For the first time

Yes, it was the first time.  The first time in many respects. It was the first time that I turned (?) years old (not disclosing) and closer to that date, I proclaimed to my kids that for another 10 years, I want to do things I have never done before.  Things I probably would not have even thought of doing many years ago.  Time flies when you are having fun, right?  And time has flown for me, slogging with work, burning the midnight oil, and caring, loving, scolding, cooking for, yelling at, but definitely cherishing all these times I spent with my kids.  Hence I wished to kick it up a notch and collect some exhilarating memories as I grow wiser.

So, to come to the ‘firsts’. I do have a list of ideas in my bucket, of which some were conceived by my daughter.  So, I went for an exciting photo-shoot, to visiting a couple of clubs in the city, to having massage from a professional well-trained masseur, which were all fun firsts and arranged by my illustrious daughter. Then, was the highlight of falling to a fracture of the mid-shaft of the fifth metatarsal on my right foot with displacement of about 3 mm! If that is not the most paradoxical first, even though it is not exactly pleasurable, then I don’t know what is!   Aside from setting me back a few months already and not wanting to budge from it’s very stubborn state of non-healing, my fracture is quite painless.  That makes it that much more odd!  I just wanted to get this out there so that you don’t start feeling toooo sorry for me.

Yes, it is painless.  It did not swell up like a ball that others have complained about their fractures, neither does it nor did it pain.  So, is it really a fracture?  This is what others have asked me.  Yes, four X-rays in a span of 2 months have confirmed the broken state.  3 mm displacement- you got that, right?

Anyway, because of it, I had been mostly house bound in Calgary for two months after the fracture day, other than the occasional outing for a doctor’s appointment or restaurant for dinner or coffee.  The third appointment with the hospital surgeon was a disaster just as the previous two times had been.  In the second appointment I was told to refrain from using my crutches– as if that was easy to do.  You see, because I was hopping all around the house making my tea and toasting a slice of bread and getting peanut butter to spread on toast and then stretching my hardest to sit down comfortably, and so on, I was actually burning a lot of calories and was very proud of the fact that I was losing weight.  But I paid heed to the advice of my surgeon. In the third appointment, since I had no pain, I was urged to wean away from the Aircast within a week. There was no evidence of even the start of healing, hence no soft callous and consequently not even the hint of hard callous forming. My foot was a little swollen but had come some ways from blue black bruising to weakening of that color.   I was asked to return in 7 weeks because the healing had not budged.  We were buying time…. But what the jeepers! Almost 2 months more of waiting?

This was it!  I knew it was time to let my wings get me to India; I could not wait any longer.  So, I booked my flights and decided that it was time to hop in the car and drive somewhere even with my fractured foot to do some last minute shopping.  Now, that was first too with a fractured foot, for me at any rate!

At the Vancouver airport, I had the utmost fun and glee riding on a wheel chair and then an airport buggy (like a golf cart). That was a first too.  Sitting with a friendly driver of this cart, Michael, with a couple at the back, off we went speeding through the lanes of Vancouver airport to my gate to get me to Hong Kong.  The little girl in me popped out as I sat in excitement devouring the scenes of the airport.  At Hong Kong airport, I was shown into a wheel chair and the friendly Lam took me to gate 503.  I even took pictures of these two happy people.

There’s quite a lot to be said about sitting in a wheel chair and everything being taken care of.  I was in and out of lines in a jiffy, security check was taken care of partially by the wheel chair attendants, and I was among the first to board and about the last to deplane. Anyone seeing me with the austere cast made way for me, asked if they can accompany me to wherever I had ventured to walk up to, or asked if they could get something for me.

But I have one thing to say.  I had to swallow an ego-reducing pill to be able to do this.  My children had severely instructed me not to be foolhardy to try to walk and carry my bags on my own, but to take help in the airport and aircraft as needed.  The second point I want to make is stemming from what I have heard about wheelchair access.  I am appalled that some people may be just lazy and thus ask to be wheeled between gates at an airport. I had taken my hospital reports with me in case authorities at the departing airport wanted to see evidence of my fracture and need for a wheel chair!  Needless to say, that was not needed.

Well, I should end here on some of my firsts in the past few months.  Enjoy!

Perhaps you can write about your firsts and start posting on your blogs…. Cheers!

-Jagjit

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The Gold Rush…. What? Where?

Yes, yes, the gold rush!  Is there one?  Where?

Oh, actually I was watching ‘The Gold Rush’ as I was fervently cycling away at the gym yesterday. I did not know then, but later as I checked out its details on the internet, The Gold Rush is a 1925 silent comedy film, written, produced, and directed by Charlie Chaplin himself.

Charlie Chaplin was hilarious as usual.  He is a gold explorer, a brave but weak Lone Prospector, competing with strong men vying for the gold during the Klondike Gold Rush.  It was a scene where Charlie is saved by Big Jim from the clutches of a competitor (Black Larsen, I think). Big Jim and Charlie doze off in this cabin after celebrating their victory over Black Larsen and have a heavy booze night. They sleep so soundly that they do not realize what hits them at night.  A heavy blizzard dislodges the entire cabin off the ground and sweeps it through the snowy and icy plains to the edge of a cliff!  Actually, almost over the cliff.

In the morning, Charlie wakes up from his deepest slumber and oblivious to his surroundings, he gets up to walk to the washroom, I suppose.  Lo and behold, the cabin tilts a bit (it was about half over the cliff, you see) and petrified out of his wits, he wonders if he had eaten too much and drunk too much the night before.  He thinks that he was having a bad hangover!

charlie chap
From: Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gold_Rush

He wakes up Jim who also feels weird because of the see-saw effect in the wobbling cabin!  The two stand at either side of the house, inside, causing the log cabin to tilt back and forth, while the jokers remain clueless at what is happening.  Eventually, Jim who was big and sturdy, slides onto the same side as Charlie, and the cabin shifts some more over the cliff precariously hanging by a very tiny bit.  Its door flings open, and out slides Charlie…..!

While all this was going on, what was I doing in the gym on the bike? Going past my normal speed with my heart racing to 128.  I was in splits laughing my head off and thinking of our snowy winter in Canada.  By that time, I realized I had done 1 and half times the distance and speed that I normally do and was time to slow down!

Charlie and The Gold Rush brought back memories!  It was so good to laugh and enjoy the simple yet artful humor in Charlie Chaplin’s movies. This particular film was supposed to be one that Charlie wanted to be best remembered for!

If you can, do watch it with your family and have an evening of laughter and togetherness!

—  Jagjit