp. We looked around and found this nice clean spoon which was quite okay, as it was the soup spoon… we added 1 and a ½ teaspoon of the baking powder we had forgotten to pre heat the oven so we decided we will leave the cake in the oven and let cook for twenty minutes longer.

Just as we were jubilantly taking out the cake which was still beautifully three layered, brown, charred on top, the crisp edible middle and gooey, uncooked centre, still with all excitement we were on the verge of checking out, and the door bell buzzed, in walked Rajamma, one look at the kitchen our rear end had the forbearing of a future where there was would gross inability to sit on a surface that had no cushion.

Our offence other than messing up the kitchen, well, we had used up the wheat flour and not Maida… the wheat flour incidentally salted. The egg had not only got on the floor, and kitchen platform it had also invaded the jaggery container. The oven well it had become so involved with the cake baking that it burnt itself in the process not to mention the three days worth of dishwashing that we had created.

Fortunately our rear end was not abused, but we were made to take baking classes for the next three months every Saturday at Auntie Amla’s house…Auntie Amla by the way is the inspiration for Miss Sourface.

this post is a part of the write over weekend intiative for indian bloggers by BlogAdda.

The Tyrant

classroom

the schoolroom.

Breathe in breathe out,

Rest your eyes

Relax your limb

Let your eyelids rest

Still your mind and walk in, slowly into the first time you experienced this feeling that you are unable to express.

“I am seven year old”

Okay, where are you?

“In Christian high school”

And

“I am kneeling down, the Hindi teacher is holding me by my ear and canning me, she is ranting, ” the voice dropped it could have been the voice of a seven year old, “You could be the magistrate’s son for all I care, in my class you are duffer, a no gooder, you spend your entire day with achanna, that is all you can do, work as a carpenter.”

“What did  you feel?”

“Helpless, frustrated and angry”

“What did you want to do?”

“Lash out at her, and tell her I did not want to learn her subject, I hated Hindi, all I wanted to do was go back to achanna’s workshop and work with tools.” The session went on.

This is not the only case; most patients have two school monsters for a teaching champion. Shamed, for not performing, their individual skills not recognized. I know there are two kinds of teachers, some that kind of just prods you gently and you soar the skies, the other, that fills you with so much of quail shot that you really can’t move, the latter seem to dominate the world at least when my generation went to school!!

Let’s look at this inner child who is all of seven summons this class teacher. Lets call the teacher Premalatha.

, we are in the classroom and she is canning the child for using her left hand, “how many times should I tell not use this hand”

The cane hits had on the palm, the palm hurts the child at that split moment decided not give the teacher the authority to hurt him, the best form of defence was attack, so he said, “my father eats with left hand” which was true, but, ”You are telling lies, wait I will straighten you ” Premalatha  pinched the child’s ear and dragged him to a room beside the classroom where old broken furniture was stored, pushed him into the room and latched the door, the darkness the musty odour got the child, she was really scared  greater was the fear that he might wet herself and shame himself.

That night the child wet the bed, and the mother canned child in morning for wetting the bed, the rebel was born then, an alter ego to protect the helpless inner child who could not protect himself.

The next inner child was created the child was eleven, lets summon the teacher, shall we call her Malathi?

“Why are you not solving the problem?”

“I have already done it teacher”

“Show it to me”

“How did you do it? Who taught it to you? This is not how you should do it, just because your parent deals with math, you don’t show off”

“Teacher I solved it myself”

“don’t tell lies, you can only tell lies, and show off” out came the can, and the child was canned, and shamed in front of the entire class, the child learnt that day that thinking for yourself came with a price, the way to protect the inner child was to sting.

At the end of the day, I have come to conclude, that teachers could pretend to be friendly but somewhere are sadistic and evil to the core. Particularly the ones that deal with the younger ones.

“The Voice

nanowrmo

this article is an excerpt from my NANOWRMO writing.

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.”
― Shel Silverstein

As for the teachers I would like to meet, I do meet them regularly thank the ones that guided my growth, who stood by me as gained strength ready to lend me a hand, when I needed it, and the naysayers, the monsters I have a dartboard for them on my wall.

