Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Fatal February

Looking back, I think that Feb spelt misfortune for Trinity.

When we brought her home, after that terrible, horrible wound/burn in her thigh (we still don't know how it was caused!) we were soooo happy. And then in Feb, she got all listless and was off her food.. . .  sure sign of being unwell in a lab! The vet who came home to check on her, diagnosed it as pyometra, and thankfully immediately referred her to another vet who specialised in gynaecology. And he operated just in time. A little later, and her uterus would have ruptured and that would have been the end. But we got lucky that time. She was saved, her earlier vet continued the post-op treatment, and she got back to her old self pretty soon.
This was in Feb 2010.

There followed 5 glorious years. Till Feb 2014. I had gone for Attukaal Pongala, and had just come back. Trin had been left at home for the weekend while we were gone and Ratnamma used to come in to feed and walk her, as usual. She was overjoyed to see us back and jumped all over us.  But in the afternoon, she was off her food. The next day, Ratnamma said there were traces of blood in her potty. We took her to the vet, who said it must be indigestion and asked us to deworm her and gave us some other medication as well for an upset stomach.

She seemed to get better, her appetite was back. Till the next day, when she puked blood. I was at office. The Acha rushed her to the vet. She puked more blood and started passing blood in her stools as well. They said she must've been poisoned, and put her on drips. The Acha was asked to get her blood checked from CUPA Hebbal. The Acha called me and told me it was a bad scene and asked me to get over to the vet asap, as he was leaving for CUPA with her blood.
Till date, I have no memories of that auto ride. From Bannerghatta Road, to Varthur, I just prayed. For her to at least remain alive till I got to her. The Gods heard my prayer, she was alive. But so weak, so weak, she could barely lift her tail at seeing me. I had never seen my darling like that. And she kept puking blood and passing blood in her stools as well. Poor thing. She'd strain to get up and outside each time the retching started, and she felt the urge to go potty. She didn't want to dirty the place. It was all I could do to not break down, but hold on, I did. I stayed strong for her.

Finally the Acha came back with the glad tidings that she was not poisoned. Her blood report was normal. Our relief was short lived, though. For Trinity continued to be passing blood. The vets were unable to figure out what was wrong. But the drips seemed to have done some good. She was able to stand up, and a dull shine had come back into her eyes.
There followed a harrowing week where we'd bring her for her drips each day. Finally the vets consulted a professor of theirs. We took Trin there. Maybe it was because Trinity was a new patient and he was not familiar with her symptoms- he gave us a huge tome and asked us to read through a passage to see if the symptoms matched. The symptoms did. Based on that, he diagnosed haemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). We were asked to continue with the drips and maybe a blood transfusion would be necessary if she lost too much blood. But he said to continue at the old clinic inspite of his clinic being so much closer to us. I will never ever take a dog of mine to him ever again.
A whole week was over and we were clearly doing nothing for a cure, except for giving her drips. We kept asking the vets what could be done, and the vets kept saying we had to wait and see. I learnt how to disconnect and connect a new bottle, so that we could give her drips from home.The next day, her vets gave her blood transfusion, as she'd lost a huge amount of blood by then. Was still losing.  But that didn't help. If anything, her condition worsened.  We tried giving her papaya leaf juice to get her blood count up.

The next day, ( Sonny boy's B'day) Acha and I decided to consult another vet a friend had recommended. At the new place, they took all the tests all over again. The blood had reacted, she had a bloated stomach, and her lungs had problems as well. The vet asked us to leave her there and come back in the evening. We'd never left her alone at the other clinic. But she was having some medicines injected intravenously, and she was terribly weak. We'd carried her in on a rug. She'd be unable to climb into the car, out of the car, into the house, and then repeat the same thing all over again in the evening.We left with a heavy heart. She was going through so much, it seemed kinder to put her down. But neither of us wanted to voice it. We held on to a small sliver of hope that she'd get better. By some miracle. In the evening we came back and awaited the vet with dread. He saw us and said that she was responding to the medicines, but was still very weak. He took us to her. She was standing up and delighted to see us, tail wagging nineteen to the dozen. She jumped on us, and whined happily. We were so happy we were nearly in tears. We hadn't thought to see her so well, so soon. We looked back at the vet and smiled a grateful, joyful, misty smile at him. He smiled back, but asked us not to raise our hopes, she was far from being out of danger. Anything could happen still. She was in the extreme stages of tick fever. But we were more filled with hope then, that at any time in the last nightmarish one week to ten days. The vet suggested that we leave her there and come back in the morning. We were glad to leave her there. We went and had a glad B'day dinner. No b'day cake as we 'd all been too worried for that.

