Family, Cultural beliefs, Political decisions, Relationships, Social Fairness, Inspiration, Religious (alternate) views, Agnostic Views, Humour and Just Random Thoughts. So watch out for some fireworks laced with humour
Once a upon a time there lived a new couple who migrated to a new country, after a few travels around the world in a ship. They were settling down and preparing their little nest. They had bought their first property, a two bedroom apartment. One by one furniture’s were added to upgrade the apartment. Mostly white furniture’s. ‘The lady liked the white crisp colour also she felt that there was no escape for those family members who would otherwise cover up spillages. The apartment looked spotless and modern on a fairly low budget. They owned just the one car. They both had full time jobs. The lady worked full time and studied part time. So they were busy but it was still a structured life. The man played Tennis on the Saturday. They also fitted in the shopping, entertaining or going out on the Saturday. Sunday was mainly for cleaning and cooking for the week.
One fine day they received news that they were going to have a new family member pretty soon. Not so soon, in about nine months. They were overjoyed. The man became a blithering idiot. He did not jump on a coffee table. He even forgot to hug his wife. He just started to utter random words at the doctor. He demanded the that the doctor prescribe Vitamins to his wife as she was very week. He also advised the doctor that she should organise a Cesarean as his wife was too small to be able to deliver a baby. The doctor fearing the welfare and mental state of this man, politely pointed out that there was almost nine months to discuss and plan for these concerns. She also advised him to have a cup of tea and go for a walk.
This was no movie or a dream for things to go swimmingly perfect. This was real life so not everything was going to plan. The lady also had a family history that the doctors didn’t want a repeat of. She was just thankful that she was in Australia with an amazing medical team to assist her. So after the first few months of speed bumps on the road things started to settle down with the pregnancy. Still no one was taking any chances.
So twenty seven years ago yesterday she was returning from her weekly visit to the doctors in a cab all by herself. (The man was still new in his work place, and work places were not so understanding twenty seven years ago for paternal needs, so unfortunately he could not accompany her for all her visits to the doctor). The cab driver just before dropping her off, comments “it must be pretty close now, when are you due?”, She replies ” today actually”. The cab driver didn’t want to waste anymore time chatting, he departed as quickly as he could.
She got busy after her trip to the doctors. She had to finish off the quilt she was stitching for the new arrival. The machine needle broke. She took it to her neighbors and finished the sewing project. The cot was perfect now. She had a sense emergency today. She finished the cooking just as her husband arrived home. Hubby inquired about her visit to the doctors. He asked why she had not asked to be induced and have the baby already. He could tell that she was not comfortable carrying this frontal load. She told him to eat his dinner and went on to have a shower feeling, mmm… I think not long now.
They ended up in hospital soon after. Many moons ago, many full moons ago to be precise on that day Buddha attained Nirvana. Hours passed by, the new arrival showed no urgency in his pace. Again not a dream nor a movie, this was real life, so after eighteen long hours spanning into the next day the new arrival finally makes his way out and makes known to the world with a good heartfelt scream.
Life couldn’t be any more perfect. A movie could do no justice to real life.
The white furniture’s didn’t last long after that. But life was still perfect.
We notched 33 years together on the 19th of Jan 2020. Time and tide waits for no one. The same way Cough, cold and the plague like flu doesn’t hold back either just because it’s your special day. I lost everything. I lost my voice and my room. I was banished to the guest room as no one wanted what I had.
We sipped a glass of Cognac sitting far apart. There were no candles or flowers. No caviar or lobster. Take away (take out) soup and dumplings adorned the table. I quietly watched my hubby through my “Vicks” laced eyes. He looked tired. He has lost most of his thick mop of hair. The pot belly has taken a permanent place and expanding gradually. That man who polished his shoes and waltzed in with dashing looks is not there anymore. He has been replaced with a tired old man. I know he needs a break. But he will stubbornly refuse.
I look down at my self. Once the non existent belly has found a few companions. They are fondly called the muffin tops. With our looks gone astray, all we have left is the love for each other.
