Posted in Bereavement

Hi Kelly – Just the weekend goss

Heard from Rog that you’ve left. We just met last Thursday, as usual our volubility flowed through that day too. But not a word uttered about this final parting.

Anyway, from where we left off on Thursday…

Arj did come for the weekend and he left on Sunday. It was so good to have at least one of them back. Hari’s got a promotion. Trent’s medicals are looking good, at least for the moment we can take a breather.

BTW, I heard Olly and Sarah are back in town. Why did you rush off before they arrived? I thought you and I were an open book. Never knew your story had a hidden chapter. I wasn’t prepared for this anticlimax, Kelly. Why, how I am still searching for answers.

We had to postpone our wedding anniversary luncheon as Ganesh had to work that Sunday. Plans are for this coming Sunday. After what you’ve done, I am not sure about plans. I am just going to take one day at a time. But if all goes to plan and we go to the Barossa, I will check out the Gin Distillery as you suggested. I may raise a glass for you Kelly.

But you know what Kelly, I would rather clink that glass at our next Christmas dinner or when you finally come to my house for that Sri Lankan feed. Why would you just up and leave. I wasn’t ready. I am still not ready.

Kelly, I know for anyone who has watched us talk – oh boy could we both talk and talk –they would think surely there’s nothing more to say. But Kelly, I have so much more.

I almost forgot, so on the weekend when Arj was here, the little tyke roped me into riding the motorbike with Ganesh. I know crazy right. No, no photographs thankfully. I wish I could relate this story face to face and have a hearty laugh. I was dying to tell you this yarn. Sorry, Kelly no pun intended. I thought that was pretty funny, but why am I crying instead of laughing. Is it because the jokes on me?

Do you remember giving me a book called “Penguin Bloom”? It came handy when I broke my shoulder and had to endure a year of rehab. Just recently Ganesh and I came across the movie on Netflix, yeah, the big boy cried too. Thank you for the book.

Is it time for me to start thanking you for everything? It will take me a life time to list everything. But here’s a shortlist. Nah sorry there is more to tell, I will get back to the thank you’s later on another day… when I am ready, when I have talked enough.

Another week has passed already.

So, I have more goss from last weekend.  Ganesh and I made it to Casa Caboni on Sunday. I think you and Bill would have loved this place too. Food was just amazing so was the whole experience.

On the way to Casa Carboni, we did stop by the Seppeltsfield Gin Distillery as per your suggestion. Awesome find. We did a tasting and raised that glass for you. Wish I could show you the photos and the rest of the goss.

Heard from Rog that we are bidding goodbye to you on Monday. Oh Kelly, I am going to miss you so much. I am not sure if Roger and Pete are up to the challenge. They’ve got some big shoes to fill. They need to first start with my new shoes and then my new haircut, the new top, no that may be a stretch. Will there be any more cannoli? Maybe… but will it be the same without you and your infectious laugh? Will it be the same without you saying that I look gorgeous?

I am supposed to be wishing you a big RIP. But I am so pissed off. I have a long list of candidates who could fill up the coffins, why you? We need angels like you in this miserable world, to make it bearable, why were you taken?

Let me cry today and leave you to rest another day. I will accept it one day, but sorry not today.

It was your big send off today. The party hall was packed to the brim. It was a send off fit for the queen. Sarah sang so well, the brave girl held it together and didn’t miss a single note. She did good Kelly. Your boys Olly and Tim did so well, they spoke from their heart. Omg Tim brought the house down with his narration of getting caught to mum – “having a fun time with his girlfriend”. What a story… I can just picture the events. I wish I had done the same to Arj😊. Olly moved me to tears. That man Bill loves you to death Kell, He is going to be lost for some time. I hope he has some good mates to pull him through. Else he may have to reach out to the Sri Lankan connections for some food and company. I might actually do that, invite him and Rog for some Lankan tucker. Kicking myself for not inviting you in time for that Sri Lankan hopper feed. Mum and dad held it together as much as possible. Poor Tracy and Matt, were doing their best to keep it together but you can tell that they were distraught. Rog had done a fab job with everything graphic designing. And his speech was beautiful. Met Stevie for the first time. Poor girl has lost another mother. Not just the immediate family but the rest of the 400 attendees were all struggling to keep it together.

And that’s because you treated everyone as family.

Kelly, you had touched so many souls and today you had broken too many hearts.

Thank you Kell for getting the cannoli and other knickknacks. Making it special each time I came over to work. Yes, I come over to work and you make it as if I’ve come for a coffee date. Thank you for all the flowers and support each time I end up in hospital. Thank you for inviting me and Ganesh for the office Christmas parties even though I am not exactly a staffer. Thank you for all the thoughtful gifts.

Thank you Kell for your friendship. Thank you Kell for your genuine love and care. I am going to miss you like crazy. But I think it’s time I let you rest in peace. So Long Kell. You were one class act.

Posted in love, marriage, True Story, Inspirational

An Officer and a Gentleman – Remake

Disclaimer: The following narration is my own assumptions and thinking. It may be quite far from the truth and facts.

