Season of sickness again

The season of sickness persists in our house. Chiyaa barely recovered from her infection and I was caught by a horrible throat infection. As if the throat infection was not enough I got a bout of mastitis. It was severely painful and ended up throwing everything off gear. K had to take care of a lot of household stuff. Maybe it was God's way of ensuring the inaction I craved. A week passed with recovery being slow. I was slowly regaining my sense of taste and appetite. 

Last Friday once Chiyaa was back, K noticed some pustules on her back and neck. We were unable to get through to a gp but we got some advice from the helpline towards chicken pox. We were crest fallen. She had barely recovered from the last onslaught. We ploughed through Saturday but Sunday had us concerned since Chiyaa seemed to be having a lot more rash and very high fever. We went to the out of hours clinic and the poor kitten was diagnosed with chicken pox and a bacterial infection of the throat and nose. Her temperature was very high and the doctor advised us to keep it around 38 degrees C. If it did not come to that neighbourhood, we were to visit the doctor again. After 4 hours the temperature was reducing but still in the high range we were advised to get to the out of hours clinic again. It was depressing to note so many little ones waiting to be seen by the doctor. Honestly the healthcare system in the county is in tatters, all these tiny tots should ideally be seen by a normal doctor and not an emergency practitioner. The doctor asked us to keep a tab for one more day and if the temperature persisted she would need medical attention.

We came back and somehow pushed some fluids into her. She was in no mood to eat or drink and in the whole day had consumed only a tiny bit of chocolate. Sunday night was relatively ok since she was knocked out by the meds. Monday there was more of an outbreak . K took permission to work from home since we needed an additional pair of hands. Pumpki was relatively so calm. She too had a temperature on Sunday night, which got us worried about an infection. Chances are bleak that she will come out unscathed, but we are keeping our fingers crossed that both the kids are not poorly at the same time. 

There have been quite a few sleepless nights. Seeing her writhe in pain and groaning is the worst possible sight. All we hope for is the little ones pain to come down and her health to be restored.

Didn't I say no more action?

Yes literally 2 days back and now I am back to post something. Which means obviously something must have happened. And something has -but don't worry not the scale of tricks Mr.Modi or Mr. President Elect can pull ( by the way have you noticed how the whole world calls him President Elect? Is he like the president of the whole world? I don't think the UN President Elect being called so universally! Who cares about the UN now a days anyways, even the president of Philippines  doesn't :P And there I go digressing again)

Coming back to what happened. So Chiyaa has resumed school and she is still a bit under the weather. Today as usual dad and daughter started at 0820. The kids go in at 0845 and K is back home by 0900 ish. Today the clock ticked to 0910 - no sight of K. Well might have stopped to re-fuel the car. 0920 - no sight of K. Might have bumped into a colleague or a might be speaking to the teacher in detail. 0930 - no sight of K ....hmmmm ... a bit worrying. He was complaining of a severe backache in the morning - had he hurt himself and driven straight to A&E? People who have been with me long enough might know of my vivid imaginations. Was Chiyaa ok? Did she take a turn for the worse and warrant  medical attention? What was I to do with Pumpki with me? I had no idea where to start 'looking'. 

I called school but no one picked.  The office must have been busy with the drops. K had left his phone I decided I would call a colleague of his and let him know of the situation. The clock had ticked to 0935 by now. And I would call a cab and start to school. But first I had to feed Pumpki so that she was at ease. 0940 and I heard the click in the door. 'PLEASE TAKE YOUR PHONE WITH YOU DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW WORRIED I HAVE BEEN?' K replied very calmly ' I know but it was a total mind ****' . And then he told the story very liberally interspersed with expletives. 

