Posted in Daily post, True Story, Inspirational

What Happened to MH370?

mh370

8th March 2014, Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 just disappeared with all it’s passengers and crew.  Just disappeared into thin air.  The first day was chaotic. Families left behind were angry and sad.  They demanded answers and weren’t prepared to accept that a plane could just disappear.  Who could.  Days became weeks and now their hopes of recovering the bodies were disappearing too.  After nearly four years of search by different organisations, now the search is going to finally end.

I feel for the families who are struggling to move on.  Not just for those who perished on MH370.  But for all those families who have lost a family member because they’ve gone missing.  Parents of kids who have been kidnapped.  They have to not only deal with the grief of losing the loved one but also the added agony of not knowing what really happened.

Rivulets of tears almost drowning the flicker of hope but somehow they muster another day to wait in hope.

Taxes and death are the only sure thing they say.  It’s not just about accepting the death that is hard in this scenario.  But it is when, whom and how that makes it harder.

I am pretty sure they have said enough prayers and don’t need mine.  And it’s not like god was waiting for that last prayer from me to reunite these sad souls.  But other than a prayer I have nothing else to offer.

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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Posted in True Story, Inspirational

It was an year ago…

one year ago

It was an year ago…

The words ring in my ears.  It was my father in law’s one year death anniversary a couple of days ago.  Jan (my sister in law and bestie) calls me after her temple visit for her father.  Fighting her emotions she utters the words “It was just an year ago that we went on that trip and then all hell broke lose”

It was just an year ago, that Jan and I decided to celebrate the fact that we have made it to Fifty.  Life served each of us a fair proportion of trials and tribulations. But thankful we are still here and still in tact.

Jan living in Canada and me in Australia, our friendship is held together tightly with ‘skype’ and “whatsapp’.  We decided we needed a good R&R and decided a holiday together somewhere.

So it was an year ago that she and I frolicked the streets of Goa.  We would yap till the early hours of the morning.  Partly because each of us was fighting jet lag from different time zones.  So when I was sleepy Jan wouldn’t let me sleep and vise versa.  We giggled, we laughed and we even cried.

I remember a similar scenario when we were nineteen.  We hadn’t gone on any holiday, I had just moved to Colombo with my mum for studies and Jan was about to migrate to Canada, my dad had fallen ill and was hospitalised.  Jan stayed the nights with me for support.  Jan and I shared a room.  This was about the same time I was falling for her brother as well.  Well, let me rephrase that, he was falling for me.  She was going out with my cousin too.  So we had many things to giggle and laugh about.  Then came my fathers demise.  And now we had things to cry about.

Each year we accumulate memories of all kinds.  Some happy, some not so. But they are memories nonetheless.

I like to think that an year ago was all about 50th birthday parties and reunions. But unfortunately, last year did come crashing down at the end.  Jan lost her dad (my father in law) just after our Goan trip.  He was a larger than life character and his death came unexpectedly.  Yes, we can console ourselves to say he did not suffer and he went peacefully.  However, I always wonder if I had done everything I can to let him know that we loved him very much – in spite of all the arguments and disagreements, to let him know that I admired him more than he will ever know.

I am grateful for the memories he gave us/me.  Some funny, some sad and some utterly mad.  It was a great theatre.  He was truly an amazing man.  His achievements surpasses the stains of his childhood. But he is not one to bury his past to parade his success.  He lived a humble and frugal life.  Sometimes too humble and too frugal.  But anything more made him unhappy and we had to let him live his life the way he wanted.  Rest in Peace mama, you have earned it.

I lost two of my favourite aunties.  I call them aunties but neither of them related to me by blood.  I loved them dearly and each one had an irreplaceable impact on my life.  Again the two deaths came from no where.  It was as if God had a quota to get through before Christmas.  Bang, Bang, Bang three in a row within a week.

I recall Aunty Ponmani. I can’t help but break out a smile and a chuckle.  She was a mischievous, cheeky old woman. I hear the word ‘Faminist’ thrown around loosely these days.  This woman was a pioneer. She didn’t waste time putting a label to her actions.  She just went ahead and did them. She was a tough women who took no prisoners.  But for all that tough exterior she was rather mushy on the inside.  I loved her cuddles, I miss her cuddles.  Truly grateful to the man up there for letting me cross paths with this amazing lady.  Rest in Peace Aunty Ponmani Ps.  Can you please allow others over there to rest in peace as well Aunty? I can picture her smiling at me and saying “why should I’ with a twinkle in her eye.

Then came Aunty Mahasen.  I have no idea why she loved me so much, but she did.  She was a triple threat.  Grace, elegance and class all donned into one.  Again a mere chance that made us cross paths, but a path, with rainbows and butterflies.  And many pot plants.  Missing your gorgeous smile aunty, rest in peace.

It didn’t stop there. Arj my youngest learnt a hard lesson in life.  A cruel lesson.  Life is short, especially for his nineteen year old mate Jack.  Arj reluctantly bid good bye to his mate Jack just before Xmas as well.  He was found dead in the shower.  No, not drugs.  Not sure what, coroners baffled too.  It was only an year before that they bid good bye at school and Jack moved to Melbourne and Arj left for Japan. They kept in touch on facebook and promised to catch up that December.  Time and tide waits for none and in this case not even for a nineteen year old with so much promise.  Memories – I am sure Arj would have many, although I wonder if the last one has sealed off the older ones. Easy for me to preach – to say “don’t linger on the sadness, don’t let his passing dictate your memory of your friendship”.  Memories are too raw, too soon I guess.  I don’t know Jack’s mum. All I know is, she is weeping now.

