Four Weddings and a Funeral…

6 Dec

…is a good movie title, but in the non-celluloid world, a clutter of heartening and heart-wrenching events can put you on the straight road to Loontown.

I’m in the middle of a big family event, the second of four this season, and while I greatly enjoying being with my extended family, it’s been hard. To smile, to dress, to welcome guests without the bile rising in the pit of my stomach, all the while questioning how we can celebrate while our city lies brutalized. But troopers are us, and if only for the sake of those we love, get to it we must. For two precious little girls with the warmest hugs possible and for what their navjote means to them.

Add to this a post-horror pilgrimage on Tuesday, a solidarity rally at the Gateway on Wednesday, a failed internet connection for three days and our anniversary coming up tomorrow, and we have enough peaks and troughs to resemble the Rockies. Strange days these, when so many of life’s miseries and joys are compressed into a capsule, like the blending of multi-colored playdoh.

Apologies for being AWOL at a time like this. I will put pictures up once the immediate whirl abates. In the meanwhile, a quick update before I rush off again:

I spoke with Dr. Jyotsna Kirtane, head of pediatric surgery at the J. J. Hospital and she recommends providing protein powders like Pediasure to the children’s ward. These are usually unaffordable by the hospital administration and assist greatly in physical rehabilitation. For adults, Complan is a good bet. (There aren’t too many children admitted for this particular tragedy, thankfully.) Dry fruits are also welcome. Do not send perishable foods, they already have plenty of those. I did raise the question of tinned goods being cornered and re-sold in the black market, to which Dr. Kirtane said we could open the tins in front of the staff if we wished.

There was no urgent blood requirement as of 3 days ago, but you can keep checking at 23701366. To be honest, I didn’t expect the phone to be answered, given the magnitude of workload they are currently facing, but it was and a coherent response was given. As the initial hullabaloo abates, the hospitals will struggle for resources again, so some of you may wish to be continued donors instead of one-time respondents, if you think that’s manageable.

Next up: Locating a fund for families of soldiers/policemen/commandos who died in the line of duty. Does anybody have updates on this? I have contacted Dina Mehta and am waiting to hear from her. My friend in the media is another point of contact, but she just got proposed to, so I don’t want to rain on her parade with sombre questions unless I absolutely must.

In the meantime, take a look at this page. A bizarre, chilling thought entered my head while I looked at this site. What if the terrorists set up one of these pages, to misdirect funds or simply gauge public reaction and gloat over it? I wouldn’t put anything past them. Anything at all.

And now that I’ve completely creeped myself out, I must go pick out a saree, contort my hair, cross my fingers and hope that I’m a good enough actress to pass muster tonight. For so many of us, the nightmare began on this day, 16 years ago.

God bless.

Links: 1, 2, and 3.

11 Responses to “Four Weddings and a Funeral…”

  1. Aunty G December 7, 2008 at 12:01 am #

    Navjotes are noble functions
    Go, attend without compunctions
    When pure and good vibes spread
    They dispel all gloom and dread
    Thus defeating ahrimanic machinations!

  2. Mamma Mia! Me A Mamma?!? December 8, 2008 at 2:37 pm #

    Hugs to you OJ. I know how deeply you’ve been affected by this all. And you have so much going on right now. I admire you for keeping your head above water.

    Look at the spiritual significance of the navjote ceremony…if there was ever a time when we needed to reconnect with our spirituality or to keep our faiths alive, it is now. I pray the navjote ceremony gave your heart a strong sense of faith and your spirit a deep sense of calm.

    Heartfelt wishes for your anniversary. May your love grow stronger, tighter, sexier and ‘blissfuler’.

    You’re doing some great work. I’, sur many MUmbaiker bloggers have benefited by your ‘list of things to do’.

    Just remember to breathe in the aroma of a latte every now and then with a good friend sitting across the table.

    Cheers girl, and hugs!

  3. the mad momma December 8, 2008 at 5:36 pm #

    sweets… I know exactly what you mean – but the living must get on. specially two little girls who shouldnt have to lose their big day to some hateful people across the world.

    congrats on the anniv. you two belong to each other. so completely. one needs to see you together to know what its like to be in the presence of love. and maybe this is what we all need in the midst of the blood and gore. this reaffirmation.

    in the meantime here’s another place that is trying to help

  4. Orange Jammies December 8, 2008 at 8:55 pm #

    Aunty G: I hope you’re compiling all your l’ricks for a book! 🙂

    M4: Thank you for that warmth across the cables. I’m not a religious sort, but now that you mention it, yes, the ceremony was very calming. Hug.

    the mad momma: You’re right. Affirmations are so important at a time like this. Thank you for your wishes, girl. Link # 2 at the end of this post points to Kiran’s marvelous effort.

  5. Mish December 9, 2008 at 6:59 am #

    wanted to ask u somethin – are u aware of any NGO or fund that people from outside India can contribute to? I’m thinking of trying to arrange one from my office in Spore. In this time I really need to do something!
    Do let me know!


  6. sukanya December 9, 2008 at 7:23 am #

    best wishes to you on your anniv….

  7. Mish December 9, 2008 at 9:18 am #

    oh and i forgot…happy anniv!! 🙂

  8. Orange Jammies December 9, 2008 at 9:51 am #

    Mish: That’s one of the things I’ve been trying to identify. Progress has been slow, though. Will let you know if I unearth something. Credibility is a big factor and we need to confirm that the organization doing the collecting and disbursement is genuine and trustworthy. If you check my Twitter feed, you’ll see a link to a group mobilizing monetary resources for assistant sub-inspector Tukaram Umbale. Thank you for your wishes.

    Sukanya: Thanks a bunch!

  9. Nino's Mum December 9, 2008 at 12:24 pm #

    belated happy anniversary OJ – may your love grow with both of you – and may it take you places, chartered and unchartered, geographic and personal.
    it’s the good milestones that keep us sane and going.
    Big bear hug.

  10. Orange Jammies December 9, 2008 at 7:18 pm #

    Nino’s Mum: Thank you, hon. You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned geography. One of my initial reasons for dating the Boy was that he has traveled to more countries than anybody I know– 52 at last count. We play this “have you been to (remote, random place picked off a map)?” game that I made up early on. 🙂


  1. Mumbai: Before & After - 4 « IndieQuill - December 10, 2008

    […] warmongering its fool head off, I look at the Mumbaikars coming together (like one of my favorites here) because their government can’t govern its way out of a paper bag, and get the same […]

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