Today was Pudsey Bear Pyjama Day at school. So everyone came to school in their PJs. The teaching staff, the kitchen staff - everyone, everyone! Chiyaa got down from the car and could sense she was the odd one out in her school uniform and started crying. She was very reluctant to go to class and felt very ill at ease inspite of daddy convincing her. Daddy being a softie in the hands of his first born, promised the teacher 'I will be back' (ooooo Schwarzenegger) . He drove to the nearest shop (mind you it was before 0900 so he had to drive to a super market to get clothes). He bought Frozen themed pjs and drove to school. He got her dressed and came back home - a bit late. 

Phew! I was so proud of K. But still he was on the wrong so I wanted to have the last word ' Don't forget your phone at home.' Well... the last word was not supposed to be mine since wham! came his reply 'Please don't forget s*** like this '

No more action

That was the very sensible advice I received from my sister. There has been way too much action... Would put any James Bond and Ethan Hunt put together to shame. 

First we had Pumpki. We had to deal with getting her documents sorted before the trip to India  which involved quite a bit of travel at break neck speed. K moved places. We moved places. We moved countries for a few months when the kids and I got to have a wonderful wondrous Indian summer. Once back there were some major upheavals on the job front. These were reason for much tension, a look out for new job, juggling of kids, some difficult conversations and return to ground zero. 

There was something happening all the time. There was no time to just sit back without something  to analyse, discuss or brainstorm. It was never ending. But there were so many permutations and combinations of cause and effect that it was impossible to let things go. That's when my sister said 'no more action'. She asked me to sit back and let things run their course for once. What's the worst that could happen. And I am so grateful to her for showing me the light. Yes literally, the power to chose is actually an illusion (courtesy The Matrix). So I have decided to sit back and enjoy the show. I have even given up on exercising and counting calories. 

Early in the year we had got a school, denied the school, researched how to apply for a new school and followed up with municipal authorities across counties for a place. Chiyaa started school and as with other changes she did not take to it so well. She used to cry when being sent to school initially. Till now when she has reached a point when she cried when I told her she won't be going to school! Why? Well she has been rather unwell. The usual cough and cold kept bothering her for a week or so till last Friday she was wrecked by fever. The fever got in to a rash that spread across her body along with diarrhoea. There was a perceptible swelling on her face on Sunday which made us reach out to emergency care. The doctor figured it was a bad case of viral infection which had unleashed a full on attack. A fungus joined hands and  caused an infection in her mouth which made eating and drinking a torture for her. She gave us the required meds and we have been seeing a remarkable improvement. So she had been off school for the past two days. 

Talk about I more action and literally  there has been no movement since Friday evening. We are holed up with the television running kiddy shows. Thankfully K had his wfh facilities enabled last week which came as manna from heaven. I wanted inactivity albeit not in this format. I keep thinking of being careful what I ask for. Here is hoping there is peaceful inactivity till the end of the year *fingers crossed *

Receding images

Since this place in the World Wide Web is a repository for anything and everything I write, here is a short story I put forth for a contest.

Uma was the one to leave. Sitting in the rickshaw drawing away from her grandmother's home. Such wonderful memories - the afternoons filled with games, delicious mangoes, scrumptious food - over and over again. A summer vacation that should not end. Those beautiful times overridden by a single image - the lonely figure of her grandmother belittled against the grand arcade, waving her hand. And Uma, waving hers, till the rickshaw bent round the corner and she could not see her beloved grandmother any more. Maybe she kept waving her hand beyond that.... she could still visualise the frail figure in the white sari still waving. As she made the overnight journey back home, routine would take over. How Uma wished, the idyllic vacation carried on. But reality consisted of school, tuitions and exams. One day she would be a grown up and then she would not leave any one. She would always be around the ones she loved, she would do whatever she wanted to do. Isn't that what grown ups did?

