Sunday, September 21, 2014

some conversations between us

Every now and then, some of the wisecracks / dialogues between dennu and me, makes me stop in my tracks and later when I remember them brings a warm smile. A few in fact, give me the strength to move on and certain times they are such eye openers. In fact, there are so many that I have forgotten many of them. In an attempt to capture those, I have put down the ones I remember and I will keep putting them down every now and then :-)

Having returned from a family wedding which I attended alone, I was elaborating about a young accomplished cousin to my boy.

You know baby, he is just not intelligent and smart, he is handsome and is well behaved.

Dennu’s instant response – that’s me four years from now.

Dennu : Mamma, you are so lucky

Mamma a bit suspicious, looking on

Though you have just one child, you have given birth to a legend..

Mamma taken aback by the covered up self praise

Mamma is driving to church. Dennu is sitting next to the tensed driver.

Out of the blue a comment from him

Ma, please remember you are driving just a car, not a f16 fighter jet. Its not all that complicated.

Mamma driving in traffic and dennu’s advice to Mamma

Its just traffic, you are not in war zone

It so happened that Dennu and I had to go to church (normally it is all 3 of us together). In an attempt to get Dennu to sit in the front pew with me, tried cajoling him, saying, Baby sit with me today please..

Dennu : No ma, sorry I cant. You know, I want people to think you are still single.

Mamma’s jaw dropping moment :-) dennu walking in front of me, turned back and says, Ma, I just paid a compliment and you are supposed to say thank you :-)

I was driving back from my parents home which is pretty far and suddenly the heavens open up and it was pouring huge bucket drops.

While it was thrilling to drive, I was equally scared. Dennu was sitting with me, enjoying the rain and also had rolled the windows down a bit for the cool breeze to hit his face. On top of all this there was thunder and lightning. I was expressing my fear to dennu and he says, don’t worry ma What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
I am also thinking he must be watching too many movies :-) am also impressed that he is using the dialogues aptly.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Expect the unexpected :-) :-)

I realized that there are few horror stories that appear in my blog and so here is one for all of you.. at least to me it was.

My life had become so organized that I guess I started casting eyes on myself- how else could I explain what came upon me four weeks ago?

I was regular with my walks, rain or shine, I did it. Even on a Sunday. And I came back so energetic, that I could complete the mundane tasks at home with a song on my lips. The cupboards were organized, laundry done, the cleaning schedule went on without a glitch and my house was sparkling clean, my garden was coming up so well, my fishes were happy, I was running errands without any dependencies cos I was driving and could get everything in order, no backlogs, and I thought I was completely in control.

And it happened. And I didn’t see it coming.

On 26th of July, Saturday, I started my day as usual at 5.30 am, and by around 5.45 I was all set for my morning walk. I was walking out and I heard Joe’s alarm ringing in the living room – it was kept there unusually for charging. I peeped into the bedroom and saw J sleeping and knew he will wake up soon, and so closed his bed room door quietly and switched off the alarm left his mobile in the living room and off I went for my morning walk.

I was crossing the busy highway, which I have crossed so many times – been living there for more than a decade. I almost finished crossing and reached the other side of the road and …..

I realized a two wheeler hitting my leg, I was in air for a few seconds, thrown up a couple of feet and fell in a heap. I thought I was done. I was conscious and I had people gathering around me. I was in shock and was completely disoriented. I repeated Joe’s number again and again to the crowd around and he was not picking the call. Remember the phone was in the living room?

Someone offered water to me, I couldn’t get up from the road I was still sitting there and around 20 odd people looking around and doing nothing. I heard a voice behind me, saying, I know this madam and where she lives. By then there was a cop who called for a rick to take me to the hospital, which was bang opposite this spot where I fell. Till J came in 10 minutes later I had experienced the most lonely moments of my life in a crowd and by then an hour had passed.

After a day in Trauma ICU, and two days in the normal room, and countless tests later, the hospital figured out that they cannot extract anything more from me and declared me under the category “not a patient “ ( this was the words of the physio therapist who helped me walk in the hospital). Thankfully for me there are no fractures or any need for a surgery, which disappointed the hospital quite a bit.

I had muscle injuries and blood clots all over my body and lots and lots of small bruises. I was advised rest and elevation of my right leg so that the swelling subsides. It must have been the exercise and diet that I was following in the last 4 to 5 months, my recovery has been pretty fast. Its been three weeks since I have been working from home, recouped quite a bit, though I am left with remnants of the accident in the form of scars (thankfully all of them are small and not visible at first sight).

