Healing

It has been a while . Am not sure where to start or how to begin , am not even sure why I am here after so many months . It’s probably the memories of my first blog and how the need to run away began there .
It’s been eight odd years and it’s still the same . Cowardice or just lack of energy , whatever one calls it , I take the flight mode for preservation. Sometimes it works , sometimes it doesn’t .
I began blogging to chronicle my travels across India , then shut the blog on a whim and restarted with this one . It didn’t go as planned , but here I am .
With a lot of my confidence shaken and my head and heart being in a muddle of sorts , I think this space could help me with getting back to what I once enjoyed .
Being diagnosed with anxiety and being put on medication has changed so much of my life . I don’t know if I can find it within me to post often and to post again but there isn’t much to lose if I give it a shot .

For those who do read this , thank you and I hope the pandemic situation hasn’t been too tough on you and that you are coping well enough .

You

In lyrics of songs

In verses of poetry

Painted on canvas

In floating clouds

In my silence

And my cries aloud

In dancing flowers

And sunlit skies

In my tears

And in my veins

In elation and ecstasy

In the doomed hours of pain

In a hundred thoughts

In a thousand heartbeats

There’s you .

Anxiety and panic attacks have been my companions in the last 5 months . Some days they make their presence felt more than others.

Therapy , medication and some support have all been helpful , but healing is not linear . There are slips and I have come to accept those .

I have tried my best to be open to people about but my condition , both at work and within the family . I do not know how many truly understand but some try .

There are responses like ‘ get over it’ , ‘ you are too emotional’ , ‘ don’t over think’ and the likes . More injunctions than empathy , but they probably don’t know what to say .

Hospital stays , weekly therapy and the physical illnesses that have complicated everything are exhausting but nothing is more hurtful than people looking through me as if I were cellophane .

There’s so much to write but so little strength . The blog has helped in the past , but this time I just felt like writing so I can get what seems like a suffocating load off my chest .

This is not a cry for help , attention or anything of that sort .

 

 

Scared

There are no bandages or wounds

just heart beats that rattle my core

the pace of which I wish I could unwind .

I beg walls not to cave in on me

and pray stairs aren’t made of sand

My head is light , my steps heavy

I walk as invisibly as I can .

Every thing looks like it’s in place

despite the multiple explosions

that threaten to rip me apart.

No scar or even scratch to show

but the abrasion hides deep below.

Every cell screams, “ you’re not okay”

drowning the voices that plead me to stay

I almost sink , gasp  and rise

wanting to float , too scared to drown ,

hoping some day I will come round .

 

 

 

Unavailable

When the world turns its back on you , you turn your back on the world .

– Timon ( The Lion King )

Done with reaching out , expecting others to understand and hoping for some gratitude .   Busy , unavailable and I can’ t go down that road again – will keep these in mind.  I do hope though , that even when I choose not to be there or reach out or care, someone somewhere will make the time and be kind to each of you .

 

 

 

The classroom

It was a classroom with a difference . Monitors of a different kind and beeping machines instead of the familiar school bell . There were tests and reports   and one wished the results were negative . There was a uniform too , a number assigned , but no friends to share lunch with . No text books , no board , no notes , but the greatest lessons learnt .The ICU is a classroom like no other .

Khasi thali : soul food and heartfelt conversations

‘ Jadoh’ is a staple among the Khasis . Ja means rice and doh means meat . Pork is served almost every where in Meghalaya , which is not so in most parts of India . Reading about Jadoh online wasn’t very appealing , ‘ pork spares’ and ‘pork blood’ are enough to make the most iconic dish of the Khasis sound repulsive , but the truth is far from it . I must admit , being a Goan , the concept of pork blood in cooking  is not alien ( read sorpotel ! ) and so I had decided I was going to give it a go .

