In case you’re wondering what this post is all about – it’s about our life over the last few months. Whenever we think we’re settling down to a routine and I make a resolution to write more regularly, something comes up that turns things upside down.

In August, José started a fever that turned out to be cerebral malaria (Plasmodium falciparum). Having had an uncle in a coma a few years back with this same illness, I was scared. I’m still not used to Mumbai and the thought of hospitalizing José and running back and forth on my own, plus taking care of Pablo was a bit too much. I asked my brother, Marc, to come down from Hyderabad to help. He came and although José didn’t need hospitalization, Marc was big help and having him around made things so much easier for us. Constant calls with advice from the two medical professionals in our family – Ann, our sister-in-law and Maria, our cousin – were most helpful too.
With José almost recovered, Pablo decided in September to chase a wasp! Half an hour later, he just keeled over and seemed to be having a heart attack – he went blue and stopped breathing. I thought we had lost him, but his eyes kept moving. We rushed him to the vet and while we were there realized that it was an allergic reaction to the wasp bite. Poor fellow was out of sorts for a few days and I kept having recalls of the incident…..scary!
Life seemed to settle in to a routine for the rest of September. I started a yoga class, which I really enjoy. I started travelling on my own to town (quite an achievement for me in this city!) and enjoying the use of the British Library.
However, early on 3rd October morning we got the very sad news of my cousin’s tragic death. She was only 38 years old and in the prime of life and her business career. The family was devastated and it was only natural that I go to Hyderabad to be there for her funeral. More about her in another post.
While in Hyderabad, I started a fever – but was determined to come back to Mumbai for José’s birthday and also because he had plans to go to Igatpuri for a Vipassana weekend. He had been planning this for a couple of months. I came back alright, but the fact that my fever turned out to be malaria (Plasmodium Vivax) put paid to all his plans!
Now if you think this is a tale of woes – it’s not meant to be so at all. In fact, through all these times and experiences, I’ve never been more conscious of God’s loving presence in our lives. The overriding feeling in me has been one of gratitude – for the life we have, our relationship, our family, the many people who make our life easier – doctors, vets, our maid, our dhobi, delivery men from medical stores and our friendly neighborhood grocer…….the list is endless.
I’m grateful too for all I’ve learnt during these months – patience, humility, trust, faith and just going with the flow. The words of this poem of Jalalud-Din Rumi’s ring so true for us :
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whomever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

So we’re treating each ‘guest’ honorably and being grateful for every experience, sure in the knowledge, that each has been sent to teach us something about ourselves, about love, about faith and about life.

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