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 love, marriage

Thirty-Four Years of Togetherness

Today marks our Thirty-Four years of tug-of-war of Domestic Dominance. It has been ride like none other. We had to swim against the tide many a times. But here we are still (kind of) in tact.

To the love of my life and the pain of my daily existence,

Thank you for the past 34 years.

There hasn’t been a single day where I haven’t thought “Why me” 

Then again you also make me emotional at the most unexpected times and win me right over.

You have the ability to make me think (lovingly) “how will I do without him?” and the on the same breath to sigh “What am I going to do with him”

Could you please stop doing that?  Could you please let me keep my pride and anger and achieve “transformation Ganesh” (that has been a long overdue project, I may add)?

What does your report card look like?

Communication SkillsNeeds improvement– attention to using more “please” and “thank you’s” in conversations needed.  The speed of and willingness to say “sorry” needs to improve remarkably.

ComplianceNeeds improvement. The word compliance means just that – Compliance – no questions ‘Just do it”

ComprehensionLacking, Needs immediate attention.  A starting point would be to have practices in place for better “listening”.  Multi-tasking is not one of your strong fortes, so just listen – that means no TV or other distractions.  Avoid “mm”. 

EffortHas shown improvement.  But consistency would be appreciated.  It would definitely decrease the “why me” status of your poor wife.

Overall PerformanceHas a lot of potential.  Has received many warnings and almost all mistakes have been repeated numerous times. But for unknown reasons has won me over year after year.  

I know there is no cure for stupidity.  I guess this is the key to this long-lasting marriage. 

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Thirty Three years and Counting …

In our first humble dwelling in West Ryde – a one bedroom rented apartment.

We notched 33 years together on the 19th of Jan 2020. Time and tide waits for no one. The same way Cough, cold and the plague like flu doesn’t hold back either just because it’s your special day. I lost everything. I lost my voice and my room. I was banished to the guest room as no one wanted what I had.

We sipped a glass of Cognac sitting far apart. There were no candles or flowers. No caviar or lobster. Take away (take out) soup and dumplings adorned the table. I quietly watched my hubby through my “Vicks” laced eyes. He looked tired. He has lost most of his thick mop of hair. The pot belly has taken a permanent place and expanding gradually. That man who polished his shoes and waltzed in with dashing looks is not there anymore. He has been replaced with a tired old man. I know he needs a break. But he will stubbornly refuse.

I look down at my self. Once the non existent belly has found a few companions. They are fondly called the muffin tops. With our looks gone astray, all we have left is the love for each other.

Our 2nd dwelling in Sydney – our first purchase – a two bedroom apartment

It feels like recently we have been hit by seismic waves one after another. We need a reprieve. Each time we come to the surface it feels like some one is waiting outside to hammer us down back in again. My life partner takes the brunt of it all, without much ado.

The New year dawned for us with another uncertainty. I was determined to go through with my New Year’s eve annual party. As we get old I am becoming more aware of the fact that we are only temporary residents of this world. Life is to be lived was my motto on that day. It was hard at times to concentrate on the preparations and cooking. Still it was a good distraction. Family and friends gathered and we had a good night.

Six days later we drove to Sydney. In the height of the Bush fires we didn’t take this trip lightly. Hubby’s sister and bro-in-law were very concerned about us driving. For many reasons driving was a better option for us. However, safety comes first and we didn’t want to add to the ill fortunes that was following us.

I rang the Bush fire info authorities. These organisations mostly run by volunteers do an amazing job. They checked our route and gave us the thumbs up, also armed us with a few apps, that would indicate any fires near us, road closures etc. We also packed a few essentials in case we got blocked in. Quilt, Pillows, Water, food etc.

The weather was on our side. So on that Monday the 6th we started our two day trip to Sydney. I am glad we drove rather than fly to Sydney. It gave us time to talk, hold hands and just enjoy the presence of each other. In our busy lives this was such a luxury. And to enjoy the nature, the bare Australian out-back has it’s own charm. The iron fist grip of the drought was very evident.

Pink Lake – But not a drop of water in this lake any more.

In places we drove through thick fog of smoke. Smoke from the bush fires that were burning at least 100 Kms away. Makes you wonder what it would have been like at ground zero. We did meet a couple of fire fighters at one of our coffee stops. They looked tired and worn out. They still managed a smile for us.

It is only fitting that I write about this today on Australia day. This is a beautiful country. Sure we have bush fires, year after year. Maybe each year worse than the last. But it has not broken us yet. Sure we have the worst Prime Minister in the world (maybe that’s a bit harsh but among the one’s we’ve had, have to say he tops as the worst), but we definitely have some of the best humans in this part of the world. We are one big family. We have our differences, amongst them some quirky relatives too, but all in all we are an amazing family. We are there for each other.

When the American, Canadian and New Zealand fire fighters rocked up on our shores, I felt proud to be a human. Although we are responsible for so many vile atrocities, we are also capable of being extraordinarily amazing. Some of my friends from overseas who had snapped a picture with our local Koala posted this on facebook. All the concerned messages from friends and relatives from overseas confirmed that we were not alone in this battle.

This was not exactly a joy ride to Sydney, I do not wish divulge too much into that as it is not my story to tell. While we were there we visited a couple of friends of ours. One of whom is now on remission from bowl cancer. Another example of mistaken identity by the Kharma god. I am pretty sure he has not hurt a soul in his past 10 lives nor will he in next hundred. However, he has so far put a grand fight and at present is still the victor. The other is the carer of his wife with Dementia. She is not that much older than I am. This is the first time I have come across a younger person with this horrible decease. She was a stylish, assertive, tough career woman. Seeing her like that was very upsetting. This has made me question everything. Her hubby is doing an amazing job taking care of her. But how do you really come to terms with all this. It would be no difference to living with a stranger. There is no telling if I could become the victim as a carer or as the patient.

