Posted in Goa, Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Politics, travel, True Story, Inspirational

Destination Goa (Part 8)

writers-block-image-472jpg

As they say it’s been a long time between drinks.  But in my case there has been many drinks but not much writing.  What are the excuses that I can pin it on … broken finger, work and possibly a lack of interest or if I am to be totally honest and say addiction to Asian Teledramas. I know how stupid it sounds but I think it was an escapism. Started with watching Japanese dramas with subtitles with the excuse of learning the language, then I ran out of Jap dramas so I merged to Taiwanese so I started to learn a bit Mandarin.  I have now progressed to Korean.  Finding Korean hard to learn.  Its a bit like French and German, similar grammar patterns but German has a stronger accent making it hard to pronounce than Japanese.  The two subjects I started to write about has brought about the writers block.  What I am finding out is that travelling is great but writing about it is not so much.

The other piece that I am currently writing is about my friend whom I lost in the civil war in Sri Lanka.  In all my other writings/stories I hardly had to think about the audience.  But, somehow in this one I am aware of the audience.  Not necessarily because I am scared to upset the Sri Lankan readers, I think the issues that I am touching upon are necessary for reconciliation, it’s an actual snapshot of real life in a war torn country, along with other social issues, in my opinion an unbiased recount of evils of both sides.  I am not by any means condoning Terrorism but, I do visit the possible reasons for the birth of one.  In this regard feel it’s an important topic for the current climate in the world.  Prevention is always better than a cure.  My reason for writing this story is probably as most times to heal my heart of losing my dear friend Lalith.  I have probably a lot of anger inside me regarding this.  But the irony is I come from the clan that killed him.  I haven’t settled on a title either.  I have changed it so many times “Friendship and war”, “Friend from the other side”, “Friendship across enemy lines” the last one I have come up with is “Ammba Yalluwa” which translates to something like childhood friend/soul mate.  I think I might settle with that.

I am usually not worried about offending someone when I write, but in this story I am and that is really having an effect on my writing.  Discussing this with my son, he started to say, you can’t really worry about offending people, it’s your thoughts, it’s your reasoning, it’s your point of view.  I get that but this subject is a hard one.  This is not a subject where I tell a Christian what I think of his Anti Gay sentiments.  The wounds go deeper than that in this.  As a Tamil who lived amongst the Sinhalese and understood them way better than my own kith and kin from Jaffna (north of Sri Lanka) my so called unbiased views may not sit well with those who were tortured by the Sri Lankan Army. My views on why Terrorism grew in Sri Lanka will not be accepted by the Sinhalese either.  My sister-in-laws friend and mum who had to witness her two brothers and her dad being burnt alive will never accept my theories and explanations about the Sinhalese.  Lalith’s family never thought that all tamils were terrorists and they all had to die.  However, wrong that theory is, I will have to accept that anger.  Arj (my son) said something that really hit the nail.  “Emotions aren’t rational, there is no way you could explain to kid in Syria that the Americans are nice people”  All that kid has, heard, seen and experienced is the opposite.  It is such a charged subject, I want to do justice to this story, but I am so torn as well.

I started to write about Goa and I have written two paragraphs of my other project.  So, lets start about Goa.  Today’s topic is Goan food, music and culture.

Maybe the reason I fell in love with Goa is due to the similarities of Goa and Sri Lanka. They were both Portuguese Colonies and hence the similarities I guess.  But it’s just uncanny how similar Goa is to Sri Lanka and how different it is to the rest of India.

326

The above is stuffed okra.  That was one of my favourite dishes (that I took a photo of before digging into it first).  I don’t think Sri Lanka has a stuffed okra dish, but similar to stuffed banana chillies.   Similar dishes are pan rolls (in sri lanka we call them Chinese rolls not sure why because I don’t think the Chinese are aware of that roll), muscat (Goan’s call it Bibinka) and Thothal

muscat muscat thothal thothal

The best thing about it is that they view these as possible breakfast items and it is on the hotel breakfast buffet.  Yes, of course I thought I was in heaven.