I remember telling J in the hospital that things could have been much worse, if not for the Lord holding me in his hands when I went up in air during the accident and the blood clots are the marks of his hand holding me. Though staying positive with nagging pain is an arduous task.

Today I am thankful that I am able to breathe, walk, see normally for the gift of life and sanity. The awareness of what could have happened keeps me in a blessed state. I pray more for the people who are experiencing the appalling war conditions in different parts of the world, the countless children, women, seniors and all others on whom physical and mental pain is inflicted in the name of war for no fault of theirs. I continuously pray for the sick who are suffering in hospitals, the ones who lack financial aid for their cures and the ones who have no one to care for. My own pain has made me aware of those around me.

I am still in the quest for the lesson that I have to take from this incident. Why did this happen to me?

  • The guy who recognized me was our neighbors driver – I again see Gods hand there. He normally comes around 10 every morning and that particular day was asked to come earlier and was passing by when this accident happened. We got to know all this when our neighbor told us this.
  • I am much better now though I haven’t started on my regular routines as yet. It may take a couple of more weeks.
  • Thank you all so much – I truly believe it is a lot of prayers and well wishes that saved me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Driving my way into Spirituality

I was not aware if Driving and Spirituality are connected, but the way I started with driving, I was pretty sure it was.

In the initial days of my driving alone to office, I stood in front of our altar at home everyday, begging Jesus to come with me in the car. I guess he obliged, and I also believe he was the one who drove the car instead of me. Sounds funny right? Before turning on the ignition, I tell Jesus that I am not going to drive, it is he who is driving, so take the complete responsibility.

Every move, every turn, every maneuver, was prefixed with a mild Jesus (which sounded like Jeez) and in crowded and some difficult areas, it became multiples of 2 or 3 or 5 depending on how scared I was. I don’t know if anyone would understand this, but those initial days I was shitting bricks. And then there are times when the difficulty levels were so high, on the road that calling Jesus in multiples of 5 would not suffice and I had to resort to the Malayalam version of the Lords Name, “Eeshoye” which meant I reached my saturation point after which I will lose all control of myself.

I used to call Jesus so much that I truly believed at one point, that out of frustration, he will appear and shock the daylights out of me.

Having not got used to listening to music in the car yet, for obvious reasons like not losing control of the important sounds ( read honking and other noises that need my attention) the music system is normally not switched on. Though I am fine with people talking while in the car, thanks to my driving instructor, Mohan Master, who spoke dime a dozen, to a point that his conversations were a distraction while driving.

Oh and this needs a special mention - I have a particular pair of shoes that I normally drive in, which is flat and something that I cannot wear with most of my clothes that I go to office in, and the car at times looks like a shoe godown, I might end up having more than a few pairs of other shoes that I change into when I get off the car. That’s beside the point though.

So within the confines of the car, I am alone and the only thing that I focus on are my conversations with my Lord. And I think the conversations that I have with Jesus during the drive are the most honest, most intense and that’s why I probably been able to drive, and am able to get out of the fear of driving.

The first week of driving, and my fear was at its peak, the only thing that I kept coming to me once I reached office was, I have to drive back home and once back home, the whole night I was petrified about driving to work the next day. I continued my dialogue with God and continuously conversed with Him to get over this fear. As usual I went to church that Sunday, In fact, Joe made me drive to Church.

My prayers were intense than usual and I in all earnestness laid down in front of Altar all the doubts and fears that I had and told him He has to help me get over the fear of driving.

During the Eucharistic ceremony of the mass, this is where the bread and wine are distributed to the congregation as the body and blood of Christ and the song played by choir was one of my favorite.

The song begins like this,

                      O the word of my Lord
                      Deep within my being,
                      Oh the word of my Lord,
                      You have filled my mind.

As usual I was singing this song along with the choir, of course loudly, and then there was this para where the Lord spoke to me directly. He couldn’t have said this any more directly than this and the para goes like this.

                       And everywhere you are to go
                       My hand will follow you;
                       You will not be alone.
                       In all the danger that you fear
                       You’ll find me very near,
                       Your words my own.

By the time I reached the last line of this para, I was crying. I do not know if this makes sense, but I felt that while I called out to him in my helplessness, He strengthened me through these words.

Glad that Driving has helped me get one step closer to God.