Life is precious. Live it today is my message.

Talking about the road trip I had veered off the track about us – hubby and me. But not exactly. This trip to Sydney, the life lessons learned has confirmed more than anything is that I love this man very much.

What we have right now is what we really have. We have to hold on tight to that. Our hopes and dreams for the future are just that. A Dream. It will only eventuate if you wake up from that dream. So realise your reality today was your dream yesterday. Enjoy it and treasure it.

After a week in Sydney we drove back to Adelaide with much lighter heart. Even when things are not great we need to be positive and be thankful that the situation is not that grave either.

Work related dramas started to evolve for hubby as we were driving back. After driving for nearly 10-11 hrs on the 2nd day of the drive we get home around 7.00pm. He unpacks the car and leaves immediately to work. Returns late and then leaves early next morning to Port Pirie – 230 kms drive. His cadet day training comes to fruition I think. We returned from Sydney on the 13th. Since then he has been to Port Pirie, Mackay and Western Australia.

How do I thank a man who tirelessly works not just for his family but also for the family of his employee. He knows as a family we are ready for him to retire. I would rather buy a few less shoes than see my man work so hard. But he is a complex man with very strong ethics. Very hard not to be proud of this man.

Since Christmas we have been eating out a lot. I could see he was so tired that all he wanted was to get two minutes of sleep. Not get dressed up to go out. So for this anniversary celebrations I wanted to make a special meal and have a quiet night at home.

But then I got attacked by something similar to the Bubonic plague. It is not a secret that my husband doesn’t posses any of the skills of Jamie Oliver. So he brings me soup each day from “Shanghai Tea House”. He will bring me enough for the next day lunch as well, then a fresh one for dinner. On the Saturday he had been working since early, he rings me around 4.30pm asking if I wanted more soup. I was feeling a bit better and I was going to help my son make the soup that night. So I said no for the soup but I was craving for a fresh Juice with a lot of ginger from Boost Juice. He asked what my son would like, if we wanted sushi (my sons and I love sushi, it’s our go to food when we are sick, hubby is not a fan of sushi). My son too gave an order for the Boost Juice but said no for the sushi as we knew the juice would be rather filling. Few hours pass by and no hubby on sight. I feel rather guilty, because I know he would be so tired after working non stop for so many days.

My hubby returns with a collection of stuff from the shops. Boost Juice at the shopping centre had closed by the time he had got there. Hence the delay. He had gone all over the place looking for another Boost juice. He had found a drive through Boost Juice. Didn’t know such a thing existed until now. Along with that he had also bought Sushi enough to feed the neighborhood, Chocolate Drumstics of two kinds and not to leave the dog out some chicken jerky for the dog as well.

I know it was not the 33.1 carat diamond ring Elizabeth Taylor received. Not even a 100 Roses Bouquet. But this man makes me tear up with just a Boost Juice. I am in love with this man today. I have been for the last 33 years. His love gestures are pretty unique. But that’s what makes him special. If I have one wish for our future, I wish we continue our lives the same way as today, with all the laughs, squabbles and simple love.

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Thirty Two Years of Bliss or BS?

onion saree

Thirty two years ago I put my neck out for the Thali(Traditional Necklace given by the Bridgroom similar meaning as wedding ring)  and extended my hand,  for a ring and I guess that was taken as agreeing with the consensus that we get married.

So we got married thirty two years ago today.  We were two giddy youngsters who didn’t really know what we were getting into.

It’s been a heck of ride alright.  Regrets? yes plenty.  I regret that I didn’t start my taming sooner.  I am finding that it is indeed, hard to train old dogs.

Bliss or BS?  Well, I would be lying if I said it was all a bliss.  But, what would a mother of a two year child say, a two year old with massive tantrums, he is adorable but the tantrums?!!, mm yes her life is not a bliss but she does love her child and her life.  Yes, I do feel like that mother at times.

Some times I wonder if I have rocks in my head.  But then again I realise that sometimes those rocks appear to be diamonds.  But there are those times when they are just the one’s you buy from Bunnings (hardware store) in bulk for your garden.

I don’t think life is never a complete bliss nor a complete disaster.  It is what we make of it.  In my opinion life is always a working progress.  We have our set backs.  But then again those set backs teach us what to avoid the next time and how to progress.

This man next to me has let me learn and experience these things, been supportive of what ever I wanted to do or not do.  When I want to take up work or studies he has been there with the flag and when I want to quit,  again he has been there for that too.   Always stood by me in what ever decision I took.

If this man could support me with life changing decisions, I wonder why he can’t be supportive if I want to change the curtains or the paint the wall?  Why won’t he then take down the Christmas lights when I ask him to? Ok those are big ticket items I agree, how about just take those darn tissues to the bin.  I don’t think those used tissues got wings nor does the breadcrumbs and I am not planning on recycling either of them.  Use the dishwasher, don’t eat salami if you are planning on losing weight – wait, it’s me planning on him losing weight, not him, I get it now @@###.  Just listening would be a start, big old ears, just for decoration. @@## It’s no bliss listening to his BS day after day.

But…

In the scheme of things I come to realise that these are merely misdemeanors that could be easily pardoned with warnings and sometimes threats.  Ahhh!! that’s how he gets away with it every time.

Anyhow, I have come to realise after all this time, that I am a gluten for punishment.  So I think I might be hanging around with this man for the rest of my lifetime.

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Sun Hiding behind the clouds – Henley Beach South Australia

There has been many sunsets and sunrises in the last thirty two years.  It has been a wild ride Mr Ganesan.  Just like I did thirty two years ago, I am hanging on to my dear life on that pillion seat and never letting it go.