Sunday, July 03, 2022

Magic Letter Writing 

 A letter from Eeyore a donkey from 100 acre woods by EE Milne to me 

 Dear J, 

 I am so happy to hear from you. It's been so long since someone has written to me so reading your letter made me smile . And I don’t smile often. 

 And I loved the writing paper you wrote your letter on and you drew me!! Wow!No one has ever done that for me before ..well! Ok! Maybe Pooh my friend has! 

 This conflict that you mention in your letter of not being ok with who you are ? Is it like not feeling comfortable in your own skin ? And when do you feel this way? 

 Did you know J, I spend a lot of time in sad thoughts and then I look at my tail and I think, “it’s not much of a tail but I’m sort of attached to it” And there goes. You do know I have a tail attached to my body with a nail.It’s an unique tail. But it’s my tail . I love reflecting and my tail helps me do just that.It’s ok to lose a part of ourselves temporarily and then find a way to get it back . I kept losing my tail till I got one nailed onto me. And I feel profoundly conflicted too ?It comes knocking at the doors of my head many a time? I’m often craving for love and keep lamenting and then I see my friends Pooh piglet tigger rabbit and I struggle to receive their friendship.Perhaps it’s ok to not feel ok.. I’m thinking about it too. 

 And yes … I wanted to ask you ? How did you figure out that spending time with animals helps you with this conflict that churns in you . Am so happy to hear about Syrah and Bono ( he’s the new one isn’t he ) in your life, one your zen lady cat and Bono the singing hero. They remind me of my 100 acre wood friends- each so unique yet connected. 

 I love the way you ask in your letter, about your conflict as to ‘what stops you from shining your light ?! Is it the people around you that stop you ? Or society? Is it that you wish to be liked and accepted by all?

 You know I go through this too. Am a blue-grey,grumbling, ‘woe is me’ donkey who brings a rain cloud to the parade. And no one gets me.I like to bemoan my life and I’ve been told that my frown never turns upside down:-( 

 But little things do make me happy like thistles & sugar cubes .. I love eating them. Would eating your favourite food with your family and cats help you find that little spark? 

 I am sending this letter through my ‘wild idea’s’ friend Tigger who loves an adventure and he’s going to give it to Syrah or Bono whoever is out on their stroll and they will bring it to you. 

I’ve got to go now . Pooh is here to give me a hug and I’d like one now and am sending you a hug in this letter too Please keep writing. I'd like to hear more from you.Id love to support you in any way I can. EEYORE
This Magical Letter Writing Exercise was part of my Mental Health Training Module(MHTP) by Ummeed. To evoke the sense of magic and wonder and let one's imagination know no bounds. I wasn't sure how the letter would turn out but when i read it aloud in my supervision group I was emotional! Loved writing this Love Eeyore

Sunday, October 13, 2019

On grief and losing my father

At first it’s a day, then a day before, then a week, and then a month, and then a year. I am still on the ‘days’ bit with my Dad who passed on. I’m still on the ‘last week this time’ mode, recollecting each memory, each word, conversations we had, the lunch we had together and also those moments when I was irked with him...

He never let on his worries to me but he knew; he knew enough to settle his affairs, pay salaries, pay maintenance for the home he cherished for many years after my mother’s death. He even wrote his book (it’s still to be edited and published )

A 91 year old ‘white bread’ eating young dude; he also loved his kheer, rabdi jalebi, kulfi and kaju katli. He ate everything, relished what ever he ate but in moderation. His years with me were when I realised what it means to parent one’s parent. We had our spaces and boundaries but he depended on me and I depended on his larger-than-life, silent presence in my home. His specific seat in the living room, his chair at the head of our dining table, his water glass filled to a level that wasn’t heavy for him to lift. The cashew jar placed near his reach…each nook and corner of my home carries his memory.

 When I took him to the hospital for his 2-D echo and he collapsed there, this niggling inner voice said it was time for him. When he was in the emergency ward, he was emotional yet crystal clear about no intervention and definitely no ICU. I signed the forms against intervention, knowing my father needed that for himself - the dignity to take his own decisions rather than be dismissed as a discarded object on the hospital bed with no voice of his own.

When he was in the room he longed for home.
And when it was time for him to depart, he knew. He told me that he would not survive this and was insistent I sit near him so that he could speak. Now as I write this it feels so unreal. As I soothed his cold hands, he told me all that needed to be done and where he had kept all the relevant details for us to access once he departed. He was also insistent I go home and rest. 
Till the very end, he refused to use a bed pan or a sponge. He walked to the washroom himself. He stopped eating gradually and even if he did, his body purged it out. He looked frail and tired but was alert throughout. No fear. No sadness. All he confessed to was feeling impatient and restless with it all, knowing the inevitable but unable to hurry it up. What can one say about such a passing away? A graceful acceptance of what is to be...I’m grateful he passed on the way he had led his life - peacefully and with tremendous inner strength.

