In praise of Heritage
Knotty at 40
Life with Wife
Rajiva Shanker Shresta
Unlike in the game of tombola/lotto/housey Naughty at 40, Life at 40 is knotty– it is quite queer or nutty a situation for me who is completing this age - Life with my wife.
Looking for the word origin and meaning of the word Tombola that coined Naughty at 40 Dicitonary.com has - it is Italian lotto-style lottery,” 1880, from Italian tombolare “to tumble, fallupside down.” Having tied up the knot for life, it should not and could not be naughty but knotty at this stage. Finding things become difficult sometimes as I fail recollecting where had I left my keys secure on coming back home from a short trip away. Ranjana, my wife, says to give the key to her care for safe retrieval now onwards. Better if someone like her is there to take care of my failing memory, so that the things do not really fall upsidedown like the game. Recently I came across a Facebook ad mention of some App that finds lost items like keys, wallet or phone in seconds – to gain peace of mind but I am happy entrusting this to my wife without falling prey to the mesmerizing net of ad-world.
Like your teeth, memory too needs constant brushing and flossing up every day twice at least – that too if you still have some left. What about the denture people use by this age though not that popular as it used to be, say, a decade ago. Denied Medical seat I was offered to go for Dental but refused then deemed a profession not good enough. With the number of qualified dentists around it is better to retain your original set of teeth whatever way you wish as it is faithful and dedicated to you alone like your wife. Root canal treatment capped with a crown or expensive tooth transplant are the treatment one could avail of. All I can enjoy chiura-mansu not only during Dashain but more occasionally as most of people of my clan love to savour these with delight courtesy their help. Many of our present generation do not enjoy eating either chiura or mansu and thus fail to realize the importance or relation of teeth with chiura in keeping it healthy and strong. Hope I am not emphasizing much about this Newar delicacy that came to my share by nature and descent. Earlier in Rhenock we used to get paddy converted intro chiura by some Newar families in the profession at Aritar but nowadays we get it either from neighbouring Kalimpong or made mechanically in mill but the best to taste and fetch price here is that from Kathmandu, Nepal. Mutton is the best priced of the meat we commonly consume as buff is also getting very popular with the Newar delicacies that people enjoyed during the last Sikkim Winter Carnival. Now there is a shop here that specializes and dedicated to Newar delicacies and the demand is ever increasing like in Kathmandu and elsewhere with Newar Khaja Ghar or eateries with Newar cuisine in their menu. By the way did you make Push Paniko Achar a Newar delicacy – pickle made in cold winter water. Though Push is gone, you can still try making this easy and simple appetizer (write me for recipe if interested.)
I was at a loss on hearing that how I had been coping with my Hearing loss so far. I was under the impression that my right ear was failing me but on testing my audibility while in the US, it was the left that was more demanding. I had running ear since my childhood that I could get repaired well in time as advised by Dr. M.R. Kotwal with Dr. S. K. Kacker in Delhi. I was suggested there some hearing aid but using it being fussy I decided to carry on without. Latest gadget needed frequent cleaning and if the hair-thin wire got blocked it had to be replaced, which I was not sure of getting back in India. Coming back home I got a wireless headphone to enjoy music or television shows occasionally and as for the news it makes not much of difference since repeated frequently from one channel or the other 24x7.
Vision too is blurred reading the bottom line scroll on the television news. Yet I can see colourful birds on trees far and near. Like reading, working on my laptop or iPhone is no problem as my reading glasses serve good enough for the present. Earlier I had got one with progressive lens when I had a sudden bout of diabetes in March 2012. This fortunately was no longer needed due to timely care from Dr. Hitler Pradhan here at Gangtok and Dr. Rajan Pradhan then at Lion’s Siliguri.
