Monday, December 31, 2018

How the last day of '18 waltzed its way through 'The Quarterdeck'!

Had got up on the dot and gone through our chores. Gave Lekha another hot water sponging to relieve the acuteness of her back ache. Was down in the dining hall well before 7 and the Rajah Medical team had fetched up bang on time.

Preetha had arrived at her usual time followed by the working team doing the kitchen renovation, who went about the task of taking measurements to cut the heavy sheets to fit the foot lockers. The other things that were achieved during this time were:-

     (a) The used/defective metallic and plastic waste were handed over to Shamsuddin and gang. The
           junk, that has been lying for quite some time, has been disposed off.
     (b) The caretaker had earlier told me that two workers had begun their grass cutting work around
           Raj Nivas. There would be a total of 22 mandays that would be consumed to finish up the
           work. Consequently, transferred the first instalment of Rs.7,400/- into his account.
     (c) Assessed today's work in the kitchen and deployed them accordingly. They would be preparing
          the materials bought to facilitate fitment by Wednesday and Thursday.
     (d) The Rajah Medical team made their second visit for drawing samples.
         
Sister Gifty was able to draw the blood sample expertly and without giving me even an iota of pain. She's indeed a 'gift of God' to her parents and I did tell her that. Lekha had, in the meanwhile, got the breakfast ready and I'd wolfed it down, to keep a safe margin of two hours before the drawal of the blood sample, post prandial at 1000 hrs.

Incidentally, Lekha's discomfort had reduced considerably by about breakfast time. Phew!

My results came in by 11 AM. While the Bilirubin count is down to 1, the SGOT/SGPT readings have shot up to 93 and 99. The FBS is 140 while the PPBS is 295! Sent the readings to Vishy and Savio for remedial measures.


Tailpiece.

1. Anil and Asokan worked on for the day are progressing in the making of the inner casings - with the sheets.

2. Lekha and I spent a quiet evening in front of the television to ring in the new year.   

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Adieu Bhaskar Sen sir!

Just short of lunch time, got the sad news from a course mate of mine saying that Commodore Bhaskar Sen had passed into the mist of time. He was a thorough gentleman and a lovable guy. I've always seen him cheerful with a smile on his handsome face. He was the Flag Lieutenant to Admiral Ronnie Pereira and they shared a unique bond. Mrs. Phyllis Pereira, too, adored him; he used to address her as 'mummy'!

There's story that highlights this relationship of theirs. Bhaskar Sen was posted in command of an Offshore Patrol Vessel and was unable to get an admission for his daughter in a prestigious convent, near Regal Cinema. Admiral Ronnie Pereira had, around that time, reached the Naval hospital Asvini for his medical review and he happened to hear about Bhaskar Sen's daughter's story. Armed with her resume, he went and met the school's Principal seeking admission for the little girl. Their conversation went something like this,

  "Admiral, you got to be joking. Our admission had closed in June".
  " Ma'am, I'm a cancer patient and I may not come to you again". 

The Principal was so moved that she gave the child the admission!

The Indian Navy shall always remember Bhaskar Sen for his touching memoirs on Ronnie Pereira, which was one among the best of 100 articles, selected by the Readers Digest during its centenary celebrations.

He has settled in the suburbs of Calcutta and was suffering from cancer for the last 10 years. He leaves behind his wife, Jhumi, son, Lt(IN) Krishnu Sen and daughter, Kasturi who, incidentally, is married to Cdr Dey.

RIP sir! My salute, prayers and tears. Here's me wishing that God gives the strength to your family and the near and dear ones to have the strength to bear this irreparable loss.

They don't make them gentlemen like you any more, sir!


Tailpiece.

1. We'd got up on the dot and gone through our chores. We were discussing about trivia, I'd not yet had my bath when the door bell had rung. It was David and Grace, who were Sanil and Mini's friends. They'd come to invite us to their son's engagement(07 Jan '19) and his wedding on the 13th of Jan. Sanil and Mini will be arriving here to attend the function.

They're on their Sunday church going trip and had made a detour to do us the honours.

2. Lekha's back pain is worrying me. Gave her a hot water sponging to ease it down prior to her bath in the evening.

3. The second consignment of spares for the kitchen overhaul came in by teatime.

4. While Sanil and Mini had reached Coimbatore by 1700 hrs, Padmakumar, Rema and Achu had reached Palakkad by 2000 hrs.

5. Vishy had called up and we'd a long chat! His son, after having completed his Masters at the John Hopkins University, is sticking on in the US for a professional break.

PS.
Happened to see the programme, '25 years of togetherness of Amma and Asianet television channel' - spread over two days viz. 29 and 30 Dec. The lionising of Mohanlal continues unabated. He was on the stage almost continuously, that it was getting to be a bore. Why weren't the younger crop of stars seen more on stage, instead? One doesn't mind seeing him in an odd skit or a collage of the song and dance sequences of a few of his movies but of late, he has also taken to singing!

The audience, for the programme, had bought tickets to watch the entertainment bonanza put up by their dear stars and from that point of view would have loved to hear their favourite playback singers giving them a variety of numbers of their choice. Instead, the experience was otherwise. Why should they be burdened with the limited and not-so-melodious-rendition of songs by Mohanlal? 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

A dull day with the sun away!

Lekha was up and awake before me as the alarm went off. I had got up and gone about my morning schedule. We went through our chores and were ready on time.

It began raining in the morning and there was no sign of the sun today, the sky was overcast but rain was in spurts and they were more of a drizzle. It was pouring down south and Sanil and Mini had postponed their return trip to Coimbatore by a day; they'll set off early morning tomorrow. Even Rema and family will return tomorrow from Pidavoor as Padmakumar and Achu have to be in their respective offices on the last working day of the year.

The grass cutting of the area around the Raj Nivas will have to be postponed as the rains were fairly widespread and heavy today. Wonder why the caretaker is in a tearing hurry to get it done? Rema will be making a trip out there and give me an assessment. Twenty two mandays @ Rs.700/- have been quoted for the job.

The first four days of next week are gonna be hectic with people renovating the kitchen. Hope the dislocation is manageable and not too hard on Lekha and her assistant!


Tailpiece.