Death didn’t take him by surprise. He was ready to go.
And now when I feel the grief of losing him in all its entirety, I know that there is a mark that grief leaves which cannot be rubbed off. I still walk down the passage to wish him goodnight as I did each night; I end up soaking almonds for him and tears flow when I see the biscuit jar which had his favourite tea cookies.
I know time is the healer, but for now I need to feel this fully for however long it takes.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

A memory

The trigger to this post is a crispy fried noodle dish that my mother used to make with her own unique sauce.She knew it was my all-time favourite ❤️
It will be 5 years this month since her passing on ...

A memory flares up through a fragrance; of a dish being cooked, of roasted masalas wafting up at random

The aroma of fresh spices and garlic held so tight in the folds of her sari ‘pallu’. The pallu that I furtively wiped my hands and mouth in as and when the need arose.

She knew it but she didn’t let on.
My mother.

One memory leads to another...
Of a crispy fried noodle dish with a sauce that was uniquely hers.
Of her cupboard with its distinctive naphthalene balls-and-Cinthol-soap scent, her clothes with their ‘Mumma’ fragrance.
Of her voice, strident yet gentle,
Of her words so upfront yet true.

How strange a memory can be?  Like a limp in a once-injured leg, it reappears, unnoticed until I give it the attention it demands.
Does it appear to gently remind me of my own ageing?
And how I have started relating to my mother in terms of years?
When she was 52, as I am now, how do I remember her?

She lives on through the recipes she made me write down when I married. Through her sarees all in blue and green.
She lives on through fragrances, sometimes a wisp, sometimes in full bloom.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Co-existence of Caregiving and Nourishing Oneself | PatientsEngage

Co-existence of Caregiving and Nourishing Oneself | PatientsEngage: Jyotsna Kumar talks about her caregiving roles - as a mother of daughter with Cerebral Palsy and as a daughter. With a timely reminder on the importance to look after oneself to avoid burnout and also to increase the quality of caregiving.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Motherhood-Living with and mothering with a disabilty

A guest post by me which opened up a whole  new world to  me:)

An article of mine: Patients engage

Allowing myself to read through these questions as they appear in this article helped me to view it from a medical perspective. The choices I made when I chose the easy option of painkillers,my simple lack of awareness perhaps;
How much our environment makes a difference and our responses to it!

Friday, January 19, 2018


In the tears,
deep within lies
 a sense of quiet
a deathly silence.
That eventually
allows for a gentle
call it a breakthrough 
if you wish.
However at that moment,
it is just my
in the tears.

Tears come from
 a deep space
least understood
when spoken.
To touch the space between the tears
and Divine grace.
To move into it here and now
is when the transition occurs
of holding myself in that Grace.
Not begrudging my tears 
Instead allowing them to flow
As raw tender grief.

In this moment, there is nothing for me to do.
In the tears.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Living life with a disability

It took me a while to get the title right because it’s a disability I am truly learning to live my life with each day. There are days when I forget my deafness, there are days when others don’t notice my deafness and there are those days when I long to regain my 100% hearing again.

 To listen to music crystal clear, to follow conversations in groups, to enjoy the nuances of the language like I once used to.There are those odd moments of loss. 

How much a disability affects  one’s life depends entirely on how much one allows it to. I don’t think it’s just about accepting it. It’s more about focussing on what one can do with this challenge. And there are always going to be moments of sheer frustration and helplessness. I don’t hear the alarm clock ring and oversleep, I miss the doorbells many a time and rely on my cat to look towards the door and then to me as an indicator. I am poor in balance. I miss birdsong and even thunder.There is the tinnitus and the eye fatigue due to constant lip reading. I could go on an on.

I use hearing aids which do not function the way spectacles do (I need to write this here because everyone I know has this misconception). I need to take care of them every day, clean them and dehumidify them and keep them protected, change their batteries and make frequent visits to my audiologist for fine tuning. I have no problem telling people I am profoundly deaf but I have a problem with people assuming they need to shout and speak because I am deaf. Loudness impairs the clarity even further,it amplifies sound adding to the cacophony. All I need is clarity.

On the optimistic side, I don’t hear a thing once I have taken my hearing aids off. I sleep through fireworks and arguments. I'm also blessed to live in the digital age so I use a digital hearing aid that connects to my phone and through Bluetooth, music streams in for clear hearing. Same applies for telephone calls.

 As I blog this,my hearing loss is at a 105 decibel loss already. Learning to live a fulfilled life with whatever hearing I have is my thought for the moment :-)

Just words

Like a million broken pieces put together,
some shards, some whole.
Some with a hint of a crack.
Where I am today is just that,scattered bits mended,
some fragile,
some resolute.
Fused in.
It's not about the life you are handed out,
it's what you do with it once it's yours.

Chaotic,frenzied yet calm,serene,
the balance comes when I don't look for it.
stop the struggling,
the resisting,
the pushing
the controlling,
and what is mine comes to me magically.
Like a door that's ajar waiting for me to enter
Gentle steps in
The world awaits me!