But before Uma got there, she had to go through college. A small price to pay for a life of independence. The best college was in another city. Just four years of staying away from family and then everything would be a lot right. Her parents came to drop her at her hostel. She was scared of the strange surroundings. She was petrified. How Uma wished to lie on her mother's lap and keep listening to her father regale them with stories of the day at the university. But she had to get ready and bid them adieu. She went to the bus station. She held on to her mother's outstretched hand till the bus started moving. Then she waved. Kept waving. The bus receded to the size of a match box. She kept waving. She was not sure if she was waving to the bus or to two random rear lights. A sudden breeze brought her back. Four years would pass within the blink of an eye. But the four years would consist of many trips home. Trips to savour her mother's cooking, her father's stories, even see her grandmother who had become even more frail in built. 

Though she missed her parents, through college, she made priceless friends. Friends with whom she could open up. Tell her secrets, share her fears, show her anger and cry her tears. Friends with whom there was no pretence, with whom there was no vested interest. Four years was not long enough to have all the chats, go for all the fun trips, eat in all the roadside stalls. Four years ago with tear filled eyes she had said goodbye to her parents. She was again on the threshold of saying goodbye. Her head out of the window of the bus, she waved. Waved till the friends merged with the trees, till her hands went numb, till her eyes hurt and fell asleep. She would see her parents the next morning. 

College was over. A job beckoned. A bigger separation. A bigger city. Isn't being in a fast city on your own what being grown up is all about? Earning  a living, having fun with new friends, meeting those crucial deadlines and partying till the morning hours. But what about her real dream? Of being close to those few people she really loved. Having those friends around her, with whom she could open up - not people she would just 'hang' out with. Maybe once she had enough money she could have this dream. For then she would not need to work. She could just be - with her parents, her friends, her simple wishes of tea and conversations. 

Though it was naive of her to think so. Of course she had to go on and build a family of her own. She had to get married to the most capable man - qualified, cultured and caring. Just that he did not even live in the same country. The distances seemed to have a way of their own. They kept expanding. Earlier she could touch and see her family as she moved on. Standing in the departure lounge of the massive airport, she was separated by ropes from her parents. She held on to their finger tips. She kept looking back, to what seemed like her mother's vermilion streaked head, her father's spectacles. She lost balance on the escalator since she was more interested in spotting the pieces of her heart she was leaving behind. She sat in the plane and looked out, she did not have the luxury of waving them goodbye one last time. She had no clue what her parents were doing? Were they crying? Or were they happy that she was going towards a good life? Or was their heart also split in the middle - trying to catch a glimpse of any plane that flew over head and imagining their child in it.

She made a life in a country that was not her own. She made acquaintances, not friends. She had people to talk to, people to listen - but not her parents. Her children grew in a whirlwind of school runs, swimming classes, music lessons and holiday clubs. She wished she could keep them close to her. But she was wiser. She hugged them a bit tighter when they came back home, she stayed a bit longer after they had drifted off to sleep, she cooked them special dishes even if they said they were fine. She stayed up when they studied, she sat through their sports classes, she lathered them with every bit of love her body could summon. She knew one day they would go, leaving the house silent but echoing with their voices, clean but with a halo of a sock there of a bag here, empty but full of memories. She knew time would time would play spoil sport. She had prepared long. But was any amount of preparation enough to steel ones heart to separation? Her little ones were ready to leave the nest. They hugged and cried. Uma bit her lips and stroked their hair and asked them to be strong till the next time they met. As they walked away, she stood waving, weeping silent tears. She wanted to shout, to scream, to run and hug them once more, to smother them with kisses. But she stood, waving, as she saw her children become one with the melee.

Uma knew life would be an endless waiting game. Waiting for her children to call, waiting for their homecomings during term breaks. They were shackled by assignments, projects, courses. At least  she had time for elaborate conversations with her people. She had technology too. Till the letter arrived. A letter in a company letterhead. A company she had never heard of. She did not understand when she read it the first time. She read it again.... something to do with her being appointed as the chief translator of a firm that would sell handloom products from a small town in India. The town seemed familiar. The name of the signatories looked familiar. She collected herself. Her children had given her the gift of going back to her dream by giving her a job. 

