…online, that is, at least for now :-)
have missed out on a lot of reading, writing, email, and yes, praveen…but all that is for a good reason. i’m finally in india (right now, at kottakal) to sort out my back.
coming home was rather eventful, or should i say the homecoming was…with my sister and i having planned a surprise landing in front of our house in thane, you can imagine my parents were far from surprised. they were shocked. we were too, initially, when we saw the huge lock on the door and had to wait for another three hours, tired and weary from our over-24-hour-long journeys–one travelling on the train from chennai and the other flying from london. (thanks sanjeev, for the taxi-ride from the airport at four in the morning, and the cutting chais that followed soon after ;-)
first impressions of being back in mumbai were good, though weather-wise it was sweltering in comparison to the pleasant, budding spring i left behind in london. the roads have improved (however, not all of them are safe for my back condition), tall new buildings seem to have sprouted everywhere and the cost of living seems to be shooting up with every new shopping mall or multiplex (cinema) … not only are mumbaiites willing to pay; they are embracing the new lifestyle even before it’s here.
i’m no authority on countries and their ways of living, but having left mumbai four years ago, surviving the london winters and culture-contrasts, and looking at mumbai now, me thinks it’s a good sign. there is a lot to learn though, in terms of the little things that get left out when everyone is looking at the big picture. but i’m sure that will change too.
what i was glad didn’t change, was the medical system here. unlike in the uk, i wasn’t given six-/nine-month waiting times or handed a list of ugly side-effect-inducing-medicines. rs 10,000 and a week later, i came down to the south of kerala, armed with my medical reports.
for anyone who plans to visit this part of india, there cannot be a better time.
rains wash the hot earth every evening, birds fill the air and fly all over the place if a storm is approaching, brown and green fields are dotted with young banana plantations, their new leaves pointing to the clear blue sky…i spent vishu with my achchamma and cousins, waking up to the sound of firecrackers at five (and a snake that got into the compound), wearing new clothes and visiting age-old temples that seemed to be alive with tradition, drenching myself in the evening rain in spite of amused aunts and uncles asking me to get back in the house, listened to the *vishu-pakshi…
*according to achamma, the bird has never been spotted by anyone but heard on the new year day (april 14); it flies over the countryside, asking people to sow seeds and work hard. it was eerie as i observed…other birds had fallen silent too, as if paying respect to its majestic cry.
i just realised i must be getting back to my room, so i’m cutting short on my entry for now. i also wanted to thank everyone for their kind wishes and words of encouragement over the past few days. now coming back to what i was saying…it’s my second day here at the kottakal arya vaidyasala. for the next 28 days, i have a diet to follow, yoga classes i can enrol in (after consulting with my doctors tomorrow), lot of books to read (more on this soon), restrictions -not to sit for long or move out of the hospital premises; not to forget the bitter-tasting medicines- one for every time of the day, and my mother for company.
i also, finally, have a high-speed internet connection ;-)