Gratitude List, December 31, 2011

Saturday saw the plumber come and finish the plumbing work and water started flowing in all the taps at about 4 pm. Masonry work to plaster the wall and put in new tiles had to be done, and perhaps on Monday or Tuesday, the plumber promised to get this done. It was nice being able to use my bathroom again!

Sanjay, in his irresistible way picked on something that I had said casually in a conversation and got me a gift, a lathi. For the curious, the lathi has many memories for me from my childhood. I had been at the receiving end of that stick on many occasions!

Late afternoon saw a very pleasant surprise. A young lady, bubbling with enthusiasm, who works in my alma mater, on a visit home to Pune, came to meet me, to see what an old alumnus, would look like! We had a very interesting meeting. She has threatened to meet me the next time she is back home too. Aishwarya, I hope that you are reading this.

Sunday, Christmas day was very quiet till I went to the park and was pleasantly surprised to see my friend Sarala greet me with a packet of goodies!

Monday started off with a bang for me. One of my protegees, has made it good and has hit the newspapers. I was very proud of his achievements and rang him up to congratulate him and he was happy to talk to me too.

My friends Arun and his lovely wife Sheela from Mumbai, dropped in to say hello and it was nice to talk to them after a long time.

Tuesday started off on a bad note. I could not access the internet throughout the day. This however gave me enough time to finish reading one book and start another off. The latter was very thoughtfully brought to me from our club library by Ranjan. The plumber finally came and carried out the finishing touches to the plumbing work byt replacing three spindles of faucets. The bathroom is now totally dry as I need to have considering my current fear of falling. My friend Ramesh came to check up on how I was doing.

Wednesday too was sans the internet. We read in the papers that the service provider had an accidental fire in their dirstribution node and was working hard to restore services at the earliest. Once again the time was spent on reading and I finished reading one of the books from the library and started off another. I was able to go to the park in the evening and also do some shopping for the first time since my surgery. The supermarket staff were thrilled to see me and were very helpful.

Thursday morning had the internet working and I was able to catch up with some of the backlog mails. By late evening I caught up with all the backlog and started off on the blogs. Having waited for a mason for a whole week, Yakob decided that he will do the plastering and re-tiling of the bathroom and with great enthusiasm, did it as a stop gap arrangement. I also discovered that I no longer react to needling from my father who has his own ways of doing/conveying things. I think that this has been happening for some time without my being aware of it and having become aware, I was quite pleased. I prepared a pepper seasoned prawn dish which was much appreciated.

Friday was quiet till late afternoon when an old colleague from over forty years ago and his wife came over from Mumbai to spend a couple of hours with me. It was simply mind blowing to catch up after so many years.


Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where twelve of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Willknot. The eleven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, Paul, Rohit and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

Frankly, I have no idea! I am totally bereft of ideas to write a decent post on the subject of Ideas.

Take a few moments to watch this advertisement.

This is to promote one mobile telephony companay in India called Idea Cellular.

The star of the promo recently became a father. Since he is also a film star son of another great film star, the event got a lot of publicity.

Sadly, one of the collateral damages was what we call a PJ – Poor Joke.

One fan is asked who is the father of the child and the answer he gives is “No Idea!”

I however am net savvy enough to lead my readers to a very interesting site. Enjoy!!

No Broadband Internet Connection.

I could not connect to the internet on Tuesday and yesterday as my broadband connection was inaccessible.

While it gave me enough time to finish reading two books, it also means that I have to plod through 400+ emails as I type this and I could not access blogs and could not write my daily blog either. The saving grace was that my mobile phone connection is from a different provider and that was not disturbed. Many of my friends who had both from the same provider suffered.

I shall catch up with everything by late tonight. Hopefully.

Gratitude List, December 24, 2011.

I received a phone call which reminded me that I need to be very grateful for my 94 year father’s health allowing him to be independent and capable of looking after himself. This is a major blessing as there are other care givers who have wards who are bed ridden and have to do much more that I do for my father.

Saturday saw two very dear friends drop in to spend some time with me. One around lumch time and the other in the evening. Colonel (Retd) Anand, despite his disability of blindness and Karl, another disabled person. Both are inspiring personalities who show that despite disabilities people can live fruitful and joyful lives. While I was given a chance to be of some service to the former, the latter brought a couple of books for me read which he had read and highly recommended.

Despite it being Sunday, my friend and GP came over to have a look and treat my father who had a bad night with a congested chest and bouts of coughing. My father found relief within a couple of hours and had a peaceful Sunday siesta and night sleep.

Vimlu rang me up from a local super market to ask if I wanted anything brought and yes, I did. Great to have such thoughtful neighbours.

Monday was a very quiet and peaceful day though I started to get antsy, it being the last day of the 12th week of house arrest. I did manage to finish reading one book and started off another. When I rang up my surgeon for an appointment for Tuesday, he readily agreed for one.

Tuesday, nothing else mattered. I met my surgeon and was given a clean chit and released from all restrictions with the caution that I just have to be careful the next few weeks till the body got used to the new implant. I was able to climb the staircase and move into my own bed room after three months! I slept like a baby.

