Nov 26, 2007

I only have 5 minutes

Well well well I am supposed to be jotting down 5 minutes of my random thoughts and here I go. I can here the irritating ghati man from the accounts section screaming something about contracts and I hear the word "contracts" once again I swear I am gonna chuck my big black notebook on him. I am bloody bloody thirsty and dehydrated. Yeah I over did it last night. I was 11 down when I finally went home. We had an excessively emotional drinking session. Darn both of us cried, laughed, bitched to our heart's content heheeh! Oh my god I just remembered that drive we went for on the Greater Noida toll road and the blast of the icy wind on my face and the fog. It was bloody scary. I wonder how Rad drove the car through the dense fog and yeah I think she played "Dream On" to get some life into me who was on the throes of passing out. I got up this morning and as usal I did not feel like coming for work. But then I knew I'd would feel awful later if I wasted the day so here I am and its only 2.30 PM in the afternoon. Oh call me silly but I was checking out S and his girl's picture on facebook and dude I felt sooooooooooo miserable. All it takes is a glimpse of that picture and I can feel the prick of tears in my eyes. Enough of the sentimental me. Libby is having her first chemotherapy session today. I pray it goes fine. Love yaaaa woman. S came home the other day.He wanted to spend time with Libby before she left and she was so touched. Everytime I tell her "Darn he doesn't care, " She'd be like "Please he would never bother about me if you did not mean something to him." I've been reading "Istanbul" by orhan Pahmuk and it is beautiful. A little slow maybe but I love the descriptions of the various lanes and bylanes of the city, the little pictures he paints of his childhood and growing up years and the underlying sense of melancholy that has permeated that decadent city. Okie people I am done. I just realised that 5 mintues of randomness doesn't paint a pretty picture of me heheh!I sound like some drunkie, who is the founder member of the sop brigade and who cannot stop but mention S in every post. No more.

Nov 20, 2007

Someday we are gonna get so high.......

It was a chilly Tuesday evening last week when Libby and I were lying down on her bed and talking. I'd just come back from office and instead of sitting in the living room that we usually do we were in her dark bedroom sans any lights watching the shadows play tricks on the lone glass wall. She was about to start on her new job the coming Monday and was all excited about the new profile she'd got. I don't even remember what we were giggling about, or was it her customary lecture asking me to stop being so cynical about relationships or was I whining about S again to her? It could've been any one of those when all of a sudden she said "Pia think there is a lump in my breast." I said "What? Check properly. Maybe you are just imagining." A moment's pause and she said quietly" No it feels like a stone. I am not imagining." I had to agree finally because yup it did feel like a stone and it was huge.Radhi came home and we told her and she came to the same conclusion that there was something so not right in there. Radhi and I were adamant that Abby went to the gynacoelogist the next day but stubborn as Libby is she went into complete denial saying no she does not feel like it and we should let her be for a day etc etc.

Later that night I saw Libby reading up on breast cancer on the sly while trying to appear perfectly normal. I didn't utter a word. The next day too she did not mention a doctor until finally on Thursday Radhi managed to pull her to the gynaecologist. I was on the phone with them till they entered the doctor's chamber who advised them to get Libby's mammography and ultrasound report taken as it was clear that there was a lump in her breast but then the possibilities varied ranging from fibroids to fluids and the one word we did not want to hear cancer. Before long they headed to the pathology labs and within a couple hours they had got the reports. Radhi called me up and asked me to come home soon before she left for some sangeet ceremony. Sometimes I think whole of Delhi plans to have weddings the same day as it seems everybody I know has a some sangeet or mehendi or bhajan or bachelor party and the the penultimate great Indian punjabi shaadi to attend these days. Anyways I rushed home and as I turned my key and flung the door open I saw Libby with a tear streaked face as she tried to hide all and any traces of her tears. I walked in and hugged her tight. There was nothing to say really. Radhi was making chai and she asked me to help her with the cups and saucers and it was then when she said "Pia it is malignant. The radiologist confirmed that most likely it is stage 2 plus cancer.I haven't told Libby. We need to get a biopsy test taken as soon as possibly." Both of us were silent trying to come to terms with the fact that the ever smiling mother hen cum child woman Libby is probably afflicted with cancer. That evening at home was some scene right out of a movie and for the first time in my life as I spoke to myself I said noooo I don't want our lives to be right out of some make believe flick. We cried, laughed, smiled, tried to cheer her up, in the process cheer ourselves up. Radhi's whim again as she wanted to make tomato soup and now incidentally till a few weks back the mixer and the plug point were working perfectly fine in sync with each other. But that day the plug point would not work as Radhi tried to blanche the tomatoes so she used the plug point used for my TV. Well the outcome being there was hot tomato puree all over my dressing table, my TV, my new pink suit, Radhi was drenched in tomatoe puree and Libby who had been an innocent bystander got her stole bathed in those blanched tomatoes. We couldn't stop laughing. Atleast it made Libby smile.