The evening was spent in front of the television set. I find the programmes absolutely boring and not up to the mark!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Too many things happening!

Had got up on the dot at 6 AM, went through my early morning work of opening up the windows, unlocking the main door and lighting the lamp. Lekha was woken up at a half past 6 and we went about our chores.

Lekha and the maid had gone for their weekly 'darshan' of Guruvayurappan and I'd reluctantly allowed Lekha's persuasion of doing the work, by herself, of sending the 40 Guruvayur diaries to Maman because the Devaswom Board office and its staff are known for making things difficult for the customers. Why they can't have a single window to dispose of all the activities concerning the diary is not understood. The weird sequence goes something like this:-

       (a) Firstly, one has to go to the Devaswom Office at the southern gate of the temple.
       (b) There is a single guy sitting at the counter to handle the diary transactions and he is saddled
             with a lot of work - like flitting from one table to the other at someone else's behest in
             addition to taking too many phone calls. He shows himself to be busy and makes you wait                   till cows come home.
       (c) The rest of the staff looked sleepy, doing nothing and without any work whatsoever.
       (d) After the initial entry, one needs to pay the cash at another counter and return with the
             receipt entry back to our man, Flint.
       (e) Now, if you want the bill, then you go across, past the eastern entrance to collect it.
       (f) The packing charges, if a consignment is being sent - which was so, in our case - is handled
            elsewhere!

Meanwhile, Rajesh and gang had fetched up to revamp the kitchen because three of the footlockers have securing problems. I helped him and his colleague in removing the items that were stacked up within, so that they could remove the racks and assess the quantum of work. The bane has been a perpetual water seepage from the sink, within the kitchen.

Spares were listed, man days worked out and the estimates drawn. As I gave the go ahead, the orders were placed on two hardware shops at Thrissur and Kunnamkulam. Work will begin on Monday and will last four days. It will be a bit tough during those days and the ladies will have to rough it out the most!

The first set of spares reached by about 1600 hrs and I did help the auto rick fellow to unload those heavy sheets.

It was a quiet evening thereafter!


Tailpiece.

1. The trailer of the movie, "The Accidental Prime Minister" has kicked off a major controversy. The Congress party seems to be embarrassed the most because it shows as to how Sonia Gandhi had ruled the country for 10 years during the UPA rule, with Dr. Manmohan Singh sitting as a dummy on the Prime Minister's chair!

2. Padmakumar, Rema and Achu reached Pidavoor, by 1500 hrs, to spend the weekend. Sanil and Mini should be on their return trip to Bangalore, via Coimbatore, tomorrow. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The triple talaq bill.

It was with reluctance that we both had got up in the morning. A visit to the rest room sometime during the early hours of the morning and the nip in the morning air made it so. We went through our chores and were ready on time. The breakfast consisted of idlis - I was having it after a long time thanks to my illness - and chutney.

Lekha was ready soon, in her Sunday best, and was off to Raju-Bindu's house, next door, along with Asha to attend their older daughter's engagement ceremony. She'd returned after lunch from there.

Lunch was again different from the last couple of months as a fish curry was added to the dishes served and Preetha had given it her heart and soul; ate myself silly!


Tailpiece.

1. It was the day the Triple talaq bill was taken up in the Lok Sabha for discussion. At the end of the deliberations, the opposition staged a walkout but the bill was passed thanks to the majority of the NDA, in the house. The Congress, along with 10 other parties, abstained from the voting. The Biju Janata Dal had voted against the bill, after discussions.

2. Does it give the trend of the opposition line up before the general elections, I wonder?

     

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A mix of thoughts.

Had got up on the dot. Let Lekha catch up on some more sleep as I went about lighting the lamp, opening up the windows and the gate. We went about our chores and were ready well within time. Today, the washing machinex was repeated as there were bed linen as well as our clothes that we'd worn over the last couple of days - actually, had wanted to lessen the maid's efforts.

The first week of January is gonna see the Supreme Court's deliberations on the Ayodhya imbroglio. Hope a satisfying judgement - to all the concerned parties - is handed out so that the vexed issue is behind us, once for all.

Shatrughan Sinha - peeved since long along with Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie for not having made ministers have made mention about a 'one man show' and 'two man army' against Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. Shashi Tharoor and the Congress find it fit to have him release the former's book as he's critical of the duo and to take political mileage - if any, from his senseless ramblings!

No one, from any quarter, has reacted to the Karnataka chief minister's call for murder. Have we, as a society, become so insensitive to atrocious things that are taking place around us? Why are we scared to call a wrong, a wrong?


Tailpiece.

It's estimated that over 26 lakh believers participated  in the 'Ayyappa Jyothi' programme organised by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi, in association with the various Hindu organisations and the BJP, this evening. The programme demanding protection of the Sabarimala traditions, was organised for 15 minutes from 1800 hrs. The following were the highlights:-

    (a) Around 180 Hindu organisations constitute the Sabarimala Karma Samithi.
    (b) Women outnumbered men.
    (c) The devotees stood side-by-side along the 765 km stretch with the lamps.
    (d) The line started from the Hosangadi Sri Dharma Sastha temple in Kasaragod and ended at
          Kaliyikkavila.
    (e) Held as a counter to the state government-sponsored Women's Wall on 01 Jan. 

The volunteers headed for the Ayyappa Jyothi were attacked by CPM followers at Kannur. The party is under strain and one also needs to take note of the fact that the Ayyappa Jyothi was a grand success even when it had no resources available from the state coffers, no forceful participation of government employees and no threats of dire consequences for non participation! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Dad's 6th Remembrance day.

It was a 'powerless' night because of the power interruption, last night, during the one-hour deluge. My only fear was that there was adequate water in the overhead tank to tide over the morning chores by the seven of us. Thankfully, there was adequate water and we were ready for the morning ceremony.

It was dad's sixth remembrance day as per the Malayalam calendar.

Rema had prepared the rice and Mini and I joined her in executing the ceremony. Our offering was placed at a prominent place in the courtyard and though a solitary crow had visited the area, it didn't swoop in for the meal, wonder why? Later many birds came and partook the 'meal on offer'. Was dad's soul unhappy over something which resulted in the 'no-show' of the crows?

