Answer me, God!

One incident took away almost everything from my world. Aayush, my younger son was only 4 months old then; I could have never heard the word “mamma” from him  neither would I knew how well my elder son, Aryan could sing or how handsome he looks in his all white cricketing attire. It all happened little more than a year back but it is still so vivid in my mind as if it happened just a week before. I am writing this on the eve of my birthday, thanks to the saviour for he gave me an opportunity to celebrate my birthday this year with my family.

We met with a  road accident when we were coming back from Pondicherry to Chennai after spending a superb holiday. Our red car, as Aryan recalls, “Papa’s red car fell and broke into pieces so papa bought a big black car.” Our car was rammed by a xylo from behind and the world became darkness to me.

When I was back to my senses, a month had passed and I was still in the hospital with a severe head injury. The worst thing that happened during this accident was that I suffered from retrograde amnesia and lost my last one-year memory. Due to that, I even forgot my younger son, since he was only 4 months then. Still, I keep on urging everyone individually, not to disclose this to him when he grows up. He will be very hurt when he will know his mother did not remember him. Many more things happened in that one-month period when I was in the hospital, but I was simply clueless.

Finally, one day I was released from the hospital, still on a prescription to continue my high dose medicines for an indefinite time. One day I was just lying in my bed, and found my aunt’s digital camera. She came down from Kolkata during those wretched days to help us. I took the camera and started browsing the pics in it. I saw the first pic, and then the second and then as I pressed the next button, the third pic came up. I stared at the picture blankly. It was Aayush’s pic, with one of his leg wrapped with a white plaster. I immediately ran to my hubby to enquire further. He didn’t hide a bit and told me Aayush fractured his leg during the accident. If that was not all, the fracture got detected after a couple of days when the leg started to swell. Poor Aayush underwent a massive pain for those two days.  In addition, my elder son, Aryan who was only 3 and half years then, broke his left collarbone and was in trauma since he was the only one who saw the whole thing. I became numb and only my tears, which do not follow any rules, continued to roll down my cheek. He also said that every night both the kids kept on crying. The younger one tried to pronounce “mamma” and kept on crying and the elder one, kept on asking everyone when his mother will come back to him.

For better care, my hubby sent me to my mothers place to Kolkata after a few days post my return from the hospital. During that stay, I would ask my mother about all that happened when I was not in my senses. She would always start her narration with Anirban, my hubby, how he took care of me. He was badly injured too in the accident, 21 stitches in his head and with a broken shoulder, still he spent all the nights in the hospital sitting next to me. His routine was somewhat like this; he joined his office few days after the accident – he would go to his office in the morning, return by 5 pm, then feed and make Aryan sleep (He was not allowing anyone to feed him and making him sleep).  After Aryan slept, hubby would have his dinner and go to the hospital with my dinner. He would feed me and then used to sit the whole night awake next to my bed and the next day morning again the routine continued…. I always love my hubby a lot but after hearing all this from my mother, that love increased manifolds and the respect I had for him increased too. He too was badly injured and required proper rest after the accident, but due to his commitments then he did not get any rest and now he is suffering from the side effects. 6 months after the accident, he started getting tremendous back pain, for which he still have sleepless nights. After a check up from the doctor, we came to know during the accident, he badly hurt his back, if he would have taken proper rest then after the accident, now he would not suffer from the side affects. I am very lucky to have him as my best half; he showed me what life is and where happiness lies.

I had no clue what my parents went through as i am their only daughter. Few months back when I was visiting  my aunt, the topic reappeared. She disclosed that my mother kept fasting because I could not eat properly when I was in the hospital. She used to tell, “I will leave my fasting only when my daughter starts eating normal diet.” ‘Hat’s off to you maa, you have shown me what mothers are for and thanks baba for your support.I know you too went through a lot of pain !”

A year flew by but the stigma of the incidence is still crystal-clear in my mind. Very frequently, I get the memories flushing my mind and I always ask with moist eyes – ‘why it was me and my family, who had to experience such a horrible fate.’ This is the only question that I have for Him, the power known as God!

Come on, Everything is not possible!

Raindrops were caressing her face and were giving her the ultimate happiness and pleasure, as Jiya drove past one more hairpin bend. It was drizzling and she enjoyed every single drop touching her body. Jiya was driving her scooty and Vicky was sitting behind her and was enjoying the strands of Jiya’s silky hair, playing with his face.