Without memories, without musings we are mere robots.  Each year just like dust we gather more memories.  Some of them turn out to be Gold dust.  We hope all of them to be gold dust, but unfortunately sometimes its just black soot.  We don’t dictate what is dealt next.  But we can at least influence it.  That’s what I think anyway.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Daily post, True Story, Inspirational

Just a mere Coincidence !?!…(part 2)

coincedence

“I remember my cousin telling me clearly, we’ll call you on the 19th and we can talk more.  How was I to know that he wasn’t going to keep that promise…”(Cont.. from part, I suggest that you read part 1 before you proceed.)

I am back at work after all the New Year celebrations.  It was the 7th of January, our office was relocating premises.  I was busy coding all the computers and its wires and extensions.  I was under the desk when the phone rang.  I just let it ring, as I wanted to get this done.  Sherrie who was at the reception popped in at the door and said “Uma why aren’t picking up the phone? it’s your mum on the line” Mum never rings me at work.  Immediately my thought goes to Arj my four year old, he was not the healthiest of kids.  I grabbed the the phone, mum started to slowly speak.  She said “Uma it’s not good news…” and she paused.  My mind starts racing and my hearts joins in too.  Mum continues “In Canada..Rama…”, I thought it was my uncle, she finishes the sentence.  My dear cousin had met with an accident and they believe he had passed away.

My racing heart came to a complete stop.  So did my mind.  It went blank.  Other than that one voice that just kept interjecting “No way, Not true”.  Brian my boss realised that something was wrong.  So did the others.  They made a cup of coffee and sat and talked me, they wanted to me to calm down before I started driving.

I start driving, I start planning my thoughts, I will go home and give a call to my sister in law to confirm the news.  This news came from other people not directly from the family.  They were still at the hospital as per the sources.  I was convinced he has somehow pulled through.  There was no way he could be gone.  No Way.  No Fricking way.  He is only forty years old, his wife/my buddy is only thrity five.  He has two small kids.  No Way, No He Can’t Go.  I just spoke to him to seven days ago.  No Way, Not True”. My mind kept chanting those words.

I am in one of the back streets.  I hear a big thud, I look through the rear view mirror.  A big Gum Tree branch just falls millimeters behind my car.  One millisecond earlier I would have been under that gum tree.  Same, same slightly different.  Force of the twins now attacking the kids?? Just a mere coincidence??  Maybe.

Between my cousin and me, I am the noisy one.  He was the calm, passive and quiet one.  He broke all those rules when he went.  He sent shook waves through the entire nation, the family and extended family. No one could fathom what had just happened.  But apparently that is life.

It just took one momentary lapse of concentration for that woman to drive through a red light and take out my cousin who was taking a left turn, to cause such carnage and misery. Some of us felt angry, some of us felt some kind of empathy but overwhelmingly all of us felt lost. I felt robbed.  I didn’t have a sibling of my own and even the one that I treated as my own brother was now taken.  I had to shun my emotions to soldier on Jan’s (my sister-in-law).  I hope God wasn’t listening to me then, if he was he was he would have rather shocked at the language I was using at him.  My personal observation here is that he screwed up well and truly on this case.

Time passed, his wife (my sister in law and friend) had accepted the sentence that ‘The Life’ gave her and of the sentence the court gave the other woman, the best way she can.  His kids grew with the remnants of the memories of their dad, and his parents struggled on, watching their grand kids to get a glimpse of their late son.  We blamed FATE for their destiny and moved on.

I had turned Forty the previous year in June.  So I was forty and six months on the 7th of January 2006.  I was on my way to my mum’s house with some essentials, bread, milk etc.  She was returning from Sydney that night and I wanted to put these things in her house before her arrival.  I was at the intersection waiting to turn right ( For those from the Americas, this would be like taking a Left turn for you), the lights change to green.  After a quick flick of the head to the right I start to move.  I hear someone’s horn, not sure which direction it came from. But there was a car coming at a speed from the right.  It all took just a split second.  I saw the other car driver right front of me.  I was sure I was gone that day, that very minute.  I felt jolt at the front, but the car drove off and I was still alive.

I was frozen for a few seconds.  I am not sure how I managed to brake in time, how/why the car behind me didn’t hit me.  I pulled into a side road to inspect the damage to the front of the car.  My number plate was screwed up.  That’s it nothing else.  Not another scratch.  But can you imagine how close the other car was if it had touched my number plate.

100_8588

Both cousin and I meeting with a similar accident on the 7th Jan and we were both at the exact age seems a little bit more than a coincidence to me.  Then again I don’t know if I am reading too much into it, to feel the connection between him and me.

I survived he didn’t, my uncle survived my dad didn’t.  Same, Same but different seems to be the theme in our lives.  It all has to be a mere coincidence.

The Universe is a one big question mark.  Do we have all the answers?  I guess in the scientific world most things can be rationalized as a mere coincidence and in the world of Mystic and spirituality it is Fate or a Miracle.  

 

Daily Prompt: Coincidence

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

 

 

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 ….