Patterns

I love patterns.

At school, I learnt math by trying to identify( copy) patterns from one problem to another. In fact a mathematical formula is actually a pattern. The issue is how to fit a formula to a question and find the answer. We work in reverse in math actually. The math question reminds us of a certain math problem we have done before or seen our teacher solve and we start thinking of whether that method could be applied to our problem. Voila ! The pattern.

I love crochet and knitting because of the patterns. I like to test the patterns of experienced crocheters and see if they work for me.

In life too, I have come to identify patterns. If I behave or do things a certain way, I am sure to get success. If I do things a different way, I would most likely meet failure. Having burnt my hands many times in the past, I have learnt to avoid “fire”. Call it the survival instinct.

Most things in life, I have found- fit into patterns.

One thing that evaded any definition of a pattern was my mother’s dual cancer diagnosis two years back. We have had no history of cancers for as long as anyone can remember. She had been a very active woman, eating her greens every single day, doing all housework and even gardening herself. Yet, she had cancer. For two years, now I have been trying to think of why she might have had this dreaded disease. She is a known stress baby. If there was something to worry about, she would worry about it. If there was nothing to worry about, she would worry about whether something bad would strike the family because things were going just too well. Now it seems as though all that stress must have taken their toll.

Last year, my visa application was rejected by the US embassy. I needed a student visa to reach the States for my Master’s degree. I seemed to have done everything “right”. For the life of me, I could not think of why my application was rejected. People I met often tried to analyse why it might have happened. Notice the pattern here ? Some said, its because of the policies of the Trump administration, where they do not encourage older people to go to the US as they think they might stay on and not return to their native countries( I fit that description maybe). Some others said it was just not meant to be- after all, who has ever heard of a near-50 year old woman going back to college, just on a whim. The degree would not benefit me in any way, they said, as I had already reached the pinnacle of my career graph. The only way from there was down and so–. My university couldn’t figure out the pattern either. They encouraged me to apply again but by then the first day of the course had passed and there was no scope of joining the course late. And so I deferred my course, not wanting to re apply again for the next year. Somewhere in 2018, my husband told me to try once more and see if we could try to think of every reason for a rejected visa and see if it could be tackled before it was raised. I refused as the first time, I had had a very bad experience at the embassy and I had a fear psychosis of facing the same “visa woman” at the window. Again, I see a pattern here- fear of being rejected made me think there was a pattern there and my visa would be rejected again. My husband on the other hand saw another pattern- he thought if we think the rejection through, maybe- just maybe, we could get past the “visa woman” and get the visa approved.

I search for patterns every where- it seems a way of life for me now.

I love clouds- hope

Rain clouds that don’t rain

Excited this morning to see rain clouds but they show no sign of dropping their water. The earth and people and animals are all parched and waiting but there is no rain. We are grateful for the hope that a few black clouds bring.

Bougainvillea plant with flowers – still looking green
The yellow Oleander flowers- poisonous plants ? ( memories of pharmacology)
Jasmine flowers
More bougainvillea
I am not sure what this plant is called but it sure does flower throughout the year
Red Hibiscus
Desert Rose – flowering for the first time
The sun shining through the clouds

I love clouds for they give me hope that there might be rain. And when the wind is still and the earth seems waiting, that is the best time of all- and if there is rain, then all our waiting is not in vain. It is more than mid way through April and the black clouds that fleet through our skies are answers to our prayers for rain and a delayed summer.

Gardening weather

The days after rain in the desert are beautiful. It is like the dust has all been cleared and a clean room is shining at us, the sky is blue- bluer than it usually is as there is no dusty haze and it seems like the plants have had a good wash. It is great. Three days after rains, the weather continues to be good and Spring seems to be extending its stay in these parts. A few pictures from my spring garden.

Its a messy garden right now but the good weather is making me work a little towards getting it better looking. And at least the leaves are all green- clean green.

Friends

I don’t have many friends. In fact, I have almost none. And this is how I chose it to be. I enjoy being with nature and animals and birds and just being an onlooker rather than a talker. Of course I love observing and listening to things. I constantly learn and try to improve myself.

In college, everyone had friends and many of those friendships have lasted even more than 30 years. Mine haven’t except for an occasional email from a friend in England and maybe a couple of messages from a husband wife couple who were my classmates in college, I don’t even have contact with many of my college mates. And from school, the situation is even worse.

As to from church, I am one of those who go to church to worship and quickly leave after the service without waiting for the socializing.

The repercussions of all these are now showing up. When we need a job, there is no one to vouch for us. When we need to look out for suitable grooms or brides for the children, we have no one to ask or help us. I used to think my heavenly Father is more than enough as my friend. My blog friends are a great support for me and I thank all of them for their prayers and support but I haven’t seen even one of them in life.

My daughter in college is challenged because of her reclusive nature too- she used to be very friendly and outgoing but some circumstances in her life have made her so. We are at a dead end about how and what to do with our lives.

Home again

Have you ever felt you wanted your holiday to extend and keep going for some more time?

That is where I am now. The holiday was restful. There were some visits we made to people we knew from about 30 years back as college students. We visited with our girls and their friends. The visits to old friends made for happy and sad times- happy in terms of seeing them alive and sad in terms of knowing how different life is now than when we were young. Life seemed to stretch as a long belt in front of us. Thirty years down, we realize how frivolous and testy life is. Things change. What we expected to happen 30 years back did not happen at all and what we never expected to see have happened.

Many of our old professors are either living lives of retirement or semi-retirement. The present crop of students don’t know or have never heard of the “Terror of our times” – our Anatomy professor, who was nicknamed MaJa short for her first name and surname. To young 17 and 18 year olds, this venerable professor seemed ever lasting and always seemed to hover around the department wearing her white sari. White was considered the colour of Anatomy. Times have changed- Daughter 2 mentions how friendly she is with all the Anatomy tutors and how they socialize even outside classes- a thing unheard or un-thought of during our times. MaJa doesn’t hover around Anatomy any more – nor do any of her successors. Children of her successors are however teachers there and there has been change- positive change. Anatomy is not a subject of fear anymore.

I visited a couple of retired professors who lived a few kilometers off the campus and relived old days. The days were reminisced through my husband’s eyes’ rather than my own for my days in the college had been difficult and I cannot remember many pleasant days there. Anyway, my husband caught up with old memories and discussed the difficult but “good old days”.

Another person we visited was a classmate of my husbands’ and who also happen to provide daughter 2 with home cooked meals on days she wants a change from hostel food. His wife has just recovered from a difficult surgery for an advanced disease so we could revisit with her. I remember her as a senior about three years older to me and who was so full of energy and enthusiasm for any thing ” the alma mater”. Today she is a subdued, mature lady in her early fifties, with a smile that speaks of pain and gratitude. Seeing her has been a shock to me and a reminder of how short or how soon life can change for a person.

A long plane ride back in cramped seats and a day spent in bed, recovering from the short trip made for a happy ending.

And another travel

Planning to visit daughters 1 and 2 this weekend- a very short trip- a vacation for all of us from our routines. My nose bleeds are almost nil since the last one on February 23rd. Still on the medicine. Not much luggage this time. The trip promises to have its sparks and its events. I hate drama in my life but often, drama finds me as though it feels my life needs some livening up. It is what it is.