The curries are so different to the normal Indian Cuisine.  A curry with the Rechad spice mix a must try.  Fish is big in Goa.  Not sure, if the laws have changed in the recent months but at the time we were there, Goa is one of the places in India where you can buy beef and alcohol in Restaurants rather freely.  Most places in India have a ban on beef due to the cow being a revered animal as most of them claim to be Hindu’s.  Not sure which part of Hinduism says its okay to eat all other meats but not beef, per my understanding of the religion all meats were out as it was considered to be killing another animal.  I guess that’s another argument/beef (sorry for the dad pun, couldn’t help myself) for another day.

Clothing/culture:  Goa is still kind of part of South India.  The South India that I know is very conservative.  Goa not so much or not at all.  It’s a party town.  Again very similar to Sri Lanka, Negambo in particular.  Night life is very alive, and not just filled with tourists, this is mainly by the locals.  Ladies in pretty sexy clothes, having a drink or two or more. Nothing atrocious, but no conservative woman in a saree with flowers in her hair sitting quietly in a corner.

Music: At these live music places its all English music, the one place we were at was all 80’s gems.  But their local music is very similar to the Sri Lankan Baila.  Again I think we can thank the Portuguese for that.

Ok the above is just a clip from the youtube to give you an idea of the Goan music, next I will post one from the Sri Lankan Baila to show you the similarities

 

Memories are a bit vague now, but I think the two places that we tried out was Tito’s and Kohi bar.  Personal preference is Tito’s but I guess for the young ones Kohi Bar may be more attractive.

Just like in Sri Lanka Goa produces a lot of Spices as well Cashews.  Cashew snacks are very similar to Sri Lanka as well.  They go one better and have produced an alcohol drink with it as well called “Feni”, Looks clear like Vodka, as a shot it feels pretty potent, but great in a cocktail.

285

I like to end it here for today.  Adeus (good bye in Konkani – Goan language)

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Goa, India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, travel, True Story, Inspirational, Word prompt

Destination Goa (Part 3)

passport

 

Passport – check, Tickets – check, Phone – check, Phone – charger check, Ipad – check, Thyroxin – check.  I was anxious that I was going to leave something behind.  I was already anxious about this trip but to make things worse, just days before the departure, the Indian Government called in all the 500RS notes.  This in turn caused a massive shortage of money in the country.  Also couldn’t buy any Indian currency in Australia. And we heard reports that there were massive queues at atm machines and banks. “just our luck” we thought.

I was anxious of the unknown safety issues, I was excited about meeting my buddy and having a well earned break, I was sad about leaving hubby, son and my baby dog, (well I had to include and hubby and son to avoid judgement. But then again no shame in admitting that I was glad to lose them for a week or so to get a bit of rest, but my doggy on the other hand, I am really going to miss him).  Those droopy eyes were telling me “mummy don’t leave me”.

Australian immigration – it took me all of 5 minutes to clear.  Just like Jim Jeffreys said, Aussie airport and it’s security practices/measures are rather unique.  Not exactly unique but definitely very different to most other airports.   Don’t get me wrong, it is safe as anywhere can be.  But, just don’t have the same panic and stress ridden atmosphere.  The guy checking your passport, no sorry there is no guy checking your passport, a machine does matching for you. You have almost no human contact.  You see plenty of humans, but no one seems to care about you, they just want you to just piss off, without giving chance to form a queue.  You will be rushed through automatic sliding door after door and you are now way too early for your flight.

Took my tablet out and started to write, continuation of my story “friendship and war…” well I haven’t settled on the heading yet.  With all the travel plans I hadn’t touched this for sometime.  Read the last page I had written, did some editing.  Then continued on with the story.  Couple of times I stopped and glanced around to see what everyone else was doing.  It looked like they were practicing boredom.

Finally time to board.  Once again I had to smile sheepishly at the young good looking guy, well not sure if he was good looking, but he was definitely tall and ask him if he could put my hand luggage up in the overhead locker.  He was only too happy to oblige. Again not sure if he was happy as such, but nevertheless helped the short damsel in distress.

The problem with living in Australia is that, it is really down, down down there.  And also it is a such a huge country.  And if you are from South Australia, it takes nearly 3 hours before you can leave your own fricking country.  I watched a movie and some comedy skit on a tiny screen, with screen moving as per the front persons movements.  It was better to get back to writing.  I put the tablet on my lap rather than on the moving tray table.