After two decades she sat on a flight clutching her husband's hand. Seemed like yesterday when she dug her fingernails into his palms to stop her sorrow filled heart from choking her. She sat again feeling bubbles in her stomach as she made the trip back home - for good. Her parents were there to receive her. Coming down the escalator, she saw them as mirages through her tear filled eyes. Slowly like a lens adjusting itself, they came into focus. She wailed when she hugged them. She was back... not to go leave, but for good. The ornate door of her grandmother's house welcomed her. She was back....not for a vacation... but for good.



First ever term holiday

I am this person who unnecessarily panics when it comes to kids. I should not be admitting it publicly , as no one will take me seriously when I raise a concern about kids again! But then yeah.

I was at my wits end with respect to Chiyaa 's school admission. And once she started school, I was all antsy regarding her food, her pick up drop , her everything. Little did I realise, the turnip is a good and relatively problem free child(Touchwood). Anyhoo, me being me was all jittery when her half term holidays came up. What was I going to do with her at home all day? How was I going to handle 2 kids? How was I going to manage all the house work? Boy was I dreading the forthcoming 5 days. 

Day1: we could all snooze till -730! Wow! Since I had the whole day, there was no need for me to get agitated regarding Chiyaa 's breakfast. Murphy's law, she in fact had her breakfast all by herself. I booked the tickets for the movie Storks. It was to be an experience, since this was the first time I was going for a movie with the two girls and with no Daddy to help. To top it Pumpki is not a pint sized infant who can be smothered to sleep anymore. Madam has her moods now. So fingers crossed, I ventured. The kids were extremely well behaved. I had been bit of a conniving mother in not letting Pumpki sleep till the movie. So one feed in the theatre and bam! The nuclear arsenal was contained ;) I loved the movie. It is brilliant and I would recommend it. Movie done, we had some toasties at subway and then were on our way back.

Day2: again a lazy start. Awesome! I was definitely getting used to the extra slumber and the absence of 0830 dash to school. We ventured out on a trip to the town centre. Towards lunch we caught up with K and then spent some time in the grounds. Chiyaa and Pumpki went crazy on the swings and slides. 

Day3: It was a cold and murky day and we decided to stay indoors. It was wonderful to see both the girls play. I was dreading how was I going to manage the two divas at home, and here they were playing with each other and in fact making things a bit easy for me. Evening we went outside for a small stroll in the town centre. Now on the way back, Chiyaa managed to throw a grand tantrum for which she received an earful. I admit I should have been a bit more patient. I so often fail when it comes to her :(

Day4: I had a work related meeting in another town. So daddy had to take care of them. Boy was I nervous. I was reminded of the one weekend  when I had to leave Chiyaa in K's care. This time there were two of them. But K was a cool customer, no nervousness whatsoever! I was finicky and made arrangements to the N th detail. I realised K had roped in his best friend Mr. Technology. The kids were just fine and the house was in order. I had some deliberations and was a bit busy brainstorming. I let Chiyaa and Pumpki play at home and watch TV. 

Day5: the holidays seemed to have begun only yesterday! I planned to take the kids to an indoor play area. But once we reached we found it closed for a Halloween party. So we decided to go to our old favorite open play ground. Since the sun was shining, it was simply amazing to hang out. 

Saturday was a hot summer day in October and the kids simply went crazy in the park. It was also Diwali for K's side of the family so there was some special food around. Sunday was Diwali for me and we visited the temple, but I am not sure why I didn't feel it much this time. Diwali is my most favourite festival and this year got over and I don't feel it made a dent. I am not sure if it has to do with all the things uncertain on our plate or being in a new place, but now that it's over I miss it:(

Anyways what's done is done. I rue the foolishness with which I was searching for 'things to do in autumn break' while all I had to do was be around. The first ever term break is over and I am so looking forward to the next 6 weeks to get over so that the Christmas break starts. After that I have to condition myself to get back to work, get ready to leave the 2 muchies and generally for the good times to end. The end of a break for me.