The next few days were spent running around and trying to fit in office, court, doctors visits, blasting from irritating bosses, pathology labs and AIIMS everything at one go. Three of us just wanted to feel different. There was an air of gloom hanging around our happy abode. Libby wouldn’t sleep all night, Rad would get breathless and have panic attacks and I would get nightmares all night of death and cancer .Three of us got up each day looking like pale shadows of the people we were. I remember one day when I came home and both of them were sleeping and the house was dark, no music, not a sound coming. I went into my room and locked the door. I needed to get my mind off all this so even though I would not have done so on a normal day I called up S and spoke to him for precisely half a minute. He was like “What happened?” I said “Nothing just wanted to say Hi.” He giggled and said “Hi”. He was still in office. But that one “Hi” was enough for me.
However Libby composed herself too and took everything so well and in such a positive manner. They confirmed that it was cancer on Saturday and this woman has been so strong and has had a smile on her face almost continuously after that. Radhi and I felt so so much better after that. She planned her entire itinerary out as she has to go to a different city closer to home for her chemotherapy sessions. She told us laughingly about how hot she’d look after she comes back in a couple of months as she’d loose any excess weight she had and to top it all she’d be bald too. We’ve been talking and talking, she has burnt a couple of hundred songs on her lap top just so that she could listen to them and think of us and happy times, fun times, drunken times and even soppy times. One time when I called her up in the day to ask what she was up to she sends me a cocky message which said “Burning songs to make myself feel happy during the much awaited honeymoon in the hospital.”
Last night we spoke, exchanged some more stories, I told her my worst fears and she asked me not to worry. I believe her. She had her last drink too, shared her last smoke with me as she got ready for taking a long sabbatical from all these vices. I believe that she’ll be fine, some tiny little voice inside me tells that she will be all hale and hearty. It isn’t going to be easy but my Japanese Princess is a woman of substance and has immense strength and she’ll get over this and someday soon I’ll see her smiling face sitting on the corner sofa in the living room with the lap top , a beer bottle on the side table, giggling to herself as she chats with her many friends. As I type this down I dread the thought of going back to that empty house. I don’t remember the time how it was when she wasn’t staying with Radhi and me. But it shall get better. Life has so much more to it and the past one week has yet again made me realise that it is more important to count our blessings and thank god for giving us the people who love us in our lives than pining for those who did not bother to or chose not to.

If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart..we'll always be with you.”

Nov 14, 2007

Ahem what a journey it could've been....

