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.

One more night

Last night, we got our last box packed. We got almost all that we would want into the boxes. And we threw the rest. The kitchen is essentially left the same and anyone can cook a quick meal there for there are provisions and water and the refrigerator and the stove still connected.

The rooms look empty but not quite as the furniture still remains exactly as before, for we leave everything behind. In better times, we might have been able to find some young couple or some people from the furniture market take them but now, since the lockdown rules are stricter with the festival just round the corner, it is a no go. Having the furniture around is nice as the house doesn’t look or feel empty still and we can still use the bedrooms as everything is intact.

The cat is boarded at the veterinary until he can be shipped to our country and we cat-proof our house back home. It was sad taking him to the vets wrapped in a blanket so he wouldn’t get scared until we had to put him in his crate at the vets, where he is boarded. We don’t want to think of the cramped spaces he is in. It is a grim reminder of our life for the past two months after the lockdown has been declared and all travel restricted.

A cyclone rages back home and flooding occurs on the Eastern coast of India. We go down South, so perhaps it is not much more severe than the monsoons that thump our coasts of a mid summer. We hope the rain will bring the COVID numbers down, but who knows ?

It is 4 am now and the muezzin has given the morning call for prayer. The birds sing sweetly on my moringa tree- perhaps it is the last time I will hear them. I need to remember to feed them and put the water out for them. Of all the stray cats, only one remains- his timidity to venture out of the compound kept him safe from the man who catches cats. He will hopefully find someone else to feed him.

My plants have been donated to the Filipina families who live near mine as they are plant lovers. But the trees we planted over the 15 years we were here, will remain and will hopefully survive the very harsh summer that is yet to come just as we hope to survive the tough hours ahead.

Graduation

After a long, and hard term, they sent us messages congratulating us on our graduation- batch of 2020 and so on. I was skeptical as I hadn’t heard back from the SAS professor yet as to the marks of the final exam. Nonetheless, we all seem to have made the mark.

So it is here to believe- I passed !! Amid the corona and the Spring Break and the lockdown and assignments and uncertainty, I have a second graduate degree- at 50.

Niece’s pictures-Chennai

My niece who is 20 asked if she could send me some pictures. I said, yes, and asked if I could use them to showcase her photographic skills. Here are some of those.

A dragonfly- I wondered what this one was and had to ask her.
Rainclouds gathering, perhaps ?
Her college’s campus with the Chennai skyline in the background
Pink bougainvillea or is if fuchsia ?
Not sure what this plant is but it is a beautiful flower
Sunset or Sunrise- what do you think ?
Engineering college Campus
Beautiful little lilies ?
Those colours- the butterfly captured so well
Dead man’s rose -white Vinca
Close up of two lilies
A bed of lilies
Raindrops

Thank you, dear niece for allowing me to share these pictures.

Too many things

As the days go by, comes the realization that we need to start packing stuff if we need to take anything with us. 15 years in the same house has gotten us a lot of things. And this is inspite of the yearly downsizing and throwing away stuff that occurred when the children were home and the yearly spring cleaning of schoolbooks was the routine. Still we have stuff and how much? It makes me want to throw up about how much we spent on clothes and more clothes every month almost. What a family we are.

This is one of the boxes that got done. It has a long journey ahead of it.

Throwing away- so many clothes- what a waste
And books from my daughters time here about three years back-was always hoping some student could use them
Just taking the clothes- not the furniture or printers or any other stuff
My cupboard- I am not even taking my clothes as I will be going native and will wear only traditional clothes as befits a tropical climate
A few of the suitcases that may accompany us on the flight

My crockery and cutlery are other things I would want to take- as I would find it easier to use things I have been using for years. The mixer grinders and gas stoves would not be taken and so will the television sets or computers- all of them are going to be abandoned.

It is all a waste of money – the COVID has made my husband and I realize that everything is a waste- we could have used the money we spent on stuff helping some needy person or for a good cause. We talk about this every day. We have been wasting our time- and our resources, putting things away for when we would return and now the time to return has come and we cannot take most things with us. We are not even sure these things we ship will reach us. Nothing is sure in this world now.

We are learning to appreciate one another and the time we get together. We talk to our parents and family every day. These are the things that matter- nothing else is lasting.

A birthday amidst the lockdown

My husband is 58 years old today. Though if one thought he was 70, it would not surprise anybody. That is how much he has aged in the two months since the lockdown started.

He wants to be out in the sunshine, or out in his car or among his people walking around in freedom and here he is locked up- ahem, locked down. The only thing that money can buy now is food or medicine. There is nothing else to buy now- no extravagances, no cakes, no celebrations, no dinner in a fancy restaurant.

He didn’t want a cake or any other celebration. Family and friends are wishing him on his birthday through phone calls. He waits in anticipation for that one telephone call that will decide his fate- towards freedom or towards more captivity.

His hair has grown so much over the past two months- there is no hair cutter available for rhyme or reason. I have been begging him to let me at his hair but having seen my past efforts in cutting the stray cats fur, he would not let me. Today he had his back toward me, so I took off the spikes on top of his head with his mustache scissors. And then he was looking like Einstein, with a bunch of hair on each side of his head, almost none on top and a lot at the back- so he had to let me at the hair on his side. So in the end, he had three sides of his head shorn off and rather well, too, I might add. He now has hair only at the back and since no one looks there, often, we can leave that for the professional.

We have come to appreciate our hair dressers, our dry cleaning people, our house cleaners and everyone else who was making life comfortable for us. That is not the only way the lockdown has affected us- we cannot travel, we cannot move around, we cannot visit anyone, we cannot even go to work- everyone prefers working from home.

As the day goes on, we are now waiting for a man, who can help with moving and packing our stuff. After 27 years of marriage, we have a birthday in captivity. We will appreciate freedom when we get it because we have been captive. Freedom will be our biggest gift.