Thursday, December 31, 2009

Run up to the holiday season

I somehow have not seen a lot of year ending posts this year. Last year, reading such posts only made me write my very own year ending post - with the ups and downs. This year, I have not been up to date in visiting my favorite blogs and many apologies for the same.

This year, the run up to the holiday season itself was fantastic with my sis reaching Chennai on 24th Dec and mommy following up on 25th Dec. It was supposed to be one week full of travel, with mom making a trip to Mysore and sis making a trip again on the 31st weekend. We somehow convinced our lazy dad to also come by the 31st weekend. All of us would be together on the morning of the New Year that way! But then, man proposes and God disposes. Sister got her posting to Bbsr sooner and she had to move down there on the 27th. Now she and dad will be coming down together this evening! Somehow the wish of all 4 of us being together got fulfilled by chubby God.

I will remember this year, for both professional and personal reasons.
Professionally I moved on, a lot. I was given challenges, I took up responsibilities apart from the mundane work and I essentially did stuff that I so enjoy doing. A bit less than 5 years back, when I was in the nadir of my professional life, I never thought, I would see days like this. Those were the times, when everyday I would pray to God to make it pass somehow. Every single thing about my life was so so wrong then. The main reason I was in agony was because of my work life. And inspite of whatever I did to get over it, the double I seemed to be pulled into the quagmire of despodency. But those 2.5 years of utter anguish did teach me a lot. Today, its a me, who simply loves going to work and tries to instill the same in the young and restless newbies. Maybe God showed me the darkest of the dark phase, so that I can empathise with any kind of person at work. Touchwood.

There were a lot of changes on the personal front especially in my parents house. I got to start the year with some quality time with them. Then my sister moved out to her professional life, which was a big milestone. To see her off, it was again the gang, parents, mil and K. We again had some real good time together. But the time that followed with her not being there with my parents was very tough. No one was able to reign in their emotions when it came to sis's absence from home. Life has somehow come full circle and shes back where shes truly missed. Then again my parents paid a visit for Dussera which turned out to be a week of fun and togetherness. I chanced to make a trip to Bbsr in Novemeber, where a weeks' trip turned into 3 thanks to typhoid :D. And now we 4 will end the year with a bang!

There was a particular professional gain I was looking for which went down to the dumps. I am not sure when it can be revived again. I also has some financial losses with both my cell phone and wallet getting stolen. But I will choose to ignore them and remember the trips I took up with K be it Mysore, Ooty, Hampi or Goa, the time I spent with family, the work I did and all the other good parts.

Here hoping everyone who stumbles by this post remembers 2009 as a good year but what use are the bad parts except giving heartaches. And heres hoping 2010 is 10 times better!! Have a utterly butterly happy NEW YEAR!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A very special weekend

I have been meaning to write this post since a veryyyyy long time. (As I have been meaning to read all the posts in my google reader :( But not been able to manage the time. I intend to read each and every unread post - not that it matters the world to the writers :D)

This year after a span of 9 years, I was with my parents on my birthday. Luckily that time was also the end of days for the typhoid attack. The day preceding my birthday, which was a friday, the doctor had recommended leaving the only liquid diet and switching to some light solid stuff. And some switch I made by having a chicken submarine. My mom, aghast at my loss of weight (moms have this weird tendency to magnify their kids weight loss and big time underplay the gargantuan weight gains) coaxed to have 2 subs! But I literally had to scream at her to make her stop from chocking me with food. We also bought some delightful chocolate cookies and brownies. After the pet puja the rest of the evening was spent doing some birthday shopping :)

The next day - the birthday - started early with calls from friends and relatives. And one hellova chocolate cake from dad! I feasted on the cake like I had been kept off food for years. As with all member of the fairer gender, shopping is not something which reaches its threshold soon. So there were lots and lots more stuff to be bought and off went mom and I for another round of shopping. We started at 1130 in the morning and by the time we got back home it was 1800 hours! Women get some divine stamina when it comes to shopping :D After the humongous shopping was done, it was time to get home, refresh and pack for the coming day when I had to leave for Chennai. After being there for 3 weeks, it did feel weird to pack. But some things got to be done.