I am gotten over the fear of driving now, well almost.
I still pray before I drive.
I still converse with Jesus during the drive.
I still do not switch on any music. Yet.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

In tribute of the love you guys show me dear Ramesh and Rekha

I am such a lousy blogger and yet the love I get from my blog friends, especially Ramesh and Rekha has been tremendous.  I read your comments for the earlier post and I thought I should put this down for you :-)

This one is for the encouragement you give me to blog more :-) 

There is a recent, new found Joy in my life, which has been pending to be a post for a while :-) as usual.

Infact, from the day one, of finding this out, I have been planning on writing a post about this, but by now, you must be quite aware of my skills in procrastination and my wayward ways of coming up with a post.

Every morning for the last three or four months, I wake up at 5.30 am – yes I know it is an ungodly hour, but if there is a will there is a way :)

In around 10 – 12 minutes I am all ready to go for my Morning Walk , a time I spend with my own thoughts, converse with myself, thank god for all the mercies I have received in life and generally do some introspection.

It all started when J and I thought whatever we little we ate was just accumulating in the wrong places on our bodies and our lack of exercise was showing up much more than ever. We decided to go for brisk morning walks everyday.

And then we went around for almost a month trying out different routes around our place for a peaceful walk and from where our house was located to anywhere close to 6 – 7 kms was chaotic traffic, narrow roads and walking was a herculean task. And this was at around 5.45 am in the morning. 300 meters from our home is a national highway where vehicles in their maddening rush to reach destinations, and also taking advantage of the lean traffic in the morning, speed past creating a racing scene. Coming back home alive and in one piece was becoming an every day achievement. And moreover we felt more hassled than relaxed. We continued our pursuit for a quieter place for a walk and then we found this blissful route completely out of the blue.

Somehow, with all his reviews / intermittent official trips that he takes, J lost interest and dropped off from this routine, but will join me once in a while. now and then.

This place where I go for a walk now is approximately little over a kilometer from my place and once I enter the route it is pure Joy. Peace takes over, allowing me to linger on some natural sounds of some unknown birds and insects, warm sunshine, and fragrance of a variety of wild flowers along the path, setting in serenity and giving the much needed replenishment to continue through the day.

I guess this walk way comes under the jurisdiction of the Officers Training Academy, Chennai as I hear the soliders shouting in cadence while marching, as I walk along, and I also see some of the uniformed officers in bikes, sometimes in horses and sometimes they ride together in bicycles / motorcycles as part of their daily routine in a road perpendicular to the road that I take.

It is so amazing, for a while I forget that i live in a Metropolitan city. I will stop here and put up some pictures  to do further talking.

River on my right side, thick grwoth of tress and bushes on the left side, thats how this path starts and this is how the skyline is on some days.

My feet - enjoying the walk

The rustic walking track
Isnt this place asking you walk more?

The picture says it all!!

Wild flowers on a particular strech in the walkway

Most part of the walk way is lined with this wild flowers - miles and miles of it.

a close up shot of these wild flowers - arent they pretty?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A little of this and a little of that – in my life

I woke up with an early morning call today. The caller was from another end of the world, the person very close to me. Someone who I can call in the middle of the night, without thinking twice and doubly sure will pick my call up. The voice was ecstatic and told me that her first born has completed his engineering degree. She then started crying and told me how I have been her support all along. Beyond that I could not decipher much because by then she was sobbing. I just listened, few words were making sense and I realized that it is important just to hang in there on the line. Anyways I understood what she was saying.

I tried reassuring that she was a great mom and how she has been my inspiration all along, but she continued sobbing and words mired into the sob. After I kept the phone down I realized my cheeks were wet and I couldn’t stop crying myself. I didn’t know why I was crying – I only know I felt so good crying along with her. I knew even after the phone was disconnected, she must have been crying.

She seems to have actually sent a mail first before calling me, and here is the excerpts from the email. And now those bits and pieces of words that she was trying to string together came to me :-)

Siddu has completed his Engineering. I got the information early this morning. I wanted to share this happy news and this moment with you . I still remember us going to St.Joseph’s to check out on the college. Thank you for being such an integral part of my life . For being there and supporting me when I needed support most or just a person who I could share my worries, fears, happiness and joy without any inhibitions .

While feeling on top of the world, I also need to tell her that I am so lucky to have her as my friend.

A Young management trainee, smart and intelligent one at that, who was part of our team, is leaving the organisation. She was not my reportee, but I had to work with her without a reporting managers’ clout. We had real good fun working together.

As is the practice there was a lovely common mail sent to everyone in the team including me and she sent an individual mail to me.

Brought a smile to my face and thought of sharing it with you.

