Recently I saw a message,
“It is after marriage that I understood why a bathroom is called restroom.”
When I shared it with others, my niece Chitra added “same for parenting”. Once out of bed in the morning, I head for the bathroom, not the rest room. The day starts with the most important activities which every human have to perform irrespective of who you are, it cannot be outsourced. There is brushing , shaving (optional), bath (optional) and the biological excretion via digestion through the intestine…ok ok. in simple words, shit. If I can have a proper one, my day is made and there I am with all the confidence to meet any challenge that comes my way. If it does not happen, I am sorry, i cannot guarantee you your returns, since I will be performing at reduced efficiency level. I can work wonder any pressure, not this pressure.
These days, when I am ready for the day, I am on mail, social media Facebook, Linkedin, and more on Whatsapp. I am at the dining table for the morning tea, starts removing the greens from the chat messages one by one, reply to some, forward a few, leave the others, read. You send one and the response is a good one and you forward that to some body else and then comes a reply and another forward, you have to share that. Here comes the breakfast. There are about 10 groups and thirty individuals. A lot of exchanges, it goes on, you realise that you have been stuck on the seat for last 4 hours when lunch comes up. This happens on days when you are at home and no where to go. Its been an engrossing session, definitely very entertaining exchanges, though guilty. Why feel guilty, what transpired, there were a few exchanges of jokes, music and a few technical discussion on solar energy, charging stations for electric cars, a BPO set up, one or two flings, well…NOT GUILTY.
The industry claims in loss of 15% production in the companies. The exchanges keeps people charged, improves reading habits and constant touch with any one you feel like. This focus on the small screen, with head down for long hours, can lead to neck pain, back pain, eye strains and migraine, thorns in the roses, who cares, will see when it happens
I may have commented and ridiculed social media users, today I have been sucked in and enjoying it. Spouse calls me for outing, no problem, I join the husbands who are on their net while the wives are shopping. You know the shopping is over when the alert message from your bank pings on your mobile. Bills paid, you can go to the counter to carry the purchases.
While on whatsapp, a picture of 4 beautiful ladies pops up in my phone. I realise, the wisdom from the experiences of these ladies, I will not get from any exchanges in the social media. Many a time my mother, aged 91, on a rocking chair, waits for us to look up from the phone, to talk.
L to R – Kochammini (Motherin law-93), Bhavani (2)(CousinAunty-93), Sulochana(mother-91), Bhavani (1)(Aunty-95)
I am privileged to be related to the beautiful ladies running 90 plus. Every one is a story by themselves, all great grandmothers, witnessed 3 generations before them and 3 now. If we allow them to talk about their life, we can write a best seller. All of them are physically mobile, mentally alert,. All these ladies had their child hood in joint families in the villages, worked beyond their limits while growing up, walked miles and miles to and from the school, had their education disrupted by the tenth class , girls that is enough.
Tomorrow is the marriage, the boy has come from Bombay, he is related. A small family get together and my would be mother got married. Within a week, the country girl is off to Bombay from a remote village in Kerala. She recalls how she was the butt of jokes for her Gujarati and Marathi neighbours mainly because she did not know any other language except Malayalam and a few words of English, while only Hindi worked here. As the months went by, she was on her feet, learnt to face the situation became more communicative and made friends. They admitted , in the beginning they used make lot of jokes on her which she hardly understood. When India got independence, she was there peeping out on to the road through a small slit in the window, instead of celebration, a bloody riot was on. The memory of a roadside barber packing his belongings to leave the scene getting lynched by an armed mob, haunted her for a long time. She learned the ropes to live and the experiences transformed her into a strong lady and I am fortunate to be born, her son. Her philosophy, let us do it and if we tell her its tiring, she says we can take rest later, motivates me to act and when I don’t, makes me feel guilty. A great resource manager, with only an onion available she can create snacks for you.
Bhavani (2) -She has a problem with her memory, cheerful like a kid, fortunately very obedient and will do as instructed. She laughs along with us and when I feel good, entertaining her, she will turn to her daughter and ask what did he say and who is he!!!.That is ok, laughing for no reason is good for the health. She remembers her past life of her young age, recalls certain events and keep telling us. It was an year or two ago , she would ask us to drive fast, while in a car. She likes speed. Her favourite is Schumacher. Never mind what’s in her mind, she always has a laughing face, we call her the tickle granny (Ikkili ammoomma in Malayalam)
Laughing GM with my sister Indu Menon
Kochammini, my mother in law, famous for her two hour baths, she washes her own clothes during the marathon, even at this age. When I am planning how to bend to pick the clip that is on the floor, she will bend and simply whiff it off the ground and give it to me. Once she steps into the temple premises her energy level shoots up, she will go round the temple, pradarshanam, n times until someone stops her. Rigid mind, flexible body, no illness. She gets what she wants and has her own way. Bathroom is the gym for her.
Aunt Bhavani (1),my mother’s elder sister, mother of 9 and a few misses, seen it all, continues to live where she is born, in the tharvad, ancestral home, witness to all the changes, more downs, loss of husband , 3 sons and a daughter, in her life journey is a lesson of how long to grieve, accept the reality and move forward.
3 sisters -Bhargavi, Sulochana, Bhavani
Mother’s younger sister, she left the group a little early, did not wait to score her ninety, was no less a genius. Her weak eye sight , strong auditory sense, a visionary, was an excellent remote manager, not the tv remote, absentee management. She would sit at a place, never mind where and would direct the operations in her paddy fields, rubber estate, and coconut farms. First thing in the morning, she updates herself with news from the all india radio. She will be at our place and finds someone with a bike or car, will ask them whether they are going to Cochin or Trivandrum from here. Cochin is about 30 kilometers and Trivandrum about 200 Km in opposite direction. When asked why, she will say she wants a drop to her house, which is just 3 minutes run from our place, in the direction of Trivandrum.
Ready for the 3 minutes ride with Maniyan mama
She died in the hospital at 1.41pm. When we reached home the clock in her room had stopped at 1.41, let us call it a coincident.
the clock stopped at 1.41.
What is outstanding is that they are all looked after well by their wonderful daughters.
This is post number 100, in my blog. Wrote as the thoughts flowed, do not search for the links, whatsapp to grannies….