Sanil and Mini had a quick breakfast and were off to Ponni's place, at Kollam, where they'd be for the next couple of days. With Jayan's passing away, they have been frequent visitors out there to help the bereaved family get over the melancholy, which is a damn good thing.

We had a sumptuous breakfast of 'appam and egg curry' and Lekha had ensured that everyone kept asking for more! It was yakkitiyak, consequent to it. Achu's transfer to Perundurai was a dampener but I'm sure the change would be for something better. Padmakumar and Rema would, however, feel the pinch as their movement by car would be severely restricted and will miss their son's company on a daily basis that they'd enjoyed for the last couple of years.

Achu's work culture, his pleasant manners, promptness in finishing the tasks assigned to him, submission of futuristic projects, his technical bent of mind and managerial skills seem to have endeared himself to his superiors and from what one can observe, he has a bright future in the organisation. The most important thing is that he's enjoying his work!

Meanwhile, we received a call from Mini saying that they'd reached Ponni's place at 1400 hrs!

Padmakumar, Rema and Achu, after lunch, left around a quarter past 2 for Palakkad. They had to visit two families before fetching up at their place, which they eventually did around 2000 hrs.

For Lekha and me, it was a quiet evening with us watching two Mammootty movies, 'Masterpiece' and 'Abrahaminte Santhathikal' surfing through two channels as they were being broadcast, almost, simultaneously.


Tailpiece.

I wish that the Karnataka High Court takes a suo moto case on the chief minister, HD Kumaraswamy's telephonic conversation instructing his party worker to kill their political opponent - accused in his party worker's murder - mercilessly! 

Monday, December 24, 2018

An interesting day.

Since last evening was late, we'd decided to get up late this morning. Though I was up at my usual time, gone about lighting the lamp and opened up the house, Lekha was woken up a trifle before a half past 6. We went about our chores, had the morning cuppa together and then, had our bath and were back for breakfast.

Tomorrow is dad's remembrance day as per the Malayalam calendar and that's why I'd called up Rema asking her to come over for carrying out the 'bali tharpanam'. It was, thus, decided that she and her family would also come by in the evening after Padmakumar and Achu returned from their work. So, that would not require me to venture out of the house in my present physical condition.

Mini and Sanil had left soon after to the Mammiyoor Siva kshethram and I'd entrusted them with the task of sending fifty Guruvayur Devaswom diaries to the Foundation, by VPP, as required by Maman. However, it was not to be as one has to pay the amount in advance and I decided to do it at a later date.

Meanwhile, my last e-mail to the concerned authorities was taking effect. Ms. Jayanthi, the Deputy Manager of the SBI's Central Pension Payment Cell at Thiruvananthapuram had called up to say that she was sending the duplicate of the official letter sent earlier to the PCDA(O), Allahabad on 06 Jul '18 forthwith and that my personal copy was being endorsed today. I only hope that mom's lifetime arrears fructify at the earliest so that I can begin some work related to the house.

Sanil, Mini, Lekha and me, then. worked out the details of the extension of the Raj Nivas - after demolishing the barn - so that all the three families could stay together once Padmakumar and Sanil finished their professional commitments, the former next year and the latter, two years later!   

Lunch was a boisterous affair and Lekha was soon busy with her efforts at baking a cake in her new microwave oven! It was then that the three of them decided to go for a movie - 'Njaan Prakasan'! After their and the maid's departure - she's not gonna be there tomorrow as she and her family are off to Thalasserry for a day - I'd retired for my siesta.

Spoke to Sanjay Nirmal, my friend from the good 'ole Chilka days, who's currently at the DESA. His wife, Saritha, had passed away, last month, owing to the dreaded cancer.....it was her breast that was affected and she was languishing for the past few years. Her end was at her home in Ghaziabad as the family didn't want her to be admitted into a palliative care....her last few days were extremely painful, he narrated. I remember the gregarious young lady who used to be fond of us and used to be a frequent visitor at our house in Katari Bagh, Kochi. Rest in peace young lady, we can never forget you as you've given us so much to remember!

The 'film' party had fetched up by a half past 5 and we'd a late tea, consequently.

It began to pour after about a quarter past 9. The result - there was a power breakdown. Only hope that it is restored by early morning. Water could finish and there are seven of us today.

Rema, Padmakumar and Achu had fetched up by about a half past 9 and it was a boisterous evening which ended up being late!


Tailpiece.

A truly interesting day with only Mithun and Ammu - of the family - missing from the gaiety.  

Sunday, December 23, 2018

A late start!

Since we had slept late last night, Lekha did not have her alarm on saying that she wanted to sleep a bit more into a Sunday morning. Accordingly, we'd got up at a 20' past 6. We went through our chores and were ready, well, within our usual time listening to the strains of Rangoli after the 'Njaanappaana' and the 'Harinaama keerthanam'.

Preetha was in soon after, Lekha and she had left immediately for the Mammiyoor temple as it was 'Thiruvathira', a puja that was being organised had to be attended and a visit to the supermarket for sundries! Padmakumar didn't have to go to the office today as was told earlier - against an off for a hartal, in between. It will be after the Christmas holidays, now - and Achu was back from Perundurai, late last night.

Mini and family were expected for lunch and they planned to set off for Guruvayur around 1600 hrs. Around a half past 2, Tommy had arrived with our Grandmother clock. He got it going, took away the Grandfather clock that was with us for the last four years. The former is of German origin while the latter is of Chinese origin, the only difference being that the latter has more woodwork on its head!

Tommy and his team left an hour later.

Mini and gang fetched up by about 1900 hrs. It was a boisterous evening as we caught up with each other. They heft for the temple for an evening 'darshan' and returned by about 2200 hrs! A late dinner consequent to that!!


Tailpiece.

Mini told us a strange story. When all of them were here - at 'The Quarterdeck' - towards the last week of October, when my condition was getting worse she'd got up sometime past midnight to have a glass of water when she heard "Mom crying about my ill health". It used to be a fact that she was very worried whenever I used to fall sick and what Mini must have heard cannot be passed off as something that was out of her imagination?

Mom, I'm only too glad to know that you're monitoring me. I feel very nice!     