Drinks cart was a welcome interruption.  “Sav Blanc” didn’t taste like any “Sav Blanc ” I’ve ever tasted.  But it was free.  Also, this was the beginning of the “girls” holiday.  So, I convinced myself, “holiday begins now”. So rubbish Sav blanc or not I had to have it.  But all in all it wasn’t too bad a flight.  Spoke to hubby from the airport.  Sent a couple of messages to Jan. But she didn’t answer.  She must have been still mid air.

I did some window shopping.  I planned what  to buy on my return journey.  Had a cup of tea, a massage, visited the butterfly garden and time passed.  Time for my next flight. The one that I was most anxious and nervous about.  Mumbai here I come.

 

Cont…

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/passport/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/security/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/luck/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/clean/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/automatic/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/nervous/

 

 

Posted in India, Sri Lanka, travel, True Story, Inspirational

Destination Goa (part 2)

Goa beach

We both liked the sound of Goa.  We started to do more research about the place from the internet as well as from known people.  Glenn was great at calming my nerves. As well as giving me valuable information about the place and giving me tips on the do’s and don’ts.  We got to know Glenn through my youngest son.  He was the Director for many of the drama productions my son was involved in.  Glenn is white on the outside but truly an Indian on the inside.  He visits and at times lives in India for long periods. At this particular time he was living in Mumbai and regularly visiting Goa.

The advise we heard from many was to avoid South Goa.  Russian mafia seems to have an influence in that part of Goa and makes it an unsavoury place for Tourists.  But, then again it would depend on your age group and your interests I think.  Glenn summed it up nicely.  He said South Goa for Russians is like Bali for Aussies.  Glenn also gave me places to eat and have a drink.  Places where if I say his name and said I was Glenn’s friend I would be treated well.

I also had a chat to another friend and work colleague.  She was from Goa, or her family was from Goa.  She was born in Africa but her family originally comes from Goa and she still had many cousins who lived there.  She gave me a array of phone numbers, just in case we needed some help.

Armed with places to eat and phone numbers to call we were now feeling a lot more confident in booking our flights and accommodation.

Once again my buddy became a fly at the buffet.  For weeks we were stripping Trip Advisor website to shreds. Every review was scrutanised.  In the meantime one of her friends parted the words “you must stay at Taj holiday village”.  https://vivanta.tajhotels.com/en-in/holiday-village-goa/

We had looked at this previously (many a times I might add), but now when we were finally ready to book, they did not have the dates available.  The only option given to us was that they could accommodate us for the last two of the dates of our holiday.  Jan was happy to take it, I was happy to take any thing.  Horray, at least two days of our holidays we had a bed to sleep on.

So now we had to find another place for the beginning.  Finally we settled on Acron Waterfront.  In a way it was good that we did not get more than two days to stay at Taj as it was very pricey.   https://www.acronwaterfrontresortgoa.com/

Along with trying to get accommodation in Goa, we also tried our best to align our itineraries. So, for me it was Aus to Singapore, Singapore to Mumbai, Mumbai to Goa.  I was supposed to reach Mumbai around 9.00pm and then our flight to Goa was next morning at 5.00am.  Jan after her million flights would reach Mumbai at 1.00am and leave for Goa on the same flight as me at 5.00am.  Return journey, we would reach the airport at the same time but I leave to Mumbai and she would to Bangalore to get her connection for Kerala. This way we thought we could share the same cab/shuttle to and from the airport.  Strength in numbers was our thinking.

I had a five or six hour stay in Singapore. I wasn’t concerned about that, I love that airport.  I could spend a whole day without any trouble, my credit card might, but I have no issues of a lengthy stay at Singapore airport.  On the other hand I was rather worried about my stay at the Mumbai airport.  Found out that Mumbai had a Airport Transit hotel. So I made a booking for me, per my memory they do hourly or 4hr blocks. http://www.nirantahotels.com/

I was taking every precaution I could, I even bought a new handbag just for my travels. No, it wasn’t an excuse to buy another handbag.  All my handbags are designed so I could just dump stuff in there.  No zips or any other sealing mechanism.  So I bought one that had a zip, straps that I could put it across my shoulder.  All this to prevent the bag snatching.

