Friday, June 13, 2014

Retirement blues

The oncesweet smelling jasmines garlands texture lie brownpaper scraps The nostalgic air of a longwhile ago is sultry and humid.The beautifully crafted eulogies which wafted me up to cloud nine only faintly reverbate once in a while butto no purpose.
'I'm retired leisure' to quote Lamb.Retired at the age of 55,with all my faculties intact, senses in fine fettle, and a insatiable zest for life.Once retirement meant something else to me.I watched my grandfather and fatherbegin to walk cautiously,their frame bent with age,holding on to walking sticksto balance themselves.I saw them with thick lensed specs scanning obituary notices to see who was gone and who was lucky to be here.Most often they may have been too bushed whacked to move out of theircanvas easy chairs ,as the seasons turned relentlessly and memories glimmered at the edges of their minds.
But me!I have no vision of that ageing process for I feel fit and fine,up and about ,all geared up for a full day's work when suddenly I'mpulled upby the unpleasant thought 'I dont have to go and punch in at thePlayinyor taking a days leave just for the heck of it was a pleasure as sweet as stolen love.But now each day seems hellbent on reminding me that I'm no longer needed at the workspot.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mothers day out

The old song goes like this "twas on a Sunday morning'' la la la .And one lazy Sunday morning when I was pondering on the earth shaking problem on what to cook for lunch I was literally catapulted out of the depths of rocker when my son Deepak [hereafter known as DK] announced that he was taking me out a see a movie at the one and only multiplex complex in our one and only shopping mall Oberon mall.

Normally it may not have been such a big deal, I mean going for a movie which I do when out with my cronies. But he said ,categorically I want you to see it in the Cinemax .Twill be an eye opener I guarantee Incidentally the Oberon mall is the currently hotspot in our city for Hanging out' as the jargon goes.

"Don’t worry about lunch well pick up something there' he said. That was the comet flashing thro my kitcheneering mind.

 And soon the bright Sunday morning Dk drove me to the mall.

Now I must make it clear that I'm no stay at home shopper but I was content to shop at the local supermarket or the nearest shopping outlet at ground level. Here at the Mall he drove to zero level parking the car in a slot amid a plethora of cars of all colours shapes and sizes .The area was well lighted and clean. Then up the lift to level two or some place and I was aghast when I saw the escalator a contraption an anathema to my senses.Dk solicitously shepherded me to a lift and pampered me 'Amma do you want to use the restroom, Amma do you want a drink, Amma why don’t you pick up some books you fancy and so on. I felt like Alice in Wonderland after she'd drunk the 'drink me potion
 I strolled leisurely alongside glass fronted beautifully window dressed shops blazoned with branded ware. I inched my way past hordes of youngsters out for a fun day, parents with toddlers in tow, shy brides in semi bridal finery by the side of their proud grooms strutting like cocks of the walk ,,senior citizens like me treading it carefully ,all surrounded by loud raucous music belted out in a fusion of scales  ragas , and rhythms.

Dk was at my side taking care that I didn’t stumble as I gawked at sights and sounds unfamiliar to my retired senses.

 And then into the plush comfort of the movie house .Here one didn't have to lift ones feet cautiously to avoid rat as one did in the movie houses in town. The huge screen and the sound effects that swept thro' one's senses was overwhelming to say the least. Hot cones of cheesy popcorn completed the ambiance. I was left with a sense of deja vu when we came to reality hours later. Like Aladdin’s genie Dk seated me and appeared soon with trays of appetizing hot food and drinks. I didn't have to wait in a queue or jostle a crowd for he saw to it I was comfortably seated, my plate was full and my heart sang along.

Tho’ no stranger to culinary comforts like no need to wash up or clean up. Not a care I sang to myself as I tucked into crisp potato finger chips tho that perky voice said mind the calories, and the kidney or something inside me said ‘your sugar level is sure to go haywire. I shushed those doleful fatwa’s and enjoyed my gargantuan repast like there was no tomorrow. The best part was not the chocolate brownie with lashings of ice-cream, but DK’s calm acceptance of me and my follies. He promised to bring me again. That was dear reader the icing on the cake. What more could one ask for.?

I slept soundly and like the ruminating cow I relive those wonderful moments which flash upon the inward eye when I sit in solitude

Sunday, September 26, 2010

parents

They were like two identical peas in a pod.When thy started life together were as different as chalk from cheese
He was doughty and fought for his growing family. She was beautiful as an angel could be soft spoken and had infinite patience, a calm nature and was infinitely talented be it housekeeping ,training her daughters to grow up efficient polite and as accomplished as they possibly could tho it was an uphill task what with his blood coursing thro their veins.

They were there when the "birdies" left the nest to start life of their own .but the parents rushed from one part of India to another to baby sit or keep vigil at the bedsides of one offspring or the family.

There were no hitches  no later perhaps or complaints to any one.

Then at the age of eighty he was put in charge of supervising his NRI son's house building. He traveled by bus everyday to the workspot hail or sunshine long before the tardy workers put in their stint. He saved his son much money as he personally went scrutinizing every tap or wire or nail that went into that house.It did take a big toll on his frail body but he persevered till the end 

Two old people now became the caretakers and spent their twilight years planting fruit trees  and coconut palms the result of which the could only imagine.She indulged in her love for flowering plants the result of which was that her green thumb or fingers produced a riot of colours which brought  sighs of envy from neighbours.


Once an occasional child would come to soak in the love and care that came with no prompting,Cares were gently scoured away with gallons of a love that transcendent all human endeavour..



I would sometimes lay my head on her lap just to have the pain of a busy life smoothened away and then go back to get rushed and hasseled thro the rat race..In the house the built there was always an extra place for some friend or other who would drop in to taste her inspired cooking.Even at 80 the culinary skills never suffered a lapse from memory.


Finally the day of his reckoning had to come but it had never crossed our minds that he would go so fast.He entered a last notation in his diary that he was going for a checkup .He did go but his heart stopped 10 hours later.


She was now like a bird with a broken wing.,for he had been her strong mast all the years of their togetherness.They had prayed together for over 60 years for their children and all concerns that came to their knowledge.He had read to her when her eyesight failed , had done all the shopping for her including selecting her sarees which were exclusive..We could see the loneliness in her quiet eyes the pain of bereavement when she smiled  with nary a word of irritation or crankiness.


Then she left as quietly as she had lived with a beautiful smile on her still beautiful face.


They were my parents!