Douglas Day Stewart an American Screenwriter and film director was well known for his rather risqué romantic movies. Who could be more romantic and risqué than a bunch of Naval officers. So I believe the birth of “An officer and a Gentleman” starring Richard Gere was with the notion of making a Romcom that was going to be a hit at the box office.  The said budget for the movie as per Wikipedia was 6-7 million and the movie then went on to rack up 190 million at the box office. I would say that was a definite hit for 1982. 

Unknown to Douglas there was a real-life Richard Gere in the making from around 1977. However, he came to his peak in 1985 when he met his real life, Debra Winger. One could say that was when he shined as a true Gentleman.

This real-life production took almost two years and came to fruition on the 19th of Jan 1987

The cast, writing and direction for this production were all just two individuals. They are Ganesh and Uma. 

In the great year of 1985 Chief Officer Nada Ganesan met a young lady by the name of Uma Sivapalan. Let’s call them G and U for the remainder of the narration. He was quite smitten by her natural beauty and grace (facts maybe embellished for the purpose of the story). She was caught off guard by his childlike charm and charisma.

The story line may be very different to that of “An officer and a Gentleman”, But G knew how to melt the heart of U and his moves were not much further of Richard Gere. (Again, the facts may be embellished) Needless to say, U fell head over heels and was totally swept over. Officer G left for the UK to complete his masters and returned two years after with a promotion to his rank. Capt. G makes it formal and weds U.

A few words to Capt. G from his lady U.

Not sure if you remember G, do you know where and when we watched “An officer and a Gentleman”? It was in the bar on “MV Sri Mathi”. I cried my heart out. Over the years I have seen much better movies and much better actors. However, I still have a soft spot for Richard Gere. Well, you know that.

But you know no one can replace the spot that I have for my real-life officer and the gentleman.  Yes, you swept me away then and sometimes even now at most unexpected times.

After 36 years of marriage, after many life lessons and experiences on its way – some pleasant and some unfortunately not so pleasant, the lyrics of the last song on the final scene “up where we belong” becomes more poignant and real.

Parts of the lyrics – the parts that ring true to us – deciphered.

Who knows what tomorrow brings

In a world few hearts survive

All I know is the way I feel

When its real, I keep it alive

Thank you for reviving it time to time

The road is long

There are mountains in our way

But we climb a step every day

(We were faced with so many avalanches and at times it feels like we are climbing Everest, but our love has proven to get stronger with each wind gust)

Time goes by

No time to cry

Life’s you and I

Alive today

(I know I have given you grief with my medical dramas. But that’s me. Don’t you dare to scare me again)

I am almost at the end of my narration. I just realised that I have not once insulted Capt G.  It is as cringeworthy as any romcom.  Maybe ours is that cringeworthy romcom. Sometimes you are my Richard Gere and sometimes my Shrek. Either way I need you by my side to climb this mountain.

We may not have racked up 190 Million, but we are definitely a box office hit.

So, my love let’s keep marching ahead and remembering yesterday

Looking forward to tomorrow

But importantly enjoying today

Loved you then, today and forever

(those who think I have rocks in my head, yes you are not entirely wrong)

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Breaking Bad… (Part 4)

It’s been many moons since my last post. Just in case you need a recap of this journey or if you are new to my blog, you could click on the below links.

My last post was on the day of my last surgery (hopefully this is it), I was using this space as a means to concur “nil by mouth” especially the massive coffee craving I was having. Suffice to say I concurred the coffee deprivation as well as the surgery.

It is almost an year since the accident. If I think how long it has been it feels daunting. If I think in that one year what I have achieved, how far I have come it feels… Nah, it still feels like a massive waste of an year.

I am all for thinking positive. But it is important to be honest with yourself too. It doesn’t help anyone, especially to yourself to build a fake rainbow. To curl up in the fetal position and to drown yourself in self pity is not the answer but nor is the opposite which is to lie to yourself and say it’s all peachy when you know it is far from it. You need to be realistic, honest and accept what has happened and then, tackle whatever you have been dealt with.

I sound like an expert now. But the truth is far from it. There were many demons I had to battle and I would say a big part of these blog/posts are for that reason. If someone could benefit even an iota, lessons from my thorny path, then, I see that as a positive.

From where I left off …

The ambos arrived, the same two angels in the green uniform from the morning, wonder how long their shift was? In spite of how tired they might have been, they were still absolutely beautiful to me. They assisted me to get over from the hospital bed to the ambulance trolley. The whole day I had lost count how many times I changed from trolley to bed and bed to trolley. On all of these occasions, I insisted that I move over myself, I proudly used my core muscles to lift and push myself and do the transfer myself.

I wasn’t going to give up on me that easily. If you look hard enough there is still something left in the tank.

I learnt that the reason the phone call to the boys were not going through was due to the fact they were in the underground apartment. The phone reception isn’t great underground and only possible in some parts of the apartment and the bedrooms were not one of them. The ambos were willing to swing by the apartment and get the boys to follow us to the airfield. Yes, like I said they were just absolute angels.

