Renu's Week

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Report of 1 Dec '10

And 'tis the month of Christmas -

Hope all are well. I like this season. The festive air; spirit of peace, harmony and forgiveness; and the music, ah yes, the music. "Oh, holy night" is a particular favorite. I did not like the rank commercialisation of this holiday in the U.S., and the fact that folks went heavily in debt to "buy Christmas." My in-laws were very sensible about this: each adult picked a name from the pool of relatives and bought a gift under $25. Adults were welcome to get what they wanted for the kids.

Speaking of in-laws, Scott's uncle died last week. He was a very nice man. Scott said it would have been nice to be with the family then, and I agree.

The Banyan is good, as always. Ms. S, our deaf mute patient, continues to tell us that she wants to go home, we continue to tell her we need to know where that is. She cannot write, or read, and when I told her I needed the info, she went off, grabbed a pen, scrawled a pattern on her hand and returned to show it to me. I felt sorry. We have a long way to go to get this info, but perhaps our media friends can help us.

An English-speaking patient, Ms. T, is with us, and is in the sick room recovering from malaria. I looked at her file and saw that she'd quarrelled with her family and left about 7 years ago. There have since been romantic relationships, pregnancies and abortions, and most recently, 1 steady partner and a son. We have contacted her extended family, and they said they'd had no word of her for 7 years and would come as soon as they could; I asked Ms. T to please not fight with them when they come. She has agreed.

What manner of events happen, eh - fights enough to splinter the family, likely lack of recognition of a mental illness, the departure of a family member, sexual experimentation, thankfully now no dreadful disease to show for all this. I am grateful that my family endured all our teenage tantrums, and drilled it into our heads that pre-marital intimacy was a definite no-no. I am, indeed, thankful for a great many things in my upbringing, including my parents' neutrality: I know families where the parents go willingly along with their child's feuds with in-laws. Does not teach the child anything, except to continue pointless fights.

There was some fantastic news in the paper recently: Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi has been released! I was *elated*! The poor lady had been under house arrest, her white husband had died in the meantime and she could not go to the U.K. for the funeral, it had been 10 years since she'd seen her sons, had never seen her grandkids. All this because she opposed Myanmar's repressive, dictatorial, military regime, and won elections subsequently nullified by the ruling militia. I cannot imagine absences from my family lengthier than my usual overseas working stints. I am glad Ms. Suu Kyi is free, I hope Myanmar's condition improves.

The teenagers have been up to their usual shenanigans, including blatantly taking their father for a ride. Our dear friend, Mrs. Kurien, said at least 1 parent must be strict, so I have played Demon Witch Gorgon Ogress and instituted penalties. When one of the boys said earlier that I appeared to like punishing them, I said I'd appreciate nothing better than peace, quiet and kids who realised their potential. Someday, these characters might understand that.

I was in Madurai last week for the day, and enjoyed seeing my Dad. He had at least 3 appointments outside the house and kept all of them. I also enjoyed catching up with Mrs. Kurien in Madurai, and we had a nice gabbing session, with guavas and other goodies as accompaniments. Scott was out of town on Saturday, and Navin and I went to see a very good Tamil movie called "Nandalala." Naren joined us for breakfast the following morning and it was nice to see the boys, though shenanigans had ensued in the interim. I'll say this much: it is good to have honesty from the boys. We always know much of what they have pulled, though of course some will stay secret until we are 80.

Scott and I were at the beach Sunday, and it was extremely nice to spend time by ourselves. A pretty little girl came selling jasmine, and when I looked at her, I asked how long she had been selling flowers. She said, "I know you, you told me 2 years ago that I had to stay in school until 12th grade." We've seen this child before, and she is a cutie. I told her how glad I was that she was in school, and she said she stands second in class (Grade VI), which pleased me even more. I told her to consider college, and started to buy jasmine for 10 Rupees, but we'd left our money in the car and I could not. I said I'd catch her next time, she said okay and left; when I told Scott that she'd accepted my answer (of no cash) readily, he said, "She knows she'll see you again," and I said, "Yes, and I'll buy for 20 Rupees next time."

I love living here.

Unw -



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