Svadhyaya

I hope to express myself as best as I can, to justify the use of this title for this post.

Now…continuing from my previous post

I sat next to him, listening to all his ifs and buts, in case the inevitable had happened. My mouth agape, I was slightly in awe of this husband of mine. Among the many others who are afraid to talk about death or its effects on the family, here was a man whose mind had worked overtime thinking about all the probabilities.

When he asked me if I would have continued the business in his absence, I took a long time, actually a few months, to think over that question. I gave it a lot of time and thought deeply over it. The first task was to understand as to why did I even go into this business with him. I found many answers like – I like food, cooking, cooking for others but none matched the passion and drive required to run a business that my husband possessed. It involved more than the love for cooking or food. It needed great vision, deep passion, the courage to face challenges and deep routed confidence to handle the extraordinary amount of work it required. Slowly and steadily the entrepreneurship will become a part of you which you just cannot leave it at the shake of a hand. I comprehended all these requirements of running entrepreneurship and along with it came the understanding that I am just not that kind of a person which business requires.

So many questions arose inside me – If I was not passionate about running a business, how did I even become part of one? What was that thing that held me there? Why didn’t I even think of all these before?

There was only one answer to all my questions – I was there, as a tiny part of the business, to be of some help to my husband. Every question I asked myself lead me to the same answer that I wanted to be of some assistance to my husband. I don’t know if it was the right thing but at that moment it felt right to assist him and I did it.

Now, when he put across the question of running the business without him, as an improbable thought, I realized that I won’t be able to do it alone. I certainly didn’t possess that passion to do it alone. And that led to the enlightened thought that it will be best that I reduce my involvement in this venture.

Yes, I was there in the business to help my husband. No doubt about that. Now, the thought process has changed. I wanted to help myself first before I help anyone else.

Those months were very trying times for me as I struggled a lot to overcome the stress of my husband’s hospitalization and then to find ways to help myself.

I had trouble sleeping at night. I stayed awake and watched television without knowing what I was watching, as the mind was not stable. Too many thoughts plagued me about the time I spent in the hospital sitting by my husband. I was sluggish. I lacked the josh to get out of bed every day to cook, a task which I loved doing. I was also going through menopause which confused me a lot.

When one of my friends suggested to me to join a yoga class, I started looking for one. And I had already tried yoga classes 3 years back; one thing I realized –Β  I was never disciplined enough to practice at home when there was no class. So, I started looking at classes that can inculcate that discipline in me. ThenΒ  I found the perfect one.

And I joined a Yoga teacher training program. I just needed the prod that to become a teacher I need to practice daily so that I can inculcate the same to my students. That was the missing block for long. Also, I found an amazing teacher who introduced me to meditation, helped me to overcome my sleeping problems and suddenly I was back on track. I felt I deviated from my life’s purpose line for some time and felt comfortable to come back.

There is this subject on yoga sutras as part of my course and it talks about svadhyaya as the study of self – at various points of our life, to assess our life and what we are doing with it, to reflect on our decisions, to make sure that we are on the path of what we want to do in our life or ensure that we are doing what makes us happy.

I understood that all along, even before I joined the yoga class, I had been doing svadhyaya without knowing about such a concept. Learning about this concept and other life-changing ideas has put me in a path of self-love and not being guilty about it. It is only when I am healthy physically and mentally, can I help my family and others too.


Thank you for being with me all through this month of ramblings πŸ˜€

Holding hands

There is this part in the book – Forest of Enchantments, on how Sita felt when Ram did the simple act of holding her hands. She realized a connect with him from previous times, a sense of familiarity! And I just thought it could have been real and not fictitious!

That holding hands is something that I cherish so much with my man too! As of now, I have not sensed any familiarity from previous births, but it is still something that I feel is the best feeling ever!

The first time we held hands, I didn’t want to let go of that feeling or the hands.

