Renu's Week

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Report of 24 May 2014

Good morning!

I am in Carmel library and my stomach is rumbling.  I ate a good b'fast - muesli with a banana - and am hungry for lunch.

We are well, and in Lebanon.  It's a sweet place, small and quaint.  The folks are friendly and we will try local restaurants soon.  There's a 91 yo neighbor who rides a tricycle with "Hardly Davidson" and "Power by Scotch" on the back.  She's great!  Does not look 91 and Navin felt she moved with more speed than a 91 yo would have.  We visited the Donaldson's chocolate shop, which is based right here in Lebanon, and bought more than we should have.  Ah well - nothing like supporting the local economy.

It has been a week of getting several errands done and journals gathered from a professor who saves them for me.  I got to talk to Scott multiple times, and things are fine (and hot!) in Chennai.  Naren is preparing for his play, having completed his first year of graduate school in Acting.  Navin is working in retail, and keeping up with hs friends and contacts. 

I saw a bunch of movies, including "Million Dollar Arm," which is set in India, and "Belle."  Earlier this week, I had dinner with Louise Hass, the former librarian from St. Vincent.  That was the wonderful event it always is, and we talked ad infinitum.  Louise holds a degree in English, and is articulate, widely-travelled, fun and opinionated.  The time flies when we meet.  This time, we had Greek food and it was tasty.  We will likely go to this restaurant again.  Louise had also brought sweet treats for us (Navin and me) and they are delicious!  We even showed them to Scott on Skype and will likely save him 1 or 2. 

It is nice to be in a country where basic amenities are provided to all.  I love being in India, also, don't get me wrong; however, being in an affluent country is also a joy.

Trust all of you are well.

Unw -



Sunday, May 18, 2014

Report of 18 May 2013

Good afternoon from the Carmel library!

What a place.  Quiet, internet, magazines, books, newspapers, free.

I worked last week.  It was exhausting, but enjoyable.  The patients were easygoing and good.  One of them was admitted with a mini stroke.  He was young (early 50's), overweight and had high blood pressure, and that's not a good combination.  He had also taken some pills recommended by Dr. Oz on television - some green things and some camboghia something.  I asked that he please stop those, and he laughed and agreed.  I have seen not-so-good things happen when folks take herbals and remedies touted as cure-alls.  As a speaker at the conference of the American College of Physicians said, "Patients would rather be told they have a genetic condition they have no control over, than to be told that they need to lose weight and exercise."

That said, though, we use alternative treatment in India often: buttermilk as a cure for an upset stomach (now catching on in the U.S. as a "probiotic"); rasam (a thin broth made with tomatoes, pepper and garlic) for a cold.  Thus, I am not opposed to such aids, but am a little wary of miracle weight loss cures. 

Some good movies opened, and I saw a couple.  "Locke," starring Tom Hardy was excellent.  I am a huge Tom Hardy fan to start with, so it was not difficult to make the choice to see it.  It was a one-person flick, like much of "Life of Pi" or "127 hours" or "Castaway," and Tom Hardy certainly held our interest through it.  I liked him best in "Lawless;" ah, what a flick.  I also saw "The Other Woman" today and enjoyed it: Cameron Diaz has some very good acting chops.  She stole "My best friend's wedding" from Julia Roberts and, ever since, I have been impressed with her thespian skills.  And her hot bod.  The boys and I talked about good-looking actors - George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and the like - never being taken seriously. 

Navin and I have been hanging out and cooking and cleaning.  He continues his job and enjoys it.  Naren is preparing for his play, which debuts at the Complex Theater in Los Angeles on 13 June and continues the following week.  Undoubtedly, many of you have got emails from me about it already - it's the obsessive Indian mother thing.

I spoke to Scott today; he was in Madurai, hanging out with my Dad.  This was cool: 2 of my 4 favorite men, chilling together.  I also spoke to my Dad and that was fun - lots of laughter.  It is beyond nice that my entire family likes my husband. 

Our little apartment in Lebanon, Indiana, is cute and we took walks in the pretty neighborhood.  We will soon try the local restaurants, as we are avid foodies.  We had Mother's Day dinner with the Tabers and that was fabulous: delicious food and scintillating company. 

Hope all of you are well.

Unw -


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Report of 11 May 2014

Happy Mother's Day!!

It feels good to write.  To let my fingers dance over the keys, form words, put them down.  It would not matter very much to me if they are read or not, I like being able to write.

I had 2 lovely notes from my sons today: different, just like them.  But both loving and with me as the focus.  That is the essence of Mother's Day, is it not.

Navin and I share an apartment in Lebanon.  He works, I have just finished a mammoth assignment and am looking for another.  This time with Navin has been good; he is introspective, outspoken and funny.  This morning, we stepped out of our apartment and met a lovely older couple, with his and her walkers.  We had a most genial chat, and Navin was quiet through it, except when asked questions; later, when I remarked on the couple's loveliness, he readily agreed.  That's enough for me, truly. 

Naren is similar, appreciating people's goodness always. 

Scott is in India, working.  We talk or Skype regularly. 

I took an Advanced Cardiac Life Support class last week and enjoyed it.  It is nice to learn new stuff.  I also got to sit in on a lot of case discussions and education at St. V, which I greatly enjoyed. 

The Banyan is fine and we continue our perennially underfunded state.  It would be nice to do our work without having to constantly worry about the lack of money, would it not.  On the plus side, it does lend a great emphathy for our impoverished patients' situation. 

I spoke to my Dad a few days ago, and that was nice.  He is gearing up for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the deparment of Plastic Surgery, which he founded, at the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai. 

We saw several movies, and I particularly enjoyed "The Lunchbox."  Some Indian movies these days are different, and good, and fun.  Not all Bollywood song and dance, and definitely entertaining.  Naren is excited about this new indie wave.  Navin and I saw "The Railway Man," and it was a downer; we flinched at the torture scenes.  Beautifully acted, but depressing nonetheless.  Today, Navin went to work and I saw "The neighbors;" it wasn't bad.

We hope all of you are well.

Unw -