Brother of a very good friend grew up with the tag ‘slow’ till he was 12 years old.  He was beaten mercilessly by the teachers and mocked by his classmates every day of his life. He told me how he used to hide behind the trees and bushes so he didn’t have to participate in sports and how the gardener used to snitch on him and tell the teacher where he was hiding. Things changed when his sister completed MBBS and had a light bulb moment.. that her brother is actually short sighted. ( very very bad case of Astigmatism) He is exceptionally brilliant and missed out on schooling in his formative years and didn’t have the will to undo the damage and fight. Today he works as a special ed teacher because he believes that no child should ever go through what he went through..(We now know why he never participated in any sports.. he couldn’t see a thing)

My parents found out I had severe astigmatism when I was in grade 2. Their world practically collapsed..because of the amount of dowry they have to pay for me..already slow in studies..and now blind as well.. Elementary schools in those days practiced seating according to rank and me being the class idiot had the last spot…odukkam benchil odukkamatthey seat was mine..permanently. Now, when I look back, I know  for a fact that I never heard a word the teacher spoke..I was so clueless..even for homework because I didn’t hear the teacher’s instructions. The tag slow and stupid was forever imprinted on my own psychic. It was even more hard when everyone talked so high about my oldest sister and how brilliant she was..and then looked disappointingly at me.. The first time I wanted to run away from home I was 9 years old. I actually did. I walked all the way to the CSI church the only place I knew outside my home and beside the school..which for a 9 year old was really a far distance.. like almost to the end of the world.. but once I reached there, I didn’t know what to do or where to go.. so I walked back home.

When I was 10 years old, my mother registered me for summer classes at the children’s library.. Amma wanted me to learn dancing and I wanted to learn to play guitar. After begging and pleading, she relented. There were lots of kids in he class… and everyone had to sit in a large circle and the teacher spoke..obviously I couldn’t hear him.. and when everyone was playing the chords, I sat idly. Some people have an affinity for picking on the this case the teacher loved picking on me. One day, in front of the whole class he asked me something.. and I couldn’t hear him.. I smiled and nodded my head..

What he asked me was “When you come tomorrow for the lessons, Will you forget the lesson I taught you today?” Happily I nodded my head and said Yes.. I can still hear the mean laughter that followed…. and after the class, the students pointed me to other students in other classes and everyone was laughing at me. I stopped attending the guitar classes after that.. and got in to bigger trouble because the teacher complained to my mother that I was skipping classes she already paid for..

When I was finally occurred to my mother that there was something really wrong with me.. I never heard her, when she called me from behind..and one day she took me to the district hospital from school, I can still see myself walking to the hospital.. wearing my school uniform..the ENT doctors clinic was on the first floor… it over looked the main road.. and a branch of flame of the forest was almost reaching the window..and I remember thinking how much fun it would be when the tree is actually blooming.. you could lean across and grab the flowers.. I sat on the little round steel stool.. and my mother explained the history and the doctor watched me.. and then he talked to me..and I replied..then he covered his mouth with his hand and I couldn’t hear him.. I still remember the shock on his face.. he told my mother, this was the first time he has seen a patient who could lip read without actually being taught to do so. He had warned my mother years ago to do the tonsillectomy cause associated adenoiditis was known to damage auditory nerve.. But my parents were scared to do the surgery.. what if I didn’t wake up after anaesthesia..

I remember walking out of the clinic.. I didn’t feel sad that I was deaf.. I was relieved that I finally knew what is wrong with me.. But the worst was yet to come.. When we went to the hospital we took an auto from the school.. As we got out of the hospital entrance.. there were autos parked on the left side and I slowed down.. thinking  Amma was going to take an auto.. but she was mad.. really mad..and she dragged my hand and started walking back to the school.. and then she said

“I had asked the doctor (I can’t remember his name) for an abortion and he told me that foetus was more than 3 months old ( when amma had mumps) and won’t have any damage.. If only I had the abortion.. “

My wings

As usual, my first instinct was to run away from my troubles. Unfortunately for me, running away was not really possible..

I spent the past few days contemplating my options. There were none.

I had to admit the simple fact that in 15 years I probably will be totally deaf. So I cried.. imagining the end of my hopes..and ended with the mother of all make my life even more miserable, I was also bitten by midges(sand flies) while I was in the garden. I am allergic to midge bites..

