Posted in Daily post, True Story, Inspirational, Word prompt

If Only, I Could Turn Back The Clock … (part 8)

dad lab

After mum and Cuz Sulo left for the hospital, Velu, Thangamma and self started on the cleaning. For the rest of the world they were just two hired aides, but for mum and dad they were like family, for V and T as well, mum and dad were like surrogate parents, they cared for dad not just for the pitiful salary they earned, but because they were treated like equal humans, they knew this was a couple who genuinely cared for their well being.

In most houses, they were not allowed to sit on your normal sofas, the aide/help would either have a small stool or they would sit on the floor, they would have separate plates and drinking glasses, slightly inferior in quality, may even have a chip on them. Never in par with the owners of the house. It was never the case in our house.    Dad felt a terrible sadness and guilt at the plight of the poor.  Time to time Dad would talk about it and say to me, “I know I can’t save them all, in the scheme of things, maybe what I or us as a family, what we do, may not make a difference, but for that one person that we helped, it would make the world of difference”. I know he was just repeating what he had heard or read somewhere.  But within him, he wished he could change the world, or at least this society, change the way people treated each other. He would say “it costs the same to smile at a rich man and a poor man”.

I think the above paragraph is my procrastination or hesitation to write what happened next. Where I was going with all that was, V and T were as excited as me of the arrival of dad. I was holding the ladder for Velu who was now attacking the cobwebs on the ceiling.  Thangamma decided to leave us with the cleaning, she wanted to make some cutlets (a Sri Lankan delicacy – fish balls), it was dad’s favourite.  And it would be a great thing to serve to guests who would visit.

The phone rang.  It sounded the same as when dad rang to say that he was coming for my birthday, then again it sounded the same when he rang to say that he was not coming, he was unwell.  The ringtone never changed, just the tone of the messages kept changing.  It wasn’t me who answered the phone, my cuz’s mother-in-law did.  So, I don’t know the exact words that were parted by my cousin.

It wouldn’t have mattered anyway.  I don’t think I heard all the words.  Parames Mami (cus sulo’s mother-in-law) came up the stairs.  She called my name out as she came up the stairs.  She was out of breath.  But she, does pay us random visits like this all the time.  So, I didn’t think much of that.  I answered “Om mami” (meaning yes aunty), She told Velu to come down the ladder, not sure what happened after that.  I am not sure if I was sitting or standing, what words were used.  No, I can’t remember the chain of events.

Dad had another aneurysm the night before.  He had gone into a coma.  Cuz Sulo unaware of all this had skipped to his bedside joyfully with Hi mama (uncle).  She was surprised that there was no response .  There was no smile on Dad’s face.  Just a fixed gaze to the distance.  She knew there was something wrong.  She looked at his bed notes.  It was really wrong.  She had a chat to the nurses, and her worst fears were confirmed.

Parames Mami asked all the cooking and cleaning to be stopped for now.  Well, no one was in the right frame of mind to continue anyway.  She told me to get ready and we were going to the temple.  I obeyed.  No tears as yet.  I was dumbfounded.  Wish Jana was with me at that moment. She had just left that morning to see her dad and brother.  Not sure what Velu and Thangamma did after that.  I left for the temple.

We did some pooja’s in dad’s name.  It was all rather mechanical.  I just repeated the rituals as others performed.  After all the poojas, touching the idols, kneeling on the ground, flowers, pottu ( red powder and yellow paste in separate containers, you use your middle finger to dip in to these containers and wear it on your forehead), we sat down to meditate on our own.  I could feel the tears escaping my eyes and now rolling down my cheeks.  I dipped my head, so no one could see me crying. I can’t remember the conversation between god and me.  I didn’t bother asking him “Why me? What did I do wrong ?” I just wanted him to fix it.  I was asking him very humbly.  I was scared of getting him on the wrong side, didn’t want to jeopardize my chances.  I will do anything, I will give up anything.  I was trying to bribe god.  I understand the stupidity of it now.  But I didn’t then.

Cont….

 

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

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

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

 

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Childhood Amid The Tea Fields

tri

What feelings does today’s word prompt Childhood invoke in me?? Obviously my amazing childhood in the Tea Fields of Sri lanka.

For most, Sri Lanka would mean, Tropical climate, hot and humid. Well, true for most parts of the country.    The pearl of the Indian Ocean, the island called Sri Lanka has it’s Paradise set in the middle of the country.  As you travel to the middle of the country, the upcountry as they call it, you are in awe of this pure natural beauty.  With it’s typical English weather, light drizzle, Pine trees (instead of Coconut trees) and waterfall.

…..

misty ne

 

waterfall

Lush green tea fields, light mist popping out of the mountains, it is barely morning, all the little ones rugged up in jumpers and beanies, we await for the bus that takes us to our school.

This is no ordinary bus.  This bus journey, the whole experience is not the norm. This bus is owned by TRI (Tea Research Institute).  And this particular journey in the morning is just for the school kids of the TRI staff.  Somapala on the wheels and Peter (late) as conductor our parents put the trust and confidence in the two gentleman to take their precious angels to various schools in NuwaraEliya. The bus drops us in the respective schools and awaits in NE until end of school.

Driving in the hill country is not for the fainthearted, nor for the  Colombo cowboy in the flash car.  The roads are very narrow and set right on the edge of the cliff. Add to that, a thick fog makes it a very challenging drive.  But for all this unlike in Colombo or any other part of Asia, not that many accidents, but almost all prangs have been fatal.  These drivers here are extremely skilled and very professional, hence the infrequency of accidents.  They know that there is no room for error, a small error in judgement,and you are at the bottom of the cliff, looking straight at the doorsteps of judgement day.

 

My play area on the weekend was my dad’s Lab – Bio Chemistry Department.  I swapped beakers and centrifugal machines for dolls.  My Utopia.