When we held hands during our wedding, the priest instructed my husband to hold tight and never leave my hand always. He didn’t need any more encouragement; he just held on to my hands so tightly.

I also think of the fond memories of holding hands and walking the sands on the beach; that feeling is just too precious that I will remember it forever!

During the stay in the hospital last year, for the bacterial infection, my husband always wanted to hold my hands. He always called out for me to hold my hands. And I sat there, next to him, day and night, holding his hands. For most of the time he was not so conscious (due to heavy medications) to remember what happened and when it happened but he remembers very clearly the fact that I was holding his hands and that made him feel better.Β  Maybe there transpired a positive energy of my prayers from my hand to his! And when he remembered to tell this, much later after coming home, it lifted me up so much at the power of holding hands and how much energy can transpire in that touch!


Sigh…I feel so mushy today…this should have been my valentine’s day post πŸ˜‰

Throwback to that dreadful night!

I am healing myself here, in my blog, through my words and through the wishes and prayers of all those reading these blog posts of mine. If you had sent a silent prayer for us, thank you! It helps πŸ™‚

I guess I am nearing the end of stories from those hospital days which were waiting for a let-out all these months!

That topic of this post scares me too, but I don’t know what else it was! I dreaded every moment of that night.

It was around 10pm. The anesthetist came to check on my husband as the final surgical procedure for the leg was scheduled the next morning. She tried to comfort me as I was too worried about the amputation part. My husband was sleeping when she came in and after all the check-ups she did, he was wide awake. Even after she left he couldn’t sleep.

By 10.30pm, it started – the cough! First, it was the irritation of the throat. Then louder coughs and it was non-stop. And he kept spitting so much phlegm. “From where did all these phlegm come?” I wondered.

The cough didn’t stop at all. Throughout the night it continued. None of the medications the nurses tried to give had an impact on him. They tried to call the doctor on night shift. His medications didn’t help either. My husband couldn’t sit nor he could lie down. The back was hurting too with all the non-stop coughing. I and my elder one were constantly giving back massages and hot water bags to soothe his back.

I was distraught. This cough was taking the life out of him. He looked so fatigued. We kept giving him warm water to sip constantly and in spite of that his voice became so hoarse with the insistent coughing. I just didn’t close my eyes even to blink, I think! I was just praying that let him feel better soon.

Around 5.30am, a lady came in. I didn’t know that she was the duty doctor for that floor. She just had one look at him and scolded the nurses for not giving him oxygen. The moment he was given oxygen, his cough subsided considerably. She is my Florence Nightingale – I am deeply indebted to her for what she did that morning. I had the chance to meet this doctor before discharge. I held her hands to say thank you but no words came out as I was an emotional ball at that time.

Then all his doctors were informed and they all came rushing and moved him to the ICU. And here’s what happened after he was taken to the ICU.

It was much later that I understood, that this terrible infection not only hits on the flesh and tissues, but generally all organs of the body take a hit too. So, when his kidneys had trouble because of the infection, the fluids didn’t get drained through the proper channel and hence there was fluid accumulation in his lungs which had led to the coughing.

Now, after a year, I am able to come to terms with it or understand all that he underwent, but that night is something which I wish no one had to undergo in their lives.

I was scared, worried and felt so sad to see the pain he was going through. But the only thing that was a constant was my faith that he will get past this and become healthy again. That thought process was the savior of that night!

Packing – his vs her!

So, we have moved to this new home.

But if you ask me about the way the packing was done, I roll my eyes at the wonderful husband of mine πŸ™„

While me and daughter categorized everything, wrapped them in bubble wrap / newspaper / old bedsheets and wrote on boxes the details of the contents, the husband used to watch us and wonder about the fuss we were making to pack the things in order.

We had marked the crockeries, photo frames, other breakable items into thick cartons. The light weight ones went into others. Kitchen stuff separately.

Pattu saris in sealed covers and then to suitcases. All the big suitcases at home were filled with clothes. We somehow managed to stuff all the clothes and mark them too.

