Shutterbug's Blog

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


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Gratitude journal 13 June 2019

Grateful for being back at work after suffering a bout of cough/cold.

Extremely grateful to my Ayurveda Doctor without whom I wouldn’t be posting on this blog.

Grateful that my Driver is very regular and rarely takes leave. He has been with us for the last seven years and we never had any issue with him.God bless him and his family. He rarely refuses to come on a Sunday or a Holiday if we need him. Thank to him , I can peacefully sleep and be confident that he will turn up in the morning and take me to work and back. I don’t have to worry about booking a cab. He always informs me in advance if he wants to take a day off. I pay him more than the other Drivers only for the reason that he is very honest and dependable. He also helps us in little chores around the house. Nice to see him get married and have kids during his stint with us.

So glad to have colleagues at work who are fun to be with. We learn a lot from the chat sessions we all share. We spend half our waking lives together . So thankful for their company.

It’s Summer here. Grateful to Mother nature for giving us delicious fruits like Mangoes, jack-fruit, ice apple in Summer . Been enjoying lots of these this season.

~ Sarve janaha Sukhino Bhavanthu ~


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A typical morning in our neighborhood in Hyderabad

Here are my observations of a typical morning routine in my neighborhood.As I start my daily walk each morning the following sights and sounds greet me….

I see the paper boy driving a scooter..he slows down but doesn’t stop and deftly throws our newspaper from the road into our house over the gate. He repeats the action in a couple of other houses in our lane and disappears into the next lane.

The guy who supplies milk packets too comes around the same time in a scooter with a huge bag full of milk packets. Other ‘Milkmen’ too deliver their packets in a few houses in our lane and soon disappear.

I see the maids sweeping the area in front of the main Gates of each house …the sounds of the brooms go swish swish …. Soon this sound is followed by the sound of water being sprinkled in the area which is now clean… followed by the maid displaying her muggu/kolam skills…

I usually walk up and down in our lane and sometimes go around the block …I need to be careful and do my best to ignore the street dogs that are all over the place… They start barking as soon as they sense another dog with it’s owner who is taking it for a morning walk… The owner tries hard to pull their dog away from the street dog…a few dog owners hold a stick and shoo away these street dogs…at times two dog owners cross each other and they have a tough time pulling their dogs away…either they are barking at each other and ready to fight or they like each other and show their affection ….an interesting sight :)…

The street dogs usually don’t bark at walkers who are regular…the moment they sense a new person they go bersek…poor walkers are amused, scared and confused…thankfully these street dogs are harmless and don’t bark at me :)..

A young boy gets dropped in his scooter by his friend in front of a house …he is holding a big orange plastic container which is connected to a hose and ends with a handle…looks like a pesticide sprayer….he starts spraying water all over a car that is parked and starts cleaning the car…appears to be the latest innovation in cleaning cars…I also come across another young boy cleaning other cars parked in an empty plot using a bucket full of water which is the traditional way most people clean their cars …one cannot afford to clean using a watering pipe as water is too precious to be wasted especially in Summer.

I see a lot of walkers in all shapes and sizes with different gaits and different pace of walking and in different attires.

A lot of bird calls …. Crows , squirrels ,doves ,sparrows ,bulbuls , sunbirds and cuckoo’s …

I see a few neighbors going to the store with a bag and returning with milk packets…

A few men women children are patiently plucking flowers from the plants that are on either side of the road … these flowers are for their daily puja.

I notice the varieties of plants and trees inside people’s homes and outside their homes too … Some in full bloom …I notice how the trees on either side of the road are cut so as not to touch the live electric wires …some bend at 60 degree to the road…some are cut in the shape of a V and the wires pass in between… there are lots of trees in our colony ….they are struggling to grow with all the restrictions due to obstruction from houses and Electric poles and live wires ..

Here are some of the beautiful flowering trees and fruit trees in our neighborhood at this time of the year.

My 30 minute’s walk comes to an end while all these scenes unfold one after the other each day…This is a typical morning in most urban areas in India.Time to get back home and prepare to go to work.

Have a nice day !!


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Bestest News Ever !! :)

A Bi-Annual checkup is a routine event for diseases like Diabetes , Cardio issues and Cancers.
The last time I got my checkup was in June 2018 . A Bone Marrow Biopsy was done and the Results were great. My Oncologist had said that I need not do the Biopsy on my next visit. He recommended Serum Electrophoresis and Beta 2 Microglobulin tests, which are Blood tests, after 6 months.

