Shutterbug's Blog

Living with Multiple Myeloma in Hyderabad , India . Random musings .


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Retired from Service

Finally relieved from Government Service yesterday ie 24 Feb 2021.

I was given a fond farewell by my colleagues.

Felt good to hear all nice stuff about me. I was appreciated for being a down to earth person by some , a task master by few others , a quick learner , having strong will power , someone who can be trusted to complete any given task etc.

Am happy with my contribution to my organization , throughout my 29 years of service.

A recent Company circular had mentioned that those above 50 years of age can opt for Pre-Mature Voluntary Retirement along with Medical benefits. The moment I saw this circular , I decided to apply.

I decided to opt for Pre-Mature Voluntary Retirement while I still had another 8 and half years of Service. There was a mixed reaction to my decision from my colleagues. Some didn’t appreciate as they felt I would regret within a few months. Others agreed that it was the right decision , so I could relax and take care of my health which is more important than money or career.

My family supported my decision.

Extremely grateful to my organization for taking care of my financial needs and also for the excellent medical benefits. All the medical expenses for my BMT were provided by my organization.

I wanted to experience a different life . Surely , 29 years is a long time. Was tired of the same routine everyday and was unable to pursue my passions. There was a feeling of guilt whenever I applied leaves to take rest or recuperate. COVID had forced us to stop taking help from maids . I got lot of support from Hubby and Son , but didn’t like to depend on them,

To me, being alive is more important than career or money.

Having a government job is a blessing as there is job security and most people would do anything to get a government job. However, the decision to retire is an individual’s choice based on their own unique situation.

Many of my younger colleagues are apprehensive of the company’s future and also the security of their job as the company is not doing well.

On waking up this morning , I felt peaceful . Was able to take a shower without rushing….cooked without being in a hurry…had my breakfast in a relaxed state.

There were moments during the day when I was making plans for going to work the next day….hmm …signs of the ‘auto pilot’ mode that I was used to. Hopefully , I will get used to my new life very soon.

Looking forward to the next innings.


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9 years after my BMT , for Multiple Myeloma

11 Jan 2012 , the day I was discharged from the hospital, post BMT, is still fresh in my mind.

I felt like a new born with a fresh lease of life. God gave me another chance. Since then, each day has been precious.

I have been able to achieve several milestones in my life.

I continued to go to work and did my best. My Son completed his studies and is now working. I successfully scored half century. We completed building our house. These are some of the materialistic achievements.

Through this blog ,friends and colleagues ,I have been able to share my experiences ,thereby helping many in fighting the disease.

Encouraging patients to go ahead with BMT and sharing my success story, by using Ayurveda medication, has given me immense satisfaction.

Extremely thankful and grateful to my Oncologist and Ayurveda Doctor for supporting me all the time.

My family has been the greatest source of strength.

Friends and colleagues have been so understanding and helpful all the while.

After my BMT ,I took leave for 6 months to recuperate. Since then ,I have worked continuously and never took any break. I wanted to work for a few years and then retire.

Finally ,the day has arrived and I have applied for Pre-Mature Voluntary retirement.I am getting relieved on 24 Feb 2021.

I was supposed to be relieved on 30 Nov 2020, but due to some unforeseen events, it didn’t happen.

Looking forward to another exciting phase in my life.

Hope is Real !


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Hold on my Retirement

I was due for retirement on 30 Nov 20 ie yesterday, however due to some unforeseen circumstances , my retirement was put on hold by HR a couple of days ago.

I am feeling upset and frustrated right now.

Everything was going well. I bought gifts for all my colleagues and was busy shopping and packing the gifts all of last week. As a customary ritual , all my colleagues collected and gifted me some money , with which I had bought a gift for myself. This gift would be given to me on the day of the official farewell. Preparations were on by all colleagues for hosting the event yesterday.

I had completed all the formalities and forms to be filled wrt the pension, my PF , Medical benefits etc.

Was busy all of November handing over all my activities to another colleague. Cleared all my drawers and closets which had files from my initial days in this company. Lots of memories were revived during this cleanup. Photos surfaced from everywhere. Segregated all my files on the computer and copied them to a central system , so they can be referred to when required.

Dont really know how long it is going to take for me to get relieved.

Yet to receive a new Office order for my role in the company till I actually get relieved. Discussions are on as to what should be my portfolio till the retirement. Should I continue doing my existing duties or just stick around and attend office as and when I wish and use my leaves.

hmmm…

in a confused state….


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21 Oct 2020 – New Phase in my Life !!

