Today I am going to write about that special person in my life without whom I simply cannot imagine my present or my future!
One of the main reasons I am able to fulfill the dual, highly-demanding roles of a full-time home-maker and a full-time professional is the constant support of my partner.
Thanks to the understanding we share, I can smoothly adjust my daily routine to accommodate the unanticipated (yet omnipresent) maladies of ordinary life, such as an early morning meeting at office, a late night call from home, a doctor's appointment or an impromptu social visit.
In the hectic times we live in today, stressful situations often arise, and arguments/misunderstandings in relationships are common. However, through our actions, we have managed to mutually overcome any misunderstandings. Indeed, actions speak louder than words in our case, for neither my partner can understand any of the 5 languages that I can speak (Kutchi, Gujarati, Hindi, English, Telugu) nor can I follow my partner's native tongue (Tamil)!
Yet, language has never with held Sandammai from being so much more to me than just a house-help. Amma, as we address her, has sensed and comforted me when I missed my parents and home, taken care of me when I was unwell, saved my life (from cockroaches and lizards) on multiple occasions - according to me this takes courage of the highest order, and above all talked to me...yes that has meant a great deal for me.
Our general conversations - Amma sharing her thoughts, listening to mine - words never fully understood on either side but meaning always conveyed - have always left me rejuvenated and more importantly, over a period of time, played a huge role in kindling in me a sense of belonging to Chennai.
'Marriage and therefore relocation to Chennai' is much harder than 'marriage and therefore relocation to XYZ city in India'. Despite being a metro, Chennai is very difficult to gel into because of the language barrier that permeates almost every interaction in this city, at home and outside. And so I am very grateful to having Amma in my life, because bonding with her has made me feel a part of this city, where I am to spend the rest of my life.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
I had written this short story a long time back...reading it again today felt so good!...no boasting but I think it's a nice, inspirational story and would be a great addition to my blog, so here goes:
It was around 6:30 AM on January 18, 2010…Tania was about to reach her coaching classes, she was going on a scooty her friend Shilpa was driving. Just then, two men on a motorcycle came in speeding from the wrong direction on the one-way road. Shilpa managed to avoid colliding with the motorcycle but hit the footpath instead. While she managed to keep her balance, Tania was tossed in the air and fell on the ground with a thud, her head hitting the pavement.
Having heard the noises, their classmates came rushing down and took them to the hospital. While Shilpa only suffered some scars on her legs, doctors said Tania required a brain surgery immediately – a clot had formed in the right side of her brain, and she was bleeding profusely from the mouth, nose, and ears…
…“No…don’t…please!!”…tears welled up in Dhruv’s eyes…the nurse was shaving Tania’s head as she lay unconscious on the stretcher. He stood there helpless, watching his beautiful younger sister’s long and silky hair being shaved off.
Tania gazed at her head in the mirror, hair had started to grow. “It’s close to two months today,” she thought. “Tanu, come eat the almond sheera,” her thoughts were interrupted by her mother’s voice. “Augh”, muttered Tania. She disliked sweets, yes – despite being a Gujju.
She quickly tied the scarf over her head and went to the dining table. As she grumpily ate the sheera, her mom sat looking at her, and glimpses of that horrid day came rushing to her mind…
…She and her husband were in a state of shock. Dr Nadkarni, the neurosurgeon, tried to reassure them – “You both need to be strong. She needs you…Trust me, she will be fine.”
“Mom! I will be fine”, said Tania, sensing her mother worrying again, and jerked her out of her thoughts. Tania smiled, her right cheek hurt a little. She took her parents’ blessings and left to write her exam – it was her last paper today. She left with Kajal, her little sister, who was going to school.
“Can I see her? Please…It’s been two days,” Kajal looked at her Dad hopefully…
…Kajal appeared amused as nurses put on the green robe and mask on her and hurried her into the ICU. “What a clean place this is”, she thought as she walked along.
Suddenly she stopped. She saw her Tanu Di on a bed some distance away – she looked so weak… head covered in bandage…struggling to open her mouth and drink the milk…Tania spotted her too and called out, “Hey Kiddo!”...
“Hey Kiddo! Exams over…am a free bird”, Tania said excitedly, gesturing with her arms spread out, as Kajal opened the door.
Everyone said it was impossible – a major brain surgery and writing the final year graduation exams two months from then – but Tania was determined…
“You can do it!” she would say aloud to herself in the mirror each morning. Starting with the almond sheera, her everyday routine involved a lot of care, effort, and above all – will power. She had to do facial physiotherapy exercises twice a day. She meditated for one hour every evening and listened to devotional music, to rid her mind of those traumatic memories. She could not read for more than an hour at a stretch, her head ached. But she never gave up…
Tonight, when she returned to her room after having dinner, she looked at the mirror. She smiled, and her right cheek hurt once again. This time, she said, “You did it!”