Wednesday, July 21, 2010


My father-in-law's first death anniversary was on May 1. Since then there was a continuous stream of deaths and death-related ceremonies that hopeully ended last week. First Pinujethu's prolonged illness and eventually passing away. Kajolmami's father's passing. Then P mashi and mesho's batshoriks. Shejomamidida's shraddha and niyam bhanga last week. Other deaths in the extended family and friend circles. Thankfully, all the people in question had been seriously ill, largely suffering from incurable cancer, so one is relieved that they got out of it rather than otherwise, but it never fails to surprise me how these things come in streaks.

Rahul is finally starting to speak in English a little or at least is less stubborn about refusing to speak it. It probably has something to do with me speaking to him in English now. I made it a point to speak to him in Bangla for the first couple of years so now I need to remember to use English in my dealings with him, but I do and he's responding. He is also picking up many Bangal pronunciations from Vicky which tend to jar me but I suppose that's what you get when you give birth to Undivided Bengal, as I have been known to refer to him.

It's been a busy time at the agency. Also, when Rahul was away for all of June I got into the habit of staying for longer hours at the office and it is now a bit of an effort to wind up my work in time.

Last Wednesday Vicky succumbed to a nasty attack of flu that started with a badly upset tummy. Rahul started his version the next day. I started mine on Monday. I'm feeling quite sorry for myself. Rahul started antibiotics last night though, so things should look up soon. Also, Vicky's doing much better now, touchwood.

On the other hand, my parents reach Cal tomorrow. My dad retired and this time, they are coming here for good. This weekend promises to be hard work. Moore Avenue, where they will live, is an unmitigated mess, with cartons half unpacked all over the place, cupboards overflowing with decades of 'treasures' and I have rashly promised my mother that I will help her sort it out. I went over on Saturday to see the state of things and discovered old letters and cards and schoolbooks, projects and records from high school. I need to dispose of much of that before Vicky sees them because there is enough in there to keep him laughing at me for the rest of my life.

On a related note, I cannot get over what a cheeky young kid I was. When I think back I recall a sober and sedate young lady, very conscientious and, well, sober and sedate. The letters, from friends I made in different cities as we moved with my father, tell a different story and are such fun to read. I even discovered a book of rules for a club we once formed when I was 10 or so. Ridiculous stuff. A card I got for my mother when she had her hysterectomy and was away in the hospital. I missed her very badly so Mejopishi took me to the shops and we got her a card and flowers to welcome her home. It's funny how the card brings it back so vividly. Birthday cards and letters from Shejomama who always remembered to send one in time every year.

Tonight promises to be fun. A bunch of us friends are going out for dinner, if all goes well. Tomorrow my parents will stop at Lake Gardens on their way home from Howrah for lunch so I need to make sure there's enough food and clean bathrooms and so on.


dipali said...

Busy busy days past and days to come. Get well soon, and have fun!

Gayatri said...

- Days with so much in it...phew
- hope ur feeling better now
- yeah the real cards are so touchy and personal...with e cards and e mails I wonder if anybody will ever have the 'finding old cards' day anymore....sad na

Penguin said...

Yayy! It's always awesome to have parents living in the same city, no?

Neethi said...

I have never commented before so I hope my question does not rub you the wrong way. I just want to know why you would want your son to speak to you in English. From your previous posts, you live in Kolkata and are not planning to go to a native English speaking country any time soon where it might be necessary to practice a bit more than when in India. I have nothing against kids speaking in English. But why speak English at home when they would obviously learn it at school anyway. This comment is not to dissuade your effort but to get an insight into what your rationale behind this move is.

Rachna said...

tagged you here:

S said...

sober and sedate young lady? what deluded lives we lead :-)

Sue said...

Dipali -- Focussing on the having fun. The getting well is in the lap of the gods!

Gayatri -- Yes, it's sad how we can't save e-cards. Old emails are fun to go through.

Penguin -- Yes! Ma called me from the train 20 min ago telling me she'd babysit tomorrow evening and maybe keep him till Saturday, if he is better!

Neethi -- I'm not offended at all. The boy follows English but is hesitant to speak it, so I've been trying to get him to overcome his shyness. He expresses himself extremely well in Bengali and I feel that it's time for him to broaden his horizon.

Rachna -- What fun! Thanks

S -- :P

Anonymous said...

haha! the fun of being young. i remember a club that we had too. we even made cardboard badges and went for a picnic. a horde of bees may have been the reason we never had any club activities after that!

Anonymous said...

On my birthday when we were in 7th standard, you cut an eraser in the shape of a butterfly (with the help of a little hand blade few people in ur class had to sharpen their pencils) and presented it to me. So creative of you, I had it with me in my eraser collection until my engineering final year. I lost a track of it after I moved to the US. I hope it's in my granny's village in our cupboard.

It's wonderful to have parents in the same town. Have fun.

Sue said...

Ughsome -- A picnic? How enterprising. We had meetings until we got bored and fought. After we made up we decided to dispense with the club.

Himabindu -- VI, that would've been. I'm touched you like it so much. Really. :)

Mama - Mia said...

parents moving to town! what fun! and everytime you try to clear old stuff, it takes the longest 'coz you get from one memory to another and from one story to another! its just too much fun, innit?! :)

and i hear you about the whole English busines. done the same chez nous for Cub. first almost 3 years was pretty much exclusively hindi so he isnt one of those kids who speak his mother/father tongue with a weird accent or worse doesnt speak it at all!

now he is prettty good at it and i started work on his English. and he picks up lot of local kannada accent which jars and annoys me a lot more than i thought! hehe!

hope you all are doing back on your feet!


Sue said...

Abha -- Mine speaks English with an atrocious Bong accent. Coupled with his lisp, the results are quite something.