The next day, we went to the clinic with hope, but she was worse. It was as if the previous evening, she'd known that it was Sonny Boy's B'day and didn't want to sadden him or us, and had put on a 'happy and well' act. She was happy to see us, yes, but she was disoriented, and didn't want us touching her face. She was in a cage kind of place so she wouldn't fall off (we presumed). Her doctor had left by the time we reached, and would come back only in the evening. We left with a heavy heart again. I kept looking back, not wanting to leave her there so forlorn, but the Acha told me to come off, as we needed to allow her to rest which she could do better when we were not there.

This was at about 2. We planned to come back by 4.30, after picking Sonny boy who'd be back at 3.30.. There was a colleague's wedding I had to attend, I planned to come, see, Trin and then leave, show my face at the wedding and then rush back.. At about 4 however, I got very restless, I just couldn't sit still and all I wanted was to go to the clinic and see her. And then I got a call from the doc. Asking us if we could come soon. I just knew then. I asked him- How is she? Is she. . . ? And then he told me that she was no more.

To my dying day, I think I will carry the regret that I didn't stay back with her that day. That I was not with her, holding her paw, holding her close, when she left.
Poor Sonny boy was devastated. He knew she was unwell, but was not prepared at all for her death.
We had our last drive with her that night, a spent Sonny boy on my lap and Trin on the back seat. . On her journey to the PFA pet cemetery at Kengeri.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Of dogs- well trained and otherwise

Sonny Boy is in Cochin for part of the Xmas hols.
An uncle there has a dog, Micky.
Ever since Trin left us, he's been happy to be with any dog that he comes across, and yesterday, he'd spent the day at Micky's house.
He just called me, and told me that I would be very unhappy if I saw Micky. Apparently, if you asked Micky to come, she would come, if you asked her to go, she would go, she would sit, roll over, and all that, at one's behest. Seemed to me to be a well trained dog. So I asked why I would be unhappy with that.
But Amma, dogs should not be so obedient! they should be naughty.
Speaks volumes for darling Trinity's obedience. :-D
Also- by now he's read Marley and Me ( the abridged version, not the full one, didn't want him to read the original one, I could barely complete it myself without tears trickling out of my eyes, and that was before Trin passed away) and he's entirely convinced a dog should be footloose and fancy free.
All we need now is the pitpat of little paws to enter our lives and enrich it once again.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Of sambar and varutharacha curry

And its back to square one. The cooking, I mean.

The first cook we had was good. Her chicken curry was delicious!! But she was unreliable. And would take leave often. She also skipped work for an entire week that I was away from home. Without any notice whatsoever. A hassled, irate husband told me to send her packing. Well, she had to come before I could send her packing, but what I did do, was to get another one.

This new one didn't have a mobile where we could call, but was punctual to the dot every day.Only thing was - she was a cook who couldn't cook. She made decent chappatties, which was what she made the first 2 weeks, but that was the most she could do. She couldn't make north indian (aloo capsicum), she couldn't make south indian ( morukari - similar to north indian kadi) . She had to be literally shown everything else. I asked her to make potato masala curry once-
"I want potato curry made with coconut.  Like the moru kari I showed you. .  but you have to saute it first. You know?"
"I know," she nodded.
Having had prior experience of her happy nods, I proceeded to tell her in detail what all I wanted in the coconut paste.. And I laid out all the ingredients to be sauteed- onion, red chilly, cumin, pepper, chilly, curry leaves, even the requisite amount of grated coconut.
And off I went, to facebook in peace.
I wish I had taken a picture of that curry.
Madame 'chef' sauteed it to perfection yes,  but didn't grind it!! The curry was full of grated, sauteed coconut and other stuff. Husband told me - "You and your varutharacha curry! She's a kannadiga, she doesn't know all that, ask her to make normal stuff."

I was traveling again, so I asked her to make sambar. I couldn't think any more normal that that for a south Indian. This was around the time the price of dal was shooting up. What can I say? She made sure that the husband  knew that she hadn't wasted any dal. He kept it carefully in the fridge for me to see when I returned a couple of days back. I could count alll the innumerable dals in the sambar, which lay separately along with the ladies finger and drumstick and onions and tomatoes.
He looked at me miserably. I didn't know whether to laugh or to commiserate. That was the straw that broke the camel's back.