Then came the books…phew…we actually got lost reading some old books.

And suddenly the one week of packing just flew by and there were so many other random things which needed to be sorted and packed. I wanted to clear them all before we moved to the new home.

Before I could get to that, came the truck when my husband was in the center of action. He just took one big carton or any bag he could put his hand on and dumped all the random things in one push into the carton. Me and daughter stared as though we were watching some horror movie πŸ˜†

He just brushed us aside and asked us to take care of other things. Those random things are in some place…in some carton in the new home now but we are unable to locate a lot of things πŸ˜‰

Sometimes…life plays such games with us! So much for packing very systematically…sigh!

When colors matter a lot…

Disclaimer : If you find the details about health very gross, please feel free to stop reading.

We take so many things for granted starting from the color of the urine or blood or any other vitals which represent the pink of health.

I was no exception.

Jeena was moved to the normal room after his hiatus in ICU. The infection was completely controlled, things were looking good and I thought “appada…we have crossed this”!

Little did I know of what awaited me!

The urine color started changing and his creatinine levels shot up. I looked so dumb when I heard the doctors discussing about high creatinine levels, as I didn’t know what it meant.

I would like to thank Google here so much, without which I would have felt lost among the medical jargons!

The chief nephrologist came and checked everything and suggested dialysis and restricted water intake. His point was that the kidneys have been stunned owing to the high dosage of painkillers and antibiotics. Dialysis will ease the load on kidneys and they will start functioning as before.

But I was too shocked…I think its quite normal for us to become scared or worried when we really don’t know what’s going to happen. I dreaded the word Dialysis. And was shit scared of what they will do to him. I was concerned more about the pokings with injections and the pain he had to endure.

The first session was scheduled for that afternoon. I waited with heavy tension in every part of my body. He came out after dialysis and looked the same. I thanked God! I didn’t know what to expect and was glad to see him normal.

2 more dialysis sessions happened and creatinine levels started dropping gradually, which meant his kidneys have started functioning normally.

The best part was the urine turned pale yellow again.

Never in my life had I felt so much happiness over the color of the urine, as I felt that day!

Angels in white uniform

We used live in Mylapore during my childhood days. And our gala shopping adventures are always to Rangachari stores on Luz church road. Every time I cross that place I always see white uniformed nurses walking to Isabels hospital or sometimes come out of the hospital. I use to look at them with wonder and love for their uniform. Such pristine white dress with stockings and shoes – they were an image of sincerity and smartness put together for me.

I was so carried away with their uniform because of the dress they wore. While I was restricted to wear only full skirts and blouses, the nurses wore such smart dress.

The senior nurses wore white saris with collared white blouse. I loved that blouse model – such a smart design. But buying such white clothes was a big no no at home. So all I could do was stare at them and their smart dresses.

And last Jan, I came to know their big warm heart with such amazing softness for the patients they cared for.

There was this training nurse who came to our room one day. She had to collect patient information as part of the curriculam. She kept asking a few questions. As my husband tried turning to one side, he winced in back pain over long duration of lying in the same position. That training nurse immediately sprang to his side and rubbed his back while I tried to give him a hot water massage. Even though she was in training, she was very much in her role to help the patient feel comfortable.

And I learnt that nurses are trained not to lie to their patients. So when my husband was put on a lower dosage of painkillers owing to other problems, he used to request the nurse to increase the dosage as he couldn’t take the pain. That nurse will stand patiently next to him everytime i.e. thrice everyday, to explain the reasons of lower dosage. He used to insist again and again as his pain shot up so high. Then I intervened to tell the nurse “just agree to what dosage he says but give him what the doctor prescribed”. She said that she just can’t lie to the patient. I was amazed, touched all at the sane time. Then I told him that blatant lie of dosage has been increased so that he will sleep better. That nurse stood by her truth.

There were nurses who became friends over the extended period of stay who took time off their schedule to explain the many medical jargons to me as it was too confusing many a times.

