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.

DONT CURSE THE RAJAPAKSE’S GRANDKIDS. THEY ARE INNOCENT RIGHT NOW. WHEN THEY KILLED INNOCENT BABIES IN JAFFNA THE RATIONALISATION WAS ONE DAY THEY WILL BE A KOTIYA. THAT IS NOT A REASON.

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

Continued…

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.

Continued…

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.

BREAK THE BIAS

#beatthebias

#BTS

#BTSArmy

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.

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

My Opinion

Forget Freedom of Speech at present it feels like I have to fight for freedom of thought. If not for my upbringing of being polite to all and sundry even when they don’t deserve it.. mmm… so much biting the tongue, it is getting pretty painful.

Growing up with my dad, he encouraged me to have my own opinions and debate them at home. A healthy debate. We never had to raise our voices, call names, ridicule, no, we did not need to resort to any of those things. The topics ranged from politics, education, cultural differences, clothing, movies, characters in epic stories, sports teams, no subject was taboo. All this started at a very young age. In an era and culture where the father was supposed to be revered and not some one you argue with, my dad let me have that freedom.

Growing up with dad once again, I am constantly reminded of RESTPECT. My dad was an intellect. My mum on the other hand had not even completed year 12. On paper, on Tinder they will never be a perfect match. But, my dad had nothing but respect for my mum. He believed my mum’s strength, confidence and demeanor could not be measured by a mere paper qualification or the lack of it. Years to come after his demise he was proven right.

I look around the girls I grew up, in the boarding school I attended, again we were asked to conform, however, almost all of us have not conformed to any box that the society has laid out. Each one of us has taken different outlook on life. But most of us are happy at our destination.

Is it a story about success or survival for my friends and me. Is survival the success? What’s your yardstick on success? That’s the million dollar question without sounding all hippy.

Success is like Happiness, the yardstick belongs to you, not to your neighbor. It really does not matter whether my neighbor things I am successful or happy, what matters is what do I think. Again something that my dad instilled in my success cannot be measured by your bank balance, the car your drive or where you live alone. There is absolutely no harm in having a healthy bank balance and the rest. But that alone is not my yardstick. It definitely could be yours.

What about my opinion? Most of us have a reason for our opinion/opinions. I am willing to listen to your reason for your difference of opinion as long as you would give me the same courtesy. Taking the lessons from my dad, I implemented this in my household and the boys and I have a fairly robust and healthy debate on most subjects. My husband on the other hand struggled at the notion of not being able to raise his voice or bluff out. He is showing progress (as he really has no other choice).

However, the world at large is a different animal altogether. The amount of people who feel need the educate me as “You don’t know”, yes thank you for educating me, I missed out on that piece of general knowledge as I was sleeping under a rock all this time. Thank you for the wake up call and taking the time to educate me. So generous of them and I am making snide remarks. Apologies to all the well wishers, just saying it was a waste of your time.

Thinking of posting a Opinion of mine each day and see how many I could tick off.

Opinion of the day –

Australia is a Great Country

Amazing country, great people, time after time we have proven it, now with the floods, we have risen again, soon it will be drought, and then it will be bushfires. But we will help each other, we are nation built on the notion that every one’s a mate, and we rise again.

I like the fact that my tax dollars goes towards looking after the retired, those who are disabled, those who are struggling to get employment. Yes I know its not a perfect system, and some unemployed could get off their backside and work, so can the politicians not wrought the system by claiming travel and renting and everything else. Its not a perfect system but near perfect.

I like the fact we have award wages and we don’t need to tip. I pay for the food, the owner of the business pays his employees. Yes, the waiter is not reliant on the customers tip. We still have a wage gap, but in all honesty it is pretty fair. It is way better than, India, China or even the Great America. We still need to work on how we treat the back packers and overseas students. Yes, not perfect but pretty darn close.

I like the fact that we have Medicare, even the poor and the old can avoid dying if they don’t have to. We have public education so the poor can get an education and come out of the rut.

I know I am paying my taxes for all of the above. Once again I would rather pay for the above than to pay for Murdoch, Packers or the rest of them to buy another private Jet. I would prefer not to pay for Polies life long super, once again not perfect but near enough.

Sydney is not New York not even Paris. But, I have never been one to be spellbound by big and shiny things. Not everything that glitters is gold. In my opinion Australia is the real deal. I left Sydney and came to Adelaide. Our choice to settle here. It’s not because we couldn’t make it in Sydney, in fact Hubby took a pay cut to come here. It was a genuine sea change that we came for. Adelaide is far more backward than Sydney in many aspects. But, surprisingly far better life style than Sydney or anywhere else. But, not for everyone, obviously far more opportunities for young ones in Sydney and Melbourne. It’s like the Hemsworth’s settling in Byron Bay. Their heaven, but might not be for everyone.

When I first arrived in Adelaide, I came across the two carriage so called train and then to witness the train station which looked like a bus stop was a shock to the system. My eldest later told me that he was expecting haystacks on lorries on the road (blame it on too much TV and cartoons). Yes, all these things gave us a chuckle. But over the years I have come to realise that Adelaide is more progressive than many of the major cities, Adelaide was one the first cities to stop plastic shopping bags (in Australia), and now moving towards removing single use plastic containers, its a very common site to see people taking their own mugs to buy coffee. Our Energy sources are mainly wind and solar. We are a vast country with most of the year with sunshine. Capitalising on this should be every states mission.

