Saturday, October 27, 2018

Just can't wrap my head around this

I've had two pieces of such tragic news delivered to me this week that I haven't been able to wrap my head around any of it.

Early last saturday morning, I saw a text from a student who'd signed up for my weekends only classes. She texted to apologise she won't be able to make it for class as late the previous night, her husband met with an accident and died.

As I read the first few words, I assumed this was another one of those 'i'm sorry I cant come today due to XYZ reasons' that I usually get from students occasionally to plead off from a session.

I read and re read the message. N was a lady in her late forties, early fifties, one daughter who had just been sent to england to study and N had taken my class to pass her time productively after suddenly finding herself with an empty nest. She immediately petted and cooed to Sage, and told me about her St. Bernard rescued dog Alex. I never met her husband, but the tragedy was so uncomfortably personal that I couldn't shake it off.

Yesterday, a friend who had ordered apple pies from me, which I had not yet delivered because I was very busy and I am notoriously late for stuff like this texted to say, no need for apple pies.

I replied with my usual apology and said tomorrow pucca. She said no, the kid died, and the mother also. I responded with complete disbelief, thinking this was my friend being sarcastic.

Apparently the lady lost her husband in june and ever since was depressed, she made her 7 year old kid inhale nitrogen gas and later she too inhaled it and committed suicide. I made the pie crust on thursday and stuck it in the fridge to finish up on friday by which time she was dead. I cannot even begin to process this.

A person feeling so desperately alone and killing her child and herself in this bizzare manner! It is just so heartbreaking!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Mindless tv

I have spent all my non working days in the last few weeks watching TV sacked out on the bean bag in a dark room.

I love it and I get annoyed when I am interrupted by both man and beast. Sage doesn't like being confined to the room a lot and resists by panting in my face a couple of times, until he realises I am not going to heed and settles down to sleep for a few hours.

The amount of sub standard crap is boggling and my appetite for it is shocking too.

Yesterday I watched a made for internet movie with some of the finest actors from hindi movies and theater and it was utter tripe! It brought to mind an interview of Nawazuddin Siddiqui where he said so much trip was being made in the name of realistic parallel cinema. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

So far, so good

I realised it is the first of september already today and it has filled me with a sense of insipidness. I have been in a state of limbo for a while now.  A lot of it related to work and personal stuff thats happening. I suddenly find myself being anxious about a lot of things I didnt care about earlier. I would brush things off and believe when the time is right, I would be able to deal with it and or fix it and I find myself no longer able to do that.

Starting with Sage, he turned 7 in june and it set me off in ways I am worried about. A brief and intense spate of seizures left me with a patch of acne on my face that hasnt yet subsided. I broke out with the stress of managing him and preventing a spiral cluster. Since then, he hasnt been himself. Refusing his walks, quieter than usual and disinterested in most things he liked  except food. I am unable to read the patterns and therefore unable to have a plan. Most of my responses are reactive and I dont like that about the situation. I like to be prepared, but in this case I am forced to go with the uncertain flow. My movements are further restricted and it has led to me feeling a little suffocated and guilty in equal measures.

Workwise, things have quietened down and this has led to some more anxiety. It spirals into feelings of loneliness, anxiety about what I am doing wrong or what I am not doing enough and while I was able to internalise all of it for the longest time, I now am feeling overwhelmed at regular intervals.

I have not met any of my health goals this year, my skin looks worse than ever, my nails and hair are dry and brittle and I feel I have taken my body for granted so much. I have been unable to stick to even the yoga class which was right next door that i felt I wouldnt be able to skip. But since amma left back to bangalore early last month, something or the other has happened and I havent gone since the last two weeks. Fortunately, food wise I am on track. With K on his fitness mission and eating a specific diet, we are eating almost exclusively at home and eating well.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Jan 13 - a place recently visited

The last place I've visited before coming here to karwar was Mangalore. We stayed at a resort a little outside of the city but we went into the city a few times to explore and visit some tourist spots and eat.

Beautiful tile roof homes, with flourishing backyard gardens. Almost every home has coconut, banana, drumsticks and lemon trees. Not uncommon to spot a couple of chickens and cows. A lot of the homes have an outdoor stove possibly to heat water. Going by the number of cars parked in every home, beautiful elaborate homes and the vibrant market and stores, Mangalore is a rich city.

It's a well equipped town, almost every big retail brand has a presence. Large old educational institutions with massive Infrastructure dot the city. Lots and lots of children and young adults playing in huge playgrounds. I loved the terrain of the city, slightly hilly because of the ghats so it's nice to go up and then come down on city roads Reminded me so much of vizag.