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The political affiliations show!

The granting of permission to the BJP to carry out its 'Rath Yatra' in Calcutta, by a single bench of the High Court there, was struck down by a division bench of the same court the next day showing the fault lines, within the judiciary on political affiliations. On the one hand while the opposition cries 'murder of democracy' by the ruling dispensation, they commit the same mistake - wonder why?

Got up at our usual time and went through our chores. We were ready as usual to a lovely breakfast of dosas and chutney. Preetha came in around that time and she didn't show the signs of weakness after her two day battle with the cough and cold.

Wasn't Lekha a relieved person? There wasn't much pending work as, between the two of us, we'd finished up the work though I must confess that Lekha did the most of it.

Our classmate, Ravishankar, has been hospitalised for repeated cirrhosis of the liver near his hometown of Chittoor, in Palakkad. Hope and pray that he recovers fast and gets well soon.


Tailpiece.

Rema and family will not be coming here on Sunday as Padmakumar has to go for work and Achu is yet to return from Perundurai, Tamilnadu. Mini and Sanil have reached Ammu's place at Coimbatore this evening. The four of them will arrive here by PM Sunday.   

Friday, December 21, 2018

Another of those quiet days.

Got up a trifle late though Lekha was up with the lark. We went through our chores and were ready on time. Preetha was still very ill, necessitating a second visit to her doctor to be administered with injections. The soiled clothes, therefore, were washed in the washing machine.

Putting the washed clothes on the line was my responsibility as I didn't want Lekha to climb up unnecessarily. Along with that, had watered the potted plants at the balcony.

As recommended by my friend, Meelu last evening, I'd sent a tough mail to all those concerned regarding mom's lifetime arrears about which he was impressed but let me see as to whether it yields the desired results!

Nandan's workers had come by to assess the extent of work in the kitchen. They've asked for two days to get the bottom shelves scraped, painted and the movable racks overhauled and put back. It was decided that 28th and 29th Dec will be earmarked for the purpose. The kitchen will not be available for use for those two days. Cooking with the help of the induction cooker and the microwave oven will have to be resorted to.....it would be tough for the girls!

Lekha's culinary efforts were laudable.


Tailpiece.

Rema and Mini, along with their families, will be here for the weekend. Looking forward to it.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Just us.

Had got up at our usual time and went through our chores. We were ready well in time. Had tied up the star at the top right hand corner of 'The Quarterdeck'. So, we are now ready to wring in Christmas and the new year!?

Subeesh, the Pest Control of India rep, was the first caller of the day. He'd called up to seek guidance to come to our place and over the next couple of hours had carried out the sanitisation of the house through fumigation and application of a repellent at the joints of the doors of the cupboards and lofts, to keep the pests away. He was supposed to come late last month but I'd prevented him from doing so because I was still not okay.

Our maid is down thanks to the cough and cold and so, it was Lekha's show all the way. I reckon Preetha will be off for two more days to come out of the weakness. She was still not okay when Lekha had contacted her late in the evening and has been advised to meet the doctor again.


Tailpiece.

Will have to pursue the case regarding mom's lifetime arrears more vigorously after the feedback from Ravi Ranjan, PO Wtr from Allahabad. His story from the concerned desk at the PCDA(O), Allahabad is that such a letter is yet to reach them till date. I wouldn't let these nincompoops get away with such frivolous answers to my queries!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A problem that was licked.

Had got up at our usual time and we went about our chores. Were ready well in time and had initiated the washing machine exercise of tackling the bed linen - a weekly rigmarole. After having set the machine's timer, had gone down and returned about 50 minutes later to find that the machine had not progressed and the error, "tap" was showing on the LED screen. Had checked the water inlet and related connections, rejigged them but found nothing wrong.

When the maid had arrived, we checked the submerged foot valve of the motor, inside the well and observed that it did, indeed, have a problem. After some repair work, the motor could be worked and the overhead tank could be filled by pumping in water. The washing machinex was resumed and completed before lunch time; Lekha could also tell the IFB to cancel our morning's complaint about the 'erratic' functioning about our new machine.

Preetha was in a bad shape because of her cough and cold. She left at her usual time of a quarter to 3 and soon after, realised that water had finished and the motor was not pumping up the water into the tank accompanied by an unnatural, shrill sound. Had immediately called up Sabu, the motor man, to send his rep to sort out the issue and he'd dispatched Geeverghese soon after.

The foot valve was replaced with a new one and phew, the problem was licked by about 1700 hrs!

Meelu, my friend at New Delhi had called up to say that the correspondence regarding mom's life time arrears have been misplaced....it seems that I've to begin the proceedings all over again. What a blow.


Tailpiece.

Got the sad news that Saritha, the wife of Captain Sanjay Nirmal - a friend of ours - had succumbed to cancer about a month back. She was being treated for breast cancer for the last few years. Must speak to Nirmal.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Back at 'The Quarterdeck'.

Got up around a half past 5, to catch up on a few devotional songs on the television on the Surya Music channel. It turned out to be a letdown, because the channel had aired film songs instead. Meanwhile, went about my chores and was ready well in time.

Was monitoring Lekha's movements too. She'd got ready, had her breakfast and along with Ramakrishnan, had headed for the Giridhar Eye hospital by a quarter past 8. Since my cousin had spoken to Dr. Giridhar's wife a couple of days back, the entire staff was on the alert and Lekha's tests went off like a song. Dr. Mahesh has confirmed that her eyes were healthy and that they haven't been affected by the intake of the HCQS tablets, all these years. Phew, that's one worry that has been laid to rest. They'd returned home by about 12.

Meanwhile, I'd to wait for my discharge summary till about a half past 1. I've been asked to report back for review after four weeks after tapering the medicine, Udiliv 150.

I'd alerted Jojy and Murali Nair to give me a drop to my cousin's place and it was damn sweet of them to have stood by for me, at the shortest notice! Finally, it was Jojy who'd dropped me back.

I'd a quick bite of lunch and by 3, Wilson - our chauffeur for the day - was at the door and we left for Guruvayur soon after. He was efficient behind the wheel and very courteous. Lekha and Wilson had tea and small eats at a wayside eatery while I chose to have a couple of gulp fulls of water from the bottle that we were carrying. And we were at 'The Quarterdeck' by 6, in time to light the lamp. We dispatched Wilson soon after with the instruction to call us on reaching his destination.