After my BMT , I continued to work and felt quite strong , Mentally as well as physically and I wanted to complete a few tasks and reach a few milestones.

Among these Milestones are :

-To see my son settled down in a job

-To complete the contruction of our house which we had got designed by an Architect just before I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.

-To do my best in the organisation that I was working for

I had decided then that I would quit by job once the above were achieved.

I am currently at a stage where I am happy that I was able to achieve all of them. I feel very contented now and hence decided to take ‘Pre-Mature Voluntary Retirement’.

Submitted the Application form to HR Department. I will be relieved on 30 Nov 2020.

The rest of my life I will be able to do a lot of stuff that I was unable to do till now.

I am extremely grateful to the Almighty for getting an extension to my life.

I am also very thankful to all my near and dear ones who have supported me in various ways.

Looking forward to a new Phase in my Life !!

~ Sarve Janaja Sukhino Bhavanthu~


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Lock-Down Dairies – 8 June 20 : Will there be a growth in rural areas, reviving my old Mortar and Pestle , Minimalist kitchen

Growth in Rural Economy :

Now that the Migrants from cities are back to their villages , is it possible for the migrants to give a boost to the rural economy. While the cities now face a shortage of skilled labour , these skills are now available in small towns and villages. Would this segment of population help in setting up new businesses in rural areas. But right now  they are jobless and they are struggling with hunger too. Also heard that a lot of houses in the cities are now vacant after the migrants have vacated.

The shortage of these skills in the cities is now leading to an increase in the wages of labourers and they are in a position to demand a hike. Only time will tell what is in store for the future. Appears that the situation is going to improve the lives of rural folks , povided the government lends a hand.

Reviving my old Mortar and Pestle :

I recently joined one Facebook group named ‘Roti Pachallu’ . This group is all about making Chutneys with different veggies , lentils , greens etc. Been coming across a variety of new recipes which I never knew existed. Water melon rind chutney , Asparagus chutney , Cluster beans chutney , Tamarind flower chutney etc. All these are prepared in the traditional way using a Mortar and Pestle. My Mortal and Pestle which I bought just after my wedding was lying in the attic. Now that I am inspired by the posts in this group , I got mine down the attic and this is how it looks.

Need to spend some time curing/seasoning it , and then it is ready to be used to make chutneys. Since last one year , i have been fascinated and obsessed by the traditional ways of cooking , be it the type of Utensils or the recipes.

Minimalist kitchen :

I am also currently researching on how to achieve a Minimalist kitchen. Surely it is a more disciplined way of life and helps in having a neat and clean kitchen with minimum effort.


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Lock-Down Dairies – 2 June 20 : Covid-19 and 6 feet distance inside a car with car driver , separate plastic shield and A/C vent for every seat in the car, received my package with a plastic curtain today

I have been going to work since last 15 days. I have a car driver who drives our car. One important precaution to take during the current COVID situation is to wear a mask and also maintain 6 feet physical distance. How is this possible inside a car.

As of now , the windows of the car are lowered and we wear masks and also a face shield. This arrangement is not easy during summer ,as it is very hot and suffocating.  With the windows open ,the car interiors would get dirty too.

But I have no choice.

I am now thinking as to how I should manage during the coming monsoons when it would be difficult to open the windows.

I had ordered a plastic curtain online and received the package today.

I will be setting up this sheet as a shield inside the car. Surely the whole setup is going to spoil the car interiors  with all the sticking that is mandatory. 

This arrangement would be suffocating too, when it rains and the windows have to be closed. Our car doesn’t have A/C vents at the back seat and I am going to have a tough time during the monsoons too.

Hopefully ,all the cars in the future would mandatorily be designed and manufactured with a shield for every seat. Just like the curtains in the ICU for each bed in a hospital.

Not just a shield, but also a separate  A/C vent for each seat.


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Lock-Down Dairies – 31 May 20 : pre-monsoon showers, Mending my broken plants

In india, monsoons are awaited with excitement every year.

They have arrived in Kerala and will reach our city by the first week of June. However, we had the pre-monsoon showers this afternoon.

The temperature in Hyderabad was the highest last week and I was enjoying the cool breeze and watching the showers sitting in my balcony.

A couple of weeks ago we had a milder shower and I noticed that my cluster beans plants which were almost 3 feet in height ,had bent and touched the ground. I then shook the plants to remove all the excess water that stayed on the leaves and tied them to sticks. They got back to normalcy in a day.

This afternoon, I did watch the plants from my balcony and noticed they were bent. Very soon the downpour became severe and I missed the plants. The plants had grown much taller and stronger after I had tied them to sticks last time . But due to the heavy rain this afternoon , the plants broke just above the place where I had tied them to the sticks.

