For two months on end, I have been away and completely neglected you. I did not mean to. I had to fly continents away for a grave reason. In the face of illnesses, you have to do what your heart wants – give support – especially when it concerns someone who means the world to you. I wear my heart on my sleeve and that is why I was away.
While I did miss coming back to you to share my thoughts or give you a peep into my moods and memories or even reflect on life in general, I did something. I wrote a big diary on what went on those two months which I will translate on to you. You see, technology and the internet in India still comes in between our friendship, which is why I resorted to the old school of writing, taking a pen and paper. I discovered a new joy. I bought a lovely hand-made paper diary, its pages as smooth and soft as silk and writing on those pages was often accompanied by a twinge of guilt, as if one was abusing a virgin. Hmmm… I am reading Fifty Shades of Grey and this 'Barbie doll eroticism' kind of a book has given me a lowering realisation that I still love my Mills & Boons. And my expressions might carry shades of all those.
The two months passed pretty quickly. It was all action every day at the hospital in Delhi. I don’t see much point in talking about the illness and the depression that hung over us – my family and some close friends who were there for always – but what I did was develop a positive attitude that things were going to be OK at the end of the long ordeal. It helped. I also discovered the joy of reciting some mantras that calm the mind. I am not spiritual or religious but I now have leanings for some great people such as Tibetan nun Ani Choying Drolma and Pandit Jasraj and their recitals. They just give me a form of inner peace. Having dealt with two serious illnesses affecting two very close people in my lives, I have found a way to deal with the trauma.
Back in Melbourne, I am trying to pick up the strands of my writing and my work. Everything had taken a back seat. It also feels so good to be back home, my real home now. For a while home was such a loose definition to me. There was I, longing to be in the company of my family and friends whose depths of love I had unbounded to live in a new country and here was I also struggling to make my new surrounds a home. I had the love but not the place. Three years later, all that has changed. Just now, I am snuggled in my cosy seat, looking out at the small kitchen garden - at the chilly plants, the tomatoes and herbs and finding pure bliss at the way they are inching up. Soon it will be mulling spices. What’s more it also speaks of the love the planter has for me, growing chillies in my absence because he knows I can’t do without the ‘burnies’ as he calls them.
I can also see the trees and the clear blue sky.