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.

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