It feels like recently we have been hit by seismic waves one after another. We need a reprieve. Each time we come to the surface it feels like some one is waiting outside to hammer us down back in again. My life partner takes the brunt of it all, without much ado.
The New year dawned for us with another uncertainty. I was determined to go through with my New Year’s eve annual party. As we get old I am becoming more aware of the fact that we are only temporary residents of this world. Life is to be lived was my motto on that day. It was hard at times to concentrate on the preparations and cooking. Still it was a good distraction. Family and friends gathered and we had a good night.
Six days later we drove to Sydney. In the height of the Bush fires we didn’t take this trip lightly. Hubby’s sister and bro-in-law were very concerned about us driving. For many reasons driving was a better option for us. However, safety comes first and we didn’t want to add to the ill fortunes that was following us.
I rang the Bush fire info authorities. These organisations mostly run by volunteers do an amazing job. They checked our route and gave us the thumbs up, also armed us with a few apps, that would indicate any fires near us, road closures etc. We also packed a few essentials in case we got blocked in. Quilt, Pillows, Water, food etc.
The weather was on our side. So on that Monday the 6th we started our two day trip to Sydney. I am glad we drove rather than fly to Sydney. It gave us time to talk, hold hands and just enjoy the presence of each other. In our busy lives this was such a luxury. And to enjoy the nature, the bare Australian out-back has it’s own charm. The iron fist grip of the drought was very evident.
In places we drove through thick fog of smoke. Smoke from the bush fires that were burning at least 100 Kms away. Makes you wonder what it would have been like at ground zero. We did meet a couple of fire fighters at one of our coffee stops. They looked tired and worn out. They still managed a smile for us.
It is only fitting that I write about this today on Australia day. This is a beautiful country. Sure we have bush fires, year after year. Maybe each year worse than the last. But it has not broken us yet. Sure we have the worst Prime Minister in the world (maybe that’s a bit harsh but among the one’s we’ve had, have to say he tops as the worst), but we definitely have some of the best humans in this part of the world. We are one big family. We have our differences, amongst them some quirky relatives too, but all in all we are an amazing family. We are there for each other.
When the American, Canadian and New Zealand fire fighters rocked up on our shores, I felt proud to be a human. Although we are responsible for so many vile atrocities, we are also capable of being extraordinarily amazing. Some of my friends from overseas who had snapped a picture with our local Koala posted this on facebook. All the concerned messages from friends and relatives from overseas confirmed that we were not alone in this battle.
This was not exactly a joy ride to Sydney, I do not wish divulge too much into that as it is not my story to tell. While we were there we visited a couple of friends of ours. One of whom is now on remission from bowl cancer. Another example of mistaken identity by the Kharma god. I am pretty sure he has not hurt a soul in his past 10 lives nor will he in next hundred. However, he has so far put a grand fight and at present is still the victor. The other is the carer of his wife with Dementia. She is not that much older than I am. This is the first time I have come across a younger person with this horrible decease. She was a stylish, assertive, tough career woman. Seeing her like that was very upsetting. This has made me question everything. Her hubby is doing an amazing job taking care of her. But how do you really come to terms with all this. It would be no difference to living with a stranger. There is no telling if I could become the victim as a carer or as the patient.
Life is precious. Live it today is my message.
Talking about the road trip I had veered off the track about us – hubby and me. But not exactly. This trip to Sydney, the life lessons learned has confirmed more than anything is that I love this man very much.
What we have right now is what we really have. We have to hold on tight to that. Our hopes and dreams for the future are just that. A Dream. It will only eventuate if you wake up from that dream. So realise your reality today was your dream yesterday. Enjoy it and treasure it.
After a week in Sydney we drove back to Adelaide with much lighter heart. Even when things are not great we need to be positive and be thankful that the situation is not that grave either.
