Renu's Week

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Report of 31 May '09

Hello from our living room -

"Walk like an Egyptian" is playing, a cold mango has been eaten, Scott is at Tamil class, each son is hanging out with his respective friends until 9.30 PM and it is time for me to write.

The past weeks have been filled with Naren applying to colleges. The top tier of colleges is thunderously difficult to get into in India, due to the overpopulation and the wealth of abundantly qualified students. Plus the quota system. Naren's top choice is a Catholic college, and they will not immediately consider him, in spite of his excellent grades, as he is not Catholic. He has qualified to get into journalism at an excellent college here - Madras Christian College, long considered a bastion of good academics and gentleman-molding - and we are happy. He is waiting to see if he will get into Visual Communication, or Vis Com, his top choice.

Navin starts next week at The School - KFI (Krishnamurthy Foundation of India). He will study science and math, and is mulling over studying Law in college. The kids must do what they want to do. This viewpoint is not very popular in traditional Chennai, where many kids are pushed into engineering, or medicine (this last especially by doctor parents). The last thing we want to do to our kids is to push them into a course of study where they'd be unhappy, and so we will let them choose what they want - as long as they study. Heading to films - Naren's top choice a year or 2 ago - is an okay option after he finishes a post-graduate course; we certainly don't want to tell him not to enter films, but not now.

Last week had some fun, fun times. Both boys' classes were here for a huge party. Our cook was a no-show that day, and so Navin and I made French toast (called Bombay toast here) and kesari (sweet made with cream of wheat), and Naren made sandwiches. It was nice to get the food done together, and all the kids appeared to have a good time; when leaving time came around, we still had a living room full of kids. Oh well. My sister, Anu, came into town to shop (en route to Paris and the U.K.), she bought me lunch, we hung out for some time, shopping and laughing, and the bonhomie and camaraderie were magnficently rejuvenating. That night, we went to Madurai by a train that was supposed to have been in Chennai at 8.30 PM (arriving from Kolkata, near where a cyclone had hit); it got here at 2.30 AM, left at 3 AM, we were in Madurai at 3 PM, and had to return by the 9 PM train. A hectic day, but it was wonderful to see my folks and my older brother's kids who were in Madurai for a holiday. It was nice to veg out with my warm, funny, loving parents and discuss the family; a relative had had a melt-down at my parents' 80th b'day celebrations, which many of you wrote lovely wishes for, and that confounded everyone. I tell you, there are just lots of benefits to keeping the mouth shut, aren't there; Scott knows this well, I am just learning it. I attempted to pacify the parents, explain said relative's motives and sort of tide over the situation. Then it was time to see our beloved friend, Leila Kurien, bask in her luminous personality, and leave.

There has not been much patient contact, as time has been consumed by kids' issues. I did get to the vegetable market and try to treat some people. The tomato man's wife has been without a period (amenorrheic) for 3 months and he wants "tablets" for her. I asked if she'd been sterilised, which usually happens in India after the birth of the second child (this couple has 2 kids) and he said No; I will direct him to the local Government clinic for management. Our country is so desperately overpopulated and some folks are so abysmally poor that I advocate birth control - and post-2-child sterilisation - avidly. We are not going to be able to share our resources if we do not plan our future generations wisely.

We spent the weekend at a resort by the beach and it was lovely. The boys sat in our airconditioned room after swimming and watched TV (unavailable at home) and ate junk food; Scott and I hung out on the beach, talked, watched the waves and revelled in the sea breeze.

Unw -



  • how does one get in touch with you?
    Irene Philips

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/6/09 11:44 AM  

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