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MUSINGS

Meandering thoughts………..

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Relationships

A Call from beyond the grave….

I was startled out of my reprieve when I heard my father answering the phone. With happiness and pain I listened to the conversation he had with my brother. What an oxymoron!!!!!!!!!

My heart swelled with pain and my eyes brimmed over with tears, which ran down my cheeks to find solace somewhere. Be still my heart  and focus my darting eyes that are in search for him who is no more. 

My daughter hugged me while I cried over the recording of my dad’s conversation with my brother. 

An accidental recording, an accidental discovery threw light on my apparent attempts at coping with the loss.

Kavini

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Five Stages of Denial

When you experience loss, people say you’ll move through the 5 stages of grief….
Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance
….. What they don’t tell you is that you’ll cycle through them all every day.”
― Ranata Suzuki

 

Deinal 1

 

Everyone who came into this world experience the loss of a loved ones in their lives. Some experience it early on, some later however there is no escape from the clutches of death that robs a loved one from us.

I lost my dad, larger than life persona, my philosopher and Guide a few months back and still am going through these stages of grieving.

A friend said, go through the process , let go of yourself in it, then you will heal. Will I ever?

He was sick for six months before he left us bereft. He was not bed ridden, though he was hospitalized often as his liver gave up on him, he was active till the last day. HE got admitted one morning , the next morning everything was over.

The specialists used marvel at his will power, with three hospitalizations within six months, the first one extending almost to twenty days never once did he say,”Why me?” . He might have been upset or depressed , but never once let his cheer down.

After his last hospitalization the specialist said,” when you admitted him the first time, his life expectancy was only 6 months, but I am amazed at his will power,lets prepare him for a liver transplant and he will be with us for some more years.”

He left us fifteen to twenty days after those words.(Thank God he did not hear those words).

People who cared said, “At least, he did not suffer”

“You need to be strong for your mom and your children”

“He wouldn’t like to see you cry”

“He is in a better place”

But,

He was my dad, my hero…….

He left a vacuum in my life that cannot be filled by anything else. His memories will live forever in our hearts however they are not the replacements for him. They are nothing but shadow of a vibrant man.

DENIAL: When he was in the ICU battling for his life, when the doctors told us the fact that he was slipping away from us, I kept telling everyone,”My dad has amazing will power. HE will pull through this. ” I was in denial. When the last rites were being performed, it was surrealistic. I expected him to get up and say,” Don’t worry my dear”. How will I go on without him? Very decision of mine was always taken after consulting with him. Any issues that I faced, he was my spring board. How will go on ?

ANGER: I was angry at everyone and everything including my father. Who gave him the right to ditch us and go? Why did he smoke? Why did he have that extra drink sometimes? What right people had to say that .”this too shall pass” I did not want it to pass. What right people had to say that I have to stop remembering him and move on.

BARGAINING: So many what ifs? May be we did not catch on the symptoms? If only we had noticed his lack of appetite sooner? If only we were worried about his weight gain? If only I had visited him more? So many what Ifs? What if…what if…what if…..

DEPRESSION: If you have not experienced depression no one can explain the helplessness, despondency and the loneliness. Nothing had meaning in life, the career, husband ,children friends or hobbies. NOTHING!!!!!! I was and am in so much pain…… and no one noticed me sinking in pain.

The said stages …..it cannot be experienced in a linear fashion. I slip in and out of it…….

ACCEPTANCE: I haven’t reached there yet…

I am that person who says”Coz my daddy said……..”

Love you dad….

Kavini

 

 

 

Make Love

He said he wants to make love to me, he asked about my day. He said he wants to make love to me, shared  his thoughts with me. He said he wants to make love to me, sang for me. He said he wants to make love to me, held me close to dance with me. He said he wants to make love to me, massaged my tired feet.  He said he wants to make love to me, tucked my unruly hair behind my ears, while my hands were filled with flour. He said he he wants to make love me,kissed my forehead. I asked when and he said I have been ….