Glenn kept assuring me that Mumbai was very safe and there was a lot of respect for “aunty” age people.  But, I kept thinking what would a “white man” know.  And he had just ticked me off by putting me in the “aunty” age group.  For the benefit of other possible travelers to India, the other advise given to me was mainly regarding water.  So only bottled water and no salads.

I did get a few jabs.  Can’t remember what they were for… possibly for Malaria, Hep B and Hep C and something else.  Not sure which Hep I took.  Sometimes people have natural immunity to one of them.  It’s best to do a blood test to find out if you have this natural immunity.  You need to start on the jabs about a month before.  My advise would be to check with your GP a month ahead rather than rely on the above information.

Applied online for the Indian Visa.  Be aware there are many bogus websites.  I guess one way to find out if you are in the right website is in the number of stupid questions asked. If you are in the right website, then you would need information on pretty much everyone and everything.  I was surprised they did not have a question about my cat.  It would have been hard to explain that I do not own a cat.  The problem also was that until you answer the question you cannot go to the next page.  My dad passed away 30 years ago, they needed his occupation, qualification etc. Anyway, I diligently got all the information and submitted my application as I did not want to be deported. I uttered “bloody Indians” many a times (don’t judge me yet, I am apologetic for my judgement by the end of the trip).  My visa arrived within about 2-3 days.

My dog was sulking as I started packing.

Cont….

 

Posted in India, Sri Lanka, True Story, Inspirational

Destination Goa (Part 1)

Goa_Beach_Map.jpeg

I have taken a long absence from writing with the excuse of my fractured finger.  Typing is still a bit of a challenge, but as each day passes, I feel the need to clang the keyboard. Writing is a time where I delve into my inner thoughts. It’s a time when I visualise the past and envisage the future.  It allows me to listen to reason and rationalise the events, behaviours of people, It is a modem for me to question the society.

My dear Keyboard I have missed you.  I felt this even more last night, when I was watching the movie “Finding Forester”.  I am no “Forester”, not even “Jamal Wallace”. But one line rang true to me.  I write for myself too.  No denying that, it gives me a sense of happiness/pride or just satisfaction when someone else acknowledges my writing and understands my message.  But at the time of writing, I very rarely give much thought to the reader.  I do want to tell my story, at times I do want to change the societies perceptions, so obviously I do think about an audience.  But most often it doesn’t occur to me until I have finished writing.  When Sean Connery says “start typing, then thoughts can come later” yes first I start typing and words and thoughts just follow.  It’s like talking I think, we don’t usually rehearse what we are going to say do we?

Well so much for writing about Goa, I’ve written more about writing.

I fell in love with Goa and vowed that I would write about it when I returned.  But a few tragic events in the family and life in general got in the way for the long silence.  I am not really a travel blogger, this is probably the first time I am going to write about a travel destination.  So bare with me if it doesn’t give you everything you want to hear about the place.

My intentions were not only to talk about Goa but also about my perceptions of India and how wrong was I in some of my preconceived ideas of the place and it’s people.

Not sure when Jan and I became friends.  We are kind of related, but everyone’s related in Sri Lanka.  I remember snippets of our childhood.  It was my grandfather’s funeral or after the funeral some ritual day.  All our rituals ends with a feast at the end of the day.  Both of us were sitting outside on a wall or ledge or something like that and eating a “Vadai”  (my son describes it as a savoury doughnut).  A crow swoops and pecks my head and snatches the “Vadai”.  We both screamed and then cried.  Our lives have always been that way since then.  We’ve screamed at cockroaches and then cried for one another for lives so called challenges or mishaps.  But, between the screaming and crying we didn’t forget to laugh together either.  And I guess that’s what friendships all about.

We never realised that our lives were going to be more intertwined by our marriages later on in our lives.  We didn’t attend the same school, We didn’t even live in the same city.  We usually met at weddings and other family gatherings.  Occasionally letters were written. We kept in touch and I knew she a girl who was kind hearted and I could rely upon. In my books she was a friend. Later in our lives, through a series of coincidences and maybe the thing called fate,  I married her brother and she married my first cousin who was like a brother to me, (his dad and my dad were twins and we both had no siblings of our own, so we grew up regarding each other as brother and sister).  We didn’t set out to marry each other’s brother.  But that’s what happened. This did bring upon our bond even closer.

