Friday, June 14, 2013

a year...

From groaning and finding every excuse in life, to getting cranky when I cannot leave on time, my attitude towards exercise is the most significant thing that has happened to me this past year. 

June makes a full year that I have lasted at the gym. I have never been this dedicated to anything besides my resolve when I wanted to get married!

One year, of not being able to touch my toes and now being able to hold the soles of my feet when I do stretches. One year, of panting like a dog at 30 skips and now being able to skip 100 times without stopping. a year of going from doing push ups on the wall because those were the easiest to do, to doing almost full pushups on the floor baby! (particularly proud of this). A year of not being able to even lift a 2 kilo weight to work out my arms, to being upset the day I don't work out with heavy weights. One year of being inconsistent and yet seeing the response from my body when I work out regularly. one year, of not giving a damn about who was younger/ slimmer / fitter than me.

one year, of agonising over two sets of gym clothes, wrestling sports bras and being unable to find a tee that doesn't show cleavage (in my case), waxing legs and scrubbing my feet clean (I workout barefooted).

I am not reed thin, because you haven't seen what I have not stopped putting on my plate.... but I am fitter than I ever was in life! 

I get a lot of "you have pulled down/ lost weight / slimmed down a lot". Makes me wonder how fat i was! 

the journey has not been easy. There are days when I think I will not be able to put another foot in front of the other as I do my forward lunges.... but I keep at it. The temptation of food and laziness and the sheer discouragement from everyone has been tremendous... but I am super proud of myself. 

there I said it! I am proud.... for sticking with it... for overcoming my guilt and getting my ass to the gym even when K told me I should not be selfish and spend time with him at 7 a.m on saturdays! for not caring about just my weight or that of other women around me... Of just realising, I am as young or as fit as I choose to be and I am solely responsible for my choices.....

In the past, I was a serial dieter... relying on cutting food to shed weight.... the day I realised weight loss and fitness are two different things, I was a better person!

Just hope this good sense stays with me.... 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Anxious is sometimes good

The hunt began three weeks ago. Amma is staying with me and one of the things on the agenda of this stay was to get her to the doctor who checks her eyes. If you have been reading this blog long enough, you will perhaps know, that Amma, rockstar amma is partially sighted. She has no vision in her right eye, after a series of glaucoma related issues, the optic nerve died and right now the eye is shrinking and may completely close in a few years. Amma thinks she looks like Lalita Pawar. But that's her sense of humour! and she has loads of it. Possibly the only way she has been able to deal with the hard knocks in life. 

her left eye, the "good" eye is now functioning with a 30% efficiency.This means, if you are an unfamiliar person and sitting more than 4 feet away, she cannot make out your face or features... you appear as a blob to her. This eye is what she manages with. Fiercely independent, she is a person about the house, wielding the knife with aplomb and cooking almost everyday. She scans through the papers with a magnifying glass, watches tv and goes about her normal stuff. She travels alone, although now only between cities where my brother lives and I do. she is also one of the neatest people I know and that's not because she is my mother! walk into her room 5 minutes after she wakes up and you will find a spotlessly made bed. When you meet her for the first time, and if you dont know the background, you would never guess she is partially sighted.

So why this ode to amma? when i started this post with a hunt? Last year, she had an unsuccessful cataract operation. Complications arose and the procedure, which is fairly simple, needed to be abandoned to save her leftover vision. The doctor gave her 6 months to get her nerves back and redo the operation. In the midst of all this, she came to visit and I insisted she stay for a longish period of time. 

We found a doctor who came highly recommended. Away from the world famous eye hospitals in hyderabad. We consulted with him, hoping he would be able to give us a breakthrough. A youngish doctor with thick fingers and a soft spoken demeanour. he had the patience to listen to amma and go through her case history. he then pushed his chair back, and asked "do you want me to be honest or popular?". I believe a good craftsman is someone who does not need to showcase his ego at every opportunity. a person who knows his skill, yet will do what is best for the situation. He very gently told amma that in her case, he does not see any need to get aggressive with her treatment. the approach needed to completely rest on preserving her existing vision. He told her quite frankly that her cataract was not going to be a show stopper and that any intervention on her eye would be done only when absolutely needed. The only thing he wanted was to review her periodically to keep a check on the state of the eye.