Written for 134 edition of Inspiration. A teacher you would like to meet again at least once.

prompt by saket kalikar who blogs at:http://saketkblog.blogspot.in/

The scent of life…

image courtesy internet

image courtesy internet

Blogadda invites us to ways of making our home odour free, but then they are referring to odour but odour is just a distinctive smell, of course we usually associate it with unpleasant and again unpleasant is a social understanding.

Physiology of smell is very simple https://corporatehealthtrainer.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/sniff-sniff-take-a-whiff/

Odours have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odour cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.”
― Patrick SüskindPerfume: The Story of a Murderer

I remember my brother loved going to a friend’s house because the house smelled of warm food cooking. Another of my friend loved collapsing into a huge armchair, because the chair had the smell of tobacco which made her feel that she was with her father, he had just passed away. For me the mild fragrance of sandalwood and lavender is so comforting because it reminds me of my grandmother.

ambipurI do not- know if you remember this story from Hitopadesha where this woman has her friend coming to stay so she clears the room and adds in jasmine fragrance, but the friend is unable to sleep, because the friend is a fisherwoman and she is comfortable with the smell of fish.

The issue is basically about smelling fresh and stale it is not about being odourless. Not as if it was haunted by ghosts of dead cookies, lizards, or as if it were the rats’ restroom!

But winding up the house my grandparents lived before, was traumatic, it was like nothing else subsists from the past, after the people have moved, after the things are broken and scattered, the smells and tastes of things remain poised a long time like souls, bearing resiliently on tiny and almost impalpable drops of their essence the immense edifice of memory.

What is now called for is a clean sweep, a de-odourization, before re-odourization, for, to me, living is capturing the essence of things, I go through my life everyday with a vial, a vial wherein precious essential oils of every kind can be found. The priceless fragrant oils that are the essence of my experience and thoughts. I walk inside a different realm from everybody else, I capture the essence of a feeling or a thought and once I have inhaled that aroma I know I have what I need.ambipur2

The fragrance of white tea is the feeling of existing the mist that float over waters, the scent of peony is the scent of absence of negativity, a lack of confusion, doubt and darkness to, smell a rose is to teach your soul to skip, a nut and wood together is a walk over fallen autumn leaves, the touch of jasmine is the night’s dream under the nomad’s moon.

Welcome to the world of Odour, the fragrance,  as for keeping house smell fresh and haunted by the ghosts of dead cookies… https://parwatisingari.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/taming-the-stink-monster/

“I am blogging for #SmellyToSmiley activity atBlogAdda.com in association with Ambi Pur

Me miss someain?

miss you#missme

Missing someone, is reverberating echo of everything beautiful about the person—the laugh, the song, the touch, the smell the power of the words and the constant shadow that lingers on as the perfect image in my memory, so who says the person is not in my space?

Why would I miss someone… because they are no more in my space physically? Looking at the various possibilities I have–

  • Physically missing—emotionally not
  • Emotionally missing – physically not
  • Emotionally –physically missing

If I miss someone’s physical presence, and emotionally not, then either the person is emotionally irrelevant or the person is still in my space get it? Like my father and my grandmother are both deceased, so physically not present, but each of my action my thoughts are guided by them, I sometimes still hear papa say something. When I really need to connect then I flop on to a chair like he did and twiddle my fingers in a particular pattern, this was very subconscious and I realize things would shift for me with this, so how do I say he is not in my space.

My daughters and mother are physically away from me, but I know that they are just a phone call away so they are very much in my space they are relevant too.

Then there are some relations who no longer matter in my space, so I don’t bother, sometimes I even unfriend them from my facebook account.

If it is the presence of a person physically with no emotional tags, like the need for a plumber who does not exist within the next 10km radius, then I call up the homeservices.com. And get my work done. But yes I do miss the privilege of having a plumber’s shop at my backyard which we did have at Manipal.

If someone has moved out of my emotional space, then how does the person become relevant?  So there is no way I would miss the person.

Well finally the emotionally and physically missing, those school buddies that we have out grown when we meet our conversations seem to revolve round “do you remember” and after 20 mnts we don’t know what to converse about. Then we land up in the worst situation that is missing somebody, when they are right beside you, because you are looking for the 15yr old from High school and the person beside you is the 50yr. Old who is battling the corporate life.