The food is fantastic anywhere you eat. But I found the famous ice creams a bit hyped up.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Jan 12 - a need you can meet

Having about 600 rupees between us and eternity (both of us had exhausted/ lost our savings) was a wake up call that shaped my last five years. The money was lost due to unforgiving circumstances and not carelessness.
From that day to today when in it's current need and shape I can comfortably take care of our family, it has been a journey that has been long, disciplined and rewarding in equal measures. It has made me ask myself to be more ambitious and less frivolous and I have obeyed.
I'm very proud of this.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Jan 11 - a challenge overcome

It's still a work in progress but Im constantly trying not to second guess every decision. I've been someone who has always indulged in PPD, it has exhausted me and made me regret the wasteful time spent in this.
To a large extent I'm in a place mentally and emotionally where I trust my instinct and back it with information and preparation more than second guessing and nervously reacting to every situation. It has made a huge change in how I function.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Jan 10 - one thing i learnt about myself in 2017

I've learnt that I can be disciplined. I used to be flippant. But I've learnt that given a goal I'm invested in I can get very disciplined and that has been a very pleasantly surprising thing I've learnt about myself. Building a financial kitty, running a business and taking on more familial responsibility as our parents age has been possible only because I've become more disciplined about what expectations I set for myself and what I want.
I never thought I'd enjoy this. And my 20 year old self would either be very impressed or find me very boring 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Jan 9 - do actions match words

Not all of the time. Not to sound like a hypocrite but there are times when a little diplomacy goes a long way. Age and experience has taught me to soften my approach and find a softer way of saying things. Trust me. I get a lot more done now with this attitude. I pick my battles and make sure they're important enough to fight. Everything else can be ignored.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A look back at 2017

January began well. We partied on new year's eve and I passed out on the lawn, woke up and went into the house, got into bed, woke up at 6 A.M and went about the day as though nothing had happened. Kind of like the way the entire year was.

The farm did spectacularly well. We grew carrots amongst so many other vegetables. We literally bought only onions for most of the year. We also grew our own tuvar and channa dals and I cannot even begin to express how good that feels.

Work wise, almost nothing made sense. I felt lonely and unable to put everything together. I felt the acute lack of workplace friends. People you can discuss work with because there is a common factor of the company you work for or the actual work that you do. I also felt extreme fatigue for work and didn't do classes with the pace that I usually have. I hoped that this spell would end and the only way for me to make something end is to work through it, plough through it and that's what I did.

In february, Sage had a pre seizure period that lasted a few weeks. It depleted me both mentally and physically. This dog has taught me many lessons and I love him with my life. Some of those lessons have been very exhausting and there were days when I don't know what else to do.

Amma was here in March and most of my day revolved around her. We also found that her long term eye doctor was relocating and that sent us into a mini panic attack, but she was comforted greatly by the new doctor and that was a huge relief considering how complicated her case is. March was also the time when for the first time I had baked goodies photographed professionally by a friend and professional photographer M. The results were stunning. Aunty E turned 97 and my uncle and aunt joined us in Hyderabad to surprise her.

April rolled in and the heat was terrible. I was cranky as per usual summer behavior. K and I went to Bombay for a night. We were celebrating the birthday of a friend and for the first time in 5 years, we took a flight together. Since Sage has come into our lives, we don't take any breaks or holidays by air, we drive everywhere. And K and I have not left him with anyone since he turned epileptic even for a day. So this was epic. I came home with a renewed dislike for the city that always stinks!

Amma had a fall in Chennai at home and had to have stitches put to her forehead. It was horrendous to even think about it, fortunately she had family in the same room and they rushed her to the hospital. In true spirit she bounced right back and recovered.

May was hot and happening. My friend N was here, we partied like middle aged women, with lunch and an afternoon drink post a spa date. My namesake friend was her with her adorable children and we caught up for a very short while. My summer workshops for kids were in full swing and there were boxes and boxes of perfectly sweet organic mangoes to be devoured.

May also brought amma back with my niece and nephew for two weeks. My brother and his family needed to relocate to Bombay and he wanted them to be with me so that they could pack up and organise the logistics of  transporting their household stuff. They made a stop at Hyderabad enroute Bombay with our 15 year old Cindy in tow. I was a little nervous, but the dogs got along well and each time sage got too close she snapped at him and firmly put him in his place.

June finally brought in the much needed rains. Little did we know that they would not stop till the end of september!

I turned 40 in july! there was no lightening or earth shattering but I was happy and having a great hair day on my birthday. The month was a sad one. 4 of my dog boys on the street died. I had to put down one of my favourite fellows ~ Joy. A friend of ours passed away and ironically he was an insurance agent and didnt take out insurance for himself. I was happy to end the month actually.

August began quite well. I attended an unintentionally good cake decorating class with a baker friend. We learnt indelibly how not to conduct a session. It was a lot of money wasted. And a shit storm followed because my baker friend wrote a do's and dont's piece and posted it on fb and people easily put two and two together. Its staggering to what extent some folks will stoop to harass another even when the perpetrator is clearly at fault. In august we also took a three night trip to jaipur with a group of people I have never travelled with before and I have mixed feelings about the trip. The only bright spot was that we left Sage at home with our close friend J taking care of him and he was fine. When we got back he refused to acknowledge me for half an hour, then came and cuddled into my lap. The biggest change of the month was Amma and Appa moving into an apartment on the same floor as us. It happened after a lot of back and forth and I am so glad they are finally here.