Work related dramas started to evolve for hubby as we were driving back. After driving for nearly 10-11 hrs on the 2nd day of the drive we get home around 7.00pm. He unpacks the car and leaves immediately to work. Returns late and then leaves early next morning to Port Pirie – 230 kms drive. His cadet day training comes to fruition I think. We returned from Sydney on the 13th. Since then he has been to Port Pirie, Mackay and Western Australia.
How do I thank a man who tirelessly works not just for his family but also for the family of his employee. He knows as a family we are ready for him to retire. I would rather buy a few less shoes than see my man work so hard. But he is a complex man with very strong ethics. Very hard not to be proud of this man.
Since Christmas we have been eating out a lot. I could see he was so tired that all he wanted was to get two minutes of sleep. Not get dressed up to go out. So for this anniversary celebrations I wanted to make a special meal and have a quiet night at home.
But then I got attacked by something similar to the Bubonic plague. It is not a secret that my husband doesn’t posses any of the skills of Jamie Oliver. So he brings me soup each day from “Shanghai Tea House”. He will bring me enough for the next day lunch as well, then a fresh one for dinner. On the Saturday he had been working since early, he rings me around 4.30pm asking if I wanted more soup. I was feeling a bit better and I was going to help my son make the soup that night. So I said no for the soup but I was craving for a fresh Juice with a lot of ginger from Boost Juice. He asked what my son would like, if we wanted sushi (my sons and I love sushi, it’s our go to food when we are sick, hubby is not a fan of sushi). My son too gave an order for the Boost Juice but said no for the sushi as we knew the juice would be rather filling. Few hours pass by and no hubby on sight. I feel rather guilty, because I know he would be so tired after working non stop for so many days.
My hubby returns with a collection of stuff from the shops. Boost Juice at the shopping centre had closed by the time he had got there. Hence the delay. He had gone all over the place looking for another Boost juice. He had found a drive through Boost Juice. Didn’t know such a thing existed until now. Along with that he had also bought Sushi enough to feed the neighborhood, Chocolate Drumstics of two kinds and not to leave the dog out some chicken jerky for the dog as well.
I know it was not the 33.1 carat diamond ring Elizabeth Taylor received. Not even a 100 Roses Bouquet. But this man makes me tear up with just a Boost Juice. I am in love with this man today. I have been for the last 33 years. His love gestures are pretty unique. But that’s what makes him special. If I have one wish for our future, I wish we continue our lives the same way as today, with all the laughs, squabbles and simple love.
After my last rant on my last blog, I have been reluctant to write. Afraid what might pour out. To a certain extent ashamed of my outburst. I have had my fair share of hurdles in the past to overcome and I am usually calm and collected and take it on my stride. I am usually someone who listens to logic. This time my behavior surprised me, almost scared me. It really troubled me not to be in control.
Every word, any word uttered by my husband annoyed me. He was giving me logical solutions. He couldn’t understand, that I was well aware of the logic, I was well aware of all the data, the probabilities, but I just couldn’t control my emotions. My brain kept going into a very negative nook.
My eldest living in another state and at that time my youngest in the UK didn’t help the situation. I didn’t want to discuss this with the youngest until he got back home. Which made my skype calls very strained. Each time he asked me the most common greeting/question “How are you? how are things?” I found it difficult to answer and I feared that he may sense the discomfort.
Hubby gradually understood that I didn’t need solutions and reminder of logic, I just needed a one way sounding board. The boys took the news much better than I expected. Even though I still feel guilty that I carry this mutated gene that I may have passed it on to them, they don’t feel that way. But I have accepted the fact the first step is for the boys to be tested – tested to see if they carry the gene. There is no point in worrying about the next stage until that. Next thing I have to vehemently tell myself is, the boys need me, I cannot drop the ball now.
My workaholic hubby made a booking for a weekend getaway to Cape Jervis and that really did help and hurry along the calming process. In my next blog I will talk about Cape Jervis and surrounds, it is indeed a magical part of South Australia.