My plan of doing medicine in the next 4 years and then joining MSF and volunteering in any Spanish speaking countries is now not possible.

Since I was 17, I wanted to learn Spanish and read all the books written in Spanish, especially Latin American literature. I learn better when I am thrown in the deep end(living in a Spanish speaking country) than attending language classes. I now know why I hate attending classes. I could never hear properly in class and it affects my learning experiences. I have always been an autodidact and it was mostly because I couldn’t  hear anything and had to teach myself. But teaching myself a foreign language will be really hard. I now need to figure out how to get to South America and live there a couple of years and learn Spanish. Even if my world eventually is going to be a silent one, I still have books to keep me company and at least I will be able to live with myself knowing that I didn’t give up my dreams just because one door closed on my face.

And that was all I between tears, migraine and allergy..


This was something I should have known..perhaps of all the things I conveniently put under the denial title..this topped the list.

I failed the medical exam to join the Medicine program. I am more deaf than I assumed I am. ( actually my deafness has been increasing over the years, in 1988 I had 65% hearing in one ear and now it is 30%)

The past one year of studies should have given ample clues. I could hardly participate in group discussions because I couldn’t hear people sitting behind me. I have been lip reading since I was a child and accepted without any difficulty that if I can’t see the lips moving, then I can’t hear. I hated people sitting on the right side of me in the bus and talk to me. I am completely deaf in the right ear and I can’t hear a word anyone say over the noises in the bus. Often I just nod and laugh, not knowing what the person said.. If they said I was an idiot, I was smiling and nodding my head in agreement.. because I hated to tell anyone that I am deaf.

At home, kids have been getting rather irritated with me cause I have been asking them to repeat what they said..’ Mom, you don’t listen when we talk’ is what they say often.

One full year, I got up at 4 am everyday to teach myself organic I could write the GAMSAT exam. 99% of the students who wrote the exam were at least 15 years younger to me and even that didn’t stop me from writing it again and again till I passed.

I know I will find my wings again to soar high.. but right now, at this moment, I am devastated.

Little women

I think I have written before about how much I wanted a house like the Little women novel.

I never did any work at my mother’s home. According to my mother, she didn’t want us to help her because  she felt that we would be doing all the work in our own homes when we get married, so she wanted to spare us from doing the household chores when we were young. (Even when I tried to help her, it always ended in disaster.. she used to pick every tiny fault and turn it in to a big deal and made me feel so inadequate and stupid. So the safest thing to do was not to do anything, besides she needed reasons to complain to others about  how much she struggles..even when she had 4 daughters who did nothing to help her)

Last Sunday, I decided to go for a long walk. half way through my walk, I remembered I didn’t do the laundry. As it is almost winter and clothes don’t dry quickly, I planned to do the laundry as soon as I got home. School was starting on Monday, which meant I also need to cook some of the school lunches in advance..

This is what I found when I got back home.

My son was vacuuming the house. Baby was mopping the floor and Yaya was in the pergola hanging the washing. There was also a pan of  vegetarian Lasagne in the oven and a bowl of salad on the counter..( With mozzarella cut in to bite size pieces, just the way I like it)

I didn’t ask any of them to do anything before I went for the walk. I also didn’t check if my son vacuumed the house properly or if Baby mopped the house properly or if Yaya sorted the laundry like I do. I hugged each of them and thanked them and told them my heart grew few sizes big with pride.

And we ate the best Lasagne and salad for lunch and there was enough leftover for next day’s school lunch.

I learned that children will help you, if you don’t complain and appreciate it. That is actually the secret  to a happy home.


I received a mail from one of the Unis. The name of the Uni is irrelevant and I have redacted it.  I felt a sense of satisfaction reading it for the reasons below.

I don’t know if any of you remember the vitriol laden comment Deepa (under various handles such as coorgi deepa etc) left on my blog few years ago accusing me of all the things I have written such as being abused and parents fighting, and went on to call my grandmother a nut case …and then telling me to get a life. People always say don’t wash your dirty linen in public and the reason for that is you give ammunition to others to hurt you. However I only had me to speak for me. I couldn’t keep all the hurt to myself and writing this blog has been cathartic.