We were met with more angels at the airfield. They too were at the end of a very long shift. Still they did not let that interfere with the compassion and professionalism that was required to get me transported. They allowed Arj to accompany us on the flight. Hubby was going to drive down the next day or more like in a few hours after sunrise.

It was going to be an hour and forty five minutes to Adelaide. Sky Rocketing blood pressure and the pain that was now at another level were concerning for all.

To be continued…

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Sri Lanka in turmoil, the power of the people

Since the recent uprisel in Sri Lanka, I have questioned , do I open my mouth or not. And I had opted to keep my mouth shut. But today finally I feel like I need to say something. Bare with me with typos, left handed typing.
Recently I accepted an invite on LinkedIn from a CEO of a similar Industry person from Sri Lanka. His surname suggests that he is Sinhalese. Then I got a personal message that said something along the lines of that I am having a great time living in Australia while everyone is suffering in Sri Lanka. Without going into too much detail the tone was of arrogance and annoyance. I didn’t reply to him. As I didn’t feel I needed to give any more fuel to this. But honestly what I wanted to say and I have felt this way many a times, each time I go into hospital here and the service is so great, I think “thank God the Sinhalese kicked me out of that country, I am lucky”
I feel angry, I feel more angry at the people more than at the politicians. I feel disappointed. Do you think Rajapakse’s are the only reason why Sri Lanka is the way it is. When I saw my friend carrying a placard that said “you made us fear the Tamils” I wanted hug her and cry Sanja Herath . You herald Gota as a war hero while our people cried out to the world begging to stop the war crimes. When Sinhala only rules were brought in Tamils had similar peaceful protests(1970’s) They were attacked by the politicians and by the Buddhist monks. Do you think Tamils woke up one day and decided that they needed a separate state. They were driven to that. The entire country watched by while Tamils were burnt alive in cars and homes, I have friends who were forced to watch their brothes and dad to be piled with tyres and burnt. There were father’s who had to watch their daughters being raped. The words still echo in my ears – first press conference during the 1983 riots JR Jayewardene comes and says “Sinhala people reacted” he didn’t condemn the act. I am wrong in saying the entire country watched, there we’re many Sinhalese who were appalled by it helped their neighbours and friends. Not sure if they opposed the Government stance on the Sinhala Buddhist nation but they didn’t want their friends harmed.

People of Sri Lanka were hoodwinked into thinking that the Government was just killing the terrorists. The biggest terrorists were the government. In my opinion I think Australia knew what was going on but chose to make a deal with the devil (Namal and Gota) to win the elections here ” stop the boats”. That is the sad story of any minority in any nation.
How could you legally discriminate the Tamils, media vise standardisation is nothing but legal discrimination. How is that I have more rights in a country I was not born in than a country that my heritage spans to over 2000 years. Yes it was more than 2000 years so BC is when Tamils came from South India to Sri Lanka.
Corruption – yes I will agree politicians swindled the country. Each government not just the Rajapakse’s. Each one of them was a Ali Hora. But were they the only ones stealing in that country. Every person who could make a side buck did so. You couldn’t build a house without bribing all and sundry for each permit. Any thing and everything it has become the norm to bribe and to accept a bribe. On this we were very similar, Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims everyone took bribes. My Dad would yell at me if I took a pen from his work place. But many would fulfil their stationery needs of their entire family from the office. It has just come to Roost now.
For Sri Lanka to have a future, a serious cultural, mental attitude change has to happen across all religions and races. Everyone needs to take responsibility. Every time you get hoodwinked by the politicians for your personal gain think long term, think if it’s fair for all.


Good luck to the people. People power. Power to the people.

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Breaking Bad… (Part 3)

Yes another call comes from the surgeon.

He asked me if my dislocated shoulder was put back. I explained to him that I did not have a dislocation just that I had a fracture, thinking that he was mixing me up with another patient. I asked when he could fit me in for the surgery, explaining to him about our drive back the next day. He was flabbergasted. He then vehemently started to stress that I had a dislocated shoulder along with an array of other issues. But it appeared his main concern was the dislocation.

The surgeon went on to explain that I had a shoulder dislocation, a fracture and also a bone that had chipped (the bone that had chipped had some tendons ripped off as well). I have always liked the idea of being a triple threat, just didn’t realise that I was going to perform it with my shoulder. The surgeon was still harping on about the dislocation. In my mind I am thinking the fracture should be a bigger concern than a mere dislocation. It shows my lack of medical knowledge or the lack of sports injuries.

He asked why I was not air lifted. I explained that as it was not “life threatening” and that we were advised to drive down the next day. He was livid. He said “it may not be life threatening but it could be life changing”, by now hubby had arrived from the shops and was listening to the surgeons rant. He then went onto explain that the dislocated shoulder has to be put back as soon as its possible. Any delay is a step closer to permanent nerve damage.