The next day I started back. Back to my home. I would feel out of place for a long time in Chennai and every single thing would make me feel nostalgic. I would miss my parents at the slightest pretext. The solace was the fact, within two weeks my time, my mother would be coming over to meet her daughters.....

(The cake dad got... being his typical self, he forgot to write my name on the cake :D )

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Now for the gory part *evil*

While at my parent's place, I loved every bit of the time. The lack of routine, wake up when you want, food always being ready, tv remote always being with me :) One thing I was relished this time was my mom's hot champi. I let the oil soak in over night and had a luxurious head bath the following day. But after a couple of hours of that, I started feeling a bit uneasy. Since I had just recovered from a fever, I was doubly worried. Instantly in went a crocin and I felt better in some time. It was the fateful Wednesday when I had to attend the distant cousin's wedding. I had no appetite there. Once back, it was one more crocin for me and mummy's tight hug for a good night's sleep. Strangely next morning around 9 the fever was back. Thursday night when the fever came it came in with a heavy bout of shivering, I decided, there was no way I was making a return trip the coming Sunday. Friday we made a visit to the doc who to nail the usual suspects gave in some usual tests.

When the test results came back in the evening, he suspected some kind of kidney infection :O So he asked us to go in for some more cultures. In the meanwhile, he prescribed some real heavy duty anti biotics. Now the culture results take a good 72 hours to come up. It would be no sooner than Tuesday that we would be getting the report back. My mom was getting worried by the day. The fever used to come with real bad shivering and body aches. The temperature would start with a measly 100 and within 15 minutes peak to a 103-104. The symptoms were akin to malaria too. She got in touch with a uncle of mine, who is also a doc, and asked in case it might be malaria. This time, the malaria test had come negative. But that had been the case last time too, though it was a dosage of quinine only which had brought the fever down. My uncle said, quinine would not harm the anti biotics and he prescribed the dosage of quinine to be taken. So for 4 days I was taking something like 15 pills per day. Morning mom would wake me and give the antacid and the anti vomitting pills (Quinine causes vomitting) (2). I had to take 4 anti biotics per day (2+4=6) Then the 2 quinine pills (6+2=8) 2 more lacto bacillus pills to prevent acidity. (8+2 =10) And the usual B complex tabs (phew 11 ) Plus my body would be ravaged by the fever 4 times in a day mandating the consumption of crocin and bringing the pill count to 15. It was really frustrating to see absolutely no improvement over a span of 5 days. Even the quinine course had not yielded any results.

What saddened me most was the pain of my mom. She was always at my beck and call, massaging my sore back, rubbing the stomach aches, applying balm on the head. To worsen things, I got a cramp in my left shoulder due to the shivering. So there was my mom putting hot water packs too. I was very fussy about food, and even to make me have one morsel, she was out there in kitchen making anything, just about anything I might find palatable. She would be up all night responding to each sigh of mine though she had to be up early morning for the normal household chores. Once I caught her crying when she was praying and I could not stand it. It was just not fair to have her endure so much pain through her child. I just prayed and prayed that I get well soon, atleast for her sake.

Finally on Wednesday when the culture results came back, it was all sterile. Which meant the first results were wrong to start with. Evening we went up to the pathologist and decided to start on a fresh note - which implied a fresh set of tests. When finally the results came on Thursday, it was diagnosed as typhoid :| Luckily for me, the anti biotics that had been prescribed earlier would work good for typhoid as well. But I was to be under the medication for a week more and on restricted diet - no spicy or oily food, no roughage, mostly liquid or semi solid diet. I again extended my stay by a week more. Ironically, my condition improved the very next day. But the stomach aches were persistent which the doctor said would subside only once the intestinal wounds were healed.