My eldest is back from Sydney and today is the D-Day for the test. We took the boys to Willunga Hill yesterday to have lunch at ‘Our Place’ http://www.willungahill.com/
Beautiful drive, spectacular scenery, Food – simply divine, Andy – the chef and host – such a character. To be there as a family and enjoy all this was blissful. Even then at the back on my mind, I was worrying about the boys. The two get along so well, they are both just gorgeous boys, there was so much laughter and banter. I was forcing myself to have a good time too. I kept reminding myself that everyday is a blessing.
I guess it is normal for me to be jittery today. But I am not going to let my emotions get the better of me.
I am going to listen to hubby (for a change). Yes, he is right, we’ve never had it easy, but we have always submerged, maybe gasping for breath but always submerged and we have come out it. I may have to paddle a bit harder for this times rapid current. But I will keep paddling. It is all going to be alright at the end.
This blow has come out of left field. Not a complete KO, but it has definitely shaken up the ground below. I find myself in an unusual territory. Logic is refusing to stay put in my head. I keep pleading it to stay put, but unknown to me it keeps escaping leaving a stuffed dummy in its place.
Well, I know I am genetic mess. But, the realization that I could have passed on this mess to my kids seems very hard to swallow. No one is blaming me, especially my kids. But I wish they would just scream at me. Show me that they are angry for what I am going to put them through. But they joke and carry on like nothing.
It is probably going to be nothing. And I am worrying over nothing. Why am I being such a pessimistic heap of mess? I know the logic, let’s do the test and then worry if we have something to worry about. That would be the advice I would be giving someone else in that situation. I am no stranger to waiting for test results. It has never worried me, but this time I am a mess. I have to be strong for the boys. I will be. Just give me today to rant and rave.
I was supposed to be a miracle for my parents. When I survived the horrible cancer, once again it was considered a miracle. Yes, I could either be called “special”, “unique” or another apt word “weird”. I am a genetic error. This is not me blurting out in anger. That is the scientific word used in my report, I have a genetic error.
All I ask for is to leave my kids alone. I will go through anything, I am happy to say “Que sera sera” and deal with absolutely anything, I will endure anything, just leave my kids out of it.
To the man up there, just in case he doesn’t get it. A mother goes through nine months of pregnancy and then hours of horrid labour, she endures it all, so that her child will be born unharmed. From day one her model was built to protect that child. She was programmed to fight for her child no matter the size or might of the opponent. She has no turn off button.
So a word to the man up there, you are lower than a tadpole when you do this to a mother. Ask any mother, they will happily take the plague or worse, if that would save her child.
Final words to the man up there, “leave my kids alone” – PLEASE.
Sorry for the slightly long silence. Let’s blame it on my health. I am someone who believes that it is my duty to keep the medical industry well funded. Nothing major this time, just minor repairs. But happy to report that I am on the mend.
My fingers have been itching to tap that key board for sometime. Finally free from heavy pain meds and confident I wouldn’t sound like a druggie and thought of continuing where I left off.
There are many theories on Money. ‘Money is not everything’, ‘Money cannot buy happiness’ ‘wise man should have money in his head and not in his heart. the list goes on.
I ride on the middle most times on most issues. I am not ready to give up everything and live in Nimbin. It sounds great in theory. Smoking pot and singing Bob Marley, yep sounds like heaven. But it ain’t me.
Moving to Adelaide – South Australia seemed like a happy medium. Hubby and I started to do our research on Adelaide. Our main concern were the kids. Will there be good doctors to take care of their medical needs? It has taken us move heaven and earth to bring them to this condition, will they slip back? Hari is rather a reserved kid will he find it hard to make friends? Will this affect them socially? Will their education be hindered by moving to a small city, a city that the rest of Australia laughs at.
My heart still kept prompting me to take the plunge. But there was so much at stake. Our decision to leave our mother nation and migrate to Australia seemed an easier decision than this. At that time we had no kids. This time around it was not just about us.
The kids were not happy at all. The main reason was the “The Roaches”. Even for us the main reason that was keeping us back was some of our friends and family. There are many, I am not going to list them all, but they know who they are. The Roaches get a special mention because of the type of relationship we had.