From Wine, Gin, Food products to IT and innovation we punch above our waist. Those in the industry know about this. Every one knows Muhammad Ali. But not so when it comes to Joe Frazier. Does it mean Joe Frazier wasn’t good or does it mean you don’t know your stuff. Yes, it means you don’t know enough.

I like to leave you with a quote from Daisy Bates

“The real bush poetry cannot be interpreted by English Poets, but a true Australian steeped in the charm of it … His poems will issue like Chauser’s from the inborn joyousness that is the heritage of all who are born in this land of sunshine

Forget Freedom of speech, I am fighting for freedom of thought at this point. And I can tell you, that if not for my upbringing of being polite to all and sundry, mmm… yes let’s stop there.

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Thankfully not another statistics

This is a story of a woman that I have recently come to cross paths with.  I don’t claim to know the whole story nor do I claim to understand the feelings and emotions she would have endured.  Not even close.  But her tales touches my heart.  No, her tales sends shivers down my spine but her tenacity and what she has become touches my heart. 

I started writing today, initially to pen her a few words.  To tell her how thankful I am to know she is ok and how humbled I am to know her.

But then I thought that there are lessons to be learnt here. So, here I am, to talk about Megan. (Obviously Megan’s name isn’t Megan).

This is a story of woman who can truly claim to be a survivor, a hero, an inspiration and any other cliché’ that you could coin together. But what is really remarkable is not just her survival, but her tenacity and her drive to excel.

I was not with her when she wept. I wasn’t with her when she screamed. I wasn’t with her when she felt hopeless.  If not for Covid 19 I would give her big hug now and tell her, how sorry I am that she had to bear all that, but I am so darn relieved that she is ok.  Maybe not completely ok.  But she hasn’t stopped to play the victim.  I truly admire her strength. 

Ten years ago, while I was renovating my house for its imperfections, while I was complaining that the tilers had left the house in disarray, while I complained that I had to use the guest bathroom again as ours was unfinished….

Probably at the same moment wonder, what Megs was going through… Probably living in fear or worse being abused by her partner, Probably homeless with two kids at tow.  So many probabilities, and all of them worse than the other. 

I do not know all her stories.  But what I have heard so far, the glimpse of her past that she has shared so far, sounds pretty gruesome.

To say that she wasn’t born with a silver spoon is an understatement. 

“I met my biological mum at the age of 12”

she says quite nonchalantly.  What happened in that first 12 yrs of her life, I do not know….What happened in the next twelve years of her life, I don’t know that either… Where are the scars or what are scars?  They are well hidden. 

We continue with our end of financial year end reconciliations, reporting, preparing for Audits and plain and simply stressing out. So our conversations turns back to all things numbers.

Megan started at this company at the receptions desk.  And has upskilled and worked her way up.  Which is remarkable for anyone in its own merit. But for someone like Megs, who had to put out so many fires and the scars that had to be nursed, is a truly remarkable feet. 

She is smart, competent and confident.  She is sincere and reliable. And that wrap is for her professional life.  In her personal life, she is an amazing mother for two young girls.  She is the kind of mother who would amputate her limb to save her child.  For the naked eye there are no battle scars.

Just before the weekend another casual conversation leads to her telling me why she moved from a beachside suburb to miles away into hills.  Again, no tears or any other emotional outburst, just casually she says, Ï had to flee from my abusive partner, I was homeless for a while”. Eventually she had obtained a caravan and parked in her step sister’s property and lived there with her kids.  She goes on to say that her daughters now suffer badly with anxiety etc, due to their childhood.  She simply says “they saw a lot”.  Simple words but they sound so heavy. 

Her kids had started school in that area, and not wanting to move them and put them in instability again, she chooses to live in the hills district and travel to work daily – a two hour trip consisting of 20 min walk and 2 buses for just one way. What an amazing mother.

The story itself is not much different to most other domestic violence stories.  What is remarkable, what is different in this story is “Megan”

She had chosen not to be another statistic; she had chosen not remain a victim nor to play the victim card but to make something of her life.  Maybe it was for her kids, whoever or what ever the reason it was for, she decided to swim rather than sink.  She decided to climb rather that descend.

I am truly humbled to know this remarkable woman.

What’s my message, what do I take from all this.

First and foremost, to Megs, I know your battles aren’t over yet, but girl, you’ve done so well so far, take moment and take a bow. You’ve earned it. 

Note to myself, next time I complain about something inane, let me remember, that life could be so much worse. 

To free yourself from the tendrils of domestic violence is not easy.  But you need to. He is never going to change.  Yes, he was sorry, but he won’t change, he will do it again. And again. Get help, from anywhere, you may think you are alone.  But someone will help.  So, get out before it’s too late.  Don’t ignore the warning signs.  Red lights may turn amber for awhile and you may even think it’s green now. But when it comes to abuse, one red light is all you need to pack your bags.  

Then once you are out, start to build your life back up again.  It will definitely not be easy.  But don’t let that son of a you know who still calling the shots.  You are in charge now. To crudely paraphrase it like Ned Kelly “shit happens” but unless you flush it and move away you will be still smelling that thing.  Even it was diarrhoea, you still need to flush it and move away.  Where am I going with this – Move away, playing the victim doesn’t help anyone, especially you.   Here’s to Megan.