Wanting to experience an authentic Khasi thali , we zeroed in on ‘ Trattoria’ , a hole in the wall ( really ! ) in the extremely crowded police bazaar . With no menu , dim lighting , narrow benches and bus style sitting , we weren’t sure what to expect , when out came the owner / chef , high on energy at the end of a long day and asked what we’d like . Three thalis were brought out rather quickly and she explained what each dish was . It was a pork party on a plate ! Jadoh , pork meat ball ( doh shain ) , pork curry , pork salad ( doh khleh ) , tungrymbai ( fermented soyabean paste ) , tung pat ( dry fish chutney ) spicy and some potato veg. The pork dish in the side was fatty but yum ! Not a morsel wasted ! 39BEC57E-7F4C-485D-99E2-B751712091EC

Soul food and a heartfelt  conversation with the owner, what a meal ! C138921B-019C-44A6-8AED-979710D9AF88

With the gregarious and super enthusiastic owner 🙂 This is what a  ‘happy meal’ really is .

Shnongpdeng : A river and suspension bridge

Surrounded by the Jaintia hills in Meghalaya , Shnongpdeng is a beautiful place to experience the crystal clear waters of Umngot river. While most travellers zero in on Dawki to take a dip or enjoy a boat ride  , Shnongpdeng remains fairly quiet and peaceful. We were the only ones there that morning , and later joined by a family of three.

DSC_0137.JPG

The best time to experience the river in all its blue glimmering glory is winter and since it had already begun raining when we were travelling through the hills , the water in Dawki was brown and muddy and a stark contrast to what one mostly sees in pictures.

DSC_0142.JPG
Taken form the suspension bridge

Shonongpdeng had some part of the river clear as the mud settled and it had another advantage over Dawki , which is the suspension bridge that is stunning and a swaying walk over it gives one a bird’s eye view of the majestic river.

DSC_0135.JPG

The picture above – muddy waters after a downpour two nights before we were here and the clear water as the mud had begun to settle . Also ,the suspension bridge which is a thrill to walk on .

DSC_0145.JPG

dsc_0138.jpg

Taking a dip in the icy cold water ,watching the locals fish and admiring colourful boats are rewarding !

The river resonated with my state of mind , muddy in part and beginning to clear and the walk over the bridge spoke to me too , build a bridge and move on . I got more than I expected from Umngot and Shnongpdeng . The most unexpected places have the greatest lessons sometimes 🙂

Khublein (Thank you) Meghalaya .

Meghalaya : The little things I learnt

During my stay in Meghalaya , I realized that desserts are not an integral part of Khasi meals. In fact , during one of my conversations with Mona Rose , the daughter of our host in Mawlynnong , she mentioned they eat a lot of fruits that are grown locally instead of dessert . Pine apples and jack fruits being very common. On the last night in the village , Mona Rose came to our hut excitedly with a plate of jack fruit. They grow these in their garden.

DSC_0013.JPG
Jack fruits in Mawlynnong

I also tried a handful of the seedy fruit locally called ‘Sohphie’  . They come in to varieties the red sweet ones and the green sour ones . The red ones were nice, but the sour ones were extreme . I couldn’t have beyond a bite. The latter are used to make pickles and are enjoyed by the locals .

IMG_7073.JPG
Picture taken in Shillong

Every lane in Mawlynnong has pretty flowers and homes have neat colourful hedges that add to the beauty of this already charming place. Travellers are requested not to pluck any of these , but I saw quite a few showing complete disregard .

DSC_0038.JPG
Bright on a rainy day

dsc_0011.jpg

DSC_0907DSC_0911

We also received a lovely piece of art made by Mona with some hydrangea from her garden.

img_7513.jpg

So this was a little about the healthy snacking of the Khasis and their love for all things natural . It shows ! They are lean and fit and beautiful . It comes as no surprise that when my husband tried buying a tee shirt for himself ,we figured they don’t keep them in his size. The largest they had were large, and their large still looked small to me !

So much to learn from them , so much !