A couple of awkward confessions before the main post.
- I seem to surface here only when I have to rant. Sorry about that.
- On a month in which my Blog reader is full of gratitude posts, I am being the opposite of grateful.
I met a couple of friends after decades, a couple of weeks ago. These two are not the earliest best friends that I often write about, but two other girls I hung out with all the time in my first grad school years – we were famously referred to as the Three Devis (Goddess) by our classmates. Aftergrad school, we were in touch now and then, but I dropped off their radar (they were in touch with each other better) because…life. Ironically, one of them lives in the same city as me. Anyway, all that’s by-the-by.
So, we met at friend A’s parents’ house. I have always been fond of her parents, and they, of me. I met them after twenty five years, and we just picked up from where we left. However, mama (her dad) had been through trying health crises in the past years, that he was a shadow of his old self. Nevertheless, his spirit was as cheery and positive as it had been all those years ago. It was good meeting them, and my friend invited me to her father’s 80th birthday celebrations, which are a big thing in my culture.
Two days ago, he had a heart attack and underwent a stent placement procedure. He’s still in ICU, but stable and recovering well, thank God. The celebrations are postponed, obviously.
Mama has always been a disciplined person, with no bad habits, a disciplined life with simple home-cooked vegetarian meals on all occasions, a no-stress job, a compatible wife, no-problem children, and a cheery disposition. He never “exercised” deliberately, but was always a physically active person, walking to all places, or taking public transportation everywhere he went. This is to say that he had a healthy lifestyle. And yet, he has had cancer scares, blood clot in the brain, and stroke in the past, and now heart attack.
My daughter’s Kalari (an Indian martial arts form) teacher, also an immensely disciplined man, with extremely healthy eating habits, and active exercise, had a heart attack a year ago.
My father-in-law, a happy-go-lucky man when he lived, with an organized lifestyle, simple needs, and cheery disposition, got Parkinson’s, and later cancer, and succumbed to it.
On the other hand,
I know utterly undisciplined people. Who wake up to a packet of potato chips and ice cream. Whose only exercise is working their mandibles either to eat, or to yak all the time. Who have worn their easy chairs to a thread with their behinds. Who are quick to judge others and live their lives finding faults and complaining. Or worrying all the time. These people seem to have no health issues whatsoever (not that I want them to, may everyone stay healthy and happy), and live to ripe old ages.
I tell myself that my examples are anecdotal evidence, and do not point to any universal truth, else I’d die of resentment. But sometimes something happens that makes me wonder if the universal truth is that there is no pattern to anything.
I am a safe driver. Agreed, I am terrible with parking, and any scratch on the car has happened when I have tried to park. When driving, I am always careful. I yield to fast drivers, I never tail gate, I use indicators whenever needed (I must be the only Indian driver who uses the indicator to overtake another vehicle or change lanes), never jump signals, always allow pedestrians to cross, stay clear of two wheelers, etc. Yet today, as I was driving back home from a chore, I took a U-turn at an intersection after due indication, and at the green signal, when a bike, trying to go straight from the right most lane dented my car’s rear.
I have driven with someone who is the rashest driver I’ve known – never uses indicator, goes at breakneck speed in city roads, tailgates aggressively, never yields, gets into road rages….I could go on. Every time I am in their car, my fists are clenched, my toes are curled, and I pray to every deity that we reach in one piece. Yet, this person has never even had a little scratch to their car. And they are proud of their driving skills.
As of now, nothing makes sense to me.