Saturday, September 30, 2017
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
I have two nieces. One is 17. K's sister's daughter. And one is 10, my brother's daughter. I love them both unequally. Because my brother's daughter was born before my eyes and I looked after her as a new born. I have a special bond with her.
With my 17 year old niece, I try to be her friend. Hand hold her through this difficult transition from childhood to adulthood. She's the child of a single parent and carries the heavy baggage that comes with it.
One of the most docile and innocent 17 year old kids you'll ever meet.
Four days ago, a classmate of hers went missing. A girl who sat with P during accounts class. A girl she went out to eat pani Puri with. They used to go by the same bus and were living in the same colony. The girl was called 'modern, fast and with it' she had an ex boyfriend and wanted to be a model. Day one everyone assumed she'd eloped. There was comments galore and insensitive talk. To her credit P told us that she didn't see anything so she didn't say a word. She didn't indulge in the loose talk.
Day 2 a missing persons report was filed and a massive hunt was on. P was distraught terrified something bad has happened. She couldn't focus on anything and couldn't sleep.
Day 3 the kids were scared shitless that the cops would come to them for questioning. P was terrified what would happen but k sat her down and had a long talk with her. Reassuring at the same time telling her that life would throw up many more of these instances and she needs to harden up.
Day 4 the worst had happened. The girl that was missing was found dead. This is a 17 year old girl, a girl that studied with my niece. P cried and couldn't believe what had happened. There was speculation of sexual assault and the probable scenes replayed again and again through her head. She wanted to keep talking about it and we spoke to her with as much patience as we could. Helping her process this was important. It also told me that while she has been exposed to a lot of things, at her core she remains a girl with a sensible head on her shoulders, who evaluates risks and threats and tries her best to manouvre her path.
Day 5. The school declared a holiday and to take her mins off this I took her to class with me. I put her with a partner who was quiet and gentle and she did well. We came home after class to the news that an arrest has been made. The culprit, an old classmate and a boy the victim was in love with had strangled and killed her to get her off his back. P has met this boy. He's some sort of a hero and legend In their school. She couldn't believe it was him who did this. She kept asking me how a friend could do this. I had no answers.
This is a 17 year old. Who murdered a girl he was no longer interested in romantically. Who teaches them this stuff. Who makes them think they'll get away with this or that it's ok to kill someone you don't like anymore?
My in-laws moved to an apartment on our floor two weeks ago. I have a feeling this situation would have inflicted even more trauma on us if we were not together. I have never been more thankful to be around her than now. I am trying to sleep but cannot.
Friday, August 18, 2017
Its already the second week of august and this year is flying at a speed I cannot keep up with.
Mostly the only bright spot about July was my birthday, which I got to spend with my friends that are my family, eat a lot of food and drink till my liver protested.
The work month was not as impressive as I wanted it to be, but it was not bad either so I will settle mid way.
Sage had a couple of seizures during the month and that threw me off quite badly. He is being brave and tries not to be a pain any other way, tries and recovers as soon as possible, but throw off it does.
There are a bunch of dogs in our colony, they wander around, mostly one family of a pair, their 5 offspring and 4 drifters, single dogs that sort of live on the fringes of the pack. They are welcomed when convenient and the first to be targeted when one from the family is having a bad day. All of them have names they respond to and are generally friendly. There was this spritely pup, black with some white on all four of his legs. I christened him boots. He was adorable, came on command, played like a pesty younger sibling with sage and was precocious. Suddenly he disappeared and I was told three others taken with him by the municipality. I called the dog pound and checked and fought till they were located and dumped back in our colony 5 days later. A week after they came back I noticed some of the dogs weren't around and the local auto drivers told me that two dogs had died over the last few days and the municipality had taken them away.
Boots was never the same. He was quieter, rapidly losing weight and didn't want to come and play. I dont feed the dogs, just watch over them and manage them when they are sick and need a vet. I checked and put him on saline for 2 days, he seemed to recover, and then suddenly one morning on my walk, I was told by the nearby tea vendor that he looks very very ill. I rushed to find him, almost cold, laboured breathing and smelling bad. I picked him up and wrapped him in a thick towel, brought him home and called the vet who asked me to come at 10 as he was in surgery. It was 8 am. I tried to give him body warmth and glucose and will him to be better. He pushed his head up and acknowledged me, but his frail body couldn't take it anymore and after an hour, as I had him on my lap, Boots just died. As the tears flowed down my cheeks, I said I was sorry for not doing enough and letting him down. I put him in a box and got him buried.
I couldnt get over what had happened and I clung to Sage that day.
A day later I began to notice that Joy, a pup from the previous litter, a white speckled fellow with a brown head, he was always so happy and would run to me and hit me with all his body weight, was losing weight rapidly. I took him to the vet who suspected it was distemper and said most unvaccinated dogs get it if in contact with an infected dog. Boots and Joy most likely were exposed to an infected dog when they were taken to the pound. Joy was on saline and anti biotics to help him and I was feeding him thrice a day for strength. 4 days of this and he greeted me feebly and I picked him up, he was a tall hound like fellow, nuzzled him and told him I was so happy to see him recover. Just when I thought he was out of danger, he deteriorated and in 24 hours was skin and bone, with a severe chest infection and having mild seizures. I put him in the car and on the way to the vet he had a massive seizure. He came out of it in 2 minutes but was bewildered. When I showed him to the vet, he said there was no hope and that joy would die within 24 hours and was in great pain. I asked for him to be euthanised to give him some peace. I sat there with Joy on my lap as he passed into a deep sleep. We buried him on the ORR at a spot where his lifeless body would not be a risk for other strays.