We met them when we first moved to Castle Hill and Hari was just an year old. I was working full time and mum was taking care of Hari. She would take him to the local church once a week for a mothers play group. On my day off’s I would join in too. Met some really nice mothers and kids. This is where we met Sylvia. Her eldest Michael was a few weeks older than Hari and the two got along really well. The youngest Anthony was an infant. It just happened that they happened to live behind our house on the street parallel to us. Sylvia was very helpful to mum. She would make it a point to bring an additional baby seat to transport Hari and would give them a lift home or when they went on picnics etc. In return Sylvia enjoyed mum’s Sri Lankan goodies.
Gradually our friendship grew. The older boys were very close. They had now moved onto the same Pre-School (Montessori). Sylvia was now back at work. She was a theater nurse. She initially enrolled Michael at a pre-school near her work. It was hard getting him to settle so she decided to join him in to the same pre-school as Hari. The two boys were rather inseparable.
I was now pregnant with my youngest. After all the hiccups and scares finally the day came to pop the bundle. Sylvia was already at work. Not sure who rang who, but Glen (her hubby) found out from mum that I had left for the hospital. The same hospital Sylvia was working. A few hours after I had Arj, (about 3am) Sylvia rushes in with her gown and gloves, elated to see the new born. She sheds tears of joy while hugging me. At this time only my husband had seen the bub. Mum nor Hari had seen him. Hindu’s don’t have a ‘god mother’ system, if not I would’ve asked her to be the god mother.
I think the happiest was Anthony, he had a play mate now. In a world where class, colour and creed matter we remained friends in spite of all the glaring differences. Sylvia hailed from Germany, Glen was from New Zealand and we were from Sri Lanka. Our boys learnt that was more than the normal ‘Coles’ brand sausages and those two kids learnt to eat rice. My mum gained another two grand kids. My boys now had an ‘Oma’ (Grandma in German) and ‘Uncle James
Both families had their trials and tribulations and both helped each other out. We took turns to take care of our injured or at times sick soldiers. Michael and Hari had their tonsils out. I think all four boys had grommets put in. Sylvia was paramount in saving Arj on his 2nd birthday. The four boys took turns to fracture a limb or get stitches. Anthony poured hot honey on himself. Sylvia sometimes joined in with getting injured too. It was normal for the boys to have a shower and sleep at each others house.
Once all four started to go to school things became more of a routine. We couldn’t see the point in two cars heading towards the same destination. So all four kids drove to and from the school together in one car. It was usually myself or Glen as we had more regular and flexible working hours. The boys didn’t even notice whose car they were getting into. Each morning they were too excited to see each other they would just start to yap as soon as they are together.
After school most days they would go for sports together. So in the morning we would exchange their relevant sports bags and snacks for after school. It was usually banana’s and ‘Up and Go’. They did swimming and Karate together. Most times Glen would pick them up after swimming. As after the swim the boys will go into the men’s side to have a shower and change. The boys don’t get the rush of the parents. It’s not for them worry that the parent has to go home and start dinner etc. They just loved more play time. So we decided it was better for Glen to pick them up as he can go into the men’s and hurry the boys.
Even on the weekends it was rather normal for us to meet up again. Just like the car which car they got into, they didn’t care whose pool they jumped into. I still remember watching the 2003 Rugby finals England Vs Australia where Jonnyy Wilkinson snatched the victory from us at the last minute. We were watching the game together with food and drinks and as time went along it became just drinks. Well we had to swallow the grief. It was a great night. Don’t remember much of the finale. Well our boys slept over there while hubby and I crawled back home after my hubby’s failed attempts at cartwheels.
Many a days, when all four of us were unable to pick the boys, uncle James, Oma or Angela (Sylvia’s sister) took the role. It takes a village to raise a child was very much the case for these four boys. They were the happiest four boys.
Reality TV has taken over. The remote control has been taken over by the other half. He wants to watch the news on ABC, but the goldfish DNA in him keeps pressing the remote control. So we end up seeing reality TV salad.
