Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The 'happy party'

So its been a while since I posted here last. Not counting the Punekar posts which were written some time back and which I decided to put up just to fill in the increasingly growing gap between posts. The last three months have been far from rosy and for a while I had just given up on everything, blogging included. It all started with P falling ill, followed in close succession by Nikki, which I blogged about here. Just when life seemed to be limping back to normal and things were getting back on track, Nikki fell ill again. Except that this time round it wasn't the routine fall ill- go to the doctor-take a dose of antibiotics jig that we had kind of gotten used to, given the number of times she's been unwell ever since she started playschool. No, what happened this time round made the whole go to the doctor- take antibiotics routine seem like a faraway, rosy dream. It was a complete nightmare from the word go, comprising a week's stay in the hospital, two days of which were spent in the ICU. My first and only visit to a hospital before this was when Nikki was born and that was something I had prepped for, for over a year. This time round it was unexpected and scarily so. Its been well over a month, nearly two, since this happened but even now just the thought of that hospital stay gives me nightmares. The only good thing that came of the entire episode, even though I wouldn't have thought such a thing possible at the time, was that the short, harrowing hospital stay helped me get a lot of things in perspective. They say illness always gives you a new, sometimes improved perspective on life. Very true in my case. This episode happened at a time when I certainly needed some perspective and I got it by the cartloads. And cliched as it may sound, I think somewhere it has left me a wiser person. I can handle any shit Mr Murphy (he seems rather fond of me) chooses to throw my way now. Having said that, an illness of this magnitude for Nikki is certainly not something I want to undergo ever again. I would much rather happily go under a truck. Even a multitude of trucks. Its one thing to be ill yourself or even watch another adult suffer. Its excruciatingly difficult when its your young child and its not something I think I have the fortitude to bear again. Food for thought that, considering I've always considered myself to be a rather strong person otherwise, but this episode left me shattered. For weeks after we'd got back home and even after Nikki was back to her usual naughty little chatterbox self, I was moping around wallowing in self pity, feeling quite fed up with life.

Life, meanwhile, went about her business with nary a care as she is wont to. The maid vanished into thin air a few days after we got back from the hospital without so much as a by-your-leave. The dhobi continued to delight with burnt shirts and mysteriously stained collars. The people who live on the floor right above us carried on with their all year round home renovation program which gives one the constant impression of living under either a bowling alley or a hammer wielder with a particularly nasty temper, or on some particularly good days, both. All delightful little reminders that the show must go on and you really have no choice but to pull up your socks and get on with it. And eventually, time will heal all wounds even if it doesn't necessarily erase all memories, and life will seem less miserable even with the bais who don't show up and the errant dhobis. (I draw the line at the people on top though, they really are a a royal pain.)

In other news, in all of this general chaos and turmoil, my beloved book was launched. I really couldn't give it the attention or the time it deserved, much less blog about it but I hope to be able to do that now. All in all, it has been around for a couple of months now and by the grace of God its doing well. The reviews have been very encouraging, its made it to the Landmark best-seller list two weeks in a row(Woo Hoo!) and readers have written in to me with very ego boosting kind of stuff which could have potentially gone to my head if it hadn't been for the able support of my family who've taken it upon themselves to keep me grounded.In their own special ways, of course. A couple of months ago when the book had just been launched, an impromptu get-together was organized at my aunt's home. "Read from the book!" someone shouted.
I blushingly obliged. Surrounded by a gaggle of aunts and cousins, heart thumping so hard in my mouth I could barely get the words out, I nervously read from what I hoped was one of the funnier bits in the book. A frozen silence ensued. Baffled looks were exchanged.
"Erm, are we supposed to laugh now? That was the funny bit was it?" inquired a bewildered voice.
Yep, don't think there's any danger of my developing a swollen head anytime soon. They help me stay grounded, my family, they do.
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I was chatting with my mum on the phone about the last three months the other day and I told her I was fed up with all the worrying and the fretting and that 'the pity party was over'.
"What is a pity party Mama?" chirped an inquisitive little voice at my elbow.
"Umm, a pity party is when you're feeling sad Nikks. But Mama has decided not to feel sad anymore."
"So Mama will be happy now? Have a happy party?"
"Yes."
And a happy party it will be. Let the good times roll.
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