Life goes on

Yesterday we had a heat wave.

I grew up in Kerala and I remember one summer ( 1982) we had 17 hours of load shedding. My classroom didn’t have a fan and imagine wearing a petticoat and under skirt beneath the school uniform and sitting in a hot and stuffy classroom all day.. and then in the evening we all had to walk back home and even at home there was no escape from the heat because of the load shedding !( no fan, no ice water, no nothing..)

But life still went on.

Day before yesterday there was a notice from my children’s school that all outdoor activities are cancelled the next day because of the impending heat wave. I kept few blocks of ice packs in their lunch bag, froze their drinking water ( if you keep the bottle in an angle in the freezer and the mouth of the bottle isn’t closed with ice, the water will melt in the mouth side and the kids get cold water for a very long time! The idea is not to let the mouth of the bottle close with ice, then the kids can’t get the melted water from the bottom of the bottle) and I send the kids to school. Their classrooms are air-conditioned and the teachers know how to handle heat stress !

As I was driving to the school, I noticed that my neighbour was getting someone to build a retaining wall with huge boulders. The worker was unloading the boulders from the truck using a small fork lift. On-board display in my car showed the outside temperature was 27 degrees. What a day to work outside!, I thought.

The school car park was unusually empty. I learned later when I went to pick up my kids that half the kids in their class didn’t come because of the heatwave.

As we drove back home, I noticed the same guy who was unloading the boulders in the morning was still working. He had almost finished building the retaining wall. The temperature outside was 39 degrees. For 8 hours, this guy was working, wearing his full safety gear including the helmet.

I asked my children if they noticed that he was working outside on a hot day when he could have said, “It is too hot today and I will do the work tomorrow”

My son said ” We never appreciate the hard work all these people do”

I nodded my head.

I am sure most of you who work in the Middle East agree..

As for the over protective parents who ‘grow’ their children in glass bubbles.. I worry what will happen when the children finally leave the glass bubbles..

“Somebody” please help !

Some time ago, a friend shared a post on FB, it was about some actor who needs money for medical treatment. There were a lot of clicks for “like”, but it was the comments that piqued my curiosity.

Each and everyone said the same “Can somebody please help?”

Not one person asked for the bank details or said they would help. They are all hoping for that magnanimous person to come by and help this poor soul. But sympathy , they have plenty !

Why bother sharing if you can’t even spend a dollar?

While we are dissing FB posts, there is another one that bothers me. It  is the post about UNESCO declaring Indian National Anthem as the best anthem of the world.  It is a hoax. Why in the world would UNESCO be interested in finding out the best national anthem?

As you would have noticed from the writings today, I am pretty crabby..It is so very hot ( heatwave) today and I feel murderous..

Until tomorrow

When is it enough?

Last weekend I had to attend a fundraising dinner. I love to attend parties hosted by my friends where I can just be me, but not the formal dinners with unknown dinner companions and polite conversations where everything is so “fake”. But this was an event I couldn’t weasel out, so I went.

First sign of trouble was the entre’e. While everyone was served with Canapes, being vegetarian I was gifted with a spear of asparagus and two tiny carrots, decorated with some glaze and alfalfa sprout. Ideally I should know better and eat something before attending parties like this, but being  vain, I didn’t want my already flabby belly to be even more flabby and show through the gown. ( Yes, I know I am vain!). I was famished and I needed to eat something before I drank all the bubbly. I looked at the asparagus. It looked tender! , so instead of using the blasted knife and cutting the stupid thing in to bite size pieces, I thought, I will spear it with my fork and take little nibbles! ( Don’t ask why, I am not usually this dumb) I tried to take a gentle well mannered  nibble..and realized the asparagus indeed look thin and tender, but in actual fact is hard and old. And while struggling to take a bloody bite, the stupid thing slid off the fork and I watched in total horror as the spear of asparagus made a beeline for my lap.. I don’t know why, but time always stand still when I do embarrassing things. I pretended that there was no asparagus on my plate and the thing on my lap isn’t really there.

As I talked to my dinner companions at my table, I  very covertly tossed the bloody asparagus on to the floor.  I think this particular asparagus spear was very attracted to me, for it landed on my own feet.

There was dance after the dinner and imagine sauce streaked feet under fluoro lights. I always carry baby wipes. Trust me, with three kids who are almost in their teens, baby wipes still comes in handy for all those accidental spills.. But not that day.  that day I carried a matching clutch ( to my gown) that had just about enough space to hold a credit card. ( Why do people design such clutch is the question here, not why I bought such useless accessories!)

I had to twist the bottom part of my body in very unnatural styles, while keeping my upper half of the body still and while I talked and chatted and laughed, my hands were busy wiping the sauce off my feet using the edge of the napkin.

Main course was two pieces of 1 inch size wrap filled with crap in a bed of some unknown puree. While my carnivorous companions had a choice of fresh atlantic salmon on a bed of rice or fillet Mignon on a bed of mashed potatoes.. I drooled looking at the rice/mashed potatoes in their plates while staring at the crap in my plate. At least they could have served the wrap on a bed of mashed potatoes, No?

There was free flow of champagne..and my belly was empty. I still needed to get back home and not end up incoherent in someone else’s house/room/car etc !

The hardest thing to do is to say no to bubbly.. But then again, if I wasn’t so vain and ate something before I went to the party, I would have been able to drink as much bubbly as I wanted ! My fault entirely!

Ah, the tile of the post.. that is the second part of the story

The lady who sat next to me is the wife of the CEO of one of the biggest company in Australia. They have a mansion in Gold Coast with its own marina, holiday villas across the globe,expensive cars and (I think) he even own a private jet ! As we made small talk, she asked where I am working and I told her and then for courtesy’s sake asked her about her work. She said she cleans and serve tea at a salon. I thought I didn’t hear her right, then I thought perhaps she was joking. She might have noticed the puzzled look on my face and replied. “It is my friend’s salon and she pays me 20$/hr because she knows I am reliable. 20$ is a lot of money for such an easy job, Don’t you agree?”

One part of me is impressed that even though she is the wife of a multimillionaire, she still doesn’t think of herself so high and mighty and is willing to do menial jobs. The other part of me wants to know when will people say they have enough?.When so many mother’s who are desperately trying to find a job to put food on their table, here is woman who has everything, still working  because 20$/hour is a lot of money.