From admiration for their uniforms, I now have a new found respect for the tireless service they provide with an ever smiling face – bless those Angels in white uniform!

The secret to healing

There is this unforgettable day when all of us, as a family, sat huddled outside the ICU, each one lost in their own thought process as to how to send healing energy to the man lying inside.

Just before that we had a huge task to do – that is to inform the patient, my husband, of the probability of amputation. When we heard of it first from the doctor we were shattered. We didn’t want to believe it to be true. The doctor said it is only a probability which they will decide on the day of the surgery after opening up the wound and checking the level of infection. So, till that day of surgery we were holding onto our own way of saying “this can’t be true” and “let the leg stay”.

And finally we found the courage to go and talk to my husband and informed him of the doctor’s decision.

I could see my hands trembling as I signed the document accepting to the amputation, in case it was required.

Then that surge of faith conquered me with one thought – so what if the leg is gone, his life will be saved and after the surgery we can take him home healthy. I kept on this thought so strongly that all I wanted was to take my man home, healthy.

The surgery went on successfully, as the leg was saved and we took a deep breath of thanking God and the doctor too. When we expect the worst outcome from a situation, even a small progress appears as a huge bonus to our life! We were so happy that the leg was saved that we celebrated with coffee and biscuits in the ICU waiting hall. That celebration touched a cord inside…I looked up to say a prayer of gratitude – a moment in life which I cannot forget!

Later on, I came to know that when the doctor was talking to my husband before the surgery, my husband had asked the doctor how much of the leg will he lose! The doctor was shocked and quietly went on with the surgery.

This is not to gloat over what my husband said to the doctor but the attitude a patient need to have during the course of treatment. All through the time of hospitilization, he never ever felt bad or cried hoarse asking “Why me?” He took the whole thing in stride and trusted the doctors for the treatment they were giving him.

The courage he showed even when told about his probable amputation is the single most reason he sailed through it without any hitch.

The strong will inside him helped him to heal fast.

When the doctor said he will take 6 months to walk, he proved him wrong by walking without the help of the walker in one month.

Driving the car was slated as a 2 year project while he overcame the whole car driving within another month.

I am still in awe over the courage and will power exhibited by my husband throughout the period of hospitilzation which helped him to bounce back to healthy routine very quickly.

So, face your fears and you will be healed!

Shift the focus

Sitting on the narrow bed given to caretakers in the hospital, I had spent many hours playing nonsensical games on the phone. Generally I am not a person to play video games, especially on the phone, where we need to catch the falling block or go behind a running ball or snake – nah…not my type.

But through the time of husband’s hospitalization, all I did was play such games, consistently every day and night.

I have the Kindle app in my phone to read books while travelling. I had a lot of books by my favorite authors and other interesting book titles in my phone, which I had been wanting to read for a long time.

But all I could read was some silly chick flick books, all through the time when I sat at the care-taker’s bed.

There were days when he needed constant medical attention through the night. And as the doctors helped him through the night, to ease out the pain, I was sitting outside the room in the nurse’s station, chatting with them all and even laughing a few times too.

I first thought that I was behaving strangely – playing games, reading silly books and chatting through the night with nurses when he was in pain.

Now I understand my strange behavior. When I was so stressed during that difficult times in the hospital, I had tried to shift my focus to other things which didn’t demand a lot from me.

That shifting the focus had helped me to relax a bit even under stressful conditions and I was able to jump into the realm of the surgeries and medicines whenever the situation demanded it.

So many things happened in those one and half months of hospitalization and another 3 months of rehabilitation. As I keep writing my thoughts and feelings, I am able to decipher many of my strange behavior and also my response to many situations.

Actually, we do such things like shifting the focus to something less demanding always, at home. When I am too worked up over something, I go and cook or dry clothes or fold clothes – trying to bring in some sort of order to my thinking which will enable me to work out the situation which stressed me.

Now a days, I do it consciously – shift the focus!