Jiya and Vicky had a brief courtship and about 2 weeks back they finally tied the knot. They were residing in Mumbai and were off to Khandala for their honeymoon. They had just entered the ghat road when all of a sudden to their pleasure it started to drizzle. Jiya loved driving her scooty and she continued to drive through the ghat roads as the drizzle turned into a heavy downpour. They were all wet and looked out for a shelter, but it was hard to find one on the expressway. Jiya slowed down and both of them looked here and there in quest for a shelter and at the following hairpin bend, Jiya missed to spot of a speeding Xylo heading from the opposite direction; within seconds, the Xylo rammed the scooty head on.

Jiya came back to her senses after 10 days and found herself in the hospital bed with tubes connected all over her body. Jiya’s mom was standing beside her with teary eyes. Jiya asked her mom, “Mom? Why am I here? What has happened to me?”Her mom said, “Hail the almighty! You have recognized me Jiya!”

“Am I not supposed to remember you?” Jia asked in a tired tone.

“You had a severe head injury as you met with an accident on the way to Khandala, dear,” cried her mom. “The doctor was not sure if you will remember anyone of us at all! It is only God’s grace that you survived even after such a severe accident and that too on your honeymoon trip!”

“Honeymoon? Mine? What rubbish! When the hell did I get married?” Jiya asked in a confused tone. Her mother gave a flabbergasted look, within moments her eyes were moist, and she broke down into tears.

It was almost 2 weeks; Jiya was still on the hospital bed but to Jiya’s mom astonishment Jiya never asked her about Vicky. After a week, Jiya was transferred to a cabin. Jiya’s mom was on a call and was standing by the window in Jiya’s cabin, when a tall, fair, and handsome guy entered the cabin with an arm sling around his neck. He came up to Jiya and asked, “How are you feeling now?”

Jiya looked at him blankly and in the meantime, Jiya’s mom was back. She slowly said, “Who is this Jiya? Can’t you recognise him? He is Vicky, your husband!”

Vicky took his mother-in-law in the corner and said, “Mom, I just had a talk with the doctors, they said Jiya was badly hurt in her head and as a result she has gone into a state of anterograde amnesia; but doctor said within a year or so hopefully she will be fine,” he concluded with moist eyes.

“What does than mean, beta?” asked the anxious mom.

“Well whatever I understood from their conversation, it means that she is suffering from short term memory loss and all happenings that occurred during the last year or so in her life have completely got erased.”

Jiya’s mom felt almost hysteric; with immense effort she tried to control herself and spoke, “How are you now beta?”

Vicky replied, “Mom I am fine now. I just broke my hand in the accident. I flew off during the impact and fell on a big block of stone. The doctors have plastered it and asked me to take rest as much as possible and since you are here with Jiya, I usually come in the evenings to see her and take updates from doctors,” he paused. “Jiya was the prime victim. She was very badly injured. After the accident when I was back to my senses and found my face was covered with blood but Jiya was not responding to anything. People there had already called for an ambulance and we both came here immediately after it arrived.”

Everyday evening Vicky came to Jiya with a hope that she will recognise him but that never happened. Everyday whenever he entered Jiya’s cabin, she blankly looked at him. A couple of week later doctor said to Vicky, “look we tried our level best; everything is not possible to get back in your life, once lost. Surely, you people are blessed ones, so you are still alive after such a fatal accident. You can take Jiya home, but without fail continue the medicines. If you notice any degradation or progress, please do inform me, and bring her for a check-up.”

Vicky assumed that once Jiya comes home, seeing all know things, she might get back the memory. However, there was no change after Jiya came back to her house. She used to stay quiet and most of the time she would stand by the window and looked out. Vicky used to show her their pictures together, even the marriage DVD but there was no change. Vicky took her to the restaurant she liked, bought her the things she liked but all in vain. They occupied separate rooms even as she refused to believe that she was married to him.

One night it was raining heavily, in the midnight, Jiya woke up after hearing a blistering noise of thunder. She got down from her bed, walked to the window, and looked outside. Meanwhile, Vicky came to Jiya’s room to check if everything was fine or not; his eyes soon caught Jiya by the window; he stared at her and he was nostalgic.

Memories started to flow – how they enjoyed each other’s company when they were in during their courtship. They both loved to have golgappa at the chowpatty and then a hot cup of tea from Ramu mama’s shack on the beach. He recalled how much Jiya loved walking in the rain and always forced him to walk with her.