So for now, its back to me and my 'divine' cooking.  And the husband is being very helpful, extra so!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Suffrage and doubts

Sonny Boy, now in 6th standard, was reading his Civic lesson. . .

. . . and was reading that if people were not happy with their elected representatives they could change them.
"Good!" And then he did a double take- "but what's the use?? You can only change them after 5 years, right?"
Right, my son, right. Which is why you need to be extra careful WHO you vote into power.

. . . .and then he asked me- did you vote as you soon as you became legal?
Of course,  Sonny boy, I voted in the very next election after I turned 18.

. . . .and then he asked- "did Ammamma also vote?"
I looked at him smoulderingly for wasting time with inane questions.
"No, really, because it says here that in the late 19th and early 20th century, focus was on giving voting rights to women."
 I grinned and said- Your Ammamma's not as much of a dinosaur as all that. She definitely used to vote. . . for very many elections.

Unsatisfied with the answer, he went to ask my Mom if HER mother was allowed to vote. He's bent on having at least some woman in the family who fought for suffrage.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Back to writing for the sheer love of it, just like that. . .

I've missed this space so. But inspite of that, hadn't feel like visiting either. It had changed, and there were too many good memories associated with what this space used to be.

Number one would be of course, the friends I made for life. All those girls I met in the virtual world, who then turned friends in the real world too, some of whom know and understand me better than family. Not all of them might be back in this space. But somehow, that's ok. And I'm back here. Like how I started. Just to air my thoughts. And I hope I like it enough to stay, or at least, drop in more frequently.

So many changes, so few things that've stayed the way they were.

I'm at my busiest at work. Two consecutive years of being a stellar performer, and then one year of being not-so-good. Makes me realise the value behind Avis' line- "we try harder" . I've also done things I didn't ever think I'd do. Go parasailing, white water rafting, build a team, fire a team member.. . . Its tougher being a boss, than being an employee. Its also when I've realised the value if having had bad bosses. BECAUSE I've had bad bosses, I consciously try to be at least better than them. But its still difficult to make people toe the line, when they're so obviously not cut out for it.

I've also been trying to make peace with the fact that I'll never have enough time for my son. That I'm a far far throw from the Mom I dreamt I'd be. That I'm not a fun mother, cos half the time, I'm too tired to be fun. Cos there's housework to be done. And cooking. And clothes to be folded. And newspapers and books and toys to be put away. Which doesn't in the least bother the other two humans in the house. Grrr.

That reminds me of the other huge change. Trinity is no more a part of our daily lives. Its a loss I try to come to terms with every time I see a dog, a wagging tail, friendly doggy eyes, a wet nose. Sigh. I so hope I get us another furbaby, but I don't know. Life is so uncertain. I barely have time for my son. And the husband takes responsibility for the son, but has categorically told me a dog is MY responsibility. Mean man.

And now, there seem to be some more changes down the line. Which is when I realise that little as it has been , the us-time has been there. And I miss them. Miss having the Acha around to yell at for everything. :-) Miss being able to entrust Sonny boy's homework to him while I potter about in the kitchen. This year, ( After the time we kept a maid for a week while I was pregnant) we've kept a cook for the first time ever. I don't like her food. And I don't like her in my kitchen. But it does save me some time. So I'm learning to lump it.

More later.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Madras memories. . .

Yesterday, I was awaiting a client, watching TV at their office reception when I got to know that there was a Madras Day, which was being celebrated yesterday. Apparently it's celebrated on 22nd Aug, every year, and has been prevalent from 2004 and more actively, 2008. . I'd never heard of it till yesterday tho'.

But it brought back memories. . . .

Going back to those mad, glad days of MBA, Madras was where the Acha, another friend and myself had gotten our summer projects.. .  I had to do concept testing among specialist doctors, for a dietary fibre supplement that was being launched. The Acha had industrial vaccuum cleaners as his product and he had to cover hospitals, among other establishments, as part of his research. The other friend, D, was doing hers in an IT company, but she started earlier than the 2 of us, and so finished her assigned project at about the time the Acha and I started. To say that the 3 of us had a lovely time would be an understatement.

