Day 34 – space

June 17, 2018

Woke up early with the worm- to go to the supermarket. That is the time I can park with ease and the aisles are less crowded.

Downstairs in the supermarket is grocery and upstairs are clothes.

We went downstairs first- daughter 2 and I. Got a few things for my in laws and my sister’s children. One of her sons is having a birthday tomorrow. I am sending him a T-shirt with my husband who is travelling to see them tonight.

Last year at this time, we were preparing for my mother’s surgery. We went to hospital on June 18, 2017.

My husband will be visiting my daughter 1 at her college during this visit- so he is carrying a lot of her stuff which she left behind here. True to form, he finds it difficult to take all the things-with the baggage limit of the airways and many places to travel to during this visit.

My mother can chew only walnuts among the nuts with her teeth. So she has some walnuts and raisins. And daughter 1 gets some muesli, cranberries, cookies and her clothes.

Travel and space are inversely proportional it seems. The longer one travels, the lesser the space allotted for comfortable travel. And if the journey has to be broken up at places, then travel and space are even more compromised.

I am not sure how my husband will know what to give whom. It will be hard decisions for him.



Five minute Friday- Restore

IMG-20180529-WA0012Fridays are the weekends here. A time to restore and rejuvenate the hard work of the week. As far as physical labor goes, work is not at all exhausting but working here at a desk job is so exhausting mentally and the drive back and forth from work is worth any amount of restoration.

Our apartment at home recently underwent a restoration project. It is about 16 years old, no work done on or in it ever since we have owned it. The walls were crackling, paint peeling off, cupboards had termites and powdery stuff coming off in corners of rooms. There was a tree dog infestation at one time too.Everything was restored for a good expense.

Roads outside my villa are being restored now. I wonder how restoration work can go on in such heat. Who can work in the hot scorching sun ? But people are working and restoring our road.

A daughter of my neighbor was admitted in hospital as she had stopped eating – completely . Her parents feared the worst and got her admitted to hospital. Their worst fears had come true. She was kept in hospital for feeding and she is on the road to restoration.

My mother has undergone two major surgeries on her body this last year. She has huge scars on her body. With prayer and care, she has been restoring herself. She was a timid woman before this incident in her life. She always feared the worst. She says her worst fears came true with the multiple cancers she had. She concludes that one’s worst fears come true if one keeps on and on thinking about something and hoping that that fear will not come to pass. Just like positive thoughts bring up more positivity, negative thoughts breed ill health is her contention. She is working on restoring her mind with positive outcomes.

Restoration is a process of healing. Why did we allow ourselves to go so far off from where we should be ? Why do we need healing and restoration ?

Day 33- intrigue

June 16, 2018

Read a facebook post today of a girl. She was a student at the Medical College I graduated from. Different from me, she stayed on there and continued till she became a Neurosurgeon- perhaps one of the few women neurosurgeons in the whole country. And after reaching the pinnacle of her success- one day, 10 years ago, she quit and she moved countries. From sweltering heat to freezing snows- to Calgary, in Canada. For years she has been on a journey in search of herself and though she has no qualms of leaving a remunerative profession, she does look back. She is now a writer. After years of hibernation in the snow and the cool summers and the flowers and in the lap of nature, she has returned to her motherland- I do wonder why. And everything about the motherland surprises her- the heat, the interference, the internet, the poking nose into other people’s affairs- everything.

I seem to be in a similar boat too- I have not returned to my alma mater for any reunion or meetings with classmates since I graduated.My ideal world is where there would be very few of my classmates or college mates. The irony of the situation is that my elder daughter is at the very same institution doing her Masters degree and my husband did his graduation and post graduation from there. I seem to be running away too. I now live in the lap of luxury- materially. I have everything a normal human being would require- freedom to buy and spend on most things I require or don’t require- Price tags are just things to pull out of things I buy- not things to look at and debate about whether I need such a costly thing. Apart from the desert landscape, the brown color of everything depresses me. A rainy day fascinates me. Floods intrigue me. The grass is  always greener somewhere else.

