Death

Let’s talk about death. Of pain and suffering. Of the heart wrenching, soul crushing type of loss.

Of separation. Of Death of all hope.

Hope.

I could have been better to you. I could have loved you more. When we fought, and the couple of days we spent giving each other the cold shoulder, we thought it was ok because we weren’t dying. Could we have done things differently if we knew we would die tonight? We can try harder. We can try to be better people  , as long as there is time. Is that why we are not trying hard enough?

Is that why, when death comes, it’s so shocking, and separation is so very hard? To let go? Because we keep wanting more time ? To be good to each other?

Is that why, the woman whose husband just passed away loses all control and passes out on their doorstep ? I can still hear the echoes of her absolute and utter total pain. Her sobs, that seemed to come from places far too deep and sorrowful , bouncing around in my ears, breaking my heart, making my mouth and my hands tremble, from her pain. It is all so sad.

This is what I thought of, when I first heard someone close to our family died. Someone who had been a chauffeur, a driver, a caretaker but most of all, a friend to this family. To the children. His heart warming smile, and the ever eagerness to take the children wherever they needed to go, to stay standby, in case we needed him, chewing on a betel leaf , or a pepper corn, he said it made him not want to fall asleep. Knowing when to chip in or when not to, the middle child is always grumpy in the mornings.

I told him his shaved head looked really good on him the last time I saw him. He had come to our place to drop off some goods my mother had sent me. He was on his way to the hospital. It was my father’s habit to send him the official vehicle to bring him in for all his treatments.

Then suddenly he died. Until then, even though I knew the day was coming soon, I had not anticipated the end .

Bits and pieces of memories come to me . He was always there. Every where my father went, always in the background, in his crisp white shirt, and black pants, his office tag around his neck. He drove through mornings and nights to get my father from place to place, and when my father dozed off, he’d speed. He’d later tell us  children how my father caught him speeding when he woke and my father would grumble so he’d slow down without a word. But it made him smile .

I used to tag along with my father on many of his trips out of Colombo and once stopping by a waterfall, my father went down to explore leaving me to my own devices. My father thinks I am brave and I try to be , it helps that he thinks so.  I went down after him but it was this man, who walked down the waterfall with me.

I am left with no more time to be kinder to him.

That’s what I thought of when I heard he died. The night before, my father called and warned me that his driver is unlikely to make it. The cancer had spread too fast too much, his blood sugar levels were above five hundred.

I thought of how we go on as if we have forever , a forever given to us to make amends, tell people how much they are appreciated or loved, to be nice and kind of considerate. But all we have is now. We don’t even know if we’ll have another moment. I thought of how I treat people the way they treat me, a trait I’d picked up consciously, for self preservation, but how that matters so little. I thought of how people put me off , how uptight and unfriendly some people are, or how shallow they could be and how their outlook bothers me, and how, I , turn very cold and unfriendly and distant. And how I think, it’s ok, coz next time they are good to me, I could be good to them.

It doesn’t matter. I don’t have a forever.

Ajith Uncle. I’ll miss him. He was a good man. He was so much more than just my father’s driver. He was a friend. A confidant. He told me my father’s plans, when my father himself forgot to keep us updated. He told us about the places they went to that week and how my father refusedto stay in hotels e over night, how he insisted he comes back home. We talked about cars, he’d encouraged me to buy a small thing. He’d take me around Colombo, out of here back home, he’d put my bags in the vehicle, play with the dog till I got dressed.

I’d always think of the last time I saw him, standing on our porch by the gate, running a hand across his bald head from chemo , smiling at my attempt to cheer him up.

May angels lead him in.

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All that is romantic – Part II

Snailmail

A sucker ! For snail mail ! Is me.

When I was around ten, while going through the contents in my father’s cupboard, ( I don’t know why I was so nosey ! ) , I found a stack of postcards , about a good 5-6 inches thick, bound together by a leather cord. I quickly went through them to see there was only a date and a location written on each. My father, back in his day, had written to himself. He had travelled with his university friends, hiked all across the country, taking busses and trains and walking up and down mountains, sleeping on river banks, eating their lunches in their hats ( I am not kidding. This was a thing. ) and this is how he had kept track of his travels. By sending himself a postcard.

Soon after I found the stack of postcards, a tradition was born because I demanded it of my father. I demanded that he should send me a postcard from his travels . And he did. Later in life, hearing this tale, some of my friends would send me postcards from their travels too. And whenever I travelled, I would send everyone back home post cards.

The truth of the matter is that this is a beautiful thing to do. Every time I hold a postcard in my hand, it is utter giddying joy. And as my friend says, snail mail, it’s a sign of love ! It really is.

This is why, I am doing my part in making sure the postal service in Sri Lanka doesn’t die. I will be doing a Snail Mail week over here at Life as a side project, first making postcards, drawing and writing and then finally posting them all over the world. 🙂

Await pics ! And perhaps, join me ?

