Update

I have been MIA from here for far too long. There was a reason for not writing because I was planning to move the blog to a custom domain and inertia took the better of me. I genuinely missed writing here but it became that deadlock situation where I had to move domains first to start posting regularly and I wasn’t taking a start on the move per se.

However, more recently, something happened which I wanted to update in this space. We lost Rahul’s dad on 24th June. He was suffering from Amyloidosis. An incurable disease that may happen in kidney transplant patients. He was diagnosed with it somewhere around Sep’20. He basically got kidney transplant done around 14 years ago and regularly used to visit his doctor from Surat to Bombay every 3-4 months since then. However, ever since the pandemic, he had stopped doing that but he started observing some things about his body which eventually led to the diagnosis. Things only went downhill from there health wise. However, he had a great zeal to live. While all the doctors we consulted had made it clear that there’s no cure, he was adamant to keep going to his Bombay doctor to get whatever best treatment he can get. His doctor finally started Chemo with the intent that it would improve his health to some extent, but after the first session itself, he got extremely weak and struggled very badly. However, he was still pretty certain that it would take him 6 months to get back at his feet (quite literally, as he was unable to walk since past few months). However, he lost consciousness on Monday, 20th June, maybe it was a cardiac arrest, cannot say for sure. He was put on ventilator and gained back consciousness. Rahul and I were back in Delhi at that time but immediately flew back. He was conscious and aware of everything when we met him in the ICU on Monday night upon reaching. He was fully aware until Tuesday. Then, multiple surgeries and cardiac arrests (yes, multiple arrests) ongoing, he started losing consciousness since Wednesday and we lost him Friday morning, 24th June, 2.45 AM.

Rahul and I used to stay outside the ICU at night for those 4 days (his mom and sister used to stay during the day). On Thursday night, Rahul had asked me to put up an alarm of 2.15 AM so that we go inside the ICU to check on Papa. I found this surprising for 2 reasons – 1) Rahul had almost stopped going inside the ICU since Wednesday as he was scared to look at Papa in that condition, 2) i don’t know why he specifically said 2.15 AM. Even before the alarm could ring, doctors came out to call Rahul inside around 2.10 AM. I was asleep at that time, but woke up due to the startling beeps from the ICU. I rushed inside to see Rahul there and the doctors were trying mandatory CPR at that time saying that we are almost sure that we have lost him. The mandatory CPR was done until 2.40 AM or so and that’s when they declared.

Those 4 nights in the hospital were such an experience that I honestly hope to God nobody has to go through. I even thought of blogging it on one of those nights but just didn’t happen. I have never stayed in a hospital for such a critical, life-altering thing and being in the ICU ward just makes it even difficult to decipher.

Also, I wanted to mention – I didn’t make a post about my tauji (father’s brother) whom we lost to COVID during the delta wave. It was a conscious decision because I didn’t feel like it but I realized it would have been good to mention proper closure since I wrote a bit about it here and here . He was an extremely innocent man, the kinds who inherently try to do good for anyone and everyone but he was never very talkative and had become very difficult to talk to ever since he lost his wife (who passed away at 62). We used to have very less one on one conversations but he was a very warm man, his oxygen actually dropped suddenly, got hospitalized and the next day he was no more. Just a day before or so, he had actually called me up to check on me and my mom since we were also suffering from COVID. I am so glad he did.

Even with Rahul’s dad, I didn’t have a huge one on one relationship, and, in fact, just the other day, I was telling my MIL that when she had asked me to try convincing him on something that he was not agreeing to, I so didn’t want to do it because it had led to a huge fight and I didn’t want to get into that with him, since I didn’t have a huge camaraderie. While its okay to occasionally fight with someone whom you talk and share a great bond with, in this case, it just hurts because even at the time of the fight, I had this in my mind that he is so ill and I shouldn’t be pursuing this.

Anyhow, I want to end this post by recalling good things about him. One is that even though he considered taking care of himself the most important thing to him, he loved having people over from all spheres of life and showing them a good time when he was not ill. The other is the fact that he was a man of science and tried to reason everything logically and if a logical need arose for a known one, he tried helping as much as he could.