Raju and Bindu, our neighbours, called on us to invite us for their elder daughter's betrothal on the 27th. They also gave me the rundown on the food restrictions, for the next few months, that I'd to follow. Rahul, of the Medicare, dropped by soon after to give me my medicine.

Wilson's call came by 9 and we were relieved.

It was a quiet evening thereafter.


Tailpiece.

A short trip to Kochi where we could do all that we'd planned to do. Great! And we've, now, got ourselves a chauffeur too!!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Another day at the hospital!

Got up at a half past 4, early in the morning and then, sleep was in fits and starts for no obvious reason. Around a half past 6, Sister Elsa had come to tell me as to what was being planned for the day and said that it would commence after the doctor saw me during his morning rounds. She'd come along with her 19 year old differently abled daughter, Christie - an adorable little girl with whom I shook hands. The mother was distraught because the child had developed a seizure around 3 AM.

Wonder what the ways of God are and why's He agonising the poor, little thing? She's being taken to the Amritha Hospital later in the day.

The doctor came on his rounds, suggested a few more tests and said that I'd be discharged tomorrow, consequently! So there goes my plans to be with Lekha for her appointment with the ophthalmologist, tomorrow. Ramakrishnan will, of course, be accompanying her.

Murali Nair did not fetch up as he had told me earlier. He did tell me about a meeting of his residential management system.

Could speak to Girija, a cousin of mine who'd chosen to stay away from the family for her own reasons, for so many years. She seems to have faced many vagaries of life and has become cynical - a far cry from the highly energetic and friendly, eldest daughter of Appukkuttan kochachhan and Saudamini chittamma, that we all knew her to be! She has promised to stay connected with me from now on.

Charlie Mike had called to find out as to how I was.

Otherwise, it was a quiet day at the hospital.

The results of today's tests had reached by about 1600 hrs though I got to see them much later. they were:-

      (a) Bilirubin                   1.9
      (b) SGOT                     81
      (c) SGPT                      83.

(The readings from Rajah Hospital, taken a day before were 1.8, 63 and 69! No wonder the saying that no two labs' results match, ever! Wonder why?). And the normal readings are 1 and <45 attain="" each="" further="" go="" have="" i="" normalcy.="" p="" so="" still="" to="">

Tailpiece.

1. Met Sister Rekha who was on duty. She'd visited me a month earlier during the doctor's rounds and said that she'd wanted to meet me ever since after hearing about my social activities from the others. She and her husband, a Deputy Commandant in the Coast Guard, are very much inclined towards doing social activities. They're intending to collect books and set up libraries - of course, with the introduction of a layered system of buying and handing over the book collections. I'v advised her as to how to go about the activity and lauded their use of technology towards the project.

2. Spoke to Usha, the younger sister of Girija. It was nice catching up with her.


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Admitted at Sanjivani!

Had got up, on the dot, at our usual time and we went about our chores. The breakfast of idiappams and stew was heavy and I must confess that I did feel distended! And mind you, it was the same amount that I have been having all these days!! Lekha, too, complained about the same problem but the discomfort lifted off within no time.

Most of the packing was done by Lekha and I'd to just put into the bags a few things like our medical files etc to complete it. Sajid came in a trifle after 1; he didn't go for seeing his would-be-wife as the family had other things to do. Sounded a bit weird but probably, he didn't want us to know the actual reasons, perhaps!

We kicked off from 'The Quarterdeck' around a quarter past 1 and took the NH 17. The drive was nice and there were lots of things that we discussed in the course of the journey. We were at my cousin's place by a quarter-to-4 in time time for tea. My cousin and Lekha took a quick nap while Ramakrishnan and I sat and chatted away.

Around a half past 5, we'd gone to Tommy's clock shop and I could see his passion in the art of making grandfather and grandmother clocks. Yes, while the grandfather clocks have an elaborate 'head piece', the grandmother clocks are a bit subdued on that score but makes up with its cuteness and since we were going in for an exchange, Lekha, my cousin and Ramakrishnan were of the opinion that I should opt for a totally different version and we thus, zeroed in on a grandmother clock!

On our return, we went about a crowded street searching for my cousin's office clerk's house to hand over the papers for typing out tomorrow's proceedings of an important case. We returned to Gandhi Nagar and my course mate, Ajit came by to drop me at Sanjivani. It was a short drive as the traffic was sparse and since both of us had our I-cards, the entry was easy, without any hassles! Damn sweet of him to run my errand at short notice!!

The discharge facilities took a bit of time, but I was in my room - no.3, where I'd stayed last! - by a trifle after 9. The steward had already placed my supper in the room which I devoured within no time. My review had, indeed, begun!!


Tailpiece.

So, back in Sanjivani after 4 weeks on a day's admission for review!   

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Limbering up.

Had got up half an hour earlier than usual as Lekha had kept her alarm so. We went about our chores and I was ready for the Rajah Medical team who had come to draw the samples. They were a trifle late but Lekha was ready with my breakfast at a half past 7. Two hours later, the Rajah team had come and collected my blood sample for the blood sugar readings, post prandial.

Sajid - we were scouting for a good chauffeur to drive our car - came soon after 10 as we were slated to go for an outing for the following:-

    (a) Had to go to the ECHS to renew our cards.
    (b) Had to get a referral for Lekha's visit to the Giridhar Eye Hospital on Tuesday and
    (c) To update the 'Pollution Under Control' certificate (The earlier one had lapsed on 24 Nov
         and was pending updation because of my ill health).

The main aim, however, was to see as to how Sajid was behind the wheel. He's good and I'm glad that Lekha's selection has been right! He'd be taking us to Kochi tomorrow!

The pleasant surprise was that Col MM Varghese - who was at the Station Headquarters, Kochi while I was the MCO and we know each other - is the Officer-in-charge, ECHS. It made things easier for getting the needful done. Our cards are valid till 2020, he has confirmed!