There were multiple phone calls that went between the surgeon, the hospital and us. By now it was about 6pm or so. The surgeon advised us that he had spoken to the doctor at Coober Pedy and he didn’t think he was capable of performing this procedure (he said it with a bit more colour and annoyance). He asked us if we could drive to maybe the next bigger Hospital. Which was at Port Augusta. This was still not a short distance, 540kms and a 5.5 hr drive. This road is notorious for it’s Kangaroo related accidents. Not the ideal time to drive and still a very long drive with a patient in the car. Even the surgeon was not keen on this idea, but he just wanted this shoulder back in ASAP. He was worried that it was already been out for too long.

I don’t know who made the next set of phone calls, I think Arj rang the Ambo’s to see if they could transport me to Port Augusta, thinking that might be safer I would be lying down and strapped in rather than in a car. Hubby rang Port Augusta hospital to confirm if they could in fact perform the said procedure. Ambo’s advised Arj that there was just the one ambulance for the whole district and that they would not be able to go that far leaving a whole community without an ambulance. Hubby also found out that Port Augusta too didn’t have a doctor on duty who was capable of doing this procedure. They had given another piece of information which was now ammunition for hubby , that they had a similar patient that morning and the patient was airlifted to Adelaide.

In the midst of all this I messaged Sally my dear friend and a nurse, who I usually use as my insider for medical info. I wanted to check with her if in fact the surgeon was correct in prioritizing the dislocation to the fracture. She agreed with the surgeon, she too now started to stress/panic on the importance of getting out of Coober Pedy. She didn’t want me in the car either. She was on the phone the whole night talking to Arj, giving him advise and info.

Arj and Hubby stormed to the hospital now requesting an air transfer. I was told that Arj’s sentences were measured, with the new information from the surgeon it was more of a threat rather than a request, but delivered with respect. Respectful language however the message was “or else”.

In the meantime the ambo’s took upon themselves and arrived at the apartment. Luckily the front door had been left unlocked, so they were able to just walk in without much hurdle. They found me on the couch with worsened pain. I relayed what happened at the hospital and what we had just heard from the surgeon. They were aghast. By then hubby and Arj got back. We heard from them that this doctor had only been there for less than a week and they’ve had so many complains. They said they were going to take me back to the hospital, as they claimed this to be a “unresolved discharge”. The request for air transfer could only happen from a hospital, so they suggested that we go back to the hospital and start the ball rolling.

I had another green whistle. Arj has some videos that he threatens to release at times. I was definitely in a happy place. I was just disappointed that I didn’t have a better story to tell than to say I fell down a stair, I think I mentioned to the Ambo’s that I fell down a mine shaft with a massive laughter. I also apologized for not having a shower. I don’t think I can divulge in the rest of the conversations, without embarrassing myself. So I shall leave it there.

The doctor looked a bit sheepish. How on earth did he miss a dislocation. No wonder I couldn’t lie or sit back as my the shoulder had collapsed to the front. However sheepish he felt he couldn’t let go of his ego and arrogance. Instead of getting on with what he needs to do, he was now trying to pick a fight with the ambo’s and the nurses.

He agreed for the air transfer and started a ticket. We were told that RFDS (Royal Flying Doctor Services) would pick me up at 12.00 midnight. It was only a few more hours to go so the boys stayed back at the hospital. Green whistle or not the pain was sky rocketing. They administered Morphine. I am usually someone who falls asleep on antihistamine meds. But today even after all these cocktails I was wide awake.

They announced that the plane had been diverted for another emergency and it would be the next morning around 7.00am that I would be transferred. There was nothing much we could do. So I asked the boys to go back to the apartment and have a bit of shut eye.

About 3.00am the nurses advised that another plane that had completed its drop off at Alice Springs would be coming to pick me up at 4.00am. They had tried to contact the boys unfortunately the phone call was not going through. As they were underground, phone coverage was only available in certain spots in the apartment ie the living room. As these two had taken the phones to their rooms the call from the hospital was not going through.

Along with the pain, my blood pressure too was now skyrocketing to dangerous levels.

I have been told that I am pretty good with cliff hangers. So I am going to just leave it there. Sorry folks, I have to get ready for today’s surgery . Thank you in advance for all the prayers and well wishes.

Giving you another video from Bondi Rescue with the Green Whistle


Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Breaking Bad… (Part 2)

We were all rather tired. Life had been rather full on. We were physically and mentally exhausted. I didn’t do much on the long journey other than take photos and agree or disagree on the music choices. I was still tired. So after our Pizza and a premade Coffee Martini for me and I think the boys had a beer we decided to call it a night.

I woke up at 5.00am checked my phone to confirm the time and decided that I needed some water. I didn’t want to disturb my hubby’s melodic snoring so decided to tip toe out the room without switching on the lights. Poor man must be very tired, let him sleep/snore a bit more, he has earned it, I thought. There was a night lamp in the bathroom which was emitting enough light for me to walk out to the living area. I confidently started my journey towards the kitchen.

Two steps out and the whole place fell into complete darkness. The beauty of the underground – no windows, so not an ounce of daylight or starlight to sneak in. It was just pitch black, I had no idea where I was, I was trying to find a wall so I could feel my way for a light switch. I made progress, I found the wall mounted TV. So forged ahead, confident that a switch was going to be at my reach very soon.