Fate did have some twisted notions as well.  Fate took my cousin/brother away rather hurriedly, just like he did with my father and her mother.  Mr. Fate was planning similar things for my youngest son and me, but we had other plans and so we turned him down or have postponed the invite. Through all this our friendship grew stronger.  We became pretty strong women too.

We turned 50 last year.  Destination Goa was all due to that.  Jan and I don’t just live in different cities now, we live in different hemispheres.  She hails from Canada and I from Australia.

australiacanada.jpg

We decided we need to celebrate the fact that we’ve made it to 50. We wanted to go somewhere for a holiday, just the two of us, no kids, husbands or pets to worry about. Just the two us, sipping Champagne and being pampered was the key to this holiday. Our families were all up for it too.  Especially hubby wanted me to have a good time.

Planning was pretty tricky as Jan had limited leave and had a school reunion that was happening in Kerala (South India).  She wanted to have a holiday with me, then Kerala and wanted to see her dad in Sri Lanka at the end.  We didn’t know where to go.  We hashed around many ideas, a cruise around Burma and Cambodia, Dubai and Maldives all investigated. But, couldn’t really fit it in with latter part of her schedule being fixed.

She kept saying why don’t you come to India.  I was very reluctant as my previous trip to India wasn’t a pleasant one.  I have been to India a couple of times but mainly to the south.  Or that is the part that I remember.  When I was just a baby my dad had gone to New Delhi to do his Masters and I had lived there for 2 years, speaking Hindi very fluently.  At present I can only say “Acha”.  We had pretty much toured the whole of India at this time, including Kashmir.  But I don’t remember any of it.

Later when I was a mini teenager.  I do remember some of the temples and their imposing architecture.  But I also remember getting sick.  But the one after that was when I vowed never again.  Especially the Chennai airport.  To make things worse, my cousin had a bad experience just weeks before with the Indian Visa.  They were deported back to Australia for their own mistake and then allowed back in the next day.  Yes “huh?@?” is what comes to mind.

Eventually I gave in as all other destinations would mean that Jan would spend more time at different airport on transit than with me.  So we decided we will pick another city in India, so at least for her it will be just another internal flight to Kerala.  Now the task of picking a city in India.  Now, for all the amazing things about Jan, she could be a real pain in the rear when it comes to making a decision.  She is like a fly at a Buffet.  We or more like her started at Darjeeling – she wanted to feel the Himalayas.  I felt like “Asterix” banging his own head.   Anyway slowly I managed to settle her with Goa.

My hubby who was encouraging me on this holiday was now a bit reluctant.  He was not too keen on me going on my own to India.  To be honest I was very nervous too, after all the horror stories you hear about foreigners coming to harms way in countries like India and my cousin being deported back didn’t help my anxiety.

That’s all my finger can take it for today.  Cont….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in love, marriage, Sri Lanka, True Story, Inspirational

The Story of the “Dandelion Guy”

dance
Taken on my maiden voyage “MV Lanka Sri Mathi” 

To My Darling (but sometimes a pain in the neck) Husband

I want to tell you a story of a “Young man with a Dandelion”.

Thirty years ago on this date, a young man (slightly dashing I might add), took a garland and then a jewellery named “Thali” and said to this rather naïve and pretty thing, “well I am your husband from this day forward”

But the story begins way before that.  This said young man had apparently vowed that he was never going to get married (well that’s the story he is spinning currently, so I have to go with that)

It all changed when he tagged along with his sister to the Sri Lankan Tea fields.  His sister had a friend who lived in the picturesque hill country of Sri Lanka.  Couple of days of the fresh air and cups of tea somehow started to have an effect on this young man.

At the same time his sister’s friend had her own convictions.  This girl avoided all advances or even a suggestion by the opposite sex.  She sneered at girls who went gaga over boys.  In her mind that was all a waste of time.

She had a clear plan for her life, she was not going to even contemplate boys until she was 23 or 24 of years of age (there was a method in her madness, thought it might be a distraction until she finished university).  And when she was ready her suitor would be someone who was about the same age or not more than a 5 yr gap, No smokers, and only moderate drinkers were going to be even in the running.  Well she had no idea that she was going to throw away all these rules just for a dandelion.