This time I delayed the tests for various reasons and gave my blood samples for Serum Electreophoresis and Beta 2 Microglobulin in Jan 2019. As expected ‘, M-Band was not seen !! 🙂
Met my Oncologist with the Reports. He saw the results and said we can stop doing the blood tests too from now onwards :). I had a ? on my face and then he said I can meet him after a year 🙂
Yayyyy , isn’t this the bestest news anyone can ever hear. A Doctor is the only person in this world that we wouldn’t like to meet 🙂 . Everyone wants to stay away from Hospitals and Doctors isn’t it ?!!

I am now in the 8th year after my Stem Cell Transplant for Multiple Myeloma.
Not taking any Allopathic drugs since last 3 years. Taking curcumin and few other herbal supplements since last few years and doing great.
Extremely grateful to the Almighty and my Ayurvedic Doctor who is always there for me. God bless him.
So glad to have an Oncologist who has been supporting and encouraging me all the while.

I have an excellent Support System and I am highly grateful for all the support by the beautiful people I am surrounded with.

So happy and in love with LIFE !!

Happy Valentine’s Day !! 🙂

God Bless everyone with Good Health and lots of Love . Everything else is a Bonus :))


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Picture Story Sept- Oct – Nov 2018

Here is a picture story of my activities during the past few months. I clicked these pics using my phone camera. I know the pics are not very good but am sure they give a peek into my life 🙂

Love watching birds on the Neem and Mango trees adjacent to my house and listening to the sound of  wind chimes  . I have hung a few birds (store bought) and wind chimes in my balcony. For Diwali I also hung an Oil Lamp (On the Right in the picture in Red) . Hung a few string lights too.

It is customary to decorate the Main Door of the house with Flower garlands and leaves of Mango tree during all festivals. Placing of lamps adjacent to the Door is also a custom. All the Decor is  to motivate and woo  Goddess Laksmi into our homes 🙂 . 
We light up the house with as many Diyas and Candles as possible. Another beautiful way is to add floating Diyas in Bowls filled with Water and flowers.

More Diyas are place around colourful Rangoli too. The Diyas make the Rangoli even more pretty.
Most women perform Lakshmi Puja on the evening of Deepavali. 
As I  laze in my Balcony on a  Sunday morning , this I what I see and I capture the rays.
Another Sunday morning. First view of the Sun from behind a building . Difficult to catch a glimpse of the early morning Sun in the cities . Love the play of light through the trees and the translucent leaves of the potted plants on my balcony.
The morning Sun peeping through the tree branches . My phone Camera can never capture the translucent flowers (leaves actually) of the Bougainvillea plant. Clicked this just as I was leaving home to work. 
The last time I grew Fenugreek , the leaves were infested . This time I am lucky 🙂
Here is the harvest of Fenugreek Leaves. These leaves ended up as Aloo Methi (Potato and Fenugreek leaves) Curry.
Visited my Granny’s Village. Didn’t click pics.  On this visit ,I decided not to click any and enjoyed the sights and sounds directly rather than through a Camera.
The first IKEA store opened in Hyderabad a couple of months ago but I didn’t dare go there due to the crowds. Finally landed there one day. This is the Veggie Balls that they have on the Menu. Mashed potatoes with Jam and boiled carrots, peas and corn along with veggie balls and some strange gravy. Very few items on the Menu and I was disappointed. 
Visited the Farmers Organic Market in Saptaparni , Banjara Hills. Love this place. This market is held on the first Sunday every month. They have lots of handmade items (soaps, jewellery , baskets , handbags etc) , Clothes made with Organic dyes , Organic Veggies , Snacks made with Millets  , a potter is available which  kids and adults can try , lots of organic produce like Cow Ghee, Honey , millets etc


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Feeling as Cool as a Cucumber !

Most are aware of the benefits of eating Cucumber. Knowing is one part of the story , whereas actually consuming them is the important part. A lot of Indians especially in the North of India , include cucumber , carrot , beets , radish , onions etc in their daily diet , as a salad.

I was eating one chopped cucumber everyday as a snack . My intention was to reduce body heat due to consumption of Curcumin. I would eat at random times during the day and was not very regular too.