I saw a real estate agent (possibly) he was on the phone, looked like he was negotiating the house price, then it moved on to some sexy looking people, then I think someone was cooking and back to the news, some country was getting blown off. The same cycle happens every 2 minutes.
I thought it was time to retreat behind my keyboard. I want to write. Reason 1 – it is part of my monthly challenge to write for a minimum of half hour everyday. Reason 2 – I do enjoy it once I start. It’s like going to the gym or for a walk/run. Getting started is a chore but once you get going you start to enjoy it.
I haven’t adhered to my challenge everyday but have come pretty close to it so far. I did attempt yesterday. However, didn’t eventuate as I was too tired to come up with a topic and WordPress was no help as there are no prompts since the beginning of the month.
I have been asked this question many a times in Adelaide as well as in Sydney, “Why did you’ll move to Adelaide?”
My one line answers have been, “hubby’s work, a genuine sea change” “Yes I miss my friends and the shopping but I don’t miss the traffic”
However today and maybe days to come (depends how long I am going to ponder on this subject) I would like to delve a bit deeper on the reasons, the pros and cons and whatever else that was involved.
Maybe it would help someone when deciding a sea change or work change or some kind of life style change.
The Ganesan’s lived in Sydney since 1990 and their family grew one by one from 1993. By 1996, we had 5 family members residing in our little house. This was my hubby, my two boys and my mum. A young family with a mortgage meant that both of us had to work full time. With mum’s help and child care, we survived our hectic lives.
Our house was in North west of Sydney and my hubby’s work was in the South. Which meant he had a pretty long commute to work. More than the distance the traffic was what made the journey more tedious. I worked in the city until the latter years. It was a hike for the city as well. It didn’t matter even if you lived close by, the Sydney traffic will still make you commute for hours even if you were travelling within the suburb.
Hubby was unhappy with the industry he was working in. His wages weren’t bad. That was the only plus side. My youngest fell ill (we nearly lost him at the age of 2) and it was tough times mentally, physically and financially too. About the same time my eldest lost his hearing and we were shunting between hospitals with two kids and their respective surgeries.
Eventually I had to give up my career and start working closer to home with less hours and less stress. I took over the primary roll for the hospital runs and hospital stays while hubby kept slogging away at his job, even though he hated each minute of it. I could see that stress was gradually killing him. Neither of us had a choice. We both had to keep going.
Those dreary days would have been near impossible if not for some family and friends. I will revisit this subject later.
Hubby’s company had a subcontractor in Adelaide. The owners of this company approached hubby a few times to join them. The wages were no where near what he was earning in Sydney. Money is not everything, but when your kid is unwell and you have choice to pay for his surgery rather than wait six months to get it done from the public hospital, would you say money is not everything?
It was year 2004 and Arj my youngest was nearly 8 years old. He was over the worst and our visits to the respiratory specialist had diminished to just once a year. Same with Hari, he still had a hearing impairment, but things were in place for us to manage it.
The Adelaide company made the offer again with a possibility of a partnership in the future. Initial wages were still low. At this point I got interested. I thought we were alright now, we could manage with the low wages. The mortgage was in a manageable position as well.
It was not just about money. I was almost a neurotic mum with the way the two boys fell ill. The two specialists who looked after the boys were the best in the country. They were just amazing and they knew the two cases so well. The boys had to see the doctors regularly and this made me less neurotic knowing that things are under control. So to leave the doctors and go else where was the biggest hurdle.
So, in November 2004 when the offer came again, I re-evaluated our situation. We were really alright I thought. The only one who was not alright was my hubby. I was really worried about his health. I am still, but that’s another story for another day. And that point I was able to confidently say “Money is not everything”.
My eyes are weary, so I will continue tomorrow. I will leave you with one thought though. Money is not everything. But it is definitely something.