I hope he rests in peace wherever he is.

I have lost some very close people in these past couple of years and I hope they are all in a better place.

Also, people most attached get the strength to deal with the loss.

Things about Rahul I never want to forget #3

Disclaimer: I have copied the idea for this series from Haathi Time (who has now made her blog private) and I have taken permission from her to use the same title as hers. This series is about day-to-day things that my husband ends up doing which turn out profound for me and I would recall them here.

For previous posts in this series, go here & here.

This is a very recent incident. Rahul was job searching the past few months & while he was fairly confident of converting interview calls, he was not getting that many calls. Given the past record, even I was fairly certain of him converting one quickly. I don’t know what was wrong at that point but despite converting most of the interviews he got, he didn’t end up getting an offer. Either the position got closed or got filled internally or something made it not happen.

In the midst of all this, I got a call from Google. I wasn’t job hunting but I got a call from them. Of course, I was happy to get this chance but I wasn’t overtly excited. You know how it is, right? When a close one (in this case, life partner) is trying for something and you get a chance at it first? You are not able to fully enjoy the experience.

Anyhow, my first interview didn’t go all that great and Rahul was pretty concerned as he was excited about this opportunity way too much. Any of us getting into Google was a good deal. We were just talking waiting for results and expecting it to be a no since the interview didn’t go well. I casually mentioned that it would probably not be as sad if I was rejected but I referred him and he got in. Even at that point, when he was struggling to get interview calls, he said this – “nahi, tab bhi sad to lgega ki crack nai hua”. Basically he meant that it would still make him pretty sad that I couldn’t crack it. I guess what I am trying to say is this – despite all the times I got irritated with him for not being even a little insecure romantically (yes, you can judge me but I know you have been there too 🙂 ), its just who he is. He is the kind of uplifting partner who wants to see you grow as a person, be it personally or professionally. To be honest, I just considered it a very regular trait in him until a long time, which ideally should be the case. It should be a regular thing that partners uplift each other & enable growth, but its not actually the case. I see so many cases of well-educated men not being able to be this for their partners, that I have nothing but gratitude for the good fortune that I have.

P.S.: In case you were wondering, I didn’t get the job but I referred Rahul for interview to the headhunters and he is joining Google this month. 🙂

On Weeping | Blogmas 5

Not a very Christmas-y post, this one. But an important one nonetheless.

I had been meaning to talk about this since a long while but it just skipped my mind. Why is there so much peer pressure for not crying? Of course, i understand that one may not want to weep or cry in front of others to not make anyone uncomfortable or to not appear weak. But that’s just a part of the picture. Even weeping or crying alone is sort of considered taboo.

As for me, i think weeping makes one feel instantly lighter. Letting your emotions flow in the most physical sense cannot be so bad after all, I guess? Then why weeping is a sign of wrong doing? I don’t get this. One problem that I see with myself is that weeping comes so naturally to me and ever so often that sometimes when the matter is not that big of a concern, i end up scandalizing people around me. This definitely needs to change. I think somewhere I end up using it as a mechanism to gain shmpathh, which is so, so wrong on so many levels. However, I think others could definitely do with adopting more healthy weeping 😀 and, oh, the pressure that guys have for not crying. That sucks so much and definitely needs to go.

Things about Rahul I never want to forget #2

Disclaimer: I have copied the idea for this series from Haathi Time (who has now made her blog private) and I have taken permission from her to use the same title as hers. This series is about day-to-day things that my husband ends up doing which turn out profound for me and I would recall them here.

Rahul has the best advice for me, whether I take it or not.

This is just as true for a life changing event versus something like taking a bath.

Take for example, this very random scenario. Something most of you won’t even count as advice. This one time I was complaining to Rahul just how much I hate myself for eating chips almost everyday and I just can’t seem to stop. For more context, go here. I went on and on about this ‘problem’ of mine and how I never learn. The best part is that Rahul didn’t pause me even once and continued listening to this pointless rant and, in the end, he simply said – “Don’t buy chips then! It’s that simple”.