This blog is written for the weekly prompt  on Indiblogger

This blog is written for the weekly prompt on Indiblogger

Honestly if I missed someone I would do nothing, because they are no longer in space physically or emotionally and have stopped being important, so I move on and hope that they move on too.  If they are clinging on to me, or are present in my space as entities and spirit that is when I need to go through addressing issues cleansing my space and having a proper energy exchange.

Second chance…did ye recognize th’ first?

image courtesy internet

image courtesy internet

Life can change in a second…

What if there was an undo button in real life?  One does not ask a medical practioner this question, and particular not so when the person also is a hypnotherapist. All the  same let me share what I learnt about second chances growing up between doctors and being a doctor myself.

Dr.S.N.Rao looked at the X-ray it was definitely a tumour.  Occupying three quarters of the cranial cavity. He looked at his patient she was 74yrs, he had to tell, her when of he did she went ballistic, a drama about how unfair life was, lot of self pity… that’s when he remembered another patient, same set  of symptoms, same age only it was 17yrs ago, when told Parwati Rao she had cerebral tumour, she had looked at him squarely  in the eye and asked,

“If I have understood you right ,you say three quarters of my brain is gone,”

“Yes”

“If you do operate on me I will survive for a year.”

“Of course it could be more than that,”

“Surgery would mean I lose 80% of my brain”

“Yes” he was not sure where this conversation was going but Parwati seemed quite collected.

“20% of my brain will be function, which means 80% is vegetating, all for another year, I will only be a nuisance to all concerned, ” now Dr.Rao was rather confused he did not know and nor did he like the trend.

Parwati was quite for a while,”Dr.Rao. Can you make the pain bearable?”

“Yes, but I will have to give you either Morphine or Morphine derivative”

“Listen doctor, from what you say, without surgery I have about 6 weeks with surgery about 6 months. I have had a good life, no regrets, I would like to go and thank my maker, so let’s not  opt for surgery unless one of your students can benefit from this. If the need arises I guess we use morphine, given my age and circumstances I don’t think we need to worry about addiction.”

Silently Dr.Rao applauded the woman, her pragmatism, was amazing. She looked at him and smiled,” that Dr.Rao is the power of meditation”

After that Dr.Rao made it a point to spend a while with her, each time he had to talk to a terminally ill patient, his conversations with Parwati kept popping up.

Sometimes, he felt like the last messenger of God, the person to whom people unburdened their soul secrets, things that they had dare not accept into their conscious mind, Parwati had told him,” Doctor, I have had a great life, I everything I wanted to achieve I did, and this is what I believe – that second chances are stronger than secrets, you can let a secret go, but second chance? You don’t let that pass you by. Many times you don’t realize that it is the second chance you only see an opportunity and if you the courage grab it, for maybe you did not see the first one. Or rather did recognize the first one. ”

When Narayana Dikshitar was dying, he had told him, “Remorse is a terrible thing to bear, son, one of the worst punishments in this life. to wish undone something you have done, to wish you could look back on kindness to someone you love, instead of unkindness – that is terrible thing, but know doctor that is precisely what I feel, if only I had appreciated the finer things in my son, and not pulled up for what he was not, loneliness would not have eaten into my life.”

indispireEach person confiding their death thoughts, seem to only re-enforce the fact that there are no second chances in life except to feel remorse. When he went into this state of morbid pensiveness, Parwati’s voice to seem to tell him,”Not your circus, not your monkey, you choose to heal, and heal is the journey of body mind and soul. Doctor, everything is a choice and with each choice we face the consequence and that is the only truth.”

Amen To …The bleedin’ endless summer.

Endless summer…

Our summer haunt

Our summer haunt

With the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with summer.

the swim in the river, climbing up the mango trees, eating sugarcane right off the fields, I still remember Lachchi  cutting the tall canes, eating one cane meant mouth ulcers, and we would get caught when we ate rice the next day, since we would have mouth sores.