My Japanese Princess and I were supposed to go to this small town in Punjab last week as Radhi had lovingly invited us home for Diwali. Sadly on D Day as the countdown to leave had just begun Jap Princess went into one of those pensive and thoughtful moods of hers and came up with statements like “Pia I don’t know why but I get a feeling something is gonna go drastically wrong today.” Darn I am bloody scared of this woman and her intuitions cause as long as her predictions are happy and cheerful it is all hunky dory but when they sound as unfortunate as this then one cannot really help but dread what is in store for them. Besides both of us had not exactly warmed up to the idea of an overnight journey across Punjab in a bus so I was doubly worried and to top it all my darlin’ is the sort who hasn’t even been on a train all her life, let alone a local bus that would carry her right into the heartland of rural Punjab. Anyways I had to act like Miss Know It All who has been living out for the last 7 years and that too in a state like Maharashtra. I also told her how I had been used to travelling by the General Class from Pune to Bombay and not to forget the local trains there. I remember the chaotic train stations especially Dadar and how I would get carried away with the fisher women and the vegetable vendors as they jostled and made their way through to get off at Dadar. That city had some zest for life. I can almost miss it sometimes. There I go again. I am the Queen of Nostalgia. This isn’t about Bombay and I am not a naive 21 year old anymore.
Sorry for digressing and to come back to my story Jap Princess and I had finished packing when Teddy volunteered to drop us to the Bus Stop. We were more than happy to accept the offer as going all the way to the “Purani Dilli” railway station a day before Diwali can be a tiresome experience as we live half the way across the city in South Delhi. We were dreading the traffic as a day before Delhi roads had been choked what with Diwali and Dhanwantary I think the entire city was in a race against time to purchase gold and gifts. Thankfully we got out of GK2 and proceeded to Khelgaon Marg and finally hit Ring road and yeah yeah yeah it was worse than we imagined. It took us an hour and half just to cross a 5km stretch and this journey was interspersed with frantic calls to the Bus guy asking him to make the bus wait. Finally we reached the bus stop only to see the bus leave right in front of our eyes. We ran across all the muck and the mire and screamed, waved our arms wildly and voila’ they actually stopped. After a hurried good bye to Teddy, Jap Princess and I boarded the bus and what a sight greeted us. It was a sleeper bus firstly and I don’t know why but I had nursed the idea that it would be like the luxurious Bombay Pune Volvos. I couldn’t have been more wrong. There were strange men sleeping on the top berths casting sly glances at us and moreover two of our seats were occupied by 4 men and they were delighted to make room for us.
Japanese princess was half in tears as she looked at me and said “Pia I can’t travel like this.” I was so relieved that she said it first before I did cos the idea did not appeal to me anymore and the men looked really shady and there was almost something devious about the entire set up with the dim lights and faded blue interiors. The last straw was when this oily haired man sitting on one of the top berths said “Come baby why don’t ya sleep with me up here”. I snarled at him and turned around and told Jap princess “We are getting down” and so we did promptly enough. We called Teddy at the nick of the time and asked him to wait, called up Radhi and apologised profusely for not coming but travelling in that bus would have been like swimming in a sea full of sharks. Teddy was so cute and Radhi silly as she is blamed herself for getting such bad tickets for us. We lost our way as we took a cycle rickshaw to where Teddy’s car was parked and on the way some drunkard came and tried to pull Jap Princess’s bag from her and she screamed“Piaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”. The Cycle Rickshaw driver pushed him away as he fell on the road given the inebriated state he was in. It was some adventure as we finally found Teddy and sat in the car. Both of us just wanted to go homeeeeeeeee. Mum called somewhere amidst all the hullaboo and I updated her on the eventful evening we’d had and instead of the sympathies I thought I would receive Mum was livid saying how could we ever think that two of us young women would travel across Punjab at night time minus any male escorts. Ahhhh well I have learnt my lesson. We came back home gleefully and three days were spent lazing around, going to card parties, shopping at Khan Market, catching up with my reading and thanking our lucky stars that we did not go ahead with the journey which might have been perilous heheh!
Alls well that ends well :).

Nov 8, 2007

Celebrate Light Celebrate Life

Heyyylllyooooo everybody! I wish all of you a Happy Happy Diwali. Let the lights shine and show you the way forever and ever. I have made a promise to myself this time, at least I shall try to. I shall not be pessimistic. I shall not delve in the darkness and thrive in self pity as I seem to be doing so often. I shall live life to the fullest, living life as if that is all there is. I am not gonna put my spirits down, I am gonna let it soar in the sky like it wants to. I shall not believe that dreams never come true. Maybe they do. Sometimes I feel the years go by so fast, wonder how I ever made it through. So many places, so many people, some mere faces, some etched in my memory eternally, some who find their way back time and time again and some who are still trying to tip toe their way into it or was I imagining?

To all the people we love at different time
In different ways the different lives lead
The lives we flee
The lives we dream
Hope all your dreams come true
And this time some of mine too.