I swear I did not try to make the two words of the title start with the same letter. There is no way else I can describe the weekend that is panning out.
Yes, I am home (practically) alone, but it hasn’t been as restful as I had hoped it would be. Interestingly, it is 5.40 on Saturday evening, and this is the first time this week that I have had a moment to sit and sip tea.
The “busy”ness has been in my mind rather than my body.
Yesterday morning, my cousin (strictly speaking, he is an uncle, but since he is my age, I prefer to address him as cousin) called me out of the blue. This is a very shy cousin, who prefers to think twice before speaking and not speak after all. So, I knew it had to be bad news, which is perfectly justified, considering the number of senile oldies in that wing of the family.
“M passed away”, he started.
“Who is M?” I really couldn’t place an M among the oldies, and certainly not someone that my cousin would address using first name.
“M. R Chithappa’s son. From [the town’s name].”
“You mean R Chithappa died?” R Chithappa is 90 years old, and completely off his rockers. And stays with M.
“No. R Chithapa’s son, M died”.
I thought my cousin had gone mad. M is (was) a famous urologist, around 58 years old, trim, prim and very calm. And very healthy. I wondered if it was April first, but B is not the kind to pull a joke, much less about something as morbid as death.
“I know. I am shocked too. Please inform V, S and the other cousins. I need time to collect myself”. He disconnected.
Believe me when I say that the exact same conversation happened with my cousins V and S, in these cases, I being the side to break the news and they confused about whether R Chithappa died.
I was in a daze all of yesterday because it made no sense, and I could get not get any further information about the death. I think it must have been a cardiac failure. M’s wife, N, is a very good friend of mine, and I am scared to call her/write to her. What do you to say to an aunt/friend who has lost her husband untimely?
But that was not the end of it.
This morning, my very good friend calls me and says that her husband had mild heart attack. It took me a while to process that as well. Thank God it is only mild, it is disturbing nevertheless. Again a young (relatively – in the forties), and apparently healthy looking person, with apparently clogged arteries. What can I do but hope and pray that he gets alright soon, and she retains the strength in her to tide over this crisis.
If the above were mental disturbances, there were material stuff as well. My ancestral home is 70 years old, and now and then, problems sneak up and grow to fairly large proportions that need immediate attending to. There is a large loft in the attic, in which the oversized old brass and bronze utensils are stored. They are saved for antiquity value and not because they have any use anymore. There is, for example, one bronze coffee filter that is used to make coffee for fifty people in one shot. LARGE. The problem was that my father discovered pretty serious termite infestation in the loft. Since the contents of the loft are fairly valuable (not overly so, but sorta), he needed to have the oversized utensils removed before letting the termite control guys into it. So, gobblefunkist to the rescue. Climb up the rickety loft, get bitten by termites and bear down utensils that are twice her size. Then, once the termites were treated, get the termite guys out, climb up the rickety loft again, and put back the utensils twice her size.
Tomorrow life will return to usual and people will return to cohabitate with me. I wish my time-alone had been a tad more relaxed. But I wonder if that is a myth, and the relaxation is all in the head and not in the environment.