This was my first time going online and drooling over different types bodies. Some very masculine, some just petite and cute. I hadn’t decided and I didn’t know what type would suit me and my family. With that excuse I spent hours researching about different breeds. Luckily dogs don’t call you out on generalising them as per their breeds. I think that would be pure breedism (there is actually a thing called dog breed discrimination obviously – I invented breedism). I saw a comment that referred to Beagles as great landscapers. I am sure there are Beagles who don’t dig and there are other breads who may dig. Anyway I am someone who does a Phd before buying toothbrush (mmm… pity I didn’t do that when picking my husband), so I continued with my research.
I had spent days searching through websites of animal shelters, dog breeders etc, one day while at work, let’s say during my lunch break, I continued with my online perving, then I just stopped. My eyes fell on this adorable hunk of meat. His eyes, his googly eyes just hooked me right in. I rang the phone number given and said “I want him”. I rang my husband and said the same thing. It was love at first sight.
That afternoon we picked our boys from school and headed straight to meet my new guy. He was simply divine. There were others with him, they were cute too. But, my eyes did not sway. I looked at Peter, the owner and said “Yes, I want him”.
It was a hot day, a very hot day, so Peter told us that it was too hot for him to travel that day and to return next day. The forecast was cooler temps for the following day. He gave us advise on things to get ready for his arrival. But we paid for him and returned home slightly disappointed to return home empty handed. Not exactly empty handed, we took home his new bedding, his own crockery, toys, food etc.
I couldn’t sleep all night. The few times I dozed off, were filled with dreams of my little cuddly boy. The next day slowly dawned. I still had to get through the drudge of the days living responsibilities. Finally school pick up and we go straight to see Peter.
He is mine. Apparently he is ours and I have to share. Okay I will share but he is mine.
He is of mixed parents. Not sure who is who but one of them was a Pug and the other a King Charles Cavalier. He wears the wrinkles better than anyone I know. His snout is flat but not flat as a pancake as the pure pugs. His name is Mr. Galileo Ganesan and mostly referred to as Leo.
He is a Foodie. He has even tried out bird seed. He went through a lot of trouble to obtain that treat and may have been disappointed to find that it didn’t taste as good as the Kangaroo Salami that Arj (my youngest) has packed to take to Japan. Well that was really to his liking as the next day he showed interest in tasting the second pack. It was so good he even didn’t mind the wrapper or the metal clip at the bottom. He enjoys the fruits from our garden. It doesn’t bother him that the peaches have pits, he just downs it all in one go. But his personal favourite is my mum’s Sri Lankan “Hoppers”.
Loves his creature comforts. He doesn’t see the point in sleeping on the floor when you can sleep on the couch. A couch with cushions is even better. What would make it perfect would be a heat pack. These are not things we have given him, these are things that he acquires himself.
Some may refer to him as “fat”, I prefer the word “portly”, yes I think he just a bit portly. And it could be muscles and not fat?
This gorgeous thing has a serious side to him too. He came to me, at one of my darkest of times. I was on remission but then I had to go for another surgery to remove another lump. Surgery was brutal, but the recovery was even worse. I could hardly move. Once my husband and son left home, it was just him and me. He knew that I was in pain, he followed me from bed to the couch. He kept me company, he kept guard outside the bathroom door. He was my companion and he was my Protector. This surgery was 5-6 years ago. But just like that scars that remain in my body, he remembers it far too well not to guard the bathroom door. So even to date he keeps watch outside my bathroom everyday. Doesn’t like anyone coming home after a blood test with the bandaid on the inside of the elbow. He knows too well, it was a sign mum wasn’t well.
He understands packing a suitcase means someones departure. He doesn’t mind my husband packing just the hand luggage, he knows dad’s just going for business and will be back tomorrow. But big bags means big leave. He will start to mope and his eyes will droop. It will break your heart and rip your soul.
Yes, I met him online. There is truth in “love at first sight”.
Twenty One Years and Nine Months Ago (there about) a young couple had this crazy idea that they should now think about a second child. They were very happy with their first effort and couldn’t see a reason not to go ahead with their idea.