Kavini

 

In the dark woods…Awaits HE

The magical sinister woods , the dark eyed enchanter beckoned me. The warnings I made light off and stepped into the web weaved by him. While others recognized the snare, I glimpsed the intricate beauty. While others recognized the thorn, I gazed at the dew drops on the petals. While others recognized the crumbling walls, the majestic tower I gazed at. While others recognized disdain, I glimpsed love. While the others recognized malice, I witnessed humor. while others disdained the man child, I loved the man child. My dark eyed enchanter, both the thorn and the beauty I  accept.

Kavini

My daughter …My mother

I see my mother when my thirteen year old darling girl without being prompted carries the heavier bag, leaving the smaller one for me when she knows I had a tough day at work. I glimpse my mother when she sings my favorite Krishna hymn when she senses that I am deeply troubled or disturbed. She becomes my mother when she teaches me the new technology or how to swim without becoming angry but with humor. We are friends when we drool over boys together but again she becomes the stern mother when she feels my taste in men is hopeless(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!How did I marry your father sweet heart;) ) The best part is when she comes to me saying , “mamma hug”, I realize however grown up she might become, she is still the sweet little midget I carried in my womb.

Kavini

WAITING………..

peepholeTen minutes”, he said……….Legs on their own accord rushed to the mirror, while the khol rimmed eyes checked the shimmery lips. The slender arms smoothed down the dress anxiously and tucked the tendrils of hair that was caressing her face lovingly, behind the ears decked with  crystals that danced around when she flicked her hair back. The long hand embraced the short hand , proclaiming the hour and the end of the much awaited ten minutes. She wore down the floor between the door and the window through which she would see his beast of a car.The long hand inched away from the embrace and he still was not there….Through the curtains she peeped again , the sky was painted with hues of orange and red, boisterous children riding their cycles and chasing each other, old ladies going for a walk chanting slokas, young girls giggling while walking, she saw everyone except him. The door bell rang and she ran to open the door,not to find him but the flower vendor. Her breath cane out in gasps as if she climbed a steep mountain and when the door bell chimed again she spied through the peep hole to see the face she longed to see. She took deep breaths to calm her nerves and opened the door to him, who witnessed a vision of serenity before him. Kavini

THIS IS FOR YOU MY FRIEND………..

Friend

you walk with me during lull and storm

you hands are there

to wipe tears and to hug

your right words

to guide and to applaud

sakhe your presence I feel every moment of my life.

This is about a good friend of mine. Both our fathers are friends. Though I know his father very well I met him only when we were sixteen.  

My fathers friends used to have get together quite often. It was the first time my friend attended such a gathering. We were already a well settled group of youngsters and one of the older boys in the group took my friend under his wing. 

A couple of us who were serving food decided to initiate him into the gang through a trial by fire. His glass alone was refiled again with salt and water solution. Poor thing he assumed that the water itself tasted like that. The minute he knew that it was a special concoction that was prepared for him humour flashed in his eyes and the ice was broken,  Well he had his revenge when we met at his place the next time. I was made to drink a mixture of coffee and tea.!!!!! Yikes.  To make me drink salt water solution he drank a whole cup to prove to me that it was just plain water.

He loves to drive and when he used to take me in his bike we used to sweep the road at every curve. (He loved to take the curves at a high speed and believed himself to be a formula 1 bike racer).I used to hold on to him  for my dear life.

So many discussions we have had about our dreams, fear, aspirations, likes and dislikes. Many an hour was spent in pleasant discussions.

Life happened and he went to the other end of the world for his higher studies and our life path branched off in different directions and we lost touch. Like the paths in the garden that meanders and keep intersecting our life also kept intersecting. 

There are days, months and years of silence but when we connect it is always like as if we had our last meeting just yesterday. We pick up from where we left off.

There is no demands and expectations from each other but we know that we can depend and trust each other. 

This is for you my friend who sent me a  huge bouquet of roses from US for my marriage and my first dance partner.

We might traverse our own path again but when our paths intersect we will continue our journey for sometime together before life decides to take us else where else.

Thank you my friend.

Kavini

 

CHOICE

My parents are seventy years  and sixty four years old respectively.