Thumb wrestling and train rides

Last Saturday saw me and Darling take a train down south. We hadn’t done that in years ! In fact , the last time we took a train together was when we were dating, and we took a train from Mount Lavinia after an evening stroll on the beach and went to Panadura. Quite randomly and spontaneously. That was fun.

This time, while we could have driven , Darling thought we’d take the train ! Amazing isn’t it, when husbands initiate anything romantic. Ha. 😉 Also, I love it when he doesn’t drive, coz then he doesn’t get road rage and doesn’t pop any nerves and we get to talk and play thumb wrestling.

So, early morning on Saturday, we set off since we were clueless about where to buy tickets and because we were worried we’d get lost. The pics are from the train ride till the moment we got to the hotel. We stayed at Taj Vivanta, a massive Indian type hotel, with Darling’s office team. Wasn’t overly impressed by the hotel ( I guess I was expecting more in terms of interior and design but it was kinda all over the place ) but I had such a relaxing good time there. We bathed in the sea, dipped in the pool and ate enough food for 4 people. God knows I needed it.

While waiting at the train station, distractedly watching the crowd of young photographers , photographing every pot of flower and every wooden crate, and trying to read Bossypants ( which I absolutely adored ) and watching trains stopping and taking off again, it occurred to me that trains are the most scarily fascinating things ever. They still make my heart beat a little faster. I get excited thinking about the ride, the sea, the wind in my face ! Sigh.  What I did not expect was the crowd and the wet floors but aah, that was ok . We got to stand near a door, albeit a Japanese couple who hijacked it from us crawling under our feet. But that was ok. We were still taller and after a while they sat on the wet dirty metal floor so it was fine. We watched the world pass by, ate toast sharing with the Japanese couple who were all bows and courtesies and then completely ignored us for the rest of the trip. We also played some thumb wrestling.

Without further ado, here are the pics. I am lazy. So  I love Cross Process. To bits. Enjoy !

 

Second class tickets only

Second class tickets only

Love the vintage .

Love the vintage .

Travelling light . What a nightmare.

Travelling light . What a nightmare.

Bossypants

Bossypants

You sexy beast you.

You sexy beast you.

Yet another vintage clock I wan't to steal

Yet another vintage clock I wan’t to steal

Hot milk for the morning crowd

Hot milk for the morning crowd

Captain !

Captain !

All a bllur

All a blur

Passing towns and villages

Passing towns and villages

Somber

Somber

Travelling buddies. Non stop chatter.

Travelling buddies. Non stop chatter.

Bonus !

Bonus !

Stopping at Aluthgama

Stopping at Aluthgama

And we have arrived !

And we have arrived !

Thoughts

 

Think Happy Thoughts

 

I realise I might be going through the darkest times of my life. ( Touch wood, Gods be kind please. )

I’ve seen things I never thought to see, heard things that broke my heart,  felt things I wouldn’t wish on an enemy. Not that I have any. I think.

I’ve carried the world’s burdens on my shoulders, feeling it’s feelings, feeling them too deep , and tried not to let them define me.

I feel a century old.

I look forward to brighter days, I hope for peace of mind, which , if I am truly honest with myself , is what I’ve ever wanted.

But I haven’t been alone. To hold someone I love at the end of a long day that would usually leave me emotionally drained, and go to sleep has been the one and only mercy for me.

I’ve felt alone and heartbroken and tired and as if I am carrying too much.

But like they say , sometimes, you have to learn to let go for the simple reason that things are too heavy. And that’s what I am trying to do today.

Thush’s Podi Brownie Business

4

I like Thush’s brownies.  They taste like they were made at home by someone who put in their time and energy  into making something they like, which, is what she’s doing.  The texture is soft , cakey and ooey gooey chocolaty! Which is how I like them.  When I placed an order for me and Darling,  out of sheer curiosity,  the package came in hand wrapped with a little note that thanked me for my order. My husband doesn’t care for notes, but I liked how homely it was. That makes a difference.

I am of a calibre of people who are highly impressed by anyone who makes anything with their own hands in their own time and I am very proud to use any product that’s made at home by someone I can recognise. I’d rather buy from the small timers and as Thush says,  from the ‘podi entrepreneurs’ , than buy from a posh outlet who machine makes every little thing they sell.

But more than that, I like how simple her business is. And how inspiring.

She’s very likeable, in that she says outright that she’s good at baking brownies and she has decided to share her love for them with other people. She’s quit her full time job to do this and that’s very brave.  She named her business, ‘Thush’s podi brownies business’,  and that’s kinda quirky and cute, just what I would associate with the little I know of Thush.

When she’s not baking, she’s posting inspiring little insights on her facebook page, urging people who read them to do something they love. To have confidence. To do something that makes themselves and others around them happy.

Suddenly, her business is not just about the brownies. Now it’s also about what she has to say , and how she inspires others around her.

Here’s her FB page. Take a look , place an order. The Podi Brownies are pretty nice !

https://www.facebook.com/ThushsPodiBrownieBusiness