Jiya by then turned and walked up to the bed, Vicky was back to his senses, and he closed the door and went back to his room. The next day Vicky left for an important official trip to Chennai for a month so he asked his mother-in-law to be with Jiya.

The month just flew by; it was time for Vicky’s return. He was optimistic that this time Jiya would recognise him for sure and welcome him back with a warm hug. When he rang the bell of his house it was his mother-in-law who opened the door. Vicky entered and saw Jiya was sitting on the sofa with a newspaper in her hand but staring at him. Vicky anticipated a miracle but she didn’t show any reaction, took her eyes off him.Vicky understood, and slowly went to his room. Soon his mother-in-law came to his room and said, “Vicky can you take Jiya to the doctor this evening? A month has passed but she is showing no improvement”. He took her to the doctor that evening and after a MRI scan, the doctor said, “Vicky, the blood clots are still there and hence not of much improvement. Hopefully it will slowly get dissolved but may take another couple of years!”

Since then five more years had passed by; everything still remains the same. Every morning Vicky wakes up with the hope that the sunshine of the new dawn will drive away the gloomy darkness of their life. He still prays looking at her blank eyes that they shall overcome the toughest test of their lives some day, when he dreams of the eon of their togetherness and the opportunity for a fresh start to a life personified for both of them; rediscover their togetherness all over again.

Natural Anxiety Relief

Everyone goes through periods of anxiety from time to time. The world we live in an increasingly complex, and an extra day, and it seems that more demands on our time, our bodies and our brains, than ever before. But what do we do when the pressure just does not seem to subside even when the cause is removed, or even laying in bed or relaxing with your loved ones?

Of course we all run to the local doctor and get a pill to fix (almost) everything nowadays. But we also know enough now to know that there are often risks and side effects to consider.

Natural Anxiety Relief techniques are gaining ground steadily over the past few decades, and starting to become widely accepted, the more traditional medicine.

Of course, we can say that the easiest and best remedy for anxiety is quite simple: a workout! Although it is very easy to ignore the great majority of anxiety sufferers could be greatly improved with a mild, regular exercise program. Get the blood flowing through your veins, get the lung functioning, get the heart beating. This will release huge amounts of endorphins and decrease anxiety, improve the prospects almost immediately.

Second, it is easy to do … Sleep! Are you practicing good sleeping habits? What? Do you fall asleep while watching TV? Quit! The patterns of light and the rocking of ideas seem to put you to sleep, but in reality it is desperately racing just below the surface, and after you fall asleep. It continues to run, searching for the memory banks of the details that go over time.

Caffeine is also an important culprit. Although it may seem, it is important, especially following a poor night’s sleep. But the toxins produced in the body, cause you to be fidgety and stressed. Only a slight reduction in caffeine intake can seriously increase the general mood and you may be able to cope with anxiety.

These may manifest, but good habits  will go to great lengths and basic  needed to alleviate the anxiety considerably. Do not make mistake of ignoring these simple and easy actions and look for the “big gun” cures. You just might find himself in a much calmer, happier and physically healthier to boot!

Sanity Check

memoryWell let me begin by asking  one simple question? Does this occur to you? Do you forget?  I mean just like forgetting  things on your way to the grocery store,to the library or to just  some place. When I say things, it can mean anything as  important as a cell phone or as  little as a pen or paper.  But sometimes when I do carry these things ,to some place, I do not remember to pick it up.For example, I had been to my friend’s house couple of weeks ago,and had left my cellphone on her kitchen counter after taking a call. I just took  the cellphone out from my handbag, when the call came,spoke to the person and left it right on her kitchen counter. Ok at that time, I did not realise keeping the cellphone at that spot.Why?? You ask..I really dont know.But after an hour of  mindless chatting  with my friend, I decided to go home.

So now I should have  remembered to get  my cellphone from the counter,which I obviously did not, because in the first place I did not even realise keeping it there. Some might call this careless, but I was just unmindful at that situation. Ok now I get home and  I still  don’t remember a thing about my cellphone ,until I get a call from   my friend  the next day, telling that I left the cellphone  in her place . I sometimes hate myself for doing that. When my hubby is around he reminds me to take my stuff. But when I am alone I am really lost. But with my hubby’s help I have improved much. How?? You ask?? Ok here goes …….He calls it the Sanity Check!!! What?? I asked him just that.  Then he interpreted the meaning for silly me.  In computer terms the phrase “Sanity Check” means checking code for stupid mistakes.  But in my case ,he explained that I had to check my handbag  to see if I had everything from cellphone to all little things I carry like pen and paper before I head out and before I head back home. So these days after much practice I have become very much  better.

