Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Broken and Mended

I’ve never been a believer of Vaastu Shashtra or Feng Shui, even though I’ve indulged the whims of many a client who wanted their homes spiritually correct by positioning doors, windows, beds, kitchen sinks and even commodes at really odd places which completely defied logic as well as aesthetics. I gnashed my teeth in frustration or sighed wistfully every time a perfectly designed space got massacred in the name of Vaastu! And yet somewhere along the line those ancient beliefs seeped into my conscience without me realizing it. The exact thing that I pooh-poohed sometime back started molding my life…sleeping with my head towards the north became complete no-no; I blamed my fights with the maid to the wrong positioning of the kitchen in the house; started believing that the north-south positioning of the potty is an antidote to constipation; I looked at the sunken living room in the north side of the house with new eye even though routinely someone or the other forgot to mind his/her step and fell down! And then came the big move and with it the biggest question of all…where was I going to find a Vaastu perfect house in Seattle?! I reasoned with myself saying that the ancient laws didn’t affect my life at all when I didn’t know anything about it…

So we bought the first house that I felt had the right chi, even though the bedroom was designed such that I have to sleep with my head towards the North. But the kitchen is at the south-east corner; that was a big bonus! We moved in about a month back with our mountain of stuff. (Its like trying to get into size 2 skinny-fit jeans that you thought Bipasha Basu looked really hot in when you need a size 20 relaxed-fit…a nearly impossible feat! But you have your heart set on the skinny fit jeans so you start shedding that extra load….trim yourself down to realistic size… after all you know your limitations!) Then bad things starts happening in the house quite inexplicably …I reverse my car into the garage door folding it into half (nothing happened to my car, thank heavens!); light bulbs in the bathroom go on and off according to their free will; cupboard doors in the kitchen won’t close properly; fuse blew plunging an entire floor into darkness over a weekend; electrician shows up on Monday afternoon and finds mysterious water seepage into the fuse box; calling bell and security phone goes kaput; cherry wood floor develops ugly white patches and last but not the least the radiator died in the master bedroom. Apparently all these spooky incidents have explanation… OUR REAL ESTATE AGENT SCREWED UP!!! She did the final walkthrough of the house on our behalf while we were packing up in Hyderabad and she did a very shoddy job! Of course she’s got excuses up the wazoo…grandmother passed away, dad was diagnosed with cancer…oh boohoo!! Fortunately the builder is being really patient with all the phone calls and nagging from our end and trying to fix everything albeit on their own time.

In the mean time I finally got my knee fixed. After putting it off for more than a year, I finally bit the bullet and went in for surgery last week. My orthopedic surgeon turned out to be a man of few words. On our first meeting he breezed into the consultation room about forty minutes late, took one quick look at my year old MRI, twisted my already hurting knee real hard and gave me a pink slip…instruction to get appointment for surgery. All this happened in less than 5 minutes and during that time he said less than 5 sentences to me. The next time I met him was on the day of the surgery. Again he waltzes in about an hour late, signs his initials on my left knee and leaves me wondering if I’m doing the right thing. Thankfully my anesthetist was a cheerful soul and quite chatty too; he wagered a latte if I could count past five after he drugs me. Needless to say I lost the bet! An hour later I was rudely awakened in the recovery room. This time doc gave me a cheerful smile and said “Everything’s done!” and vanished. I turn towards the nurse, who smiles indulgently and said “He’s funny!” Weird is more like it if you ask me! Hopefully he has explained to spouse what he did, because all I can see is three incisions and a knee that’s the size of a giant watermelon! But the good part is that I’ve been given a generous supply of party drugs which I’m taking rather indiscriminately and in general having a good time. It’d be even better if I could add some champagne to the cocktail! But the good mommy syndrome is stopping me…don’t want sonny boy to grow up with the stigma that his mommy went to God’s house because she OD’ed on pain killer and alcohol after a stupid knee arthroscopy!

So I’m pretty much stuck at home sitting on my butt all day unable to stand or walk without doubling up in pain. Makes me wonder if suffering through a locked knee once in a while was better than this ordeal? It’s supposed to get better I know, but after hobbling around for five days, I’m losing patience! I’ve watched so much TV that if I weren’t on serious pain medication, I’d die of a splitting headache. On the upside I managed to watch some movies that I’ve been dying to see…Water, Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi, Khamosh Paani, Anahaat, Chameli and unfortunately The Mistress of Spice. I guess I’m the last person to watch them, but I’m glad I did. I heard Water is Canada’s official entry to the Oscars…if there’s one movie that deserves to go to the Oscars, this is it!

Things are broken, things are mended…beliefs change…old habits give way to new…you pick up the pieces and move on! And I wait for the discomfort to abate so that I can start a new beginning!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Home Again

My stuff has finally arrived …yippppeee! Of course, now I’m buried under the collective weight of 197 boxes…but at least I’m finally re-united with my things!

We had a hell of a time unpacking those 197 boxes…the skinny old men sent by the packers in Hyderabad took 3 days to painstakingly wrap each shot-glass in five layers of paper (I have a LOT of them…like I have a LOT of everything…so I’m a pack rat, sue me!) The guys unpacking this side were completely pissed off by the meticulous packaging and kept cribbing how its costing them time and such waste of paper, blah blah blah…and I suspect that in their hurry they’ve thrown away some of the stuff without even opening the parcels…talk about bad attitude!

Their cribbing finally got to me and I told their leader (who was complaining the loudest) to look at things in perspective…last time thanks to the shoddy job the US packers did , half of my furniture were destroyed and the company had to pay me five grand in compensation. This time, apart from the missing stuff, only a terracotta pot and a slice of the crown molding of an antique armoire have broken. That shut him up pretty quick, but they did leave without unpacking a whole lot of boxes. I don’t mind really…their lackadaisical attitude was irritating me to no end and I want them out ASAP. So now spouse and I are doing what those over-paid idiots should have done!! As a result there’s stuff on every flat surface in the house…one can barely differentiate between the Toss, Sell or Donate pile…there’s a mountain of debris in the garage…the city won’t collect our garbage because we’re way beyond limit! It’s a wonderful life :-)

I’m quite ashamed of the blatant amassment of things that I’ve indulged in…there’s just too much of everything! So from now on I’m going to turn over into a new leaf and simplify my life…de-clutter and organize! The funny part is I never realized how large this collection of “stuff” had become, simply because I’ve always lived in big houses and everything somehow always managed to disappear in various closets out of my sight. Now that I’ve taken a conscious decision to downsize I realize its easier said than done! Parting with things is hard…like I couldn’t bid adieu to spouse’s collection of National Geographic magazines dating from 1954 to 2003 even though either of us couldn’t remember the last time he read an issue!

In spite of the chaos there’s a sense of calm…there’s something peaceful about being able to sleep on my own bed, use my own towels and eat off my own dishes even if its just two minute noodles! Every thing will find its place and what doesn’t will either go to Craigslist or Ebay. But at least I am home...finally!