We were back home by about 1310 hrs. My blood test results had also reached, in the meanwhile, which were as follows:-

      (a) Bilirubin                        1.8
      (b) SGOT                          73
      (c) SGPT                           69.

Was a bit disappointed that the readings had not come down further but I suppose this was what it had to be. Armed with the results and Lekha's referral, we set off for Kochi tomorrow, after lunch. I've a day's admission while Lekha has to be at the Giridhar Eye Hospital by 0900 hrs on Tuesday.

Lekha's beautician, Seena, had come in after tea and it was beauty times between them! She has got her upper ear lobes perforated and I gave her the go ahead as she wanted to get it done. My only doubt was as to how one could undergo pain, voluntarily?





Friday, December 14, 2018

Yet another 'hartal'.

The BJP had called for a hartal today as a 'Venugopalan Nair' carried out self immolation, past midnight yesterday, near the pandal in front of the government secretariat at Thiruvananthapuram where BJP leaders have been on a relay hunger fast. The BJP claims that he was a Sabarimala pilgrim who was disgusted with the goings on there, while the police say that he had committed suicide because he was disgusted with life - they claim that they have his dying declaration. But if that was true, why haven't they broadcast it to nail the other side's lie?

So, the first casualty was that our maid was on a day's forced leave!

We went about our chores and were ready well on time. The surroundings wore a deserted look and was eerily quiet because there was no traffic on the main thoroughfare!

Kuttu and Vani have been blessed with a baby boy, so that's yet another addition to the family. His star is the same as Vichani kunjamma's - Chathayam! It's great news!!


Tailpiece.

1. The Supreme Court's verdict on the Rafael aircraft deal is a great relief for the Modi government. The Congress has lost its potential to be the spoiler, on account of the ruckus, that it has caused till now but they continue to block the proceedings in Parliament! But I'v a few queries based on the following inputs:-

     (a) The arguments of both the sides had been completed and all the sides heard almost a couple
          of months back.
     (b) Why was the judgement delayed so much? Was it to give the Congress party an advantage
           during the recently conducted Assembly elections to the 5 states? Or was it to deny the
           advantage Modi and his party would have got in the same elections? Probably, the outcome
           would have been entirely different.....anyone and everyone seem to be anti-Modi....and the
           reason is pretty clear; he's doing things that are not in their interests! Sad!!

2. The 'dying declaration' of Venugopalan Nair was made public by the police this evening. Why couldn't they release it last night or early in the morning, so as to:-

     (a) Stop BJP on its tracks from going through with the hartal?
     (b) Avoided the general public from going through with the consequent difficulties?
     (c) Or isn't it authentic as the BJP now says?
     (d) Was it to show the saffron party in bad light and create a 'negative impact' on the people
           as a party that called for frequent 'hartals'?

Just goes to show that none of the political parties are really bothered about the people!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The antics have begun!

Had got up on the dot and we had gone about our chores but by the time that I was ready, it was 9. It was breakfast time and half an hour later, Lekha and the maid had gone on their Thursday visit to the Guruvayur temple. Earlier, had wished Leela for her evening dance programme at Madras viz. Nadi '18.

Unni chettan, my cousin from Thalavoor, had called up to inquire about my health. damn sweet of him!

As I ruminated over things, I realised that I hadn't got any notifications from either my bank nor the credit card's bank about the cheque that Lekha had dropped in the latter's drop box on 07 Dec. Today was the last date of payment.

Luckily, Lekha had come out of the temple - she could answer the phone - doing a bit of shopping at the supermarket when I told her to return via the credit card bank to tell them about the no-show about the cheque and to take immediate corrective action. It had confirmed that the cheque was misplaced and Sheena took the corrective action so that the payment could be made before 1600 hrs! Phew!!

This is, incidentally, the second time that such a thing has happened in the same bank and I have asked the manager to carry out an investigation and let me know the reasons for the faux pas!


Tailpiece.

1. The Congress and the opposition have begun their antics in the Rajya Sabha, buoyed by their recent electoral victories. The entire opposition suddenly seems to believe that they would win the '19 general elections! The parliament is gonna see some unruly scenes in the coming days. This is to ensure that no business and passing of bills would take place in this last session of the house that could give credit to the Modi government! Sad!!

2. Have identified Sajid  to drive my car. As the first outing, we'll go to the Ex-servicemen Central Health Scheme(ECHS) tomorrow for two things viz:-

    (a) To initiate renewal of our cards and
    (b) To have Lekha referred to the Giridhar Eye Hospital.

3. If he's fine, we shall have him take us to Kochi on Sunday!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A few good things!

The day had begun on a bright not with us getting up on the dot, going through the morning chores just in time to receive Raji Yedukumar. She'd come by to look us up and to attend a wedding of a friend's daughter. We'd breakfast together before she went about getting ready for going for the wedding.

Meanwhile, my cousin had gone across to Tommy's shop at Kochi to assess the array of the grandfather clocks and we've decided to visit him all over again, by the weekend, before taking a final call.

Aayenchu(Nickname of Lini because she used to say so for 'orange', who were our neighbours at    Thiruvananthapuram, when we stayed at 'Kalpar' on the Easwara Vilasom Road had called up after a long while. It was nice to catch up with her after what has been a long while. She gave me her sister, Neenakka's number, with whom too, I'd a chat.

It was a quiet lunch, thereafter, with a photographic session and Raji, in all her finery - an Assamese dress, Mekhla Chadder - was captured in Lekha's lenses. She left soon after by about a half past 2. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A day with the election results.

Had got up at our usual time, went through our chores and were ready at our usual time. Lekha had decided to go to the Mammiyoor temple today as Raji Yedukumar was gonna be here tomorrow.

So, along with the maid, she'd left soon after 10. Meanwhile, I'd finished my work on the laptop and had positioned myself in front of the television set to listen to the election results. Chathisharh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have gone to the Congress, Mizoram to the MNF and Telangana to the TRS.