My farewell party- Cyn asked me what I would miss most about my current job. I said the ability to spend freely and not watch pennies, or dollars for that matter. What would I not miss ? The ability to write freely, speak freely with no religious overtones or undertones, the ability to breathe fresh air, with no dust. Dust free- that would be ideal. And mobility- to use my two legs without having to look at the pedometer and wonder how I haven’t made 10K steps yet. It always looks like my day ends with just about 800 steps.  I will not miss the sedentary life. People at the party rolled eyes at me- there was one who has been in the country 15 years and was skeptical of my return to my mother country. I may not like it once I reach there. Things may look rosy now but may be too watery there.

Is life about running away all the time ? I am glad my husband is a keeper and hangs on to me for dear life, or I am sure I would run away from him too. Books are a means for me to escape from reality and so is food. Food is such a comfort- there is no hunger that drives my passion for eating. There is food, so it must be eaten- that’s the rule I follow.

Day 32- wishes

If we were counting by the month, today would be a new month.

As countdowns go, there is a new countdown for me. My birthday- June 20- 5 days more. i love birthdays. I wish I could have a magical, childhood like birthday-where there would be no quarrels, no disagreements and only laughter and people wishing you to have a good day.

Wish I could cook better- yesterday, we had a guest for dinner- I let the cook cook and I moved away. Guest a professor from a reputed medical college who has come here for a month’s vacation.

Wish I could have rain. It has been ever so long since I saw water pouring out from the sky.

Wish the temperature would drop.

Wish  I could complete the online course I registered for in January- the GIS course. A long time back, for my final MD exam, one of the questions was a note on GIS- of course, I had never heard of it- this was in 2004. So as is usual, I gassed and wrote what I thought was right( made up the answer). I read about GIS for the oral exam so now I know what GIS is and how it is applied in public health medicine.

Wish I was not restricted for money and I could spend as much money as I have in my bank. I am controlling my spending as I need to pay my fees for my first semester. It is going to be hard.

Wish I could prevent myself from writing as though I was doing an English exercise in school. He said that –. She said that—. I wished that—. I want to learn to write as I feel or think at the moment, not in “reported speech”.

Wish I had an outfit that made me feel cold at home.

Oh Dear !

Day 31- Reminiscences

June 14, 2018

It is a month since I started writing about preparations to leave the country. A diary-journalling- cathartic sometimes, honestly brutal at others, when I read back some time later, I might not believe these things actually happened.

Three and a half years of work at this university. Never believed I would see it end when I started. Always believed, I would be here as long as this branch campus existed.

My goal when I came here was to just take things easy and not put my heart and soul into the department. Meaning no emotional investment. Mental toil and expenditure of brain power I planned for but no liaisons, no deep friendships, nothing. Just do my work and get out each day.

Unknown to me, my colleagues developed feelings and a camaraderie with me. Cyn is a great supervisor- she is honest, diligent, smiley and sincere to her job. She understands if someone has put in effort after hours and gives due consideration. Above all, she is a dog lover. Many a time, I have judged people based on their liking for dogs, cats, plants, children and I haven’t been wrong. Except for one occasion when the woman I worked with loved little children but was nasty to everyone especially women and made their lives miserable. She was a workplace bully. I confess that seeing no end to the daily drama, I left that department almost entirely due to her.

But Cyn is a person cast in a different mold. She is not an angel and does have her moments of pure excitement and saying things like ” you know, the grant agency released this grant and we didn’t know- now what do we do ?” There is a lot of blaming others and stuff but she is hard working and now that we have known one another for more than three years, I think I can proudly say she is my friend.

My other colleague is Kat, who has all the dogs and had Pepper, her dog’s birthday party.

She has been brutally honest when she speaks and I admire that trait. She is the woman with the great sense of humor, amazing loyalty, great event management skills and hostess. I have never met anyone like her and probably never will.

The third colleague who I will not name is one with whom I have had a love-hate relationship. In the beginning, it was bossy- she being the boss and me subjugating. Since she had a baby about two years back(2016), and we made an effort to work on her, she has changed- for the better. Even though I did not want to invest emotionally in this work place, subconsciously I did so- because the need of this colleague was greater than my need for peace of mind. She is now friendly, honest, a little more trusting of us, her colleagues and though the bossiness shows up sometimes, it is not as prominent as before.

I will miss all of them. Indeed I will. This is the first time I will miss a workplace when I am leaving. I think some of them will come and visit me in my new role. I hope they do.

To my colleagues,

I love you all- and wish you all the best.