From the get go this second child made sure he announced his coming to the world and there was red carpet waiting for him. So the star was born just a few weeks before he was really due. Mum was relieved as she had enough of his kicking in the stomach and decided he was better out than in, however the dad would have preferred a night of uninterrupted Cricket. As it was time was Arjuna Ranatunga to get out it was time for Arjuna Ganesan to come out.
You would think with such an Omen this young Arjuna would have turned out to be a great Cricketer. Well he is left handed and that’s where the similarities and talent ends.
Well, he doesn’t need to be the next Arjuna Ranatunga or anyone else for that matter. From the get go he showed us that he was an individual with his own identity that is to be admired and loved.
I am not entirely sure when he started to talk. It could have been even the same day he was born telling the doctor what to do. He started to talk pretty early and hasn’t given up on it as yet. He has a lot to say about a lot of things. Although an Asthmatic, no issues with voice projection either. Driving the boys to school I recollect many a times Hari (my eldest) declaring that it was “quiet time now”, just to get some breathing space to think on our own. This ability to talk did give him some opportunity to venture into Public Speaking and land a few MC gigs. When your child takes the stage to address a large audience of adults at the age of nine barely reaching the microphone, it does give the mother and father a moment of Goosebumps.
He loved the stage to speak, to act and to dance. As he grew he became more aware of the society and its issues. He was in year 7, and he returns home with his lunch box untouched. He explains to me that he didn’t get time to eat, as he had to break up two year 4 kids fighting in the school grounds. Him and his friend had to tell these kids to break up and explained to them that things would get worse if the teachers got involved. As he was having this negotiation he saw a small kid from Kindergarten in the middle of the car park. So he had to run to get this kid out of the way and take him into the School Office. And when all this finished it was time to head back to his classroom.
There was a kid in Arj’s class (Primary School year 6 or thereabouts) who was considered to be a bully. But this kid was really a great Cricketer. One day Arj asked me during the match to call out this kid and cheer him on. To yell out “Great shot Tony” (I made up that name Tony). Arj explained to me that this kid had no mum and the father was struggling to bring up his kids. And the father rarely attends any of the matches or training. And even when he did, he would yell at them and wasn’t really being a loving dad. So Arj explained to me and said maybe the reason he bullies others is because there is no one to say he is great or make him feel special.
So I followed Arj’s request and during the game I yelled “Tony that was a great shot”. The kid was really startled. When he came back to the club house, he came up to me and said “Thank you Mrs. Ganesan” and the following weeks, after each match or while the game was going on and he was waiting for his turn, he would start a conversation with me. He mentioned that he would one day like to play for the state. Any time he saw me in school, even outside of Cricket he would stop and great me “How are you Mrs. Ganesan?” Years later I met him at the shopping centre all grown up and unrecognisable, but he recognised me and greeted me the same “Hallo Mrs. Ganesan, how are you?” I am not saying that kid turned into a new leaf just because of that one action but I am pretty sure he appreciated that small gesture. It meant nothing to me but it meant so much to that kid. But what astounds me most is that Arj at such a young age realised this.
Even at that young age he was fascinated with politics. For one of his school projects he interviewed a few known Politicians. It was not easy for a Primary school kid to get these interviews. So he got many knock backs and but eventually he managed to interview Nick Minchin, Christopher Pyne and John Hill. To their credit they didn’t treat him like a kid; they answered his questions like they would for Leigh Sales. Also I think it taught Arj that if you want to pursue something, you have to overcome knockbacks.
Years later, now studying Journalism and International relations seems very fitting for his personality and character.
Years ago, Twenty Nine Years and Nine months ago to be exact we had no idea that this crazy idea we had of having another child was going to be this exciting.
Thank you my boy for bringing so much happiness and joy. For all the laughs, for all the crazy things you drag us doing and for the moments you make us so proud. Those moments almost make me forget how your bedroom looks, all the times I have rushed to the hospital with lego pieces up the nose or crayon in the ear canal or with a broken limb. Just remember I said almost, so please clean up your room and stop hurting yourself.
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.