Mangoes like I said eaten in great quanities without worrying about their state of ripeness, again meant an upset tummy but who cared… we just had nellichattu that is the gooseberry concoction garnished with garlic and went our way.  the mangoes did not have to go to the market so we did everyone a favour by eating them.

That is how it seemed  when I was a child, April 10th,  was the day summer arrived, till the 22nd of May when we went back to the school, heralding the rains, that seem to share our sorrow, at the same wash the languidity settled, and cleansed out minds to the set of adventures.

Well summer is here again, summer… the endless summer… I loved and hated summer. Summer has a logic of its own, they  brought nostalgic memories in me, that was about freedom and youth and no school… it brought infinite possibilities of adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope, I loved that and I still love it, because it makes me want to believe.

Yet I have begun to hate it, the children’s summer camp, “grooming your child” “harnessing the creativity” we are not letting the child be, we are so much into controlling. My daughter who is first year professional college tells me, mom, finally I will have a holiday with no holiday homework.

In the poem Barah masa the poet Ravidas, says the heat  of summer makes animals languid. They need to do nothing except laze under the shady trees. my own favourite is the extract from BhattaBana

Śveta-ambhaḥ-kaṇikā-citena vapuṣā śīta-anila-sparśanaṃ

tarṣa-utkarṣa-juṣā mukhena śiśira-svaccha-ambu-pāna-ādaraḥ |

dūra-adhva-klama-niḥsahair avayavaiś chāyāsu viśrāntayaḥ

kaśmīrān parito nidāgha-samaye dhanyaḥ paribhrāmyati ||

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

The touch of a cool breeze upon skin soaked in drops of sweat.  The service a sip of cold pure water renders to a mouth tormented by thirst. Resting limbs weak with the exhaustion of a long journey in shady spots.  In the hot season, small blessings are to be found all over Kaśmīra.

The summer… is here when the entire world is drowsy so shall we snooze…

My Craziest Expression Of Love….

DSC_1268 My Craziest Expression Of Love….

I feel so unromantic when I think of my great grandfather’s love story; this was at a time when owning a bicycle was a rare thing.  Dr.Madappa Hande a civil surgeon went to have his bicycle repaired and he fell in love with the gentleman’s beautiful daughter. {https://parwatisingari.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/the-bicycle/} well, though tame I am talking about the early 20th century things were definitely different then.

Then was the love story of my grandfather’s younger brother. Anantha-ajja as we called him was one of those rather intense young men, extremely well read. That I should confess without humility is a family trait.  He was posted at Penkonda as the agricultural officer.  Rama was the spritely Andhra girl who lived in the same locality. The elders of the village thought it would be a great idea to get them married. The formalities quickly attended to. On the “D-Day”  my grandfather’s family went from Udupi to Penkonda and when girls family saw this crowd they refused to let the wedding take place … the issue was serious, there were no women who had come to attend the wedding.

Anantha-ajja was not a man given to dramatics; he withdrew into a shell refusing to get married at all. Two years later, when his brother decided enough is enough and had a heart to heart talk with him, he confessed that he would marry only Rama. But the hitch was they could not print the cards with the same bride and groom’s name some social hindrance. So Rama was rename Manorama, and she wed Anantha-ajja. This entire drama of having to overcome parental disapproval or social hurdles they are non-existent too in my love story.

After these dramatic episodes, my story seems so lame.

I called my husband up and asked him, what is the craziest thing we did? More specifically I did, he endorsed what I feared…

7th August 1989, I was the junior most doctor in the hospital. Two senior doctors reported sick, the senior most was attending to an emergency and I had to handle the schedule of the three along with mine. A young man walked up me and curtly asked me if I knew how to see the time, well, few tears later his appointment was reschedule.

BlogAdda-Banner-Creative1Four silver fillings, three root canals, two extractions, later (this treatment was not his personally, but it included family) we did the craziest thing… We decided to get MARRIED!!!

What astonishes me to date, its 25yrs now, we are still married and we are still sane.

BlogAdda in association with BlueStone presents #SoundOfLove where your crazy love story can win you a pure gold #SoundOfLove band!

“I am participating in the #SoundOfLove activity atBlogAdda in association with Bluestone”.