Renu's Week

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Report of 5 April 2010

Hello from Chennai -

Butler is in the finals of the NCAA basketball tournament, and I am very excited about the sporting contest. I love watching sports and it is at this time that I miss TV. We hope to find the game at a friend's house. In reading up on the game, on the Internet, I found ads for "Hooters basketball," and buxom scantily-clad women advertising something. It's good that I came upon this; my mindset has to alter pretty quickly to accommodate U.S. mores. When our beloved and talented A. R. Rahman won a Grammy, the photo of him at the awards ceremony showed him in plenty of clothes and the presenter in not-plenty-of-clothes.

The Banyan is doing well, and our patient who had a massive stroke, Ms. SA, is now tracking with her eyes. This is her 2nd stroke, and I'd thought it was insurmountable, but after this eyes business, I have requested the physical and occupational therapist to do intense exercise. I hope for some recovery. Ms. SA's family does not see her, and we are happy to fill in. We paid for the Banyan residents to have a meal, in my mother's memory, and I'd requested "non-vegetarian food," a special treat in our organisation. All had an egg with their meals; I'd hoped for chicken or fish, but I guess that could not be arranged, either for financial or other reasons. I know the residents had been praying for my mother, too, and my mother would have wanted them to eat well.

We spent the weekend in Madurai with my father - yesterday was his b'day. My sister, Anu, had gone the previous weekend, and my sister-in-law Susan, niece Sanjana, brother Vinu, Scott and I met in Madurai this weekend. It was fun. It was Susan's first trip back after my mother's demise, and she was overcome by emotion at various times. The will was read; it is handwritten and brings back nice memories of my mother. Apparently, handwritten wills are the most valid of all, and my father said they hold more water if they are not contested. All of us gaped at each other, wondering who'd contest. It is nice to be in a family where we value each other more than we value bank accounts.

Susan and I tried to clean out various closets that my mother had stored things in. Some of that we got through; her nighties and duster coats were divided, and many boxed up to be given to charity. My mother's sari cupboard was more difficult: so many beautiful saris, each evoking powerful memories of my mother. We took what we wanted, and locked the cupboard again. I figure we'll try again in a couple of months. I brought home a robe my mother used often, and now looking at it brings back strong memories, along with the stark realisation that my mother is not here. I put the robe at the back of my closet.

It was nice to hang out with the family. We overate, and talked and laughed. Especially laughed. It was good, and therapeutic. I feel like there are a lot of people leaning heavily on me, and feel sometimes that I don't have enough strength for all; thus, laughing up a storm on the weekend helped immensely.

Unw -



  • hi renu, you wont know me, but i have known of you.spooky.dont get saced, i joined madurai medical collge in 1984, and my father took me to meet your mom not because she was in charge of Physiology ,but she was his senior in school in mercara.After that she retired and didnot ahev much contact.But just reading your blog(very roubdabout way) and knowing she is no more ,does something.I must tell my father.i now work in australia as a psychiatrist and want to go back to india as soon as possible.

    By Blogger seetha, at 8/4/10 8:54 PM  

  • Hi Seetha -

    A lot of my mother's former students feel her absence. I am glad you got to meet her.

    Being back in India is fabulous.

    Thanks for the note.


    By Blogger Renu Weiss, at 15/4/10 12:56 PM  

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