I had a huge pending workload staring down at me. The insensitive brutes at office had the audacity to ask status reports from someone who was nearly bed ridden.... seriously the corporate culture does suck away the human aspect from people. But then I was at peace since I was at home. I could just walk into the balcony and smell the flowers to feel better. I would put my lazy feet up in the sunshine with a worn novel in hand and feel so happy. I would take a walk around the house and forget every care. Since my wedding vacation, this was the only time, I got 3 weeks at my parent's place. For that matter even during the wedding vacation, I was with my parents for 10 days only. Maybe God devises strange ways to keep people together. Whatever happens does happen for the very good.

Now that I am finally going to leave Bhubaneswar the coming Sunday, it kind of saddens me. Even my parents are also coming to terms with the fact that I am finally going back to Chennai. Its never enough with the parents :( Heres hoping for one more long trip back at Bhubaneswar..........

Thursday, December 3, 2009


*Parent's home for a married Indian woman

There is no place like maika for any Indian woman. It is better than candlelit dinner with the husband, gossiping with friends and even shopping for shoes! And thats the place I made a trip to on the 21st of November. It was an impromptu decision. There were lots of push and pulls. One push was my parents were getting immensely lonely with both the kids out of the nest. But one major pull was I had a go-live in December. I could not ask for leaves. One push were there were flights from Chennai to BBSR!! While the counter pull was K was not able to get leaves and I would again need to go alone. Finally I gave in to the pushes and booked the tickets :) I did not manage to get any leaves and had to keep working from home. The project was in a decent enough shape, so I was not so worried about it.

The flight which should take 2 hours uncannily made it in 1hour 40 mins :) So even before my parents had reached to pick me I was already there. Coincidentally I met a colleague of mine who was on his wedding vacation. He was supposed to have started the previous day but ticket problems stopped him and he ended up taking the last moment flight. Chit chatting with him in my mother tongue, feeling the tinge of chill in air as I stepped out and seeing the good ol' Konark Chakra motif at the entrance, I could not have felt more at home :)

To top my joy was the shiny new black dad's Swift Dzire! After getting home and dumping my stuff, I did what I do best - slept!

Next day was a trip to my granny's place. Meeting up with the whole bunch of cousins and aunts and uncles. I still get celebrity status there, being the eldest grandchild and the now being the only grandchild married and that too in a Tam family, I am till date questioned about my daily routine and stuff like that! None the less its fun. Food that followed was simply out of the world.

This time being at home was a bit different, with sissy not around. The house was a bit more silent. I also saw mom and dad having gotten involved into separate routines, one involving their own books, their own tv shows and their own household chores. How much change children bring to a house! Since it was a bit quiter, I was a bit more observant of things. I noticed K's first perfume bottle , a gift from UK still being there (though empty :) ), my best friend's long given gift - some 9 years old, posters and novels, as old as the hills - seriously only ones maika will have these treasures. There is a memory attached to every simple thing that one does. While sitting and talking to K on the balcony I was reminded of how we used to talk some 5 years ago. Things were so different then. While taking out the blankets for drying in the sun, I was reminded how sis would always insist on taking out the thicker blanket even if it was not that chill. While seeing some old clothes, I was reminded, I used to wear them for college some years back! Which in turn brings in a fresh flood of memories.

The most unexpected part was, I was to attend a wedding of a distant cousin. His father also happened to be my dad's colleague. So there were a lot of old colleagues of my dad invited. There, everyone was so amazed to see me! Many uncles had taught me in college! Some were neighbors when we stayed at Rourkela long time back. I had changed a lot since those days, and everyone was pleasantly surprised to see me. Even I felt top of the world meeting so many old faces...And attending a proper Odia reception is something! I was too used to the Tam style of the normal food being served in the traditional way. But here we had pani puri, chicken tikkas, fish fingers, and the entire array of veg, non veg and Chinese dishes! That too spread over a sprawling lawn with corny Hindi movie numbers like Bole choodiyan and Tujh main rab dikhta hai in the background. Hehe it was some fun.

I was enjoying to the hilt..... But then some things are too good to last :(