On Wednesday, I walked to the joggers park for the first time since mid July and had a grand reunion with all my friends. It was nice to know that I was missed and the joy in being there was overwhelming.

Thursday had an old friend Ramesh drop in unexpectedly. It was nice catching up with him after three months! I went to the park again and with less strain than on Wednesday.

Friday was madness. I am however grateful that I had the equanimity and wherewithal to handle everything satisfactorily. It started off early in the morning after breakfast with my father announcing that he was finding it difficult to breathe and he was about to go off to meet the big chief in the sky. I calmed him down and rang up my GP friend who promptly came over, took care of the problem and restored some order in the chaos. I had already booked appointments with my bank for some transactions and on the way back for a hair cut and massage and these too got handled in the nick of time. I had promised to make a special dish for Ranjan and Mitali and before the latter landed up, once again with some chikkoos and drumsticks, I was able to finish cooking the dish. Subsequently, Sanjay too landed up. While all this was going on, the water supply to my bathroom got affected and the plumber who came took about two hours to decide that further work needs to be done which will be done the next day only. I had to use Ranjan’s bath room in the meanwhile.

In all these activities, I had to drop my walk to the park which resulted in a few phone calls from friends wondering if I had had a relapse! Nice to know that people missed me and cared.

Hospitals Or Doctors.

Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where twelve of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Padmum. The eleven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, Paul, Rohit and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

I have personal experience of being hospitalised on five separate occasions. While two were successful for the purpose that I had been hospitalised, the highly and bordering on unethical commercial aspects of one hospital on those two occasions left me with no option but to change hospitals on the fifth occasion. Luckily for me, my surgeon was also of the same opinion and operated on me at a different hospital on the fifth occasion. The other three were excellent experiences and I am convinced that when a hospital is run on commercial yet ethical basis, patients can have pleasant experiences.

Having got that bit of background out of my system, I shall choose to write on the second option of the topic – Doctors.

I am blessed. There is no other explanation for my having had the benefit of medical assistance from so many wonderful GPs, one cardiologist, two amazing dentists, and two Orthopedic surgeons, besides a couple of friends who incidentally happen to be doctors. Besides these wonderful characters, I did have an unpleasant experience with a husband and wife team of dentists, who were dropped by me like hot potatoes as soon as I was able to secure the services of another dentist conveniently located.

My earliest memory of a doctor goes back to when I must have been around four or five years old. One Dr. Seshadri used to pay house visits to our place in Chennai in a Baby Austin. I do not remember much about him except that his car would start with a ping noise when he turned on the self starter, and the fascinating spectacle of his lighting a spirit lamp to sterilise his syringe and needles before administering an injection. I never had to be exposed to one, but used to be fascinated by the way he would use a rubber hose to tighten the muscles to locate a vein!

The next vivid memory of a doctor was Dr. Abdulla, a giant of a man forever laughing and with a way with children. He would keep a bottle full of candies and would ask children visiting his clinic to help themselves to as many as they wished. He was a personal friend of my father’s as well, and after he had retired and when I was 32 years old I visited him in his home and the bear hugs he gave me on receiving me and sending me off is a memory not easily erased.

There were many other GPs who came into our lives in various cities through either being close to our place of residence or through reference of friends who have all left good impressions on me. One particular GP was so good with our son Ranjan that the latter never felt fear in consulting him. When He was about 8, Ranjan developed jaundice and was under the care of this GP who was gently advising him about food restrictions during recovery. Ranjan used to read Asterix The Gaul those days, and when he was told to keep away from meat, chicken and fish for a while, asked the doctor if he could have wild boar! The doctor, without batting an eyelid, agreed that he could if he would go and hunt for one and bring it home! On a recent visit to the same neighbourhood in Mumbai, Ranjan went to see him only to find that he had passed away.

My tryst with orthopedists started in Mumbai in 1978 with one who turned out to be someone I knew from our childhood. He first tackled my prolapsed disc and subsequently replaced both my hip joints. He continues to be a good friend and almost all my friends in need and members of my family have been going to him for years. He is now in semi retirement but his son seems to be shaping as well as the father.

After we moved to Pune finally to put down roots, one GP opened his clinic just across the road from us who has not only been looking after our health but has become a good friend as well. He showed great tenderness in looking after my late wife Urmeela and was the one who gave her the final certificate to send her off. This same doctor now looks after the well being of my father with tremendous patience and skill.

Then came my tryst with a cardiologist, introduced to me by this same GP. This cardiologist too was instrumental in keeping Urmeela alive and active till her last.

These two medical professionals have done great honour to their profession and I acknowledged my debt of gratitude them in a special blog post.

My latest adventure/diversion with doctors was due to my last revision to my replaced hip joint three months ago. My readers know more than enough about that experience and I do not want to bore them with gushing admiration for the surgeon. Just one little episode to wind up my praise for him. During my latest consultation with him earlier this week, Ranjan who was with me, suggested something as part of my recovery process and the surgeon promptly told him not to teach his father to suck eggs!

Only one specialist is now necessary in my life to complete my association with doctors.