Here’s something I wanted to tell you before I become too emotional and delirious -

Vincy, you’ve been a breath of fresh air for me in a team like XXXX. You are someone I look up to, and someone I aspire to be. You’ve always guided and supported me and have ensured we have fun along with work.

Thank you for telling me I couldn't leave when I broke the news to you about my resignation. That certainly made me feel special and appreciated! Also, thank you for always having such an upbeat attitude. I've never seen you in a grumpy mood or act irritated or impatient with anyone. Every time I see you, you have a smile on your face and a cheerful comment. Keep up the positivity!

The chapter of our lives where we work together might be over, but this certainly isn't the end of our friendship. I’ll miss you loads. Take good care of yourself  :-)
I am going to miss this girl a lot:-)

I have lived most of life along the coast of Bay of Bengal and I have good memories of the beach. I was in a conference that warranted my stay at a sea side resort and beach brought back some lovely memories of the seaside. It also brought memories of a friend who loves the sea. I messaged this friend about how sea brings
the memories of our friendship, and guess what? absolutely no response from my friend.

I was upset but my work for the conference didn’t allow me to wallow in this thought.

I got a message this morning ( after close to three weeks),
 “ saying that it reminded you of me, because it was fishy? "

Now that’s a perspective. And a good joke. Just that it took a long time to reach me. Laughing at the myriad set of my friends and their oddities :-)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fighting the ghosts in my mind

We all have these monsters in our head that keeps giving us the wrong messages time and again. The funny part is we would listen to those voices and believe them so much that we defy common sense and fall prey to their words - such is the power of these monsters.

Recently, after a 12 year long light with those unknown ghosts in my mind, I finally overcame them and got back to my senses.

Truly a moment of great achievement in life and how can I not share it with you all?

I first went for my driving classes after much persuasion from J, enrolled into a popular  institute in chennai and didn’t complete the course. The driver was a rude fellow, with absolutely no respect for other human beings and at the slightest mistake would be screaming at me. With great difficulty I put up with him for around 9 days or so. One day in the middle of the road, I stopped the car, yeah in the middle of the road, somewhere near T.Nagar, in moderate traffic (thankfully) and told to him to mind his words and also remember telling him, experts would never come to learn from him, and I have come because I don’t know how to drive. I don’t think anyone has spoken to him that way, I still remember the shell shocked expression on his face and also remember he didn’t speak a word for the rest of the class. But I stopped going for the class.

Didn’t think of driving for another 7 years, and again after some goading from J, enrolled into yet, another driving institute, luckily this time, I had a very good instructor and I cleared my driving tests, in the first attempt itself. Didn’t feel too good about getting the license though, because I still was too unsure of myself when it came to driving.

I attempted to drive a couple of times with the help of some drivers later and sometimes with J, but didn’t get into full fledged driving. In 2011, I remember telling J that I want to drive and I need him to come with me so on a Sunday afternoon took the car and drove for around 9 to 10 kms. J was impressed, and said I was driving smoothly. And then it happened. I was taking a small road and had to take a left turn and instead of applying the brake, stepped on the accelerator, thankfully in first gear, and banged on a stationary wall and gate and damaged the front bonnet of our car. I also broke a small portion of the gate too. ( nothing to be feel proud of, just keeping you all posted !)

J got out of the car with a smiling face, and said, why don’t you get down, I will drive. And didn’t say anything else. I wished he said something angrily to me which he didn’t till date. My fear increased multi fold after that incident and didn’t feel like driving again.

Two years went past and the longing to drive returned, but I did nothing about it. It was during this time, I was given an intro about a driving instructor who specializes in making sure women who have licenses can drive. I told myself this is my last chance and went ahead and called this person and he agreed to tutor me. I am planning to write down my experiences with Mohan master in separate blog post and so we will look at it later. I went with him for around 12 classes and after a while I felt I was making no progress at all. Mohan master is a deeply religious person and during the month of March he undertook a pilgrimage to the Himalayas, ( look what I am capable of – I made my instructor take a trip to the Himalayas all the way from chennai – that’s how good I am in driving) and my sessions had to break inbetween. A good friend offered to come with me, to and fro from the office, for few days until I am confident about driving. Poor soul. I developed dependency on him and felt if he is around I would drive. It so happened one of the days, last Friday to be precise, he had to work from another office and called up in the morning to tell me that. I made up my mind to take my usual rick, and was telling that to J, when he said, nothing doing, please take the car. Worse come worse you will bang somewhere, but for the speed with which you are going, you will not harm anyone Vincy.

