Renu's Week

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Report of 24 Jan 2016

Hello all!

On our balcony, with the breeze blowing, the sea visible - very therapeutic, though we are well outside the city making for very long commutes.

Naren left this morning, somewhat uncertainly as we do not know if his destination, Newark, will be open for air traffic later today.  The blizzard is making news here, also.  Postponing his journey warranted change fees, so he was loath.  As much as we travel, we hold our breaths when our sons journey: too much suspense en route, too much of the airlines mostly not caring for those with inexpensive tickets.

We are well.  We attended all the ceremonies related to the wedding of Patricia, the daughter of close friends, Joan and Mohanraj.  It was all lovely, with every sensation of being with family.  My sister-in-law, Diane, was here for 2 of the 4 ceremonies and enjoyed them; Naren came with us to the wedding, and both guests were warmly welcomed and appreciated.  Patricia is a delight, as is her new husband, Tim.
The Banyan is wonderful.  Diane came with me to our seaside clinic, Kovalam, and I saw what we do through her eyes.  It was rote for me, but she loved it and took lots of pictures.  I imagine caring for the impoverished for free counts for something; having done it with the Banyan for so long, it is just work - nothing else, not nobility, magnanimity, consideration, nada.  Just work.  Nice work.

We saw a couple of movies last week, with Naren - "The Danish Girl" and "The Hateful Eight."  Both were fine.  We are avid Quentin Tarantino fans and love his absurdity, as well as his clearly-defined characters.  We also went out to eat yesterday; going out with the boy(s) to an all-you-can-eat buffet is an unbridled delight as they eat, and eat.

We will be off this week to Mysore and Madurai for a couple of death ceremonies.  As with birth, so must death come.  The family matriarch, aged 93, passed away 10 days ago and the 11th day ceremony is tomorrow in Mysore.  My handsome brother, Manu, died on 26 Jan 1999 and we will go to the cemetery with my father on Tuesday.  Hanging with family will be therapeutic at these venues.

Unw -


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Report of 17 Jan 2016

Good morning!

The sun was behind the clouds and is now peeking out.  I can see a gleam on the sea.  The household is asleep and this is a fine time.

We are well.  My sister-in-law, Diane, is visiting and the visit has been fun.  This is her first time overseas; she halted in Istanbul on the way over to visit a cousin's daughter and then there was a bomb blast after she left.  She landed in Chennai safely.  She visited the B, a few tourist sites and then yesterday, we drove to Vellore to visit my sister, Anu.  Part of the drive was through scenic and picturesque villages and we enjoyed it as much as Diane did.  Vellore was also nice; the visit with Anu, full of giggles and chatter and good food, was grand fun.

The B has been fine.  One of the patients helps run the clinic on Mondays, being a former college professor, and appears to have had a mini-stroke or the beginnings of dementia.  This lady is a favorite, being my aunt's classmate and a delight.  I told her I needed to get an MRI, and then treat the stroke if she'd had one; she asked what I would do if she were near death and that it could not be prevented.  I agreed, and said if it were a stroke, there was a blood thinner I could put her on.  The MRI was unobtainable due to reasons I must investigate next week, and I have started her on aspirin.  She has become irritable, and that could be the start of dementia.  We are privileged to have this lady in our midst.

Naren visited Vandana yesterday to discuss various things.  Vandana turns 45 today.  She founded this singularly magnificent organisation, along with her friend Vaishnavi, when both were 22 and 21, respectively.  What vision, foresight and insight.  It has been a privilege to work here.

Well, let me go get some breakfast and such.  Hope you folks have a splendid week!

Unw -


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Report of 9 Jan 2016

Hello from bright, breezy Chennai and Happy New Year!

We are well and hope the same with you.  A husband is adjusting laundry, a son is showering and we will soon go see the finals of the Aircel Chennai Open, where Stan Wawrinka will take on a rather athletic and young tennis player named Borna Coric.  I wonder if these relatively unrecognised names will go on to become big later.  Stan W has been coming for 5 or more years, Nadal came a few years ago and we have a new crop of exciting players, showing us world-class tennis.  It has been a joy watching these players all week, when even the initial rounds produced fine tennis.

What does one share at these events, apart from an appreciation for excellent sport?  Viruses and bacteria.  So, I have been plying myself with hot fluids and Ricola, the panacea for sore throats and colds.

Work has been fine.  One of our patients, Ms. X, came in shivering one day; she has been admitted at Kovalam, which we do when the situation appears critical.  My hands are not the biggest, but I could wrap my fingers around this lady's upper arm: she was emaciated and had a raging fever of 104 degrees.  The mother stated that nothing had been done for her at the Banyan.  I simply abhor such unwarranted criticism, and asked our community workers for collateral; they stated that the mother was wont to blame us for everything and has historically not given her daughter the medicines for her mental illness, also.  I was irate, and let the mother have it; yes, speaking gently is an option but not for arrogant individuals.  I told her that she should have done her part in bringing X to us earlier and several other things; the mother was not the least fazed and went about her business after the visit was over.  As it has turned out, X has leptospirosis and we are treating her.  She is better, and I am grateful: there is a Biblical phrase along the lines of "Blessed are the meek ...," which I am often reminded of as we treat the mentally ill or mentally challenged or folks with special needs.  I am not a religious person, but these words ring a bell off and on.  Truly, this is a position of privilege.

Naren has been off making work contacts.  Navin is well, we think; we will try to Skype later today.  Scott is his usual wonderful self.

We hope the best for you in the New Year, and beyond.  Happy 2016!

Unw -