Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Moving back to India? Preventative Health Measures...

It looks like my typhoid fever is back again after  a couple weeks' break. How I wish I had taken some preventative measures before leaving the US! I never even so much as thought about it.
Much as we would like to think ourselves Indian and the matter of moving back as simply getting up and getting back home, it is not so. Whether we like it or not, long term stay in a country like the US changes us physically as well. 
This is not to say that everybody who moves back will be prone to illnesses the way I have been. However, if I had but given it a though I would have realized some of this before I moved. The only problem I had while growing up in India was health issues. I would very often have little niggling problems ranging from respiratory infections to allergies and sinus inflammation. The healthiest I have ever been was in the US. So, having gotten my body used to the environment there, I should have been a tad more thoughtful before hurling myself onto the relatively harsher environment here.
What would I have done differently?
1. Considered vaccination and immunizations options before moving.
2. Moved during the Winter months.
3 Being very careful and taking my first year as easy as possible - stayed put in one place as much as I could instead of running around and travelling like the world would come to an end tomorrow - Tried my darnedest not to use public restrooms - Avoided eating out as opposed to frequently eating out ( You would think that that would be a no-brainer except it is kinda hard when you step out of home in the evenings and come smack upon deliciously spicy aromas all around you from street food vendors to cafes and restaurants !!SO, GUARD AGAINST TEMPTATION!) In my defense, Food addiction seems to be a major issue in this city and just happens to be another one of those contagious diseases that you can easily catch upon moving here. put it in a nutshell placed myself under voluntary house arrest for at least a year.
Why do I keep saying "a year"? Apparently, the human body needs to experience one complete cycle of seasons to thoroughly acclimatize itself to new environments. 
The key is to be extremely careful and guarded when it comes to issues of health and personal property when you move back to India. The casual, carefree attitude fostered in you by the relatively comfortable lifestyle in fully developed nations is best left behind when you move back home.

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Talent is a species of Vigor"

I came across this line somewhere along my always intense reading journeys. This made me ponder about the talent required to readjust as a repatriate in home country. I am beginning to think that the key is to rigorously  or VIGORously persist as that is the only way out of this conundrum of feeling alien but you are not an alien, you want to belong but you secretly long to fly back to your previous life, you love being back home but hate everything about it, you are supposed to be the host here but feel like an unwelcome guest...etc etc.

In other words, like everything else in life this too requires some hard work, persistence and also talent to recreate yourself to meet the needs of your familiarly unfamiliar environment and feel at home again.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The dreaded heat has begun...

The temperature's steadily climbing up and my body's steadily revolting against it...feeling burned inside and out...wonder how to survive the summer....

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hanging upside down with a bad haircut!

Ever heard of a little guy called Trishanku? If not, you can read up on him here -

The longer I live in India this time round, the better I appreciate the poor fellow's condition. I am not drawing an exact parallel here, for instance, I don't presume to choreograph any metaphorical dances with the concept of heaven and earth etc. I mean to draw just one definite line of connection between Trishanku's state of being, hanging upside down in a world created due to his desires and my state of being in the land of my birth.

There are days when I FEEL as alien as if I am walking around on my head. Then there are days when I feel I LOOK alien with my short crop because women in this part of the country have such lustrously luscious long hair that when I go out I spend most of my time shamelessly ogling female heads...which reminds me...keeping my hair short here is such a trial because hair stylists are so inexperienced when it comes to short hair cuts.

The first guy I went to did a fairly good job of cutting my hair except in the course of the conversation when he finds out I just moved back from the US goes..."Oh, my short hair techniques are American" and I am impressed and relieved when he goes on to say "Yes! I learn from YOU TUBE and CDs"....whew! Do you mind if I snatch my head away from you boy???!! However, I was happy enough to want to go back to him except that the next few times I went/called to get an appointment with that guy I began to get the run around which in the end made me fear I might be mistaken for a cougar (he's a very young guy you see!) so I had to give up and find someone else...and someone else again...and nothing's worked out so far...they do a fantastic job of coloring but short cuts are another story then I proceeded to give my dear husband a heart attack by announcing that he needs to start funding my periodic trips to Paris for fashionista purposes...thereby also rounding up my identity as an alien Desi! (To clarify, by history, heritage, nature culture etc etc we Indians are happier saving our money rather than spending it...just like it's said in the new Maruthi Ad!)

So now, what with a crazy hair cut that's growing out into it's "in between" stage, typhoid induced weight gain because when I am not eating, I am sleeping and my general air of bewilderment at finding myself in a little alien world of my own creation where I am happily empathizing with Trishanku, I truly well am hanging upside down and boy is it enervating!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

When Typhoid comes, can Malaria be far behind? And the lucky thief...

It has been a while since I wrote anything here or anywhere else. Moved back to India in May 2010 and life was a whirlwind of activities - settling down stuff, family issues, travelling frequently - come Feb 2011, I heaved a sigh of relief as we had nothing significant to focus on and I determined to put an end to aimless travelling and refocus on my LIFE. I planned on finally staying put in Ahmedabad and looking into my career needs and options as well as finish up something else that I had committed myself to months ago in the writing field.
Well, so much for my plans! I spent the first two weeks feeling progressively ill, then it looked like I had come down with viral fever but it finally turned out to be typhoid fever. Spent a few days in the hospital getting, I know not how many bottles of IV fluids and antibiotics and came home with more medications and extreme weakness. Now I am focussed on "regaining my strength" and "trying not to eat anything that might overwork my weakened digestive system"...apparently it will take some few weeks to get back to normal again...groannnnnnnnn! BTW, this is by no means the first time I have fallen ill since I moved back to India, this is the second time I was hospitalized and I have lost count of the number of times, I have been ill at home...whew! 
As if this were not enough, one day I had DH take me to a book exhibition as I was beginning to get cabin fever staying cooped up at home. Now, when I am around books I forget everything else including my existence and some lucky thief made away with my wallet which had everything from cash to cards and ID cards etc!! 
SO anyways....I am beginning to think I need to consult an astrologer and see if my stars have all aligned themselves in a way peculiarly inimical to my existence!
And Oh! When Typhoid comes, can Malaria be far behind? Hmmm...maybe I should spend the next few months vaccinating myself with every known vaccine to man...along with consulting the astrologer of course!!