Alas, I found the big step before I found the switch. No, I think they were found simultaneously or it could be the switch and a Nano second later the step. Not sure of the order of the events, however the result was the birth of Big Humpty Dumpty in the underground motel of Coober Pedy.

The first thought that came into my head was, that I was going to wake everyone up, including the neighboring apartment. It was a one massive thud. The whole world was still in silence, other than my husband’s snoring. Well his snoring confirmed that he wasn’t going to come rushing anytime soon to help this damsel in distress.

My arm was throbbing. I thought I could walk it off. I got up thinking the pain would settle. No, it was still unbelievably terrible. I do apparently have a good pain tolerance., but this time however, I couldn’t take it anymore. So I went back to the room, woke up my husband. By now the pain was shooting up, I couldn’t sit or lie on the bed, I was trying to explain and sob all at the same time.

Arj had woken up for all the commotion and rushed in. Arj and Hubby brought me back to the living room and sat me on the couch. I think there was a glass of water or something. But Arj realised that this was something more than just a bruise. He called for the ambulance.

Two Ambo’s (ambulance officers – Aussie) arrived promptly. They could tell straightaway that I had done something major and I was in agony. They were my two Fairies (if fairies could be males). Instead of the magic wand they were waving the green whistle at me. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of having one of these – it is Penthrax a very strong pain relief. Until now I have only seen them on Bondi Rescue.

The above video might give you an idea on this amazing Aussie invention. I had the green whistle on the way to the hospital, by the time I arrived at the hospital I was in ripe old stage. I was still in a world of pain but I was way more funnier.

This was when I met Doctor Inefficient. This is a small rural town with a small hospital the size of a medical center. Not many doctors want to work in these remote parts of Australia. Rural Doctors receive additional incentives from the Government to entice them to work in these little towns. However unfortunately it only attracts the inefficient and washed up Doctors who are in it for the money and probably know that they are not good enough to make it in the big hospitals. But I don’t know how Coober Pedy managed to attract the most gorgeous nurses and Ambos. If not for their help this story and outcome could have been far worse.

I was subjected to stand for an X’ray. I had no strength to stand nor to pose for these Portraits, however I obliged. I swallowed more pain meds, an array of Endone, Panadeine and who knows what ever else. I was high as a kite but the pain was still a 11 out of 10 maybe even a 111 out of 10.

The Doctor advised me that I had fractured my shoulder – the rotator cuff, a zig zag fracture at that. However, as they did not have the facility to operate on me, I would have to make my way back to Adelaide to be operated. My husband duly asked if I could be airlifted. The Doctor advised as it was not “life threatening“, sure it was painful but not life threatening, he will not be able to request an air transfer and for my husband to drive me back.

My husband tried to explain to this man and bring to his attention that Adelaide was in fact 848Kms away, a 9 hr drive only if you were driving to the speed limit of 110 Kms for most of the drive without a stop, which he tried to point out would not be possible with me in the car, screaming blue murder. It was around 12.00pm by now. Hubby also made a point that even if we were to start driving right then, by dusk our vehicle would be devouring a smorgasbord of Kangaroos and we would be nursing more than a broken shoulder. The Doctor then went onto part with more wisdom and told us to take break for that day and travel the next day. He prescribed more pain meds and advised that the pain should ease up and for me to even think of doing some sight seeing.

I could not sit back or lie back on the bed. I hung on to the side rail of the bed. It didn’t appear that the pain would ease up anytime soon. I was mourning. At times I felt my mourning was very loud and felt bad for the patient next to me. My arm was put in a sling and I was discharged from the hospital. Not even a wheelchair was offered. I walked to the car and I have no recollection of how I got into the car seat. It could’ve been Arj my young warrior who helped me in. With the concoction of all the opioids in my system, I was feeling dizzy and nauseous but there was no ease up on the pain.

I found refuge on the couch, again I couldn’t lie back, I hung on to the armrest. Most things are a blur. I think there was some vomiting. Sense of absolute guilt took over me. We came here because things were bad. To release some stress and to relax. But I have created more stress, anxiety and work for Arj and for my overly tired husband. I tried to get up and see if we could go on for some sightseeing. I have seen people walking around normally in a sling and so why can’t I do it. But I just couldn’t. I couldn’t keep myself upright or sit back. I told myself that I was a real fuss pot.

Hubby dismissed the idea of sightseeing and said for me to preserve my strength for the next days trip. He was trying to come up with a plan to transport me. In his mind it was near impossible. He bought some big pillows thinking he could lay me on the back seat.

We received a phone call from a surgeon in Adelaide. Our Doctor in Coober Pedy had sent word to him of my injury and had requested him to operate on me. However, didn’t see the need to send the X’rays. Arj went back to the hospital and requested the X’rays to be sent to the said surgeon. Arj and Hubby were frequenting the shops, pharmacy and the hospital for various things. Another call came from the surgeon.


Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Breaking Bad …(Part 1)

I wonder where and how to begin my story today. A story that I have locked away for eight months. There were many a times I had thought maybe I am ready now. But that maybe was put to rest soon after. I pluck up the courage today to write, just before I am embark on my next visit to the hospital for yet another surgery.

