Monday, June 21, 2010

Trekking - A Trekkie Comes of Age

In my 54th year, in the year of the tiger, (2010) a madness has come upon me. There is no way else to explain this. I want to climb hills, mountains. Go trekking. Into the wilds. Yeah, where the bugs, snakes and tigers roam. Maybe i should do what other 54-year olds do. Become a fat cat. After going up Gunung Datuk, i have found that i am indeed a fat cat. Gunung Datuk took the "hisab" out of me. After reaching the base camp, all i could do was put one foot in front of the other and walk towards the restaurant. Some time later, Sivan pointed out that i looked exhausted and that i was slurring in my speech.

So why do i do it? Actually, i wanted to trek all my life and to introduce it to my children. But there were too many "buts" and this dream assumed a low priority in my list. After my trip to Perth, i decided to dust off the cobwebs from my dream and breathe some new life into it. I was really impressed by the way the mat-sallehs exercise and adopt a healthy lifestyle, from the joggers to the backpackers.

So now i have hooked up with Sivan, who is an experienced trekker. And got the children introduced to trekking. Let's see how this plays out.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Open Heart

This surgery was a defining moment in my life. I will rank it with defining moments like my marriage etc. The surgery has forced me to re-evaluate my life from both a physical and emotional dimension.

The surgery itself has minimal risks -- the success rate is something like 97%. That's very good odds. But let me tell you, if it's your chest they are going to open up, if its your heart they are going to stop so that they can work on your heart, that 3% looms really large on your horizon. So on the advice of my brother i made a will. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. The op went well and i have come out better than most. Sure there are the aches and pains which i feel but if i can have about another 10 quality years, then i can count myself fortunate.

What do i remember about the op & the hospital stay? the guy who showed his scars on his leg the first day i was there (it looked like he got bitten by a shark), The nurses --they are so young. And they seem so competent. The blood transfusion they gave on the second night of the operation -- the first thought that ran in my mind "shit, i am screwed. The stitches have given way and i am bleeding internally" Having to take a crap in bed -- they don't allow you to walk to the toilet. And then the young nurses clean your ass (oh, the ignominy of it, of being treated like a helpless baby), the dreams that i had of devils and demons after the op -- i will then awake and be reassured to see Nabilah beside me in the cot. It is now close to 9 months after the op and i still dont have any sensation in my left pectorals. Heart is beating fine but sleep seems to be erratic. The date of the op: 29 August 2009. The doctor who led the team was Dr. Venugopal Balchand.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Footprints in the Sands of Time

My friend and i talked about our children. What he said was said well. Let me quote him. "So, it s not how many "A's" we get or what we want for our kids, but developing their personality so that they find their own oceans to swim in and leave everlasting footprints in shores of their choosing; hopefully they will make their mark and it will be everlasting! "

Yes, I think it is well said. My father came to these shores leaving his native India. He had his oceans to swim. And he swam here. Sometimes, i think, did i make that ocean into a pond, seeking safety and security instead of pushing the boundaries that bind us.