Saturday, April 29, 2017

To Kollam and beyond!

After more than a week of getting up early to meet the morning deadlines, today was a quiet one with me getting up around 5, reciting the prayers and drifting back to sleep to wake up at 6 to go through my chores. Packing up, getting ready and breakfast, happened one after the other and Alex took my baggage and proceeded to the Foundation.

Maman and I'd gone to Vichaani kunjamma's house to look her up but it was to no avail - despite my ringing the door bell and calling out her name loudly - as everyone was out of the house on some errand or the other! She remains locked within the house, with no other company, for the fear that she might run away thanks to an erratic memory because of her Alzheimer's condition. No amount of advice from the others have made the family employ the services of a nurse because during old age, it's the loneliness and the lack of company that drive individuals to doing abnormal things!

Whenever I've interacted with this kunjamma of mine, she has always reacted positively and I must frankly admit that I haven't found any problem with her. Her erratic bowel habits, at times, upset the rhythm for the household members, but then, so is the case with many patients suffering from either Alzheimer's condition or Parkinson's syndrome.....the elders require compassion while their children go about their lives at a hectic pace.

I've always maintained that it's the children's responsibility to look after their parents during their old age. You can do whatever you want, claim and convince the others that you're giving all the care to them but ultimately, is your mind satisfied that you're doing everything right? If it isn't, you're the one who is ultimately going to be unhappy and feel guilty about the many chances that you'd squandered away!

My departure for Kollam was, finally, at 1030 hrs after a futile wait for Lekha - she wasn't even answering her phone which bugged me no end. No one should be handing over their cellphone numbers and leave calls leaves a bad taste in the mouth! To top it all, my return reservation wasn't done despite my telling her on the very next day after my arrival and Sekhar, who was supposed to do it tells me sheepishly, "Sir, I was waiting for the confirmation". From whom, I wanted to ask but just left it at that!

So, it was an infuriated me who drove off in the Qualis with Alex as my 'saarthi'. Despite the speeds achieved, I could reach the venue of the meeting only towards the end and apologised to everyone for my delay. They're good natured and kind to accept my apology.......that's all I can say!

After calling the meeting to an end and after a quick bite of a 'natural' lunch, Alex drove me to the road transport corporation bus stand from where I boarded a low floor a/c bus, to Ernakulam, at a quarter to 3. The crowd was huge at the bus stand thanks to the long weekend and I didn't get to sit within the bus too which I didn't mind as I stood in front - taking in the sights - and was in conversation with Manoj, the driver and Ajeesh, the conductor. They're nice to me, in that at Kayamkulam, they even waited for me to finish my tea and 'vada'! There were two huge traffic snarls, one soon after Kayamkulam and the second at the approach leg of Alappuzha town with the effect that the bus fetched up late at the Vyttila hub.

I, finally, got a less crowded super fast bus from Vyttila and got off at Thrissur around a quarter to 11. Meanwhile, I'd rung up my friend, taximan George, to ferry me home.


It was on our way home that George, quietly told me that the bus that I'd boarded would have dropped me at Kunnamkulam, just nine kms from home. He'd realised that I'd called for him without knowing this and was genuinely sad that I was incurring a loss in the form of his taxi fare, thanks to my ignorance. Thanks George for your genuine concern but I don't look at it as a wasteful expenditure because:-

    (a) You'd the decency to be frank with it.
    (b) I could be home comparatively early and
    (c) There wasn't any travel weariness!

It was nice to be back at 'The Quarterdeck' and with Lekha, in particular, after a lapse of so many days!

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