D and I were staying with our respective cousins, at Velachery and Kodambakkam, and the Acha was staying at the World University Service Centre, Chetpet.  Either before, during or after our respective sojourns for the day, we'd  meet up and sometimes, the Acha and I got to club our journeys, as hospitals formed common ground for both of our surveys.
Having spent all my school holidays in Tamil Nadu, I could speak Tamil pretty well, but couldn't read. The Acha being a pretty resourceful fellow, learnt to read and speak Tamil enough to understand/make himself understood in the 1 month that we were there. While Madras had a very admirable and  reliable system of bus numbers, there still were some places where we needed to know the destination written on the bus boards. Once we had to go to some industrial park near Aadambakkam, and the Acha scoffed at me when I expressed my reservations over how we'd get there. He said all we needed was to get on an Aadambakkam bus. Since it was wayyy too far, we agreed to go together. We waited patiently, but the Aadambakkam bus just wasn't coming, and we were getting late. Finally there lumbered up a bus.
The Acha looked up at the board, and read-
"Aa Aaa,. . " The 2 of us got up from our seat at the bus stop.
"Aaa  da. . ."  We went eagerly to towards the bus.
"Aaa dam ba. . ." I looked at him irritatedly. "Read FAST, the bus is about to go!!"
"Yeah, wait!! Aadam ba kka..  .   AadambaKKAM!!! come on. .. !! its our bus!"
But the bus had its own idea of whose it was, and had gone its way, leaving me convulsed in laughter at the Tamil reading efforts of the Acha.

The Acha had some other experiences too.
Once we were at Kilpauk Medical College, and the Acha finished his vaccuum cleaner questionnaire with the Hospital Admin guy pretty fast. But me- I had to visit at least some 5 specialists, and await my turn with the patients and sometimes I'd feel sorry to see some of them pretty unwell. I did manage to get in before the medical reps tho'. My last stop was at the Gynaecology Wing. The Acha was asked to wait for me outside Gynaec OPD, but it also happened to connect to the Labour Room from another side. And while he was waiting for me, the Acha was confronted with women in various stages of labour,  in various states of undress, with multiple moans and groans, walking about between their contractions!!! After that, he flatly refused to come with me to the Gynaec Dept of hospitals.
So hospitals were out, but there still were some specialists who consulted from home.
There was this lady doc who was supposedly famous, and much in demand, and of course she was there in my list of doctors to be met. It was at the fag end of the day, and it so happened that once again, only the Acha was with me. This was soon after the Kilpauk incident and the Acha said that he was NOT coming inside with me to the waiting area.  I agreed, said I'd be back soon; and he waited outside on the road, while I went inside the gates of the house. The compounder gave me a smile. I smiled back at him warmly, I needed to get in ahead of any other waiting patients if possible, right? Thankfully, there were not many, and I requested the compounder if I could go in, as I'd not be taking much time, and had only a few questions to ask the doc.  He smiled and agreed, and I went in , had a good chat with the doc, and came out happy with my visit.
Not so, the Acha. Apparently, the compounder assumed that I was pregnant, and moreover, that the Acha was the father, as he was pacing restlessly up and down outside the gate. He'd gone out and asked the Acha to come in and have a seat, when the Acha declined politely. At which the compounder smiled reassuringly, and asked if it was the first one or something to that effect, and asked the non-smoking Acha if he wanted a cigarette. Coming out beaming, to greet a harried-looking Acha, I bid a warm goodbye to the friendly compounder, albeit the Acha's goodbye was rather strained.
I collapsed in gales of laughter when the Acha related the incident to to me.
Years later, when I was really pregnant and we were waiting to see my gynaec, we were to laugh over this memory, but at the time, I had no inkling that this guy would turn out to be the father of my child.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sharing the Language of Love indeed!

Some months back, I'd participated in a Google Hangout to support Johnson's Baby's 'Share the Language of Love' campaign. Couple of weeks back, I got a totally unexpected call. And earlier this week, the pleasantest surprise met me at home. . .


I loved that it wasn't an impersonal courier, but hand delivered. I beamed delightedly at the delivery person, as I thanked him, and he beamed right back at me.
Being evening, Sonny boy was also home, and after the man left, he opened it. What wafted out first was that familiar, ever so  loved fragrance. It brought back memories of baby cuddles and snuggles,  and warm, soft baby skin, and all things baby. Mmmmmmmm. . ..  It made me wish I had a baby again. . . almost!

Sonny boy laid claim to the mug and the pen and the notebook. All the rest, he magnanimously allowed me to keep.
Thank you ever so much, Johnson's Baby! Its a most thoughtfully put together hamper.