Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gup shap -5

It is long since I wrote anything on my blog. Well I’ve been a little busy, a little unwell and a lot lazy. My daughter visited us briefly in the first week of January and it was fun having my grand daughters with me to celebrate Pongal. College problems persisted and we were once again busy fighting for our dues from the government. The 6th pay recommendations are due from 2006 but we continue to bicker for the implementation of the 5th pay commission’s recommendations. When it does get implemented we find that our fixation is all wrong and we actually stand to lose money instead of gaining by it. All we could do was to request that our old scale be continued till it is rectified. Whoever says that India is shining, is an optimist. Unfortunately I am not. India can never shine if those entrusted with higher education are given step motherly treatment by the government. Why would anyone want to take up teaching as a career option if teacher’s have to fight for their rights and the non teaching staff are reminded that their services hold no value to the powers that run the country?

Now that was not what I wanted to write about in a come back post. So let me write about my health. I am a really sweet person you know? That is perhaps why my blood sugar remains high even after a breakfast of 2 biscuits and a glass of sugar free coffee. My doctor promptly increased my medicine and has asked me to have a battery of tests done after 15 days of trial. In the meantime I have to deal with a frozen shoulder and spondilitis. Serves me right for ignoring my shoulders!

Why my shoulder chose to freeze is beyond my understanding. May be I ignored it for too long and took it for granted. Just as a wife’s role in a household. I valued my arms but ignored the shoulder that supported them. The condition is horrible. Being vertically challenged (Should I say handicapped) I stand short with about 2/3 of the blackboard above my head. I manage to reach about 3/4 of the board with my stretched hands when my shoulder co-operates. Now I only reach till the level of my nose or my eye if I put up with a little pain and my students give me strange looks. I seem to want to scratch my back more often these days and my hands just don’t take orders from me. I try doing something simple as taking out a bottle from my kitchen shelf and the pain that follows drives me to tears. To add to my woes my doctor asks me to wait for a whole year before approaching him again. He has suggested exercises and I’d look crazy doing them. Like I have to place my palm against the wall and crawl up the wall for as high as I can manage and bring it down in slow motion. Hold on to a railing or grill till the level of about a half a foot above my head and move away till my hand hurts. If you treat the shoulders with care and respect the pain is tolerable at times and almost non existent at other times. But try ignoring it, the pain returns with a vengeance so what if it is the middle of the night and one is enjoying a sweet dream.

What next I wonder? Will my hip clamor for attention too? After all they support my feet and need to be taken care of. Till I fell victim I had not heard of a frozen shoulder. Now several others share their experiences. Like the gentleman whose right and left shoulders froze at the same time. I promptly thanked my shoulders for taking turns to freeze. Yes this is the second time this is happening. Way back in 2001 it was the other shoulder that froze. In my confusion I forgot that it was my right shoulder that froze earlier and it is my left that is creating trouble now. The blackboard agony has now been replaced by my need to change gears while driving. When I change gears I try to be as careful and slow as possible and once the job is done I almost thank my shoulder for being kind and considerate.

This is no laughing matter I assure you. Every finger and every toe is important so are the heart that cannot afford to miss a beat or the lung, liver as well as each and every organ in the body. We take life too much for granted and it took a frozen shoulder to help me realize its worth and value. Wishing each one of you health and happiness.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Mr.S has been our neighbor since 1993. Their son S was in his early teens when they shifted to our complex. My son and S played together. Their daughter might've been around 10 years then. So when I was told that S was seen meddling with my scooty I felt that I was justified in asking him not to do it since I was rather out of touch and was driving a two wheeler after a gap of 6 years and did not want any problem on my way to and from the college. I went to their flat and said this the same way I'd have told Rahul.

"Tell me who has been filling your ears" the boy bellowed. "I'll teach them a lesson. Come on tell me."

I was shocked not expecting such a reaction. I flatly refused to name anyone. It was the father who pitched in on behalf of his son.

"You cannot do this Mrs.R" he said. "People keep accusing my son of things he doesn't do. You will have to give us the person's name."

"That's fine" I said, "If he hadn't meddled with my scooty he only has to say so. There is no reason for me to disbelieve him."

"That doesn't end the matter" said the mother. "You came here only after hearing from someone that my son meddled with your scooty. You can't go away without giving us the name."

Their daughter also joined the group and the whole family took turns to scream at me and my husband came out to see what was happening. He was shocked to see me involved in a controversy. He hadn't expected it and he could not make head or tail of what was being said.

"Get back home immediately." he said.

Turning to Mr. S he said "I am sorry and apologize on behalf of my wife. Had she told me this earlier I would not have let her approach you with her complaint."

Turning to the son he said "I know that you would not have done anything of the sort. You're a good boy."

When my husband gets angry he can be mercilessly sarcastic and his message to the family was very clear.

"I was only trying to tell them........" I persisted.

"Never mind what you were trying to tell them. Try telling me when you get home. May be I'd understand. Come on let's go."

I went home and for the next half an hour the boy screamed as if he had gone berserk and his parents could not control him. Neighbors intervened and finally all was quiet. I thought that the matter was over.

Actually it wasn't over but I'd rather not go into it since that was not the purpose of this post. I keep wondering how far is a parent responsible for the way his ward turns out to be. If my children have grown up to be normal human beings am I allowed to take credit? Or am I just lucky? The question of 'Nature' versus 'Nurture' keeps coming to my mind and what role do these play in shaping a person's character? And what about the company one keeps.

I truly have nothing against the boy mentioned in this post but I tend to keep away from him. Am I wrong in doing so? As a neighbor it is easy for me to do so. His parents cannot do it. I cannot bring myself to reach out to him after the incident. The parents are a troubled lot and tho' more than 8 years have lapsed, the boy's behavior, that I had put down to teen trouble and adoloscent age, has not changed. Since most of the neighbors ignore him he tends to vent his frustration on his parents. Luckily his sister has turned out to be a responsible girl and has taken up a job.

Long back I read a book that left an impact in my mind. I'm afraid I don't remember the name of the book or its author. the story was about a doctor who was leading a normal life till her teenaged son gets upset with his girl friend and in a fit of uncontollable rage smashes her head leading to her death. The boys reaction is one of withdrawal from his family and friends, refusal to open up even to his mother who wants to arrange for counselling and his being sent to a correction home. It was a touching story, very well written and I found myself thinking that this could happen to anyone. His stubborn silence is traumatic to his mother who wants to tell him that she wanted to see him through this tragic event in his life, that her love for him had not diminished even a bit and that she still had faith that he would be a wonderful human being. Finally the story ends with the son acknowledging his mother's love and the readers feel relieved that there is hope for the boy. One just does not feel judgemental but rather feels sorry that such a thing should have ever happened in the boy's life.

Parents of teenaged children please don't let your love for your child make you turn a blind eye to their faults. I've known mothers encouraging their sons to gamble and look for short cuts to earn money. I've seen parents using their connections to see to it that their child tops his/her batch. They are in fact ruining the child's future for a moment's glory. Help them build a career but more importanly help them build their character - you owe it to them as well as society.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Thanks Usha for this award. I feel honoured and touched at the same time. What a way to begin the year. I acknowledge and accept it hoping that more would certainly follow. Am I being selfish? Bear with me. Afterall it is New Year's day!!

This award is for “acknowledging the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day”.
I'd like to pass this to prats, monika, alapana and vishesh.