I should start right at the beginning, like how a story should start. This is a story of when things are bad and you think it can’t get any worse, it really can. Compared to the miseries of the world this is a drop in the ocean, a first world “Oh hurt my pinky hold my cup” kinda story, nevertheless it’s my story. It is still a gruesome story filled with a lot of Morphine and Endone. So stay put and continue reading. After the opening few words of inspirations and Kumbaya, I will get back to the story, I promise.

The purpose of this story is not for the pity vote but more to emphasize the importance of “today, right now”. We are all aware of it, however none of us take it very seriously. Your whole world can change within a Nano second. You may have heard the phrase “Live each day as it’s the last” there is an amended Aussie Version and I quite like that one.

“Live each day as it’s the last, as one day you may be right”.

This is the prequel to my story. 26 Dec 2019, We had guests over from interstate. The invention of the phone has been a darn thorn in my life. Wish we just had just had the Telegrams. Then it will be just the one telegram that would be the bearer of bad news.

“Your sister in Hospital (stop) very serious (stop) come soon (stop)”

And that would be it. One telegram. But unfortunately world has moved on from telegrams, to phones and mobile phones. Remember the days when phone calls were charged by the minute. You don’t chat, you hurriedly part important facts and hang up. You don’t have to yell through the phone, testing your vocals because its an international call anymore either. It appears that I am procrastinating.

The long and the short of it – my darling sister-in-law Ranji who we thought was the pillar of health was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Initial phone call came from my other sister-in-law, Jan in Canada. She had heard that Ranji had been admitted to hospital with fluid in her lungs. About then Ranji’s husband rang to advise the same. My initial thought/layman diagnosis was pneumonia. Ranji’s hubby explained that it was fluid coming from her ovaries/stomach region and it was not pneumonia. She was undergoing tests and fluid was being drained. Nothing had been confirmed at this stage however, it didn’t look good. I relayed all this back to Jan. We were all shell shocked. Unfortunately there was no prequel to this part of Ranji’s story. We met her in September 2019, just a few months before for their 40th Wedding anniversary. She even sent us a family photo on Christmas day on WhatsApp. There was no tell-tale signs of her ill health. In the coming days it was confirmed that she indeed had Ovarian Cancer.

It was a very hard pill to swallow. It just didn’t seem fair. She did everything right when it came to taking care of her body. She ate right and lived right. Why? How? Once again the universe was not ready to divulge any wisdom.

She gave it a good fight. We trekked through bushfires to see her as we had no idea how long we had with her. However, she defied everyone’s predictions and soldiered on. She wasn’t called the Iron Lady for nothing. Nov 2020 we celebrated her 60th, a grand zoom black tie event. We celebrated each of the family members birthday on Zoom. In between these grand events we had regular zoom catch up spanning across the Pacific and time zones with the 3 siblings, niece and nephews. We could never get this time back, I am so truly grateful, it was so special but it feels so much more now.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for her. However, she made it look so simple. There were so many moments where we thought this is it, but she would pull through. Many late night phone calls with Jan, the poor girl was stuck in Canada unable to come over due Covid 19 restrictions in Australia. A family member with Cancer is bad enough but Covid just made things so much harder. Even for us who lived in the same country but were not allowed to travel across the State boarders. So, okay I will give that, the phone was a great invention and whatsapp was god sent. Jan and I spent many a nights crying, being angry and then calming each other down on the phone. Thank god we had each other and we had the phone.

The cancer was taking hold in other parts of her body and in Aug 21 she decided to end all invasive treatments. She is just one class act. She rang us that evening, asked hubby and I to sit down and said “I have an update” update, yes that’s the exact word she used, then explained what was happening to her body and treatment options that was available etc. And she went on to explain that she doesn’t want that as it would be a painful procedure, her quality of life would not be great and would only give her a few more months at the most. She went onto explain that now her organs will start to fail one by one, it could take a couple of days or maybe couple of weeks before she passes away. She was not upset, she was calm, she had made a very informed clear decision. Grace and Poise till the end. We were bawling our eyes off and all I could get out was to tell her that she was so amazing and I love her. Not sure if I said that I love her, I kept repeating that she was amazing. My hubby was caught off guard. He was suggesting/stammering that surely there was something more they could do. She calmly told my husband that it was exactly what her son had said, but the cancer was everywhere and she was done. We know she gave it all, and we knew in our hearts she was done. We had to respect her decision.

My youngest started to look into ways to get across the boarder to see her under the “end of life” exemption. Our workplaces were great. They gave us time off without hesitation. Arj got all the necessary paperwork to travel across the boarder. We were all set to leave on that Saturday, however that Friday things got really bad in NSW, Covid had spread up to Dubbo. We were getting information from all who knew we were planning the trip up there and asking us to rethink. We had to abort our plans by Friday night. It was such a disappointment.