Dad is a retired teacher and mother has been a home maker who has held our family together while dad was busy trying to provide a roof over our head.

There wasn’t a decision in my life that I have not consulted with my father or mother. 

When I went out shopping I always discussed with my mother about the kind of dresses or accessories that I wanted to buy. (I may not have always listened to her suggestions but I always discussed things with her)

 Dad was always there when I had to decide upon what subjects to specialise in during  high school, when I had to decide whether to get married to the person who was chosen by my parents. But, whatever decision I had to take they stood by me giving the message that we are here for you, no matter what.

As we all know, as we become old enough and start leading a life of our own,some of the  discussions that we had with our parents dwindle down. For some of us it completely stops, where us some of us still continue to have discussions with our parents.

As they grow older, their second childhood visits them and the responsibility of taking care of our parents falls on us. How many of us do a good job?

Sometimes we try to smother them with our love and care. Let us think about a few things before we proceed. We are taking about those individuals who have had their own careers, who have been making decisions for a long time in their lives. And to this individual who has been independent and the person who has been taking decisions all his/her life , we tell them through our love that we will take decisions for them. Why do we rob  the joy of making a choice from them. 

How many time have we decided for them without even consulting with them about where they are going to spend their summers or winters. How many times have we decided for them when they will go to your brother’s or sister’s place? How many times do we decide for them whether they can travel to another relatives house or not?

Our lives are filled with incidents like these, where out of love for our parents , when they are in their second childhood we make decisions for them thinking about their well being and  forgetting that they have been making their own decisions in life.

Agreed some of them may not be in a fit condition to make the right decision but why rob them of the opportunity to think about all the possibilities that are available to them?

Let us love them and not smother them. While they are still capable of making their own choices let us step back and let them make that choice. Nothing gives them more pleasure than listening to their children sharing their ideas with them and giving importance to their suggestions.

Kavini

WHEN THE DAUGHTER BECOMES THE MOTHER

I remember those days when

holding her hands I

crossed the roads.

I remember those days when 

my mother fed me

with love.

I remember those days when

She offered to live through 

my pain.

I remember the days when 

her lap was 

my pillow.

I am sure when you travel down the spiralling lane of your memory you would recall incidents with your mother or father or any other loved one.

One of my fondest memories with my mother was when she used to comb my long hair, which touched my knees.  It was a ritual that started with applying oil to the scalp and the entire length of the silken hair. Then came the process of untangling it and plaiting it. This happened  some  years ago.

Now my mother is sixty years old , she is suffering from spondylosis, some nerve problem and old age. She has abused her body so much when she was young by slogging from the morning till the evening and has not been taking good care of herself. She cannot turn her head abruptly as it is difficult for her. I inherited my long hair from her.

Now there are days when she is so tired that she finds it difficult to untangle her hair.  Today I think it was one of those days and she came to me with a comb  and said, “will you comb my hair dear?”

Wordlessly I took the comb from her and did her the service that she did to me for years.  With the same love and care that she showed me when she did my hair, I did hers.

Our roles were reversed now, I became the mother and she was my child as it has been happening for time immemorial. And I remembered going shopping with her a couple of days where I held her hand and guided her through a road crossing. 

I find myself at a crossroads in life where every son and daughter find themselves in, to be the mother or father to your parent.

What a mighty responsibility!!!!!!!!!

I had tears in my eyes when I plaited her hair. Mom who was always invincible needs my help and as time passes by is going to need it more. Am I ready for that? Do I have the courage to see her becoming dependent on others as time passes on. 

I do not know. This I know , as she was there whenever I needed her , to pick me up after a fall, to console me when I had a fight with my friends, to  stand by when I went through my adolescent crushes and guided me to the right path when I wavered.

Now I am trying to fill her shoes and am scarred that those may not fit me but that will not stop me from trying.

To all those daughters and sons who find themselves in the other end, being the mother or father to their own parents enjoy the reversal in roles. They may like it or may not like it but be ready to give them the help when it is needed.

Kavini

 

 

 

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