| Aboiut to go home
||[Nov. 20th, 2006|04:13 am]
Blog entry – 108th November 2006.|
This will be my last entry before I go home to London – my last from India – and I think I should sub-title it ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’, for reasons you will discover later.
But first a general summary of how I am. Fine. That about does it although I still have this annoying pain in my right arm. I am hoping it is nothing ominous but I have a scan on the 27th of the month so all will be revealed then. If my existing tumours are smaller or gone and my arm proves to be nothing, then we can consider the Indian adventure to be a success. If they are bigger, or if the arm is something nasty, then things look a bit different and I must consider very carefully this new drug Tarceva. I would be running out of options then, but I am not at that point yet. I would say that I am cautiously optimistic. My western mind says ‘Yeah, if there really was a cure for cancer here, we would have known about it before now’, but, on the other hand, I have seen things here, met people who have been cured, that I have genuine hope. As I said, I am only cautiously optimistic of success but I also realise that I will be bitterly disappointed at failure; this would seem to suggest a certain expectation so I must have a degree of faith in spite of my western cynicism.
It is an odd feeling, as a cancer patient, waiting for your scan. I have discussed this with several fellow sufferers and the general feeling is that it is as if you are waiting for an interview with God. Like God, the PET machine can see everything and will judge you on what is, not what you would like it to be. It does not lie or make a mistake, well… not often, and so we all approach this periodic scan with nervous apprehension. This one, for me, is especially nerve wracking as it is late, I have this sore arm and I have taken the gamble of coming to India in the first place. Ah well, we shall see what we shall see when we see it.
But to other things. I am amused at myself because, having spent the best part of three months not having a good time at all here in India, I am now almost reluctant to leave. This has become my current life and I must confess there is a bit of me not looking forward to the stresses and strains of London life. However, on Wednesday morning, I will get on that plane and resume life.
Life here has been dramatic on an ‘Upstairs –Downstairs’ level in that the head man-servant, Modon, (normally as sober and steady a chap as you could hope to meet) had a dream on Friday night about the Goddess Kali. This upset him greatly and seemed to bring out lots of bitter memories; there is a background of great sadness there. Anyway, he took himself off to the Temple on Saturday morning to sort this all out. It must be a fun sort of Temple as he came back, four hours later, as drunk as a skunk. Some people get aggressive when drunk but dear old Modon simply gets very, very funny. At one point the assembled servants were squatted on the floor, as they do, trying to get some food into Modon who was quietly burbling away to himself. One was holding his shoulder to steady him as he sat but she had to turn away for a moment to deal with something else, leaving him on his own. Without leaving the cross-legged position, he simply rolled over, like one of these round-bottomed dolls he simply fell over. Oh dear, it was serious, but also very funny.
What was not so funny is that it happened again yesterday but, this time, the driver joined in so, by lunchtime, we had one of them out for the count downstairs while the other was zonked upstairs, and the poor maid-servant, Triptee, trying to hold the fort, not letting Madame know what was going on, in the middle. Of course, Madame knew perfectly well what was going on but, such is the etiquette of these situations, she wasn’t letting on. The day of judgement will come today when, hopefully both miscreants will be sober. The driver had actually to do some driving yesterday so, to my personal horror, he was roused out of his stupor, put behind the wheel of a car, and sent off to pick up some guests who were coming for a visit. They did mention, on arrival, that he was driving a little faster than normal, and ‘normal’ for him is pretty damned fast in the first plac,e so goodness knows what he was up to.
The guests were some friends of Madame including a seventy-eight year old mother of one of the clinic team. She had heard I had a piano and this was of great interest as she used to play in her youth. Anyway, they pitched up and, after a short while, the old lady got to the piano and, wonder of wonders, she played. It was some old Indian melody she had known, and it was pretty hesitant, but after a gap of some sixty years is was pretty impressive.
Today I have to get several things from shops, including an extra bag to take stuff home, so the day will go in now time I expect. I will keep this blog going until I am either cured or dead so the next entry will be from London again.
(I am not sure if I posted this twice as something peculiar happened with the internet connection. If I did - sorry. If I didn't - ignore this para. )
I will miss everybody here. Madame Mukherjee, with her moods and manners. She may well have saved my life so I will be eternally grateful to her. Then there is Modon, normally sober and steady, who has attended to my every need with his mixture of charm and stoic resignation; Triptee, who jabbers on at me in Bengali, absolutely sure I understand and stuffing good down my throat at every opportunity ; Raj, the driver, all dark brooding but with a smile that is charming when it breaks through ; and finally the Boy, Orija, who joined us a couple of weeks ago to help around the house. He is only about fouteen years old and has had a chequered history so far. However, he works very hard and would have appeared to have landed on his feet here as Madame is already thinking in terms of getting him some more education. He is bright so this could be the making of him. Let's hope so. I don't know if I will ever meet these people again but they have all played a part in this act of my own personal drama so I am grateful to them all.
That's all for now folks