The three of them (the guy, his sister and her friend) took a pretty innocent walk down the tea fields. There must have been a change in the wind direction.  Nothing else explains the rest of the events.  The guy suddenly plucks a dandelion by the way side and offers it to this girl.  Their eyes lock.  She thinks far out it’s just a dandelion.  They were laughing and talking about stupid things until then.  There was no build up for this.  There was no Andre’ Reiu or angels playing the harp.  Just a dandelion and maybe that special look but something changed in her.  Not sure what led the guy to pluck the dandelion.  But according to him, she was different than others; she had somehow gnawed into his brain.

Many things happened after that, some sad and some mundane. But after two years, so 30 yrs ago their journey together began.

 

This dashing charming but slightly arrogant young man thought that he was marrying a beautiful young girl, who would dance to all his whims, do all his chores, and he thought he was set for the rest of his blissful life. Boy was he in for a shock. Little did he realise that this girl, who wore a nice naive smile, who looked pensive and obedient was in fact, (when prodded) was rather bull headed and was exactly like him.

In spite of the clashing horns, there was still a lot of love that kept the unity twined together. Also the Dandelion guy learnt that he was mostly wrong and even when he doubted the verdict, it was still better for his safety and well being to apologise to his wife and listen to her.  So obviously they lived happily ever after. (Time to time he forgets but he soon learns his mistakes)

 

 

The girl does have a few messages for the Dandelion guy.

Thank you for the Dandelion.

Thank you for the German erasers you stole from the ship

Thank you for being there for me when my dad died

Thank you for marrying me

Thank you for caring for my mum as your own

Thank you for all the encouragement and being honestly proud of me when I was studying, you even cooked pizza for me when I got back late from College.  And you hate cooking.

Thank you for giving me two beautiful kids

Thank you for always thinking about us before you

Thank you for accepting my friends as yours.  Especially accepting Lalith means a heck of a lot for me.

Thank you for being there for all the highs and lows of the Westpac life.  You gave me the confidence to excel and the courage to stand up.

Thank you for being the rock during my health scare.

Thank you for never doubting me and always believing in me.  (Well have the same courage that I will stop at the traffic light, trust me, I am not colour blind)

 

Now she has some requests/ or demands

Never forget that we are a team.  Lean on me when you need to.  I am/ and will be always there, right beside you.  All I ask in return is for you not to mix up the spoons, curry spoon in the curry and not in the rice.

Don’t forget taking care of you is kind of taking care of us.  So please, take care of yourself and give me the opportunity to grow old together.

And please know that your gal still loves you.

Posted in Sri Lanka, True Story, Inspirational

Man proposes and God Disposes (part 2)

tmp14

My father in law (mama) passed away on the 28th November 2016.  We were getting him prepared for a Cataract Operation and leaves us with a heart attack.  Well, he was old, he was slowing down, but he was still managing his own things.  He could shower by himself etc. So obviously this came from no where.  Well, saying that, we only recently came to know of his weak heart.

With all three kids out of Sri Lanka, his well fare and what do we next had been a major worry for us lately.  Just about two years ago just after his 80th he contracted an infection on his leg, then last year he broke his thigh bone and had to undergo an hip replacement surgery.  Since then we saw a slight decline of his health and his morale.  I also think passing of his mate PM was another reason.

So Jana hopped into his room on the 28th morning, full of beans.  He was surprised to see her as she wasn’t meant to be there till the 30th.  India was having a “hartal”, I have been informed it is a kind of strike action where all the shops and businesses are closed.  So Jan changed her plans and got to Sri Lanka by the 27th night.  She gave dad a big hug and said, “ok, dad we have things to do today” ( I don’t know if thats what she said word to word, but I imagine knowing her personality it would have been something along those lines), made him a cup of coffee, and explained the reason for her early visit.  She needed to change some local currency and she had decided to do some shopping for her dad as well, she asked him to be ready to go and see the doctors regarding the eye surgery.  Mama reluctantly said “ok then”.