This is it. This is the point of this post. Sure, we are in an embarassing situation where we sometimes have to tell friends who are coming over to buy themselves chips/chakna on the way, unless we are ordering them. But my chips consumption has reduced a lot. I only order them or go specifically to the market nearby when I really can’t do without them. 😀

Things about Rahul I never want to forget #1

Disclaimer: I have copied the idea for this series from Haathi Time (who has now made her blog private) and I have taken permission from her to use the same title as hers. This series is about day-to-day things that my husband ends up doing which turn out profound for me and I would like to recall them here. The first one in the series which happened in 2018 & is since in my drafts:

This is about the time I was sent abroad on a business trip. I am not mentioning the place on purpose to keep identity of people involved ambiguous (some of my friends from those days read this space).

Okay, so, I mentioned business ‘trip’ because it was too sudden and proposed to me as a short stint. I realized upon going there that this could go long and, as it later turned out, I had to actively try to not let it be permanent. The reason I am mentioning all of this is to highlight the fact that I wasn’t super ready to move at that time and I had just been out of another situation where I felt depressed due to being lonely while working in a foreign city. This time, I had mentally prepared myself to enjoy the most and have a great time. That last situation had made me a stronger person and also someone who treats such opportunities with respect. Instead of being sad, I was all ready to have a good time and I was open to forging some genuine friendships. It later proved to be a very memorable experience where I met some amazing people and the only regret I have is of not being this open in my previous similar stint.

As I was saying, this time was going very well and I was always open to meet new people when on one of these days, I got invited to a casual hangout at a bar with some office colleagues. Now this was a setting where all the people were a bit older than me and there was no other female. Just to be clear – the no female or the age thing matters to me only when I am in a group of almost strangers or acquaintances. This was a case of acquaintances and since it’s colleagues, you don’t want to be in a weird situation later on.

It was no big deal either way, whether I went or not. It was only a casual hangout. But when you are on your own in a new place where you are yet to have your comfort zone friends, you treat every social interaction with new people with a dubious eye. I was planning to cancel as I didn’t want to have any sort of embarrassing or weird situation with older colleagues to come out of this. Before cancelling, I just thought of calling Rahul up to talk about this and this is what I said – “I am thinking of not going, as these people are older than me. What would they think if I go out drinking with them? What if I end up saying something that would make me an office joke or something?”

And this is what Rahul had to say – “How does it matter? If they think anything bad of you, that means their mind is skewed a certain way. What are you so worried for?”

And this has stayed with me. I know, I know, these are very simple things to say but things that I end up forgetting a lot too. In that moment, this talk made me very aware of the fact that we let people get away with being judgmental and impact our life decisions. I wanted to go because I wanted to have a good time but the fear of being judged wasn’t letting me. In hindsight, I think one thing I admire the most about Rahul is his security in being himself, he will not act a certain way just because he is in a certain setting. (it’s a different story that he will go completely mum when he doesn’t like the setting). But I admire his comfort with being himself while people can judge all they want. 🙂

Small Joys

There’s a juice shop right below my parents condominium. In winters, we often go there in afternoons to get a glass of carrot juice each. Now this incident happened really long ago, I mean so long ago that I am sure it was pre-covid. I remember thinking at that time that this needs to go on the blog today itself. And here I am, posting about it today. 😀

When I went to the juice shop with my mom, two tiny kids who were rag picking were just passing by. I asked them to come over and have the juice. I can’t tell you the look of happiness I saw on their faces. I had tears in my eyes. I just somehow controlled myself so that it doesn’t get awkward. Their happiness was the sort of unadulterated one that makes it contagious honestly! And then, something even better happened, when I was paying the juice shop person, he didn’t charge me in full for their juices and actually gave the two kids a little extra than the standard glass. It’s like you did a tiny thing and the world joined you in making it ten thousand times better.

Living in India, you become so used to coming across the income disparity instances so often, well, ‘used to’ is not the right word because every instance in daily life makes you feel uncomfortable but more often than not, you just move on with your life. These tiny pockets maybe rare but it definitely made my day a whole lot brighter. Like I mentioned, this incident was definitely pre-covid and I still remember it so vividly because of the joy it brought!