Renu's Week

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Report of 26 March '08

Hello from the B -

We are well. My patient who was not eating, Ms. M, was sent to the hospital for evaluation and returned better. The nurse and social workers were all elated that Ms. M was now eating - she ate chicken biryani, which is a special treat. I was guardedly optimistic, and now she is not eating again. The hospital evaluation has produced no reason for her anorexia, and I am very concerned. She is wasting away in front of my eyes, and this is frustrating.

The other day, one of the older patients threw her arms around me and kissed me on the cheek. It was a very western thing to do and I was taken aback. Ms. C is a sweet lady, given to non-stop chatter, and is in the sick room because she has a wound on her heel. We are treating it. She has asked repeatedly to see her son; the son has not left his contact information. Our social workers are adept at going with the patients and seeking out their homes with the help of weird landmarks, local routes, etc., and I requested that they attempt to locate this lady's son. Having 2 children myself, I know that a sight of one's kids can make any day brighter, esp if there has been a long absence. What can I say about those that cannot take care of their own, for whatever reason: let me not judge this man until I have walked for a moon in his mocassins.

Scott and I went to Madurai and attended a friend's granddaughter's engagement ceremony. Leila Kurien is the mother of one of my school friends, and the grandmother of the bride-to-be, Nisha. Mrs. Kurien is an absolutely inspirational and lovely woman, and I ensure I see her every time I go to Madurai as she is mighty therapeutic for my spirit. As I watched Nisha smile and greet everyone, I thought to myself that this was why Indians revere blessings from others: I did want Nisha's smile to stay on for a long, long time. When people, esp my impoverished patients, bless my sons with a long life, I do know that this is what *I* would want - so they are really blessing me, are they not.

It was also nice to spend time with my parents. They are getting hard of hearing, so a fair amount of bellowing had to be done; however, their sense of humor and massive grace and unselfish hospitality stay unchanged, so a very fun time was had by all. Scott's presence was a particular treat for all of us: he has a great sense of humor himself, and a most gentle regard for my parents, so they adore him. It was my privilege also to speak at my alma mater, Lady Doak College; the head of the department of Commerce (my undergrad major), Ms. Nagammai, a beloved and respected figure, asked me to and I was happy to accept. Ms. N said they were facing several discipline issues from today's teenagers, and she wanted them to be exposed to another influence. I was also a first-class pain as a teenager, and know now that these energies can be channelled to great benefit. So I spoke of the Banyan, and got many questions and offers to help later. It was lovely.

I am looking forward to salads and movies, and chilling out in a culture that is good and warm, with friends who are so, too. I am also looking forward to Europe; our kind friend, Andrea Schichan, has sent the documents for my visa and I will know in 1-2 days if I have got it or not. So, the prospect of trying out European salads is also exciting. Life is full of good things, really - knock on wood.

Unw -



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