September saw me take a three day trip to Bombay at the end of the month, otherwise the month was pretty nondescript. Amma has shrunk considerably and become a shadow of herself. The move to  Bombay came with a huge upheaval and Amma and my brother were left battling the storm and anchoring the boat. When it happened, we didn't realise it, but it has taken its toll on her quite strongly. I felt guilty that I had not done enough and seeing her made me even more guilty. She turned 79 and I have never been so grateful for her life and example.

October was spent being busy with classes and having no time to think of anything else. We were enjoying the presence of K's family. Our routine now is to go there for morning coffee, I have stopped turning on the coffee filter since they moved. I pop in for atleast a couple of hours a day and both K and I spend a considerable amount of time there. It is lovely and reassuring to have them around. Sage is so confused and excited at the same time, running between the two homes. End of the month he had a bad epileptic attack and I simply shrank from the reality of it all. He recovered quickly, I cannot say the same about myself. Sometimes I wonder how this is all going to end, I dont like what I see. Amma and Rachel were here for the Diwali break and I had to skip my friend M's wedding in bangalore because I couldn't leave sage and travel even for a day. As I agonised over the decision, my 10 year old niece comforted me with "she's your friend, she will understand" and she did. M told me she understands and that nothing was more important than his health and I should take no guilt on this whole thing

I have only one significant memory for November, we celebrated our 14th anniversary with an epic dinner for two at Fisherman's wharf.

December saw some press coverage for me in The Hindu and I was beyond awkward at the photoshoot, but humbled at the response to the article. Calls and texts poured in from friends, family and students for weeks after. I had a busy month, but it was fun. I had a Christmas tea party at the studio for friends and had such fun putting it together. 23rd was K's 40th and we had a pretty good party for him at home. I was left with no energy to do anything for Christmas. We did have the tree and the cake didnt turn out great, but it was a nice quiet time with family, white wine and a spectacular Vegetable dum biryani that I made.

As the year came to a close, I remarked that it was a pretty good year for me and the Hyderabad part of the family. Not so good for Amma and my brother. The bad health, the move, the upheaval and finally settling in has left her depleted. I hope I will be able to spend a lot more time with her in 2018. the move that K's family has made was for the better. It has worked out beautifully and has added value to each member of the family.

I look back at the year in gratitude for all it has given me individually and us as a family. I have nothing but thanks.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Jan 5 ~ A time I dont want to forget

I never want to forget 2013. The year brought with it so much strife. I dont want to forget how it made me rely only on myself, my instinct and my resolve. I do not know from where I had the strength and courage to not lose my mind as I took on each day. It changed me as a person. For the better. But I craved for simpler times.

Never forget

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Jan 4 ~ I am looking forward to

This month is all about the trip. I have a session on saturday at the studio and I cannot wait to be done and head out. I just cannot keep calm. I have a few things planned at each of the four locations we will be in and even if I don't do everything, I am just too excited to be taking a proper vacation after 2 years. The last one was to wayanad in Nov. 2015.

I want to eat and sleep, take long walks, explore the towns we will be at and just enjoy this long pending and much deserved holiday!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Jan 3 ~ Describe your day in ten words

watched over sage like a hawk, severe skin infection, possibly preictal

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Jan 2 ~ Three Goals for the month

1. Travel ~ we planned a huge trip, long pending one and kind of like a bucket list thing. We leave hyderabad on 7th morning. Cannot wait.

2. Skin care ~ day and night routine. I have buggered my skin so badly, have battled adult acne for the last year and now have finally given up and am trying to have a more hygienic (wash face before bedtime) and moisturise routine.

3. Daily activity ~ Even tho I am going to be on holiday I need to keep up the walking and exercise routine. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Clean slate

What are you most looking forward to?

I'm starting a 30 day journaling project. I hope to write based on the prompts of the day. This is the only way I think I'll get back to putting words out. And seeing and reflecting upon them once done.

I've always loved that about looking back. Which is one of the reasons I began to keep a Diary at age 11. I still have some of those that I wrote in my late teens and early twenties.

This month we are taking a long awaited vacation. Me, k and sage. We will drive along one of the coasts of India and stop at a few places for a few days each. I'm looking forward the most to this. Our last vacation was in oct 2015. For a couple that travelled at least 3 times a year, they're becoming rarer and fewer and after a lot of should we should we not, a few false starts and a few plans being abandoned, we're finally less than a week away.

This is also the first long trip with our new car and I'm excited for the comfort it's going to give us.

For the year ahead I have no extra thoughts and definitely no resolutions. I have stated taking care of my skin. I won't say better, because I buggered it over the past year and didn't wait for the dawn of a new year to begin better care. I definitely want to go back to our eating schedule once vacation is over. Own fewer things, purge physical and mental stuff and do a deep clean of the house once a month.

Work wise I want to do more classes, introduce an after school program for kids and grow my Instagram for the studio. Contemplating some other stuff but it's just fluff for now.

2017 was one of the nicest years for me personally. I want to write about it soon, once I'm able to gather my thoughts.

I'm excited for 2018.

I'm ready.