Friday, April 23, 2010

Of memories...




Imagine this : the love of your life looks at you, calls out the name of someone else and says I love you. What would you do?



I would walk out the door and cry my heart out like the hero did. He can't blame his wife for what she said. Afterall she has had the worst luck in being a victim of a rare inherited form of Alzheimer's. And when he asks 'she says someone else's name and I love you. Who does she love'? You  are  as deprived of words as he is.

A Korean movie about the havoc Alzheimer's plays in a young couple's life left me moist eyed. I was at a loss for explanation. What till yesterday had remained a matter of biology, proteins and science for me, took a reality check and I was deeply disturbed. The heroine is not at fault...she does'nt even remember herself anymore.

I've spoken about Alzheimer's during classes and like all fans of research pontificated about finding a cure for it. But that has always been a thought..a memory...and to think I have nothing to protect me from losing the ability to recollect it one day sends a shudder down my spine.

Imagine not being able to find your way home, to remember people, names, numbers, happy moments, sad moments, fights, hurt, love, laughter, your dog, your favourite color - NOTHING plainly. Imagine the pain that someone who loves you would go through watching you at a loss.

Imagine waking up in the morning and not knowing where you are and who you are, losing your short term memory faster and your long term memory following close behind. Like the doctor in the movie said - a mental death before a physical one?

I watched the agony the girl went through as she struggles to comprehend what happens to her and her husband yearning for a miracle that could fish her out of her pain. Imagine the sorrow he goes through when he takes her to all the places they've been to and she remembers nothing? Imagine how it rips his heart when he reads a letter she writes when her memory is back for a while and she realizes what she is putting him through and leaves the house.

Watching the movie made me realise that the greatest gift we all have is the ability to remember. True it hurts when a memory brings nothing but tears but think about it..down the lane if you had the choice between a blackout with your mind and a pot pourri of emotions ranging from excruciatingly paniful to enormously happy what would you choose? Alas! Alzheimer's doesnt wait for you to decide.

Its one thing to lose loved ones to death...but its a whole other form of suffering to watch them run around with no clue about anything or anyone.

This was'nt the melodramatic love story where the hero wastes away with the memory of her or there is a 'miracle' that brings her back and they do a duet. NO. This was real. This is what happens to people with Alzheimer's. To men and women who've been loving parents, husbands, wifes, grandparents and now have no recollection of having been all that! There is no protein Kleenux that can de-clog circulation and restore life for those poor souls or answer the huge WHY in the minds of their near and dear ones.

Am no Nobel laureate and I'm not a social worker either talking about Alzheimer awareness. This is just what I was contemplating enough to feed my lachrymals. Love completes a person's life but it also suffers at the hands of biology. Like the hero says...you never know how creul life can get. I felt guilty for the times I had employed Alzheimer's in jest because there is nothing funny about it in reality.

A lot of diseases cause pain - cancer, AIDS you name it. A man can cry out loud from it because he understands what he is going through and remembers times he was better. But what can you do when you don't remember what you should be doing and what you should be screaming out loud for??

Am gifted with a wonderful life like many out in the world. And I've realized that I get to live, love, forgive and remember what I have while I do....

I sincerely hope science finds a way to conquer this disease. I would be glad to help if I can...for now, I pray for everyone to remain healthy, aware and happy...

P.S: This is a Korean movie titled "A Moment to Remember"



Image courtesy : http://lovehkfilm.com/panasia/moment_to_remember.htm

Friday, April 16, 2010

MiLaPaNeGa


The title sounds funny does'nt it? Then imagine how it would sound if your toothpaste were to have that as a name. But 5 of us girls would buy every tube of paste if it were named that. Afterall it was something that earned us gangsta status in senior school :)

Well..well.. am talking about an Adzap competition that a bunch of us (mirna, gayatri, preethi, lavanya and I) won hands down at an inter-school cultural fest during our sophomore year at senior school. I still can't stop smiling when I think of that day.

We got together at the last moment..as a team and worked out a framework for the act..am still stunned at how I picked up toothpaste as an example to explain the rules to my girls and how we ended up having to sell exactly that to the crowd!!! Preethi and I almost scaled the ceiling jumping when we picked up the lot.

5 minutes is all we got to rise to fame and rise we did in absolute style...what with Gayatri doing a Nambiar act and a TR limerick thrown in...it was no surprise the whole school turned up to watch us in spite of the bell signalling the end of recess resounding in the distance. We had the audience laughing their heads off!

When the results were announced they just told us plainly that we won OBVIOUSLY! :) Hearing a crowd of people screaming out your name (the name of your school in this case) when the judges go ' any guesses for the 1st place' is something any performer would trade anything for. We were lucky enough to experience that!

We won the prize alright..but more than that I loved what I experienced that day - team work, friendship and pure talent that only the gifted possess..my girls showcased just that...flawlessly!