Sinking Knees come with advancing age besides some common bone/nerve ailments like stiff neck, tennis elbow and back/waist pain that came visiting some years ago. The only solution for the present is regular round of Yoga practice with some Pranayam and Vyayam that is taking care of orthopaedic/neuro problems with occasional warnings. Right posture while sitting or working and little care while lifting weight (heavy things to avoid) are of help in remedy. Some say keeping yourself engaged thus active in domestic chores besides some exercise or the other and sitting for the sunbath for half an hour daily gives enough vitamin D that helps your bones. Being lazy in taking even a 20-minute walk outside and without a treadmill, I find its alternative by walking occasionally to market in short distance and that not enough I depend on climbing stairs more frequently. Health scientists suggest 10,000 steps a day but for elderly people 6,000 steps do the trick. I am thinking if I should get some smart watch / gear in place of pedometer with me for past few years.
Things thus knotty and having attained an age that is termed as ulta-pulta 69 in the same game of Tombola, it is difficult to be naughty at this 40. If you do not have things to keep yourselves occupied your post retirement days would end up in unnecessary arguments if not in minor scuffles off and on. It would be a touchy subject so better keep off exposing much. Before things getting rusty I better stop further advances into and withdraw myself to save the situation. Back in my mind is the Newar tradition I read some years ago that a wife on attaining the age of 60 is looked upon in high esteem as the deity by her husband. This could be due to her dedicated efforts for raising the family so far bearing all the brunt.
Hope I am not getting nutty as I share my story at length on a subject as naughty or knotty at 40 that is my Life with Wife. Over the years it has gone so knotty that it would be difficult to loosen the knot that would go only with us. I have spent thirty years of this period over her and no wonder now if she takes over from me for another three decades as I have already been at her mercy since I laid down my weapons or hung my gloves. I gave my master the best all those years of my prime youth serving the Government that leaves me with nothing but keep body and soul together - an abode for ailments that I have to resort tending it best with due care rest of my life lest it land me and my family in trouble to hospital.
As per a health tip on the net - It’s ok to go nuts - “I’m going nuts” is not always a bad thing. Many of us by this age are caught by the common ailment diabetes known to be a slow-killer and for this it suggests Handful of nuts in your diet can control blood glucose levels. Though Nuts are high in calories, Nuts such as almonds, peanuts and walnuts are rich in fibre, vitamin E and magnesium. These can regulate blood sugar levels efficiently. As a bonus, nuts have healthy fats that are good for heart.
With age some say sane is on the wane but it is healthy mind one keeps that remains glued to one’s senses. It is evident from how you recollect past things. Someone aptly said, “As you get older you will understand more and more that it’s not about what you look like or what you own, it’s all about the person you have become.” Again, Beryl Bainbridge said, “The older one becomes the quicker the present fades into sepia and past looms up in glorious technicolour.” So, why not start giving back to the society that gave me so much thus far and contribute your might sharing your experiences like I am trying this moment. Archbishop Desmond Tutu “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” And Warren Buffett was right to say “You only have to do a very few things right in your life, so long as you don't do too many things wrong.” Finally it is from William Penn to sum it up, “For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.” I am pondering wondering it is deeds and not years that matters in life, indeed.
Earlier it was on Saraswati Puja day that young at heart used to convey their love and tie the knot as well but with Valentine’s Day rage these days I take the opportunity to share this piece. Ranjana, wife of 40 years, having knitted well the family and society and knot it through thick and thin in spite of many a hitch and our life here today. It is falling in love again and again. So far so good – one life one wife – remaining so forward to the journey ahead converting from Tin, China, Silver and Pearl to this Ruby and then into Gold and Diamond each decade an anniversary to celebrate and beyond, God willing!
Disclaimer: This is a personal account of memories to cherish and treasure often on a detour here and there en route to share the joy of the journey called life. Some names and events mentioned are just to connect with and no malice whatsoever intended. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 9434022677 / 03592-202677 and at Rachna, opposite Manan Bhavan, Development Area, Gangtok 737 101 Sikkim India.
स्थानीय चिन्तन - जीवन रङ्ग अनेक चालीस वर्षे लगन-गाँठो माया-प्रीतिको प्रशंसामा राजीव शङ्कर श्रेष्ठ