I have begun drinking Cucumber juice since one month. On the advice of my Ayurvedic Doctor , I now juice two cucumbers first thing in the morning . Takes just a few minutes to prepare a nice big glass of frothy cucumber juice. I peel the cucumbers as I am not sure that they are organic. I do not add any other ingredients and drink the lovely pale green liquid in one go 🙂 . It is neither tasty nor does it have any flavour.

Supposed to do a whole lot of good to the body. It alkalizes the body , reduces cholesterol, reduces Blood pressure, reduces Uric acid levels in the blood, keeps the kidneys healthy, reduces water retention in the body , good for the skin, reduces inflammation, prevents arthritis, has several Vitamins, is very low in calories, keeps the body hydrated etc.

Basically a great detox for the body.

I always had this warm feeling in my body . Since I started drinking this juice , my body feels cooler and my mind seems to be at peace and much calmer.

My ESR levels have always been on the higher side and I hope and wish that the cucumber detox will help in reducing this level.

Higher level of ESR is an indicator of inflammation in the body. Will get a test done after a week.

Inflammation is the leading cause of numerous diseases in the body.

Try this simple detox and see how it helps you. Cucumbers can be eaten throughout the year and are available throughout the year.

Take care !


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Become Rich , as in Abundance

Poets have a special place in my heart. I believe they belong to a different planet 🙂 . Their perspective on life and the way they mix and match words and phrases ,to express their feelings, always amazes me . I always had this wish of writing one too.

Here is my first attempt at writing a poem 🙂 . This may not even qualify as poetry , but there is always a beginning isn’t it …so here it is 🙂

 

Shower forgiveness , a great Medicine for your Soul              
             and be Rich in Peace. 

Help the less privileged , 
             be Rich with Blessings that you would receive.

Be Compassionate and Understanding , 
            and get Rich with the realization of Oneness of all beings.

Share your knowledge , a sure way to be Immortal
            and become Rich with all the Respect you will be receiving.

Accept people as they are,
            and become Rich with Empathy.

Introspect more often , rather than complain ,
            become Rich in ethics, values and morals.

Love yourself fiercely, as you cannot serve from an empty bowl,     
            and get Rich in serving mankind. 

Take only the good in others , ignore the bad,
            be Rich in being good to all. 

Do not suffocate those you Love, set them free,
            in turn be Rich with freedom , the Oxygen for your Soul.

Be full of Gratitude ,  great for your health ,
            and be the Richest one in the world.

 

 


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My Blog Name : Devil or Angel

If you wanted to know why I choose this crazy sounding name for my Blog , read on….Choosing the name of a Blog is tough.

A question crops up in my mind very often. Am I an Angel or a Devil or somewhere in between. There are folks who think I am a nice person and there are those who know my darker side and may not think good about me. I also appear very stern/rigid to a lot of people :). Hence , I often introspect and this question is the foremost one that frequently pops up in my head. I ask myself what is it that I am doing right and what is it about me that is not right . At times I am devilish , at times I am like a child and there are situations where I go by instinct , good and bad . And so , when I planned on starting a blog and had to decide on a name , this is what popped up immediately. I said to myself , why not !!? I felt that the Blog name should reflect my core personality and feelings.

The purpose of this Blog is to share my experiences while I battle Multiple Myeloma . I have always felt that my innate nature is responsible for my present condition. That I had not prioritised , I was not assertive, taken wrong decisions , was impulsive etc etc. So , that is how the name of my blog emerged.

Devil or Angel

This name reminds me to introspect more often . All of us think we are doing the best , that we are always right. But each one has to put themselves in the others shoes and understand why someone behaves in a particular way and observe how we are reacting . We also have to understand how our behavior is affecting others behavior towards us..

It is highly recommended that we list the Devilish stuff that we are made up of and also the good Angelic stuff .

I have a list of my own wrong stuff which I am aware and I have successfully eliminated most of it.

I am also aware of the nicer part of me.

This name keeps a check on me 🙂

As I continue to ponder on the nature of the mind , the conscious part , the subconscious part and the pure Consciousness , the cobwebs slowly get cleared. It is a highly liberating experience when we Let Go and realize that all of us were born innocent and got transformed due to various external factors. However , we have to put efforts to unload all the unnecessary baggage, called EGO, that we carry around and put all efforts to give back to humanity and nature so as to make the world a better place.

Not to forget that we are here for a purpose and at the end of the day we have to find that purpose for which we are brought into this world.

I hope to be less Devilish and more Angelic . It is a Work-in-Progress 🙂