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The phone rang and from the way he spoke, I knew it had happened. The long battle had ended. Another life lost to Cancer…

I was out shopping when I heard about what had happened. I don’t think I can put into words what went through my mind then. His image flashed before my eyes. An image of what had become of him since he was diagnosed with cancer a few months back.

I’ve only met him a few times. I remember him as a big built man, old but still not showing signs of the age. More than anything, I remember him as a healthy man. And then I met him during my last visit to Kerala. I couldn’t recognise him. I never thought a disease could change a man to such an extent. He looked old, weak, gaunt….. He didn’t look like himself. Cancer had caught upto him. Final stages they said. His body wouldn’t be able to handle any sort of medication, chemo-therapy or radio-therapy. They gave him pain-killers to reduce the pain. They had given up on him.

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Memories of what had happened around 3 years back are coming back to me. “Let’s hope for the best”, they said, almost like in the movies. Cancer was something that happened in movies or to other people, not to people we know, not to your family…

They said something about 5 years. 5 was just a number before that…but now it has taken a whole different meaning. 3 years, 8 months and 28 days are up.

I don’t know what to expect…

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Hope the family gets the strength to make it through this loss.

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I’ve just realised I’ve put myself in many extremely compromising situations over the past few year. Situations I hadn’t given any thought to. I should be extremely grateful that nothing wrong happened.

It is only now, when I think back, that I realise what I’ve put myself through. Things could have gone terribly wrong. Nothing I would have said or done would change the damage that could have been done.

I was very much aware of what could go wrong, but I was just so naive. Well, I’m not sure if naive is the right word to explain why I did what I did. I don’t know what went through my head when I decided to go ahead with a lot of things. I’m sure if I could think as rationally as I am thinking right now, I might have not put my self in such situations. Then again… who knows!

I’m sure if anything had gone wrong I would have been blamed. But who’s fault is it really? Mine or the people involved? Should I be grateful to the people involved as they didn’t take advantage of the various situations when they could have very easily? Should I feel wronged for what I’ve been put through? Or is it really just my fault?

From a parent’s point of view, how much can you protect a child? When you know you’ve instilled the right values in you child and that your child knows right from wrong, can you be sure they’re going to be able to take care of themselves? If something did go wrong and you know that your child was well aware of what kind of a situation they are putting themself into, would you blame them? Would blame the other people involved, if there are any. Or would you blame yourself?

Besides death, diseases and flying on aeroplanes, my biggest fear nowadays is “Arranged Marriages”.

My short trip to my hometown brought me face-to-face with this. A cousin, who’s just a little older than me, is all set to get married. MARRIED!!!! She was all happy and gay(no! not that gay…she’s very much straight !) and SINGLE a week prior to this but now she’s getting married ! Sheesh !

Ok, I can understand her getting married. She’s at the right age and all ( According to general consensus). But her’s is a typical arranged marriage. Her details/photograph has been circulating in the ‘market’. One fine day aunty gets a call enquiring about her. Next day horoscopes are exchanged. It’s a match ! Few days later the guy’s family comes to see her. Boy and girl get some quality time to talk and get to know each other better, the same day, with parents and other family members around! The quality time is not even made proper use of !!!

Few days later, another phone call…. The boy’s family liked the girl. The boy has given his consent. Aunt talks to cousin. And its FIXED !!!

And the best/worst part…SHE DOESN’T EVEN REMEMBER HIS FACE !!!!!!!!!!

How scary is that!!!! I can’t imagine myself doing something like this. I mean…like…HOW?????? And the worst part is, this is what is expected off me. I was talking to my cousin about all this. She was happily narrating the whole story and I kept throwing a hundred questions at her like…

  1. You don’t even remember his face….and your ok with it?? :O
  2. So, you’re not even going to get to meet him or at least speak to each other before the engagement?
  3. You don’t even know what kind of guy he is? What he’s into?
  4. He’s a software engineer…work’s for a reputed company….sources say he’s a good guy with a clean slate….he’s from a good family….IS THAT ENOUGH?

Through out this conversation my mother kept nudging and shush-ing me. Seemed like she was trying to tell me…. “What more do you expect? This is how life is around here. This is what is expected out of all of us. If you don’t go by these rules….you’re DOOMED!!!”

I can’t do this!! I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life with someone I don’t even know. Someone I might not even get along with.

I’d be ok with this whole thing if I would get some more time to get to know the person, get some time to decide. But all the talking and bonding happens only after the engagement!!!! Like that’s of any help. It’s not like the engagement can be broken. And even if it comes down to that..the kind of humiliation that one’s family has to go through, I’d rather not think about that. By the time you are engaged the whole world would know about it. It’s almost like you’re already married!

Ahhhhh! If only there was a fool-proof way to deal with all this.

Oh and did I tell you, technically, I’m next in line !!! NEXT IN LINE!!!

I’m soooo Doomed !

  • Lotsa daddy-daughter bonding. (Got a little story to share which I shall do once I get back ! )
  • Cute dentist and 4 missing teeth !
  • Best-est-est-est friend ever leaving for good 😦
  • Went book shoppin with BFF. Got FOUR books for Rs. 355 !! “Three Men in a Boat” by Jerome K Jerome, “The curious incident of the dog in the night-time” by mark haddon, “Love and Marriage” by Bill Cosby and “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks.( click on images for more details on the books ! )

         Three Men In A Boat      the curious incident of the dog in the night-time    Love and Marriage   The Notebook

 I’m a happy person! And loadsa BFF bonding and bitching happened! Good times!

  • Decided to confront friend mentioned in an old post . Ya, I know…finally !
  • Off to Ende Keralam tomorrow ! Leaving yall with a small video. It’s the Asianet theme song “Shyama sundara kera kedara bhoomi” by A R Rahman (which I just learnt few minutes back ! And I’d be the wrong person to ask to translate that ! ). Totally love it. Butttt the entire song is not there 😦 . Anyways, Enjoy ! Back in a weeks time !

The Cyclone has passed. But the damage its done is unfathomable. The mainstream media has not justice to this episode at all. I was watching the evening news in one of the Indian channels here and it said everything’s back to normal. BACK TO NORMAL????? If only.

Like Amjad said in his latest post, It took 37 years to build Oman to what it was and its all gone. This is a video (which is on Amjad’s blog too) posted by HemiOman. A heart-wrenching video of what has become of Oman.

My source of regular updates on the real story was from Ali’s and Amjad’s blogs. I take this opportunity to thank them. If it weren’t for them it would have been really hard to make it through the past couple of days. Communicating with my family back in Muscat was not easy. Their regular updates atleast gave me some idea as to what exactly was happening there. The mainstream media was of no help what-so-ever !

Daddy update : He finally got to go check on our apartment. The area surrounding it is still completely under water. They hadto take help from the Omanis there to get to our house. Not much damage to our flat except the little amount of water that seeped in. All the people living in our apartment have moved out. Its still not in a live-able condition.

On a personal note, I think…Oman didn’t deserve to have to go through this. A country that has been so kind to its people and also to all the expatriates. It is going to take a couple of months atleast to recover from what has happened. 

I hope and pray Oman receives all the support and strength it requires to get back on its feet.