July 2018

I know this is not a good title for a blog post, for this is something I really enjoy doing, yet have no time for, at least in this span of my life. Ever since Nikki’s passage I have not been able to come back to this blog. There is so much water flowing in this river of life, that it is utterly difficult to keep noting the curves and bends in the flow. But when I look at the calendar today, we are nearly into the end of July and I must scribble at least a few things- to humour myself, to stay connected with anyone who is reading silently and to leave another mark in time and eternity, for who knows when suddenly it is time to pack bags and exit the drama of life- there will be no time for blog posts then!

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The front lawn this July

This past month and a half has mostly been about dealing with health issues and yes Phd issues. Yet it is not entirely unsuccessful. Today, when I am just four days short of completing two years of being a Phd candidate, I have a better sense of reality about most aspects of my research, a steadily growing practice of counseling, a regular bunch of people coming for counseling, a new set of friends from the Open Dialogue Approach spread in Europe (mostly Norway, Finland in fact), and blah,  blah, blah! The good thing is that the pains in the body, especially the spine has finally become negligible and to imagine i was thinking of doing Phd with the pains- I could hardly sit on the computer at all. But I have to thank the boy who came for reflexology, that I learnt to put it all behind. Health is in a much calmer place now- not the center of my life.

Yeah right, why note the uncertainties of Ph.d. research and the silent brooding one does every few days or the ideas about quitting (!), the unfulfilled promises to self and supervisor, the journal article that takes forever to go over the peer review process, the dissertation that refuses to move further, the ticks on the dogs that require daily monitoring and control exercises of diverse sorts…the list grows the more I expend thought over it!

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View of the Malati creeper in the backyard

For once, this summer the flowers are abundant. Really abundant. And it seems quite surprising and joyful- the varieties are also quite a few. I never thought summer could be so colourful. Of course we are well past the real dry heat of summer and now we are into the stifling monsoon heat- which is accompanied by intolerable, draining humidity. The little rain is so welcome.

I just tried uploading some other pictures- of baskets full of flowers, but somehow the file type is not supported by the computer or some other problem. So I cannot record them here- but the flowers are in hundreds – from creepers (at least four different kinds of creepers are flowering, of the nearly six-seven varieties that I have), in baskets, in the earth, and in flower pots. There is a profusion of colours an even fragrances. The jasmine bushes are flowering both in the front lawn and backyard. And so is the raat ki rani (night blooming jasmine), Tori (ridge gourd) is beginning its yellow blossoms, before the vegetable comes, and so forth. 

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Axora in the backyard, and a new champa tree- that is giving deep pink flowers

Of course for the umpteenth time I have made my website, and this time I like the website, because all sides of are showing there nearly as much as this blog. Of course it is a professional blog and not a random rambling sort of blog- more formal and talks more about my counseling work.

I was hoping to take a break when Andre comes in August, but I have a rider.: the pups are due for neutering surgeries, and I have to go to a university out of town to deliver a workshop and possibly a set of lectures. So I decided to take the week off when Andre is here, go for two days for the workshop/talk and remaining days just relax, go over the surgeries etc etc. But to spoil everything for me, I just got a call from my university to come and share the work done until now. So I have to go to Hyderabad as well- that too for one day only! In other words the week I was planning to relax with no academic work, is the week I have to travel to Gujrat and then Hyderabad. Talk about relaxing at home!

Anyhow mid all the spoiled plans, which also includes a plan to go visit my aunt (mother’s sister) with Andre- the only redeeming thing that remains a constant source of

IMG_20180719_184007028_HDR joy and life, in addition to the liveliness of the pups and the dogs, the birds and the fish, is the garden. In two years time I have finally managed to also cover the side wall on the Southern side of the house, with a green cover, that hides the hideous grills. So now this is the front of the house, as you come in from the outside- and thankfully it is all green at least on one side. It was a very slow growing creeper. Ok, I just figured it is called the Curtain creeper (no surprises) or Vernonia creeper. So now I know the official name as well, of something that is growing so abundantly in my home. Oh yes, the bamboo is growing profusely as well- but is at the entrance, and along the outer wall of the house, another beautiful grass!

So July this time has been gardening, writing, reading and trying to understand issues of epistemology, getting the threads of the research in place, by dissecting them first and then tying them up in a coherent stream of ideas. August will be more of the same, as of course progress on these lines only. In the gardening front, hopefully we will get the chrysanthemums, lantana or kaner for the outside space. Let’s see when I get to write another post. I always shy away from writing more academic posts, for fear that when I will read them at a later date, may be a few years down the line, these struggles will be so far away and there will be newer struggles to deal with then 🙂

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The backyard on a rainy day. it looks less green in this picture, but if you combine the second and third photos of this post, with this one, it gives you a better perspective of what is growing here, and what is flowering.

 

2 thoughts on “July 2018

  1. ” ideas about quitting (!), ” ?” Prateeksha the last word makes sense to me ONLY in two contexts.
    (1) You are British
    (2) A smoker.

    Since I know very well that, you are neither, and only ” GREEN” all around, you will not dare.
    Bodily pain is normal for all living and non living things (The trees being cut in Delhi…….non living ??), and one just have to carry on.
    Take care.

    VISHU

    ________________________________________

    Like

    • Dear Vishu
      For any Phd-er the one crucial link between their work and enjoyment is their supervisor’s role. I am also among the majority who have to deal with a difficult supervisor which makes the process odious. But I carry on the work because I like my work innately. However, I cannot deny that every few months due to her silences, indifference and other issues quitting seems like a better option.
      You are right- I am not British, not a smoker. But tell me, did the British really quit or were they pushed out due to historical tides? And smoking…is it only applicable in smoking, nothing else? Like alcohol?

      Like

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