Thursday, April 30, 2009

i'm not letting go

While Dhanno gets ready to climb the Chandrasheela peak,

Banno thumps her way around the 333 metre 'murmur'  mud track, good for the joints,

in the BMC garden in T-Village.

Banno's soul however hovers over Surat station,

waiting for the Delhi-bound August Kranti

that will take Dhanno, her cousins and her friends away on their 12-day trek,

and Banno's soul wants to lie down on the floor of Platform no. 2 or 1,

and trash its hands and feet,

and cry hysterically, "Dhanno, don't go, don't go."

All these years, Banno didn't mind,

almost welcomed Dhanno's holidays with her aunts or cousins,

it gave her some relief from Mummy-dom.

But now, Banno's soul cannot care less about being a wise, kind mother,

letting her little bird fly and all that.

All it wants to do is cling, and cling.

And cling.

Monday, April 27, 2009

litmus tests

At various times, I've been convinced I have TB, a weak heart, eczema, skin cancer, AIDS, a bad liver, deafness, the beginnings of Alzheimers' and so on. I only have to read the Mumbai Mirror in the morning to be convinced that I am perishing of something quite serious.

Though this warrants several checks in the bathroom mirror between midnight and 3 am, it still takes a lot of nagging from Teja for me to go and see the doctor. Maybe because my doctor usually puts my niggling doubts to a definite rest.

In the last few months, 3-4 friends had been talking to me about their thyroid problems, and with my usual empathy, I checked off all the symptoms they mentioned on my own list of 'yes, I have that' - dry skin, dry, thinning hair, fatigue, unexplained weight gain. (the unexplained part being that I never explain my weight gain to anybody, the fact that I don't diet and don't exercise, yes, that's unexplained.)

Anyway, after weeks of anxiety over my supposed hypothyroidism, I thought I'd be smart and prescribe a thyroid test for myself. The lab was smarter and gave me back a report that made no sense to me and which I would need to take to my doctor to decode.

Me: "Dr. M, first I must apologize because I took a test without you asking me to."

He raises his eyebrows.

Me stumbling on my words: "It's just that I feel so tired these days."

Dr. M: "Everyone is tired these days."

I raise my eyebrows.

Dr. M: "It's the heat. And our diet. The fruits and vegetables we eat are so full of pesticides. The water we drink is unhealthy. The pollution. The stress. Also, you know, there are no movies being released these days."

I don't take too kindly to these generalities.

Me: "No, no. It's not just that. I don't get sleep. I feel my skin burning. My throat hurts. There's a humming in my ears. I sweat all the time. My nose feels cold ..."

He has heard several variations of this litany from me over the years he has known me, so he just takes the papers and looks at them intently. He turns them around, and looks at them upside down. He looks at the back of the papers. He looks at the front of them once again and then hands them back to me.

Dr. M: "The T4, T3, TSH counts are normal."

I look disappointed. He feels sorry for me.

Dr. M: "Maybe you should take some more tests. Check your cholesterol, sugar, haemoglobin. Maybe you are not getting enough calcium. Look, let me prescribe some vitamins for you. Take them for a month. And if you still don't feel well, come back, and I'll write you some tests."

I nod happily. I pay him his fees and come away clutching the precious prescription in my hand.

I feel quite alright that evening. Until the next morning, I read of Cushings' disease and am convinced that my body is reeling under an excess of cortisol. However when I read up Cushings' disease on the internet, the tests sound way too complicated and expensive to undertake. I decide this time, I will suffer quietly.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

what do bullet holes say?

Dhanno has her hair streaked purple to match her purple cell phone, both gifts for working incredibly hard all year, giving her Std. X exams.

Teja gets ready to board the 'Ladies Special' local train. No, he is not abandoning me, not just yet. Only prepping for a TV show.

I, meanwhile, try to make sense out of bullets.

 
Bakery Wall, opp Nariman House, Colaba
  
          Bakery Door, opp. Nariman House, Colaba
 
Lift door, 6th Floor, Cama Hospital, Azad Maidan
The bullet holes make pretty patterns, but no, they don't make sense at all. 
 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

catnaps

I find the best way to work in the sun is to accept the heat and the sweat pouring down every inch of your body. Of course, it doesn't hurt if you can grab a few winks every now and then in a little bit of shade.


















Western Express Highway, Santa Cruz, April 2009


 
Paper shredder unit, Colaba, April 2009 
  
Cats in an alley, Colaba, April 2009


Wednesday, April 01, 2009