December 30, 2007

dancing in the dark

another writing crisis. i have had so many so far that i sometimes wonder why i even try.

at other times there was a plain ‘what-do-i-write-about’ lack of inspiration. this time the big question is w-h-e-n, and how do i manage my time around work and athri. this time it is also more severe…how do i break into the mood for a novel when i can’t even find the time (or the energy) to blog. i ‘think’ all the time. i eat when i am hungry. so why must i not write?

so here it is. fifteen minutes of dancing my fingers on the keyboard. while it is still dark outside. while athri and praveen are fast asleep. while i myself can’t sleep over the worry that i am not writing.

i could probably start with our short, quick break from the bitterly-cold winter in london (or so i was told), to a hardly-wintery india…

flying alone with a one-year old is not going to be something on my list for a long long time. but yes, both athri and i survived. or that must be more due to the fact that we visited the doctors in mumbai as soon as we landed, before any other social visit. athri was promptly given some asthalin and alerid so he could breathe through his over-four-week-old nasal congestion. for my fever that went up and down and up like a sensex chart, (what the so-bemused nhs gp here had so fondly dismissed as a common cold and viral infection, and sent me home not with medicines, but a suggestion to ‘have patience’ instead), the doctor in mumbai declared – with some alarm – a severe state of bronchitis.

five days of strong knock-out antibiotics later, wherever i went, i was well enough to not-spare tales of a desperate medical system in one of the most highly developed countries of the world. a chance meeting with a leeds-resident – again, at a doctor’s clinic in thane – landed me with a useful tip that perhaps you too can use: when in front of a uk-gp, always highly-exaggerate the number of days you have been suffering an illness, any kind. so two days of cough becomes three weeks of a terrible time, and …you get the drift.

other highlights of the trip include a very happy athri; a relaxed mom and dad; elated grandparents; a greatly-relieved to meet sis (who, in all the confusion of parting, i even forgot to hug, and regretted all the way home…deeps, i owe you this one) and brother-in-law; meeting my kottakkal doctor – who officially declared (to my relief, for i thought i was beginning to imagine all the pain) my fibromyalgia at a point of no return – but assured he will help me deal with the fatigue symptoms; a first-time-dentist visit and thankfully-not-as-painful-as-i-thought tooth filling; a long-awaited trip on the train to mumbai vt for half a day, which included mysore masala dosas from the guy opposite the express-towers building at nariman point, where i had started my career (is it really 11 years now!?); and last but the most impulsive highlight of all…my decision to face my fear of the road, and learning to drive.

now the vacation is over. the bags are not quite unpacked, and athri is still jet-lagged – sleeping all afternoon and keeping us awake for the longest hours of the night. he can’t stop walking now, blows kisses that fly, and talks a lot. to the cbeebies characters on tv, to the radio, the lights, the switches, and most of all, to this imaginary-alien-friend i am convinced he has, who lives under the cot. i say alien, because our thirteen-month-old thinks it is his moral duty to feed it as soon as daylight fills the room…be they milkbottle-caps, vicks vaporub, the tv remote, the landline-telephone handset, feeding-spoons, or even my only bangles. (now tell me, what kind of human friend would have a diet like that?)

there, he is doing it right now, which means my fifteen minutes are long over, dawn has broken, and i have to stop writing.

have a nice day.