Monday, March 12, 2012

Konkan adventures

Have you ever exposed a bone? If you have you'll know what I'm talking about. Bones are REALLY white! And not just a white sort of white but an almost translucent white. Freaky.
You may wonder how I came across this intriguing bit of trivia. It was during what was meant to be a relaxing train ride to Goa. I love taking the Mandovi Express to Goa, its a day train and when you have one of the side seats, you get a window all to yourself. So anyway, I got the train, settled into my seat and since it was at an ungodly hour in the morning, decided on a quick snooze. Woke up a few hours later and the guy on the upper berth wanted to sit and enjoy the window so we folded back the seat. He was in the extra large category so I had to fold my seat back as well because his knees kept bumping against it. That rotten turd of a fellow however failed to latch his seat back properly. Thus when said turd in human form got off way before Goa at around 12:30 there was no flabby bulk anchoring the seat in place. The train began to move forward slowly and as soon as it picked up speed the damn seat back crashed down on my leg.
It hurt but like all sudden injuries my nerves took a little time to process the full extent of the damage. My jeans were undamaged so I thought, "Phew, nothing major." Then I pulled up the leg of my jeans to check, fully expecting to see a colourful bruise starting. Imagine my shock when instead of a bruise, I see a good sized flap of skin scrunched down and a section of white showing with a little blood seeping around the edges.
I remeber my brain just coming to a halt right then. Immediately after that the strangest series of thoughts followed. This was the sequence;
1) Looks like a potato peel
2) Ugh this is going to hurt
3) Huh, would have thought there'd be more blood. Well good thing it isn't streaming down.
4) I'm going to need to clean this
5) This is going to hurt
6) What's that white stuff.... OH SHIT!!!! Is that my shin bone?
7) Don't faint, don't cry and for God's sake, DON'T PUKE!

Concentrating on not puking helped. With the extent of the injury having been fully processed, the pain hit full force. I took a few deep breaths, found one of the railway employees and asked him for a first aid kit. Note to all rail travellers: Konkan Railways has exactly one first aid kit that is kept in the pantry car (5 bogies away from the second A/C car that I was in), there is no doctor and the first aid kit only has Savlon, some not very clean cotton, some gauze and an assortment of tablets that didn't interest me at the time. The first aid kit is also very well guarded. I was not allowed access to it until I had conclusively proved that I was in dire need of it. That involved displaying my now oozing potato peel wound to about 8 different but very curious Konkan Railway employees all of whom needed to be involved in the process of unlocking the cabinet that the first aid kit was in.

So now I was allowed to sit in a small little three seat cabin of sorts in the pantry car with the senior most admin types on the train. Cleaned the wound with the cotton and Savlon available and looked around for some antiseptic and found that there was none. Still focussing on not puking, I must have looked rather helpless because one of the dudes sitting there asked me if I would like to use an ayurvedic antiseptic. Turns out he meant turmeric. Not the natural one, the powedered one that's used for cooking. By that time a good sized crowd of curious cooks and cleaners had gathered around checking out my leg and the cleaning. As soon as i agreed to the turmeric, one of the cooks materialised with the required turmeric and began smearing it on my already throbbing leg. The head honcho at my side then tells him "Theek say dabao!" and I was like, "Dabaya, dabaya! Usne kaafi dabaya aur mein to kaafi daard mein hoo! Baas ho gaya!" Bastards laughed at that! Like it was so funny. Sheesh.

No painkillers available so I trudged back to my seat, still focused on not puking. Called mum and hubby and told them about it. While they were appropriately concerned initially that didn't last very long. I tell you solemnly, with family like this who needs enemies? And that horrible creature that I married decided to terrify me even further by insisting that I would need stitches in addition to a tetanus shot. Dirty rotter. So anyway after much effort and even more pain I managed to rest my leg in a way that would ease my pain. By the way, small footnote here. The 4 people in the bunks next to me had kept their curtains tightly closed and didn't once come out to help even though they knew I was injured. How do I know that they knew? I asked them to take care of my handbag while I went to the loo and that's when they asked if I was alright now. Tell you solemnly... some people are just turds. There was one girl that I had struck up a conversation with when we were waiting for the train in Mumbai, as soon as she found out that I had been injured, she immediately came over to help, checked on me regularly and even helped me with my bags while getting off the train in Goa. See there always are some nice people among all those turds around.

So anyway reached Goa 5 hours later, mum was waiting with the car and we drove to a hospital in Panjim for some proper first aid. There were no stitches, there was a tetanus shot (that a week later still hurt) and there was a period best left forgotten when the dressing that had by then adhered to the potato peel. Ugh. It was a horrible week. A day after the new dressing was put on, I managed to sprain my neck and basically suffered for a while. But all in all the holiday was an excercise in the whole Balance of Life Theory.

Eitherway, I am SURE that my once white shin bone now has a spot of yellow turmeric on it... When archaeologists find my remains centuries from now, that yellow is going to flummox them like you wouldn't believe! Heehee....

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cry Havoc and unleash the Dogs of War!!!

I am so done conforming! From now on my life shall be lived on my own terms. As the saying goes, I started close to home... or more accurately, at home! I love my husband but the man does occasionally tap dance on my very last nerve, if you know what I mean. He's a fabulous person, but... he is a hoarder. He has carted around the same restaurant receipts, bank statements and telephone bills to three different houses! That's junk that hasn't been chucked out for more than 5 years!!! I mean I remember the days when I could pack my entire life into 2 bags and shift enmasse. Our last shift needed 2 freaking TRUCKS!!!!!!! Granted we had furniture, but STILL?!? TWO TRUCKS???? When did we get so much junk? When did we have the time? GAAAAAAAHHHH !!!!!!

So after months of nagging had barely any effect whatsoever, I decided it was time to cry havoc and unleash the dogs of war! Translation, I went on a de-junking spree. A spree of a magnitude so deadly and so terrifying that my loving husband turned into a protective tigress when his National Geographic and Lonely Planet magazines were threatened. As a sacrifice to the fire breathing bull dozer that I had become, he gave up his TravelPlus magazine collection. A solid one foot high pile. It pleased me.... for the time being.

5 days and about 20 bags later I have discovered 5 travel bags that I had no idea existed, rediscovered 2 backpacks, have a clear desk, can get to my printer without first excavating it from beneath tonnes of junk and have a remarkable amount of space that I can now work in. the Kim is pleased. The dogs of war have been leashed and all is right with the world again.

I now plan to apply the same tactic to everything else I do. No more junk, no more baggage. If something is of no use, out it goes. That includes people who piss me off. From now on it's my opinion that matters (and that of my better half - as long as it doesn't include collecting more junk).

On the job front, I plan a drastic career shift. I've been talking to senior folk across the spectrum and I now have a plan. I shall be ruthless in the pursuit of my goals. Hell if I could study for my GMAT, apply to colleges all on my own and clear out 5 years of accumulated junk, I think I am justified in saying that I will be able to tackle pretty much anything thrown my way. All I need is a viable plan, a strategy and once the battle lines have been drawn, unleash the dogs of war! ("Dogs of war" has to be said in a very Jeremy Clarkeson manner). I've always loved dogs, especially unleashed ones. They always spice things up. From now on, I am who I am and your approval is not needed!