The following aspects clearly stood out:-

    (a) The massive alliances notwithstanding, the Congress has not been able to show a real
         comeback
    (b) The local Congress leadership played a big role in consolidating the victories.
    (c) Had the PM spent more time in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the BJP could have
         comfortably romped home to victories in the states.
    (d) The TDP and other parties must have realised that by aligning with the Congress, the latter
         won seats at their expense making them wonder as to whether their being anti-BJP attitude
         was hurting them.
    (e) The BJP had better realise that by renaming cities, it's not endearing itself to the people.
    (f) The BSP had done a wise thing by staying away from the alliance.
    (g)What advantage did the BJP get by having Yogi Adityanath canvas for its candidates?

In the run up to the General Elections, there's gonna be a change in alliances and it should be interesting to watch as to which party gravitates to which side in assurance of a victory.

    

Monday, December 10, 2018

Another week begins.

We'd got up a trifle late this morning and went about our chores. There was a pleasant surprise in that Group Captain Rakesh Nanda was the first one to call up to wish me many happy returns. He'd gone back to '15 when he and his wife had visited us when my Malayalam birthday had fallen on this date. Little did he know that the Malayalam calendar being based on the lunar movements, the dates change yearly. I didn't have the heart to tell him so but I shall, definitely, at a later date! But it was damn sweet of him!!

The day had gone along smoothly with nothing very great happening.

Have given my cousin all of Lekha's details so that she's able to do the booking for her with Dr. Mahesh for the OPD next Tuesday, 18 Dec. It's with this input that Lekha has to meet Dr. Padmanabha Shenoy on 07 Feb '19.

Suma kunjamma, finally, didn't fetch up as they seem to have had a late night because of the house warming ceremony.

It was a quiet evening. The Medicare sent me a fresh batch of Udiliv 150 as I'd wanted.


Tailpiece.

Lekha has decided to visit the Mammiyoor temple tomorrow as Raji, our friend, is dropping by on Wednesday for a change to attend a wedding out here.



   

Sunday, December 9, 2018

A nice movie.

Had got up a trifle late in the morning and Lekha had already gone up to the first floor and had the music system on with the 'Njaanappaana'. Had quickly lit up the lamp and gone about my chores.

Breakfast of idiappams and a nice curry was devoured within no time. Felt a bit sleepy today and therefore, had a short nap before the tender coconut water at 10!

Lunch was a short, sweet affair.

Suma kunjamma had called up to say that she'd come in tomorrow for a day to attend the court proceedings on Tuesday and Wednesday - at Thrissur - after which she'd be returning to Thiruvananthapuram. Saw the longish movie, 'Dangal' which was nice though there was a break of almost an hour when my ex-shipmate, Harish and his family had dropped by.

The movie was nice and we enjoyed it thoroughly. We'd wanted to see it in the theatre, soon after its release, but it had not worked out then.  

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Another weekend is here.

Had got up slightly later than Lekha as I'd got up an hour earlier to visit the rest room. The chores were gone through and we were on time, as usual, for breakfast. Lekha's hot, crispy dosas and a lovely chutney added to the flavour!

Lekha and Preetha had gone down to Preethi's - yet another neighbour of our's - boutique which opened today. After spending a while and promising more frequent visits in future, they'd gone to the fruit stall to pick up some fruits and were back withing an hour.

The Sabarimala stalemate seems to be continuing with no credible end in sight. Most people, especially the politicians, are narrow minded and don't have a vision. Rabble rousing on the basis of whipping up religious passions seems to be the attraction.

Rema reached Pidavoor to spend the weekend at Padmakumar's place and he'd be following her later, in the evening, after his office hours. Pidavoor amma is okay but her food intake needs to improve. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

There is plenty of dust in the air.

Got up along with Lekha's alarm and went about our chores. It was a leisurely grooming and we were in time for breakfast that consisted of a bowl of oats and half a boiled banana.

Lekha and the maid had gone to the market to get a few things done like:-

  (a) Pull out money from the bank.
  (b) Get the handles of the pressure cooker and the pans replaced.
  (c) Pay the water bill.
  (d) Drop the cheque at the ICICI bank's drop box.
  (e) Buy grocery from the super market.

They'd returned by about a half past 11. Work went on as usual. Ramesh got our new toy - a wet waste dispensing contraption @ Rs.2,2000/- - I believe, under the auspices of the Municipality! It's neat, simple to use and compact without other difficulties. Listened to his briefing about the way the mechanism works.

Lunch was simple and nice. Over the past few days, there has been a lot of dust in the air. It becomes palpable when one were to walk barefoot within the house. It's the mud kicked up by the tractor that was deployed a couple of days to plough the dry land in front of our house.


Tailpiece.

The Assembly elections are over. The exit polls give the Congress Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, the TRS Telangana and Mizoram to the MNF. The counting is on the 11th.




Thursday, December 6, 2018

My birthday as per the Malayalam Calendar!

It was my birthday as per the Malayalam calendar. Calls from relatives came pouring in right from the morning.

Lekha and Rema had got up yet again by about 0500 hrs, gone through their chores. I was given my gifts by Rema and Lekha. The both of them were off to the Mammiyoor Siva Kshetram by a half past 7. Meanwhile, I'd gone through my chores, browsed through the newspapers and they returned before 0900 hrs. It was a sumptuous breakfast.

Preetha had come by soon after and she'd brought in the birthday cake. The cake cutting ceremony was gone through with the three of them giving it a photographic coverage! Even Preetha had brought me a box of toffees - damn sweet of her.

The lunch was equally a nice affair with the traditional 'paayasam' with bananas. It was a very nice and enjoyable sequence of celebrations! Rema had left soon after and she was able to board the RTC's bus to Palakkad @ 1330 hrs!

Meanwhile, the Tata Sky had restored our SET transmissions and had called up to seek my 'all correct report'. I must have surprised him when I said that my complaint should be maintained till their higher up called me up personally, explained to me the reasons as to why this failure has taken place frequently in our case and of course, an apology for the faux pas.


Tailpiece.

Rema gave us a call around 1630 hrs to say that she'd reached Palakkad and Achu was driving her home! Her presence over the last two days was of a great help. Thank you, my dear sister!!  

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Lekha's Medical Review.

It was Lekha's medical review today. Both, she and Rema had got up earlier than normal, gone about their chores and were ready by a half past 6, when George reached our gate. They'd taken off without much ado and were at Shenoy Care at Kochi, after breakfast enroute by about a quarter past 9.