Armed with confidence from my dear hubby, I drove alone. Voila!!!Yes I DROVE on my own. Without any incident. And I drove back home too that evening.

Folks I have been driving on my own now this last week. I also took a complete detour from my office yesterday – had to finalise a venue for our team meeting and have a look at it, so I drove to the hotel, parked the car and finished my work and came back home on a completely new route that I had not driven before.

If you ask me if I am feeling good, yes I am. Mighty thrilled that I can drive. Especially when I drove on cathedral road, the road that I am so familiar with ( My college where I did my UG is there), felt so damn good. but am I enjoying the drive, not yet. I am a bit tensed, worried and instead of driving pleasure I sure do go through Driving Pressure. But I am certain I will get over it.

The most important thing is I am able to drive and that is all that matters right now.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Touching a virtual friend!

I was excited, to say the least. Like a school girl, I would say. I know I know, it’s a tad bit late for all those days, but still.

I was flying to Delhi and had plans to meet a friend. Hadnt informed this friend about it and was planning to call, as soon as I landed there. It will be a complete surprise for this friend.

And the best part was this friend was someone who I had met through my blog, a virtual space. Now in Delhi, we had common roots, from the land of coconuts and lungis ( now that a lungi is famous across India, after the Lungi dance).  We had earlier, sometime last year, connected up over phone and this friend’s voice was an amazingly smooth and comforting one, that I could easily relate to. We could go on forever speaking as if we were bosom friends from childhood. I had not thought of how this friend looks and it didn’t matter – all that mattered was that I will meet someone who had a special place in my heart and my life.

Strange how my blog friends have become so much part of my life now. Including the others I have not met. :-)

So right from the moment I left home, I was thinking about how this meeting is going to happen, ambiguity and absolute lack of planning, adding to the excitement.

The moment I managed to give directions in my broken Hindi to the non-english speaking and a slightly rude cabbie, I called up this friend. Vincyyyyyyyyyy came the reply.. don’t tell me you are here. And we went on as usual. The concern in the voice, the gentle admonition for not keeping posted about the trip, the long awaited meeting – I was falling in love with it all.

And taking into consideration the time constraints we planned to meet the next day. And this is the first time I was coming to this sector in Noida, no clue about the places and locations around and again completely unplanned. What coincidence, the office that I was going to from my organisation was just a stone’s throw away from the office of this friend. Our meeting was destined to happen.

My session was in the morning, and it went on well, and before leaving to the airport, I went to the office where my Virtual friend was working.

I could feel the adrenaline pumping when I was in the lobby and the receptionists were giving me a weird look, probably my wide grin on the face. Remember the school girl bit? Wish I could act my age at times :-) In a few seconds there was an equally smiling beautiful girl in front of me – we hugged and hugged and continued hugging. We pinched to see if it was true.. Yeah all in the lobby, and realized that we were being dramatic and moved out quietly. We spoke, we touched, we giggled, we laughed and sure enough didn’t get enough of each other even after 15 minutes. By any standards 15 mins is too less a time. From a school girl, we both got a couple of years younger and became little girls – She was equally cheerful as me.

I still remember the perfect eyebrows that she has, shaped like a bow, exactly the way poets describe a woman’s eyebrow, the glowing eyes and a smile that can illuminate the entire place. I am smiling as I key in this, the memories still fresh and alive.

Its more than a couple of months now and I am still relishing the gift, virtual world has brought to me.

Rekha, here’s to the wonderful YOU, the love we share and to the virtual universe that brought us together.

Monday, February 10, 2014

你想念我 (Nǐ xiǎngniàn wǒ?)

For seemingly simple questions of life in general, there are no easy answers, worser still, there are no answers at all.
Do any of us have answers for these atrociously simple questions?
Which came first Chicken or Egg?
Why is Yawning contagious?
or Why didn’t I blog so long?
So, you get the point right? Just like you, I do not have answers for any of these questions.

While I faintly considered options of quitting, the lure of each one of you who come in here and read me, and those who also leave me such wonderful comments, didn’t help me visualize that as a great choice. Just a while ago, with absolutely nothing in mind for a blog, I decided to get back here and make a fresh new start ( well almost). Don’t they say, Better later than Never?

And so folks, here I am with a heart full of wishes and prayers that we continue to do well in whatever we do, this year too. Happy New Year to you all.

As I keyed in these words, I am feeling absolutely silly for even have thought of quitting as an option.

For those you are wondering what the title of this blog is, its yet another simple question, which asks you “ Did you Miss me ?” in Chinese.

Please say YES in a language of your choice :-)