My faith resuscitated me!

I’ve often heard from people around me to forget the disturbing things in life, which can affect our state of mind. They insist on moving on with life. It might be an easy way out for them.

But I just cannot forget things that disturbed me at one go. I need to share it, talk about it, vent it out and finally let it out of my system. Its a long process and that’s how it works for me. Keeping quiet about the whole thing stresses me terribly.

The year 2018 saw me facing such a tragic and disturbing time. I have gone through many levels of self-healing and venting out to lighten the intensity of the incident that affected not only me but all of us in the family.

Now this expression in words, in my blog, is the final level of healing which will bring in the much-needed calmness inside me.

Jan 2018 saw my husband falling sick. As everyone says, we were never prepared for it. And it was not any regular medical issue but a bacterial infection of the rare kind which started eating up his flesh. While he remained unconscious under heavy medicines, I went through intense trauma by just looking at him and his right leg.

But thank God for this humongous faith which kept popping up time to time in my stressful mind to bring in the much-needed solace!

After 4 surgical procedures, the infection was brought under control. Every time they took him to the Operation Theatre, I had only one thought in mind – after this surgery, he will be fine and healthy and I can take him home.

Every time they injected a fresh dose of antibiotics, I kept telling myself – this medicine will cure him and then I can take him home.

Each and every dressing up the wound tore me up as the intensity of the pain was tremendous for him. But I had only one thought in mind – this is to heal his wound and after this, I can take him home.

Every tablet was given to him with this thought – He will become healthy and I can take him home.

Whenever the nurse gave the injection, I stood by watching with only one thought in mind – Yes, I can take him home healthy soon.

I couldn’t pray. I forgot my regular slokas which I knew by-heart since childhood days. I forgot my regular chants which have always calmed me. I didn’t know which God to call upon. So I stuck to that thought- like a light in a dark tunnel – I will take him home healthy soon.

That thought kept me going – day in and day out.

Me – a person who loves her sleep and never feel comfortable over lost sleep – I couldn’t / didn’t sleep for many days and I didn’t even feel anything about it. How did I manage that…I wonder now! It was always that singular thought, my faith that he will be fine soon at the base of my heart that helped me to overcome those terrible days in the hospital.

That faith revived me every day to look forward to healing!

That faith helped me when my tears didn’t stop coming!

That faith helped me to talk to my girls that Appa is fine!

That faith helped me to remain calm even though sometimes I couldn’t fathom the emotions that I felt inside!

That faith resuscitated me!

UFO Redefined…

I hope you have seen the animated series for children “Bob the Builder”. My girls loved watching that series which involved construction of buildings / bridges and other stuff. And in that series, the cement mixer was called Daisy. Whenever we used to go out and we get to see a cement mixer, the girls will start shouting “Look at Daisy, Ma” ! The husband’s perplexed looks on where the Daisy was made us all laugh more.

That was throwback Thursday story…ha ha πŸ˜€

Last month, one evening, me and the husband were chatting, sitting in the balcony, enjoying the chill Chennai breeze (for a change, the chillness took us by surprise)! And suddenly, at the distant dark sky, I saw three lights descending from above. I started screaming “OMG! Its an UFO” πŸ˜€

The husband laughed at me and told me that it will be a crane only and not an UFO. I told him that I couldn’t see the grids and I was very sure that it was an UFO.

He kept laughing at me and started teasing about my obsession with the movie PK.

I stomped off inside to get my glasses, wanting to prove my point. When I went to the balcony again, he was still smirking at me with a “PK aaya ho kya?”

I ignored him and after wearing my glasses I looked out at my UFO. And I laughed out aloud. It was indeed a crane with lights fixed on its base. It was being used at the construction site near our place.

The heart that wanted to see magic happening saw an UFO in a crane.

Now, my girls look at a crane and call it UFO with a teasing smile pointed my way…he he!

This is that crane, which is being referred to as the UFO now πŸ˜€