I also had Popcorn with me in the car. A dog I rescued from a pack that was attacking him, but could not keep. One building in our colony agreed to allow him to sleep inside the gate and I feed him once a day. Popcorn also was picked up with joy and boots despite having a collar and I was worried sick he was infected too since he was losing weight and was so weak his feet were buckling the last few days. So had taken him with joy for a check up. The vet said we cannot be sure, but gave him saline and a few shots of antibiotics.
K told me that in all of this, I didn't once worry about exposing sage to the infection. I was terrified for both popcorn and sage. We procured the testing kits and fortunately both popcorn and sage tested negative. most dogs with distemper die out of secondary infections that make them so weak that they are too tired to look for food and in the end it is starvation. So popcorn is now on a 4 times a day feeding schedule. I give him pedigree, boiled eggs and milk with glucose added. Its been a week and he seems to be gaining strength and I am happy about it.
The end of july also brought the bad news of the passing of an old friend who used to help me and amma with our taxes. A nice simple unassuming guy, just died of a massive heart attack and that was such a shock to me.
The month wasn't the best in terms of personal stuff and I hope and pray that the worst is behind us. I want august to be better....
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Friday, June 30, 2017
As I sit in the balcony this morning, enjoying the silence, a cup of well made coffee and the soft fur of my fluff ball that I have used to prop my feet on,I notice the colour of my nails is similar to his harness.
Yesterday after a particularly bad instance of I can't recognize myself anymore, I booked a salon at home appointment via an app. The beautician was late by an hour, rather clumsy and a little nosey but she threaded my brows and I got my nails painted a nice shade of red.
The last two weeks have been stressful with sage and his attacks. I'm living mostly on the support of online services that allow me to get most of my chores done while sitting next to him.
Today as I vainly look at my toes, I am filled with gratitude for all of this.
Monday, June 26, 2017
My busiest time of the week is the weekend at the studio. While I have a mixed demographic, weekend classes seem to always fill to capacity. I tried taking Sundays off. But the losses were too much to ignore. So now I happily work on most Sundays.
My father used to have Mondays off. He would wait for everyone to leave. Read the newspaper end to end, have the whole house to himself (which is bliss if you live with a large extended family like we did) and nap luxuriously after lunch, by which time the chaos would be back. He obviously loved it that way.
I may have inherited this. While we are a two person household, things get hectic during the week. There is constantly something to do and I really look forward to a day of silence.
Today is Eid, technically a holiday but k has to go to office and that makes me so happy 😂
I've just had a glorious breakfast of the excellent aloo paratha Sulochana makes, have curled up with my blanket in the guest room, sage is at my feet and this is how this day will progress.
Slowly and silently
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Friday, April 7, 2017
In a giant FU, it ended with Amma having a trip and fall over Cindy, our dog in chennai, landing on the wooden armrest of the sofa and needing three stitches to her forehead cut. My brother called yesterday to tell me that she is fine, shaken but not shut up yet. The doctors at the emergency apparently told her to talk less! My heart broke into a thousand pieces as I heard the news, but ten minutes later as I spoke to her, I knew she would come out of this fine.
The misery of being away from ones loved ones when they are unwell or hurt is terrible. The dreary month dragged on. the only bright spot being that my uncle and aunt were here for a couple of days. They were in town to celebrate the birthday of my mom's cousin who turned 97. I wrote about her here a few years ago. One of the most remarkable ladies of my family. Amma was super excited to have her only surviving sibling around and they all went back to chennai together. It was my nephew's birthday and they were to attend, then get back to bangalore, this happened after dinner on the birthday.
It has taken me a couple of days to come to terms with all of this and the last time I felt this overwhelmed and helpless was when this shit lasted half of the year instead of a month a few years ago.
Glad to see this new month.
Monday, March 20, 2017
If I have to go any place, it is a mad synchronised dance with K and most times, I don't go out unless there is something very important because it causes everyone to be on edge. I do feel sometimes that I do not enough social interactions and need to get out more.
Last week, overwhelmed with all the stuff happening, I wanted to get away from everything and everyone, just walk till my feet hurt and exhaust myself physically so that the mental strain is not felt that much. But the minute I leave the house without him, Sage panics. So there I was, unable to break free, walking with him, feeling so suffocated and sorry for myself. I sat on the steps of a still unfinished mall and started to cry, cloaked by the darkness which had already fallen. I don't know why I burst into tears like that, I usually don't. But I just couldn't stop crying. Nuzzling me was Sage, making me feel more guilty that I held him partly responsible for my suffocation. He sat there, next to me, wedging his nose between my face and knees as I sobbed. I held onto him after a few minutes, and told him I was tired and sorry and just wanted a break. When I was spent, he walked me back and the next couple of days, he was so calm and tried not to get into my hair like he exactly understood what I needed.
I know he is helpless and fully dependent on me, but there are times when all I want is to have a day where I eat and sleep to my hearts content rather than according to his medication, food and walk schedule.
Work has been at the receiving end of all of this drama and for the last month, I haven't done much work which again sets me off. So it has been a cluster fuck for atleast the past 8 weeks. I am crabby and snappy and find everything getting on my nerves. I am sick of being this version of me to be honest. It has to stop, it has to change. If this is the new normal I will be terrible to live with in a few weeks :(