If you could  imagine all that could go wrong for a woman, it happened to me. I had no role models to look up to, no family support and yet I was determined to be the best mother a person could ever be. Against all odds, I succeeded.

And here is the proof.

Dear Parent,

Please allow me to offer congratulations. To xxx, on her admission to xxx University, but also to you, for raising an extraordinary child and exceptional student. xxx  is truly one of the most accomplished students in our incoming freshman class; and we know her contributions to our university would be significant.

As the parent of two children who left home for college, I understand you’re very proud but also may have many questions. College can be exciting, scary, thrilling, confusing, intimidating, and fun for student and parent alike. Attending college today also is costly, so choosing the right school is more important than ever. For an accomplished student whose options include some of the most distinguished and celebrated schools, the choice can be especially difficult. Therefore, it is understandable that xxx will look to you for guidance on this life-changing decision.

To help her make a choice, we’ve created a brochure about xxx University  that I hope will help you and xxx discover the inspiring research and teaching activities that define the undergraduate experience at xxx. The details of daily life at universities are not often front-page news, so you may be pleasantly surprised by some of the things you learn.

Included within are stories of our amazing faculty and the ways in which their research is changing entire industries–and lives. You will also learn that, on the foundation of their xxx University education, our graduates are finding more than just jobs, they are forging impressive careers. This information highlights how a xxx degree opens doors and expands the global reach of students like xxx. We hope this helps your family make a decision about xxx University.

Should xxx choose to attend xxx University, I make you this promise: my colleagues and I will do our best to educate her to be reflective, resourceful, and ready to live, adapt, and lead in an interconnected world. We will endeavor to keep her safe and happy, and make available the resources she will need to gain an elite education. And we will most proudly call her a member of the xxx family.

Whatever institution xxxl chooses will be a fortunate one. We at xxx University wish xxx and your family all the best.




I was the first to arrive home yesterday. I opened the door to find Kirra literally jumping and shaking her body and then rolling down and asking for a belly rub. Until then I had not attempted to touch her. I tend to freeze every time she came anywhere near me and I think she understood my fear and left me alone. But when I saw her all excited to see me, somehow I couldn’t have just ignored her. So, very gently I gave her a belly rub ( and then I went to wash my hands!)

I guess I am getting used to having a dog.  The folks at RSPCA told me that Kirra would live at least 15 years, that simply means I will be 60!  I wondered about the next 15 years of our(KIrra and I) life.

She would say goodbye to Yaya in 2 months time. She would see Toothless going for his semi formal in a few months, then say goodbye to him when he goes to Peru for student exchange. Then she would see him in a tux attending his formal, his graduation etc next year. She would then say goodbye to him when he goes to Uni. Fortunately for us, Baby will be with us for another 4 years.. After all the kids leave home, perhaps the next major event Kirra would witness is their marriage. At this stage I have no hope that it would happen ..all three are career minded and don’t see the need to settle down. My mother became a grandmother when she was 60..I wonder if the two old biddies(again Kirra and I) will get to see a little baby in 15 years time..

Such is life.

This is what she did while we were away yesterday.



So, this is a post I never ever dreamt that I would write. As they say, one should never say never.

When I got back home, on my bed there was a folder with few printed pages inside. First of all, I must tell you about folders. I love Calvin and Hobbes. When my kids were little, I read all the cartoon strips for them. There is one strip where Calvin tries to score marks by presenting his assignment in professional clear plastic folder..

You should read the rest of the cartoon to know what happened in the end. Anyway, kids have always known the importance of professional clear plastic folder. 🙂

Inside the professional clear plastic folder was this.


I haven’t laughed so much for a very long time. However, I grew up in a family that never had a pet. I have never patted a dog in my life. I am terrified of holding animals and birds.

Kids have not only done the funding proposals, they also worked out the proper budget, including a spread sheet on the ideal breed, best pet insurance and the best pet food. They also called the RSPCA in Kingaroy (a cool three hour trip from my home) and made an appointment, So, We went to see the dogs and came home with one.

So here we are..

Announcing the arrival of Kirra Isabel

Kirra means leaf/ boomerang in Aboriginal language. Isabel is in memory of Isabel Gonzales, human rights activist..