This was a very difficult time, I am not going to get into the emotional state of us as I don’t want to open that flood gates again. To say that we felt pretty gutted is an understatement. The next day Arj had this great idea that we could go on a holiday within the State. Since we had already taken time off and we were all feeling pretty awful. So take a break, blow off some steam and return, as life goes on, well life must go on.

So a plan was drafted – First stop Coober Pedy, an Opal Mining town 850Km from City about a 9.5hr drive. Plans were made to stay a couple of nights in an underground motel and then driving back down to Adelaide with a few more one day stops notably including at a place called Coward Springs which boasts a natural hot springs amongst other interesting titbits.

The journey started swimmingly. One of the things Ranji requested was that on our zoom meetings she didn’t want the conversations to be just about cancer. For her life was more than that and especially then. We followed suit. So our green machine started to plow through the land of nothing.

After 9 – 10 Hours of driving around 6.00pm we entered Coober Pedy. It was a quaint little town. All the working mines were quite visible from the road. It was as if we had entered the Flintstones lands. I was waiting for hubby my “Fred” to belt out yabba dabba doo. The used up mines were now converted to Underground Museums, Underground Serbian Church, Underground Art Gallery etc. It was really my cup of tea. This was all going to be added to my itinerary for tomorrow. We had Pizza for dinner from the famous Pizza place where Chopper Read had been, among other famous/notorious people. Loved our cute quaint underground apartment.

All my plans for the next day went up the smoke.

To be continued….

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

About #Breakthebias

My two bobs on International Women’s Day campaign #breakthebias.

I am not someone who usually joins in such campaigns.  As I think sometimes these campaigns are just a lot of noise and nothing constructively is achieved at the end. 

I walk my own walk and I fight my own battles has been usually my take. But today I have decided to join in with my fellow sisters and daughters to say enough is enough #breakthebias

I have joined in because – I know I am able to walk my walk and have this confidence because my father believed in equality.  He gave me the confidence to stand tall and ask questions and call out anyone who tell me otherwise. 

But unfortunately for centuries many women had to from a young age even from their own parents had to hear that they are not good enough, they will be never be equal to a man, shut up and put up was the message that was drummed in.  The sons of this generation believed in this and kept the tradition going.  So, we mothers have a great responsibility on this agenda too.  We need to stop our husbands, partners or even if it is our own father spreading this decease to the younger generation.  We need to ask our partners and sons to join forces with us to #breakthebias.

We are shouting out loud today and may be tomorrow as well – Enough is enough.  Women are more than a mini skirt and a crop top. Women have proven that they can work in any field and play in any game. Not just work, not just get by but in fact we can excel. So enough already just let us be. Let us be true to ourselves.  Quoting a line from – Korean Boy band BTS’s song – Permission to Dance,

“cause we don’t need permission to dance”

“cause when we fall, we know how to land

don’t need to talk the talk, just walk the walk tonight”

WE DON’T NEED ANYONE’S PERMISSION, we are more than capable of making our decisions, we can be whoever we want to be, not necessarily what you want us to be. 

I have quoted a Korean Boy band.  Not because I don’t know to quote Nietzsche. Again, because I feel like breaking the mould today.  To my fellow sisters and daughters get your inspiration from whoever and where ever.  Question everything and everyone.  Call out everyone and anyone.





Posted in family, True Story, Inspirational

35 Not Out

Australia wins the Ashes.  Travis Head is awarded “Player of the match”. It is normal for us to give all the credit to the individual batsman for the victory, however there was more than one reason, more than one player for this victory.  Great bowling, fielding and unnoticed to the world an army of other individuals worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the team win. The coaches, the Physios, doctors and even the groundsmen play a role. But ultimately the responsibility and commitment are shouldered by two individuals at the crease for the win.  Your best bowlers can bowl the opposition out, but your batsmen have to score runs, for your best batsman to perform he needs someone at the other end to keep scoring. He needs a solid partner.

He/she needs someone willing to stay out in the middle facing all the elements and weathering the storm together.

Amidst all this, the universe rejoices another partnership milestone.

 YES, The Ganesan’s – Uma and Ganesh notch a 35 not out partnership.

Thirty-Five years ago, they made it official to the world that they are in love and wanted to start a life together. Well, it wasn’t entirely their decision when it came to setting the date for the wedding.  They would have preferred a date a bit later at least with a lead time of more than two weeks to organise this event.  But, as per the Sri Lankan tradition your wedding isn’t entirely your business, it was a whole family business. 

It was almost a shot gun wedding – no I was not pregnant. 

Ganesh suddenly returned from the UK earlier than expected.  This immediately raised the curiosity of the family to ask when we were getting married. My mum was okay to leave that decision to me.  However, as my dad had passed away only a few years ago and it was an un-manned household, our voices were drowned.  However, the plea from my cousin Sulochana was what finally made us to go along with this rushed wedding.

Cuz Sulo was the one who first broke the news and got permission from both parents on our behalf.  Proposed marriages were still the norm at that time.  Announcing that you have made your own choice could get you into hot water. But luckily both our parents were happy with our choices. 