I almost cried seeing them :((. I immediately thought of all the farmers who solely depend on farming. The plight of farmers during such unforseen circumstances.

Hubby dear ,seeing my sadness , immediately searched the internet for remedies. He found a write-up where it was suggested to put a tape to the broken stem.

We immediately mended the plant. Hopefully they recover well.

They had grown to be strong, tall and healthy ,and had started flowering too. I was hoping for a good harvest.

~Wishing well for all the crops ~


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Lock-Down Dairies – 23 May 20 : Full day at work , New Boss at work

After almost 50 days of WFH , we started going to work on 5 hours shifts. Very soon after a few days we were told to work for normal hours , which is 8.5 hours for us.

Feeling very tired since two days. Have to cook/pack breakfast in the morning. Yet to get accustomed to the new routine. During the Pre-Lockdown days , I had a cook , but with this virus thing I decided to stop the cook. Yet to call the cook back to work which may not happen in the near future.

I have to be strong.

We now have a new boss at work as the earlier boss has retired. The introductory session took place today.

Got late at work and crashed early as I was very tired.

Our neighbours mangoes have ripened under the jute bag. I had one big juicy Mango as my dinner and slept early.

~Take Care folks!!~


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Lock-Down Dairies – 20 May 20 : My Official Birthday , no time for gardening :( , suffocation at work due to wearing the Mask

My Official Birthday :

Today is my Official Birthday. All Birthdays along with wishes are displayed on our Intranet Website. I have been getting several messages on Whatsapp and also from colleagues wishing me. So, I get to celebrate twice every year 🙂

Missing Spending time with my Plants :

Since I started going to work I am unable to spend any time with my plants. Missing my plants a lot. I had a wonderful time taking care of my plants during the Lockdown period.I would check the sprouting of seeds , growth of new shoots , every leaf , the buds, the flowers , the soil , water content in the soil, look for any pests , give manure , make organic pesticides and fertilizers at home . It is three days since the change has taken place and i am yet to reschedule my daily routine so I can include the plants too. It is a bit hectic now , I am busy with cooking in the morning and then I have to work from home for half a day , have to physically be at the workplace during the second half and by the time I am back home it is 7pm. Too tiring. Hopefully I will get used to the new routine soon.

The Mask woes at the workplace :

While I am in my seat in my cabin , I usually loosen the mask. However , as soon as someone enters my cabin I put on my mask. All is well in the cabin. But when there is a meeting in the conference Hall , things get difficult. The A/C is not permitted to be switched On . We need to discuss over some document that is projected on the screen. If the windows are opened , the matter on the screen is dull and not visible . It gets very suffocating inside the conference room. Speaking with the mask ON is also not comfortable to many. The voice is not loud enough and feels snuffed. Few colleagues are removing the mask when they wish to speak which is not acceptable. Some put the mask only to cover the mouth and do not cover the nose.


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Lock-Down Dairies – 19 May 20 : Gradual Unlocking of Lock-down in Hyderabad/Telangana, night curfew for 12 hours

The Lock is being opened in the city where I live. It is 55 days since Lockdown was imposed.

Initially , everything to do with Health care was open ( Hospitals, Diagnostic centers, Pharmacies) , Pharma companies , all supermarkets , Milk supplies , makeshift vegetable vendors , Non-veg selling stores were permitted to be open.

A couple of weeks ago , all Wine shops were open.

A week ago , all stores related to the construction industry were opened up. All paints , Hardware, ceramic tiles, Steel, Marble , cement stores etc were also permitted to do their businesses.

And today many more businesses are being allowed to operate. All businesses except Restaurants (dine-in) , schools, Malls, Public transport , Pubs are allowed to do their business.Even Cabs and Autos are permitted with restrictions.All private companies and Factory can work.

The economy is almost opened up.

The message is clear.

We have to learn to live with the new virus.

Got to take enough precautions and go ahead with normal life. The number of cases have been rising all over India but life must go on.

Night curfew continues to be on from 7pm to 7am. I have been coming home from work just before the curfew starts. My office timing is upto 6.30 pm and I start almost immediately . Very less traffic around this time as everyone has already reached their homes. the remaining are rushing back so as to reach before 7pm and we are among them 🙂

Everyone is speeding on the roads which may be dangerous too.

It is funny how I always had this wish that the traffic would reduce some way or the other and this is how my wish materialised :).

Although it is temporary and very soon everything will get back to pre-lockdown era.

Take care folks !!