There was another thing that was ultimately special. We were the only team comprised entirely of girls and we raced up to number one over an all - guys team. The judges came up to talk to us and asked what had inspired us to give such a wonderful performance...I would remember our answer to eternity - "its generally thought that comedy is a man's forte. we wanted to prove women could do it equally well too" :)

Love u girls...and miss those wonderful days of stage play....the best times of my life!!! three cheers to MiLaPaNeGa

P.S - MiLaPaNeGa is an acronym for Mirnalini, Lavanya, Preethi, Nethra and Gayatri :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Souped

For almost everyday that i've been at Tanjore, i've been in soup. No not the philosophical 'mess' soup..but real hot spicy soup. There's a stall nearby where a really friendly lady makes it for us. For someone who was this ''eee-roadside food-bad water-salmonella-dysentry'' nutcase, I certainly drink soup by the liter these days.


Maybe because its the only thing that's easy on your pocket and worth every bit...or should I say spoon. And it comes with a perk. There's one flavour every day. It goes like this :


Monday - manathakali
Tuesday - thoodhuvalai
Wednesday - mudakkathan
Thursday - vallarai
Friday - poondu
Saturday - vaazhathandu
Sunday - mushroom


Okay am not using this chance to dish out the choicest of swears...those are names of herbs and spices that are added to the soup one per day. Its a fact though that the soups either look a beautiful green or a dull grey no matter what you presume to be added to it. I've mastered the art of reciting the menu so much that people actually call me up to verify if they got the day's soup right. Am known rightly as the soup-paithyam. Justified because when others demand Temptation bars, beers and multi cuisine treats for birthdays I plainly ask for soup!!!


Its a refreshing art...the art of drinking soup...after a realllllly tiring or dreadfully boring day in college getting back to a cup of hot steaming concotion that indulges ur taste buds and prepares you for the late night movie you are going to watch on your laptop...ahhhh bliss! 



P.S 1: there are also 2 other daily flavours - the vegetable and mooligai (a mixture of medicinal herbs)

P.S 2: i told you the lady is pretty sweet so if you are in the mood for a mix go ahead...stir up all three flavours of the day :) 


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kids!

I had the chance to visit my native for 'tamizh puthandu' (tamil new year - hah! take that Caeser we have our own calendar B-)). It is a village called Varagur by the way..about 15 kms from Thiruvaiyar the birth place of  Thyagarajar.


I met up with a bunch of kids (sighh..ok..am an adult) my very distant cousins. Two of them were 'graduating' from kindergarden and one was in the 5th grade. I was walking around the sanctum with one of the UKG graduates :P (who is a sweet bundle of cuteness and goes by the name of Anandavalli :)).


She told me she was very close to the temple and the deity and has been visiting 'right from when she was a kid'. Her tone was very serious and she implied that her tryst with the temple was THAT long! She wasnt sure I understood how important  a member she was at the temple. So she said...'I've been visiting since my U...K...G...'. like UKG was smthg she did before getting a double post doc and the nobel :P.


I was terminally amused at what she was saying...rolling on the floor of my gut laughing at her innocence. But a part of me ( hey I agreed am an adult ) longed to be so carefree...so innocent and full of life. To ask questions that are very fair but to which no adult wld have replies...to sing at the top of my lungs and get lauded equivalent to ARR for my scream...sigh....kids!!! good times...good times!!! :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Poked

Ok...this is serious : there's something called 'poke' on FaceBook....a crude version of the old 'saami kanna kuthum' technique...except that you use an online network to deliver an electronic pokey illusion...I wanted to try it...it goes like this:


you click on someone's profile


there's the Poke X icon


you click on it


thats when you recieve the most threatening message you could ever have faced : You are about to poke X..he will be informed about this on his homepage


Things around me started to go into slow motion...my past flashed before my eyes...I felt like a warrior on the Indo-Kargil border about to make a decision that would change my life!


With a nervous trembling finger I hit poke


eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


??
??
??


I thought something huge would happen with smileys and graphical images appearing all over my screen...my id getting blocked by my college server...and I was gearing up for the worst...


There was a prompt on my screen


You have successfully poked X


That's it??


Not even an OUCH???


I realized the obvious : AM SERIOUSLY JOBLESS AND ABSOLUTELY INSANE...


Whats the point of the whole poke idea?? vetti 1 telling vetti 2 that am vettier than you are at this instant???


Now I wonder : 1) why did a dozen friends torture me into joining FB a congested version of orkut??


2) why did I accept the invites?? :P


3) why am I a regular now??


Well my 'realization' pretty much answers question 3...coming to think of it now...one sweet cousin of mine put me up to it...for some reason long forgotten...scrabble I guess...(dont worry you still are one of my favourite cousins! :P)


P.S - 1: as with the step by step poke experience...if you can put up with something as @#@^%$# as poke, you wld infact call the instructions intellectual


P.S - 2: the finger image that appears for poke is distantly funny....