The next thing I am about to say is also very common.How many of us forget to do something at a certain place at a certain time. Well I do and most of us do too. For example, the other day I was supposed to pick up few forms from the doctor’s clinic which I did ,and I was supposed to check out the dates for the flu shots which I obviously did not. When my hubby happened to ask, I simply could not open my mouth to  tell that I forgot. Any ways I felt very very bad. Well sometimes its nice to know how you can take care of your problems right away and well I did just that. So I wore my Ranger hat , began browsing, to see if  I could  find something about this forgetful nature which might help me in understanding my problem better. I think I found something interesting from the Net,which I would like to share.

There are four  kinds of memory namely,

Short term memory is the temporary memory or otherwise called the working memory. Anything that has to do with the present moment is stored in the  short term memory i.e just for a short time,may be a few seconds. Trying to recall a phone number or name that you just heard is well stored in the short term memory. Trying to recall a string of numbers you just read , or trying to remember a list of names which you just read  is stored in the short term memory.

Long term memory -Anything that has to do with permanent storage(may be weeks or years worth of information) is in the long term memory . Examples like phone numbers of family and friends, names of school and college friends, favorite recipes ,songs etc is all in the long term memory.

Prospective Memory – can be defined as the ability to remember to do something in the future. Examples include a doctor’s appointment, lunch meeting,phone call with the boss at a certain time. These are all examples of prospective memory. So to achieve better results it’s always good to carry a day planner or a grocery list or a TO-DO list .

Retrospective Memory – The ability to recollect knowledge,events  from the past.

My idea of tackling  a problem is when you understand what the problem is you have solved it 50%.The other 25% is solved when you find  a right solution ,and another 25% of problem is solved when you work on that  solution.

I hope this article helps all readers who have similar problems.

Winter commences

winter

Winter… the word springs up different emotions in people. To some, it is marked by the winter vacations and Christmas gifts that Santa brings. To a good lot, it means getting new winter wear, taking out rugs from the attic and ensuring that the heater system is in place. To the poor, it would mean a tough time ahead with not enough warm clothes and food to eat.

But to me, winter means my “Nani” is going to be home. My Nani (maternal grandmother) as we call her lives in the north of India. During the winter, it is very cold there and the temperatures often dip to below zero degrees. Given her age and fragile bones, she prefers to spend the time at a warmer place and our home is a natural choice.

So come winter, and Nani is here. The train from Lucknow comes to Surat station almost in the middle of the night and we sit at the station waiting to catch a glimpse of the train. During the nights, the train announcements are also few and not exactly accurate. But the wait itself is a part of the time I reminisce about those times. And there we see her alight from the train with lots of luggage of all shapes and sizes. There will be just one briefcase but so many bags… each stuffed with treasures unknown. We just can’t wait to go and unpack those at home.

And in the middle of the night, rather than going back to bed after picking up Nani, our eyes eagerly await the surprises which Nani brings in those bags. There are huge varieties of namkeens and sweets, some clothes that my cousins would have sent from the north, ceramic toys that are a specialty of that place, and what not.

What follows this initial excitement is a series of days of new things being done each day. My mom used to enjoy chatting with Nani to catch up on the family gossip and I used to lie there pretending to be asleep – though I hardly used to understand the gossip since the language was a different dialect of Hindi that I was not familiar with.

My Nani loved movies and TV. I used to have the afternoon fights with her over which serial to watch since she typically preferred soaps and mythological serials.

The best part of the whole visit was the innumerable movies that I used to watch in theatres with Nani on her pretext.

I just can’t forget the sunday head massages that Nani used to give me. Some of her golden nuggets of advice which she used to bestow upon me in the form of are still precious and valuable to me till this day.

My Nani is no more. She passed away 3 years ago.

I regret not having spent enough time with her. I wish I had done a lot more for her then I actually did. I wish I held her hand and sat through when she was ill rather than saving my leaves at office. I wish I visited her more often than I did. I wish I pressed her feet while she slept. I wish I read her out the books she loved so much which she couldn’t read any more because of her poor eye sight. I wish I listened to her endless stories of her youth which I remember getting bored with.

To me winter still holds the same significance…It brings my Nani back to me.