This was last year. This year, we went back to him for a check up. Hence the reference to the hunt. We were unable to meet him the day we went due to his ill health. He asked us to consult with another doctor, who also happens to be his wife. She took on a different stance. Telling us that an operation, tho complicated was possible under general anesthesia and that Amma shouldn't be defeated by her age! She negated every other earlier bit of advise. We came back with an anxiousness and a need to see the original doctor. 

I was wondering if he would also recommend surgery now. Considering one year had passed and that there could be some further developments in the state of her eye. Also, since one doctor of the fold had already advised that, would it be necessary to keep up the same stance?

It proved elusive to get to the doctor. First he was travelling for over a week. then his ridiculously inefficient and clueless support staff, scheduled and rescheduled appointments at will. Twice, we had a busy morning, mentally preparing amma, rescheduling the morning routine and just when she was dressed, we would be told that the doctor was unavailable. So when friends and family called to ask what happened and when the operation would take place, we had no clue. Am sure everyone questioned my credentials at having been unsuccessful at scheduling another appointment. On monday, I finally lost my marbles. On each of the three calls I made to the hospital, I yelled and threatened the person on the receiving end of the call. calling them inefficient and unprofessional, I recounted the blundering efficiency they had. Finally, we were scheduled to meet the doctor yesterday morning at 10.

up bright and early, we trekked down to the hospital. Finished the preliminary tests and waited and waited. Finally met the doctor who thoroughly checked amma again. She told him she was ready for surgery if he wanted to go ahead with it. He sat back, apologized for the previous inconveniences and told her he wasn't about to put her though an operation or any kind of procedure unless he thought it was absolutely needed. With that, i think i fell a little in love with a doctor who put his patient before his professional ego. It is so difficult to find someone like that.

We came out of the hospital relieved for having found a good doctor, who will not look at you like an invoice receivable. So the two weeks of anxiousness was actually good. While a lot of folks told us to look for another doctor, we waited.... 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


the scorching heat and the uncomfortable fact that despite air conditioning, when the weather wants to be a bitch, you have no control. Even normal everyday stuff seems to sap you of every ounce of your energy. the door bell rings and you just pretend you didnt hear it because walking up and opening the door and dealing with whoever is at it is going to take more effort than you wish to spend. 

Morning walks with the energetic dog whose friends are all over the next two colony roads makes you yell out more than usual. come back, not here, slowly and dont jump are all the bewildered dog that has hair like four woolen coats can here. this is the only time of the day when he can feel anything like his playful self, because in less than 30 minutes, the heat is at a boil. despite the fact that you can have a cold shower or sit with the A/C, you still feel you are worse off than the poor furry dog. 

Chores for the day get put back and delayed till it is almost time for dinner, yet there is no dinner. Making do with leftovers and short cuts, even the K man who never notices anything realises he has been eating dosa for dinner for 3 days on a trot. the seeds i planted a few weeks ago refuse to show any signs of sprouting and make me more anxious than i care to admit.

work that normally takes a few hours, stretches into weeks till someone not so gently tells you that you have stuff to do. even then, you grudgingly try to make a big show of finishing the simplest of stuff.

I have often asked myself why i become a different person when the heat is at its peak. I frankly do not know. and after all these years, am finding it increasingly tough to accept that the heat turns me into a different person.

the wait for the rains is like an animal on a parched dessert land. I work one day at a time, waiting and watching for signs of the earth that it will rain soon. The peacocks in the adjoining plot went nuts a few days ago. I knew that they would know before us all. so when the first drops of rain fell to the earth, I ran out and stood outside to feel them on my skin.It lasted all of two minutes and the heat after that was unbearable again. But in my heart, I knew that it was just a matter of a few more days and all would be well again.

and then, just like that, it began to rain. not pour, but drizzle a few times a week. sometimes i wake up to a wet street and puddles and dont mind it at all. hell i love it.... I cannot even remember how the heat humbled me and made me batty. that in my book, is when the tides turn. Welcome rain.... bye bye summer... you were such a bitch