She was on her merry way and suddenly she stopped before she reached the gate.  Went back and said “I didn’t give you a kiss”, gave him that kiss and left.  Mama had managed to shave and then gone to have a shower.  He had an aide who stayed with him during the day. He was making him porridge and heard mama calling out “Rajan, Rajan” he found him collapsing.  Jana returned home when the chaos was unfolding.  They rang for the ambulance and she rang me while waiting for the ambulance.

I was asking her “is he conscious”.  Jana was not answering my questions, I guess we were both trying to talk at the same time. The phone line was rather bad as well.  Anyway she hung up quickly as soon as the ambulance got there.  That was just a 2 second phone call.

I was thunderstruck, sat there for awhile trying to gather my thoughts and words. Now I had the task of calling hubby and his other sister who lived in Sydney.  I did it. Hubby was going to come home so we could ring again ask what’s going on.  His sister said she was going to call another relative who was also a Cardiologist, who knew all the medical history of mama.

I was seated, staring at the phone to ring. 20 minutes later the phone rings, maybe 15, I don’t really know, She was sobbing “appa (dad) is gone”, “What do you mean?!!!” appa is gone“. I had no words to say other than “Ennamma” (kind of like saying why hun”) , we both sobbed. I wish I was there to hug her, hug her tight.  She was there for me.  But I have never been there for her.

I thought what poor luck does this girl have.  First her mum, then she was the only one at home when the 1983 riots broke and her house was set on fire, then her hubby and now her dad.  The other two have always escaped doing the hard things.  But probably I have to look at it in a different light.  She was the lucky one to have had the opportunity to make him that last coffee, to have remembered to give him that kiss.  She wasn’t even going to be there till the 30th, even a twisted fate helped her to be there.

Everything else after that is a haze.  I somehow got the nerve to call hubby and sister. They left the next day to Sri Lanka.

There is no point talking about his passing or the funeral anymore.  He is gone and that’s that.  What ever we wanted to tell him but didn’t was a missed opportunity, What ever we managed to tell him or do for him was a blessing.

There are many life lessons to learn from this man.  Good, bad and the ugly.  But they are all lessons nevertheless.  He sure leaves an amazing legacy.  Proud to have been his daughter in law.  I am not sure if he ever regarded me as his daughter in law.  I was always a little girl who was his daughter’s friend.  Ah no I did become his daughter in law when ever he didn’t see eye to eye with his son.  Not that I didn’t have moments of exasperation thinking “why me” have to deal with these two bull heads.  But he was no ordinary father in law.  He was in fact an extra ordinary man.  He was a bit warped at times.  But aren’t we all.

I will gather my thoughts in the next couple of days and do justice to his memory.

Cont…

Posted in Sri Lanka, True Story, Inspirational

Man proposes and God Disposes (part 1)

tmp14

“Man proposes and God Disposes” this saying was a frequent quip from my father in law.

I open my blog after a nearly a month, it could be even more.  So much has happened  in that time.

My first blog after the Holidays was going to be about my holiday in Goa.  It was going to be about my anxiety, concern about going to India on my own.  And how different it all turned out to be. How I was so wrong to perceive that the entire India was going to be this dirty place and untrustworthy people.  From the time I landed in Mumbai to the time we left Goa, it was nothing but a perfect dream.  We found this amazing pocket of paradise in that vast country.  It was just me and my bestie who also happens to be my sister in law (she joined me from another country) in this place and we were pampered and taken care of like queens. We ate, we drank, we laughed and we cried.  We were 5 not 50.

I will definitely write about that experience, when I feel a little bit chipper, to do justice to the place, the people we met and everything else.

I arrived back in Australia on the 24th of Nov.  Frantically getting things ready for my son who was leaving for Japan for 3 months and fighting jet lag at the same time.  While I was holidaying my son had to endure one of lives hard lessons, losing a mate.  Well it started with his mate Jack and then one after another we went through 3 deaths in a span of two weeks.

After I left for Australia my sister in law went to another place in India to meet up with other friends and then she headed to Sri Lanka to see her dad.  She was there on the 27th night.   It was rather late so she headed straight to the Hotel and got to bed.  She was up rather early the next morning.  She was taking photos of the view, and sending it to us, also some from Goa, some crazy things we got up to, then armed with “whatsapp” on our phones we rang and spoke to her about her days agenda.

My Father in law required a Cataract Operation.  For what ever reason he was not too keen on it.

Cont ….