My mail ha been perused by the doctor and he did go through each of my observations. The urine test results were set aside and the field trials of Lekha's eyes will have to be conducted at the Giridhar Eye Hospital at Kochi before meeting him again on 07 Feb '19.

Meanwhile, Ramesh had come by and done his work on the grassy patch on the courtyard. He has shown me a cheap compost making system from the wet waste produced by the house. The system is compact and available @ Rs.2,200/-

Lekha and Rema were back from their outing by a half past 3. After tea, they'd a quick wash, change and were off to the Guruvayur temple for a 'darshan' of the good Lord. Returned after a 'good' darshan of the good Lord around 1900 hrs.

Then it was conversation, watching the television and dinner at our usual time of 2100 hrs. Lekha and Rema were exhausted after their day long outdoors!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Navy Day.

Got many messages from friends, well wishers and relatives on the occasion of the Navy Day. The day, thus, started off on a high note.

We'd got up earlier than usual to be ready to receive the Rajah Lab team which had come to collect the blood and related samples but when the results had reached us by about a half past 10, I was happy for Lekha's readings but mine were disappointing. The Bilirubin count was at 3.2 while the SGOT/SGPT readings were 93 and 94 respectively! The readings seem to be taking a long time to settle down to normalcy!!

Lekha, meanwhile, had got an intimation from Shenoy care to say that the doctor would be on leave on the 7th - the day of her appointment - and as to whether she'd be able to visit tomorrow, instead. Consequently, Rema's convenience was asked for and confirmed and George, the chauffeur was also intimated about the change of the itinerary! She'd replied that she'd make it tomorrow. And I sent a mail to her doctor about my not accompanying her this time because of my medical condition!!

Rema arrived by a quarter to 6 and along came Seina, Lekha's beauty 'director' on a short assignment. The rest of the evening was spent in conversation and catching up on various issues till we jointly saw the 'Top Singer' programme of the prodigies on the Flowers channel, followed by the comedy show on Asianet.

Tomorrow is gonna be a long day for Lekha and Rema! 

Monday, December 3, 2018

The beginning of yet another week.

Had got up at the usual time, gone through our chores and were ready well in time. We'd porridge for breakfast.

Kunjumon of the Amigos brought Sanoop, a lad-in-his-teens-from-Wayanad, to give me a haircut and massage. The growth was almost two month long and the long hair was beginning to get me irritated. Kunjumon, also took the opportunity to invite us for his son's wedding on the 23rd of this month.

Sanoop went about his task in a systematic manner and gave me a damn good massage towards the end. His pleasant manners endeared him to me.

My voice has slowly acquired its original tone and therefore, I was able to speak to many and I felt - and I suppose, they too - felt nice.

Tied up with the Rajah Hospital lab for the drawal of samples of blood, etc tomorrow morning at 0700 hrs. Similarly, Lekha had also tied up George and his cab for the journey to her doctor, Padmanabha Shenoy on 07 Dec, for the medical review. Rema would reach here on the 6th to accompany her.

Gireesh, the Tata Sky franchisee descended upon us in the evening and had the complaints noted officially with his higher ups. Now the ball is in their court and an early resolution would be in their interest.

Vijayan, the caretaker, was transferred the amount for the work and asked to send me shots of the damage via What'sApp - along with the photos of the finished work.   

Sunday, December 2, 2018

A real quiet Sunday!

The day began on a quiet note and the maid was gonna be absent as she was attending a wedding. Lekha and I went about our chores, as usual.

Ramesh, the gardener, did not fetch up as promised, wonder why? That job is pending.

Spoke to Ramachandrettan, Padmakumar's older brother, whose gall bladder was removed through a key hole surgery at the Sunrise Hospital at Kaakkanad, Kochi. He'll be discharged tomorrow.

Prabal, Vidya's dad and Jojy had rung up to know my progress. Spoke to all of them as my voice has got better, though it still needs to improve.

Vijayan, the caretaker, had called up to say that the built up stone embankment of the Raj Nivas, at the northern boundary had worked out loose and required mending. I've asked him to give me an estimate so that the work could be initiated at the earliest.


Tailpiece.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Kurien Joseph's revelations are shocking but he has come out squeaky clean out of the press meet that he, Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Chelameshwar had conducted and spoken against the then Chief justice of India, Mr. Dipak Misra. He says that they felt that there was outside interference and that cases were designated to select judges. The 'pressor' was Chelameshwar's idea, according to him.

In other words, a revolt at the highest echelons of the judiciary! Sad!! 

  

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Into the last month of the year.

Had got up at our usual time, gone through the chores and were ready to browse the morning paper - Ramakrishnan, the newspaper boy was on the dot. The rest of the day meandered along with work being done at a leisurely pace.

The additional copy of the Chevy's insurance papers were delivered by the courier service and I'd put it into the wallet kept in the car, for the purpose and in the process, kept the engine running for a while.

Not much headway on the grandfather clock either as my cousin is yet to visit Tomy's shop. Better not to do it in haste!

Had a sound siesta as the lunch was heavier than usual.

The Tata Sky - Sony head off continues. Gireesh, the mechanic had promised a visit but it turned out to be a false alarm.


Tailpiece.

Congress' Mullappally Ramachandran's statements on the Kerala DGP's supposedly 'out-of-the-way-help', in his capacity as an official in the NIA, to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in their cases - mind you, cleared by the top court more than once - is a pathetic pointer on his own character. The reasons are many and I'm just listing down a few of them:-

    (a) In his party, it's important to project that each of them is loyal to Rahul Gandhi always and
         every time.
    (b) So, this was his 'return gift' of having been made the leader of the KPCC!
    (c) The UPA government, while in power, knew as to how powerful an opponent would Modi
          be if he were to shift to New Delhi and so, during his 15 years as the CM of Gujarat, he was
          put through a lot of trials and tribulations!
    (d) This same case was flogged many a time to trap the duo but to no avail.
    (e) He has sounded it again to keep it alive during an election year!
    (f) And most importantly if he knew all this, "Why didn't he and his government take action, 
         then?" The bloody nincompoops!

But, then, these are the tactics of the political class and I thought that Mullappally was a different guy......but!