August 19- a trip to Kochi and a sister’s birthday

We drove to our apartment in Kochi hoping it wasn’t in a containment zone and we might not be turned back. Good news, everything seemed normal in Kochi, though it is a hotspot for corona as they say here and things are not so good with the corona statistics- 2333 cases diagnosed yesterday.

My sister turned 49 years old yesterday- of course, we couldn’t visit with her as she is in another state and we could only talk to her. Growing up, since she was only 2 years younger than me, I can remember the squabbles we had all the time. If I had one thing, she wanted it and if she had one thing, I wanted it. She was the one who helped my homemaker mom with the household chores ( though with hiccups and grunts of displeasure), while I got out of them with excuses. I feel sorry for all those times I got out of the chores. She is a senior officer of the Indian Administrative Services but seems that she enjoys doing domestic chores in her slow and steady way even now. She is a mother of three children of ages 21 to 15. She is managing her home now from home and with the help of her family. She is always there for any in the family who need help or a shoulder to cry on. She has grown to be a woman of remarkable faith and a staunch believer. We were born into Christian families but our faith has been renewed because of the toils of life. We realise now that our time on earth is so short and it is a time we need to spend on looking out for those who are not so fortunate as us. My sister calls her domestic help each month and pays her her salary- she does not allow her to come home to do the chores now, because of the corona but her salary goes to her nevertheless- one of the many charitable things she does in her own way to make the world better. I remember the times I pulled her hair growing up but my mom, who I met yesterday says that hair is all grey now. My sister is not a woman for makeup or the fancies of life- she is as simple as they make them. Happy Birthday, my dear sibling.

So we spent the day in our apartment at Kochi yesterday. Nursing a migraine, we managed to clean and dust the house and run all the machines to make sure, none had rusted or forgotten to run. Good news- all of them worked well. Then we went to my parents home and visited with them. One of my father’s sisters passed away on August 18th in Mumbai, so that was a sad time for my father. Sometimes death comes as a welcome relief. I would never have believed it but in this case, we are all happy my aunt has gone to her heavenly home to be with our Lord and her beloved husband, who went before – in February. They had a long and happily married life- maybe 60 years of marriage- unto the end they were together. And in death, they were just six months apart. Rest in peace, auntie.

We reached Kottayam, our home for now, by around 8 pm- the cat and our daughter welcomed us back – we had food packed for her, from a wayside restaurant where we ate. One of the few restaurants that allowed us to dine at the tables inside. The cat sulked for a while, while we made our apologies for leaving him for a day alone but all is well now.

Self invited dinner

My sister in law has her birthday today, and she lives within a kilometer of my house now. We wanted to invite her home to dinner today along with my husband’s parents but it seems all get togethers are off. So we made do with going over to her house, early today with a cake and greeting her just as she was waking up. Corona has changed bed times for people, we sleep in more and wake up later.

We returned home so daughter could attend her online classes, which started at 7:30 am. But soon a call came from my brother in law asking if we could join my inlaws and them for lunch at their home. I asked my daughter if she could spare some time but she had classes and a test to boot, so going over for lunch was out .

I called my brother in law and politely declined. I wish I had left it at that but with my big mouth, I asked if they wanted we could come over for dinner and eat the leftovers. He considered the matter and asked us to come around 7 pm- reflecting over this it seems I managed to self invite myself to dinner. What do you think ?

And my husband is yet to know that I accepted on his behalf too.

A new journey

I have been in our apartment at Kottayam for about a month now. Its only today that I got access to a computer screen for the first time in two months, I should say. Our adventure that started on the 21st of May, 2020 has brought us thus far. Much has happened in the in-between.

One of the latest things that happened is that I got bitten by our cat. Sunshine was transported by QA about three weeks back to India where he was held for about a week in Bangalore, the only place in South India that still receives imported animals during the lockdown. Bangalore is in the neighbouring state to Kerala, where I am.

He has had some issues with adjusted to a new place, a new country, afterall, he is 8 years old and one does get set in one’s ways with age. So with him. For the first two days, he walked around restlessly and then got settled down, till last Monday, when the constant mewing started. He was always at the door wanting to be let out. We live in a 15-storey apartment and it is possible that many of the residents in the apartment are not cat lovers.

I let him out a couple of times into the lobby in front of our apartment when he cried and he walked sniffing at neighbouring apartment doors( fortunately, they had no residents) – and then he wanted to go up and down the stairs. I am big and obese, so climbing up and down stairs is rather painstaking for me, and keeping pace with a strong cat is even more difficult. Yet, I did it to the best of my ability.

Last Saturday, I let him out when he mewed and he went up one floor and found out there was a garden there on a balcony- with plants. And also the grills were not cat proofed- Freedom !!. He explored for some time, sniffing the plants and enjoying the fresh early morning air. I tried to persuade him to return to our apartment and lifted him, when he attacked me viciously.

I have so many scratches, there is no more skin left and I can’t move my right hand for the pain- plus one cat bite. Bleeding, I managed to keep my head and pull him into our apartment, when he calmed down. But I bled onto my clothes- I waited for an hour to show my husband, who as expected exploded and wanted to get me vaccinated for rabies immediately. We both knew there was no need for this as Sunshine is an indoor cat and has been fully vaccinated for rabies as per international regulations or he wouldn’t have been allowed to travel. Yet, we felt we had to do something.

It is COVID time and there are strange protocols in hospitals. The hospital we went to refused to give us the vaccination saying we needed to go to the government hospital, which had the vaccination and the immunoglobulin which had to be injected locally on my palm. The palm is very dense in blood and nerve supply and is a direct opening for the rabies virus into the human nervous system. We couldn’t go to the government facility as it has reported a large number of COVID cases. So we went home. The next day, we went to another private facility where I had my Rabies vaccination and a dressing done. So I am now resting at home, watching Youtube on TV, which is something I just learnt can be done quite easily.

So that is what has been happening to me recently.

In quarantine

We got to Indian soil on Thursday the 21st.

We have been quarantined since- first in a government facility and now in a paid facility (a hotel).

Angels were helping us all the way from the Emigration to the government paperwork.

To all friends

We Are safe and made it after a two month ordeal where every moment we spent in anxiety and fear_ of the virus and travel restrictions and of being never allowed to go.

By the grace of God we are safe and sound.

Will blog only infrequently until my computers reach me which may be upto three months.