Age of Glory and nostalgia

The sky is grey and the air heavy with mist as I get into my car to drive to work. I’m running a little late but it is okay, I just need to make up for the time when I get there. A twelve minute journey takes me almost an hour in the rush hour. A lady in leopard print leggings is taking her children to school. It is in vogue now. I’m glad I have kept my animal print dress and tops. They will have to come out soon. I remember my SHO days when I wore a combat print trousers to work. The silent quizzical startled look on a colleague’s face was enough to tell me that it is not something I should be wearing to work. I got a good wear out of it, in the privacy of my home.

It is my clinic morning. The day I sit with a cup of tea and go through notes of high risk patients. There might be patients as well to see and today I only have one such patient. I go through her notes. A complex lady with multiple problems. The person who looked at the notes has requested a face to face appointment without working her up or requesting any further information. I am not pleased. Although just in her fifties she needs an ambulance to bring her in. There is no point in seeing her without the required information. I cancel the transport and try to ring her. Finally I get through to her and have a long conversation. I ask to rebook the appointment, but I’m not back in clinic for another month. What a waste of time, time I should have utilised to see notes. The notes trolley is full to the brim and I need to make a move on. I send an irate message to my preassessment whatsapp group. The conversation from this goes on till late in the evening and culminates in me trying to explain to George the connection between ‘Poirot’ and ‘exactement’,

It is a warm autumn afternoon when I get home. I have a hair appointment. It is well overdue. At the hairdressers I sit in front of the mirror waiting for Tracey to become free. I have a good look at myself. The grey hairs, the sunken eyes, the eye bags and wrinkly skin. And yet even last week when people saw me after a while they commented on how I haven’t changed a bit. They obviously need their eyes checked. Tracey asks if I’m happy with the same colour or want to go a bit more red. “Go for it” I say. “You devil” she remarks. “I might as well have a bit of fun while I still have hair left” I reply.

I am free this evening. I can’t pick Lakshmi up as I have an afternoon list tomorrow. Nishanth has recommended a Malaysian drama series on Netflix. I sit down for my long evening of binge watching. ‘Age of glory’. The plot line is not exciting but it is set in the sixties in a little village near KL (Kuala Lumpur) and I’m once again transported back in time.

Indulging in nostalgia once in a while can be magical with the right ingredients. The Brylcream induced slicked back hair style, minidresses that I used to covet but couldn’t wear as I was too young at the time, the wooden houses, the rattan furniture all bring back memories of my childhood. I notice the glass window panes, the same ones that Asha and I shattered. Amma was in the kitchen and let us play in our bedroom, thinking we were safe there. Asha climbed on one and I must have encouraged her as she was only tiny at the time. Amma rushed in when she heard the almighty bang. There was glass everywhere. She took us into the shower and hosed us down to get rid of the splinters. I don’t know how long it took to sweep up the glass fragments.

The only thing Lakshmi has broken so far is a plate and two cups. She is still too little as she keeps reminding me. I am missing her but make the most of my free time.

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