Cuz Sulo (Sulo akka) was migrating to Australia the next month.  She was there when I was born and to every other milestone of my life. Then when my father fell ill, she was there from accompanying him on the ambulance, to the end.  She even allowed his funeral to be held in her house.  So, when she asked us teary eyed “I would like to see you two getting married” we just couldn’t refuse.  We both cried and said OK. We had both lost a parent, the lesson – life and time was precious was hard wired, we may not have all the loved ones that we want at our wedding if we delay it crossed our minds. So gave in to this crazy idea.

For the new age thinking the marriage should be about the two of us and we should decide etc etc,  yes, that’s exactly how I felt 35 years ago, when the whole planning of the wedding was hijacked from me. With age and experience I think my ideas and ideals have changed a bit. In the last 35 years we have weathered some storms, some worse than the other.  But amongst all that there was some splendid display of great batting.  Time to time the unorthodox Batsman would be summoned to the middle of crease for a small talk.  But to his credit he would listen to his partner and continue with his good form. But the beauty of the partnership was that they took turns, rotated the scoring. For an unorthodox batsman he knew when to drop his flamboyancy and be there for his partner. Whispers in my ears “we’ve got this” – no this man has no idea how to whisper, if so, it would be a whisper that could be heard by the neighbours, so unpoetic it may be but a stern bellow “we got this” maybe an added “don’t be silly”. So the batting continued.

As two veteran batsmen on the crease we were doing a fabulous job.  However, we couldn’t have got through all the curve balls and bouncers without the abundant love and support from our big family/clan. 

It was chaotic to say the least to prepare a wedding in two weeks with your entire family and neighbourhood involved. All the wedding halls were booked out but that didn’t faze my cousin Sulo, she opened up her house without a single moment of hesitation. 

I have always thought that it wasn’t a perfect wedding.  I could have/would have changed so many things, the venue, the décor, the flowers, the amount of jewellery, my make up the list goes on. Unable to go through the old album to prepare something for this anniversary (due to my injury), I thought I will edit our wedding video.  Looking through the video after so many years I realise, that it was the most perfect wedding.  Yes, the venue, deco, jewellery and make up were all wrong.  But, does it really matter?

It was an era where the Hindu bride was meant to bow down to the earth and look sombre and pious. In this video, I notice that the bride and groom in spite of the big audience they seem to be in their own bubble having their own fun and laughter.  That wouldn’t have been possible without the said man standing next to me. 

I always thought it was a shambles of a wedding and a-not-so bad marriage, room for improvement – well sometimes a whole renovation was needed. 

But I am ashamed to say that it has taken me 35 years to realise that it was indeed the perfect wedding for a perfect couple. It was a gift prepared for them by their loving family. I didn’t have my dad to give me away but the whole village made sure the job got done.  To my big crazy family and friends, THANK YOU. 

In this partnership many would think that I was the better batsman (batsman/woman whatever), maybe so for most part.  Keeping with the cricket theme – yes Ricky Ponting played on with a broken jaw and that was a great feat indeed.  But how could he not?  He had to do it for the team and furthermore he had faith in the team.  Him at the crease gave them the best chance and as he said, “it was worth it”

I gave the promise “in sickness and in health” a good test. Opted to take the revolving door to the hospital year after year.  Thank you, Ganesh, for walking through that door with me each time.  You gave me the courage and a reason to fight it. Yes, I did it for the kids too.  The kids were your gift to me and I will do anything to protect those precious gifts.

I think we have a lot more runs left in us. However, point of difference – in Cricket you have the option to form a new partnership. Sorry mate you’re it for me and not giving you that option either.  So, pad up and let’s keep going. 

The Video

As I couldn’t lift the big old photo albums, I decided to edit our wedding video.  I have never taken any interest in doing such things in the past, always palmed it off to my kids such projects.  This is my very first attempt and again using my broken shoulder as an excuse asking forgiveness for the roughness of the editing.  But keep in my mind it was a 3-hr video which I have managed to cut it to about 5 minutes or so.  That was not an easy task. The videography itself is pretty archaic – its like watching through an old bond movie with the really bad special effects. If you can stomach it try and watch till the end, a bit of comedy awaits.

For the non-Hindu audience – short explanations on some of the traditions

Lighting of the lamp – All events and celebrations start with lighting this particular style lamp. 

Alarthi – Two women (mature women – ideally someone already married etc) hold a tray with 3 pieces of banana. A wick would be inserted to the cut banana so it could be lit like a lamp.  This ritual is done to the VIP of the event. I think it is a form welcoming him wading off evil spirit and giving blessings etc.  I am by far the worst person to talk about rituals as I have no idea, so I could be totally wrong.

Thali – it is similar in importance as a wedding ring.  It is a special type of necklace given by the groom to the bride. It has a screw at the back rather than a clasp or a hock.  Hence the reason for a flock of individuals to be at the back assisting the groom.  It will always be only women who would be at the back, it is an important job. 

In our weddings there are many rituals that happen before and after the wedding as well. I have cut short all the rituals as they are too darn long.  As per my husband this is to discourage a second marriage. 😊

Please ask away any questions you have. Nothing would be deemed offensive.