Archive for July, 2010

“We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.”
— Henny Youngman

I do not remember when exactly the symptoms crept on me but sure the diagnosis caught me unawares. On hearing my latest affliction, I did run the full gamut of the emotions as postulated by Kubler-Ross : denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. I lasted a bit longer in the denial phase arguing that the symptoms were perhaps temporary in nature and would pass soon. But little did I know then it was a condition to stay.

The medical term for my condition would be “sale-philia”…….more colloquially, the lingo in use would be “sale-fever”. Increased palpitations, feverish gleam almost bordering on manic proportions, at times sale induced catatonia are few of the symptoms that the placard “sales” in retail shops induce in me. However I have heard of people affected more severely and in some cases the behaviour of the crowd that throng a sales can become unpredictable, sometimes inciting mob frenzy as well.

Despite its roots shared with its more severe sibling condition “shopaholic syndrome” aka “retail therapy syndrome”, I was relieved to hear that my condition is less grave and is sometimes seasonal. The medical team is still baffled as to whether this condition could be genetic, but apparently it looks like the case atleast with my mom and I. However the experts in the profession gravely state that despite its non malignant nature, sale-fever is widespread in occurrence, affecting both gender but mostly women regardless of age, background and financial status.

I also learnt that this condition, though disabling the rationale and sensible section of the brain temporarily throwing the victim into a sale-induced stupor, it also, in some cases, enhances the grey cells in some women to learn the other language equivalent of the word “sales”. Sadly, I can corroborate with this fact, as during my 5 months stay in Italy, one of the few words that I managed to learn was “saldi”……of course one would know what it stands for when reading this post. Likewise my mom, despite her staunch refusal in learning the Queen’s language, can, easily and correctly without anybody’s help, pick out the word “sales” with her rather sharply tuned retail antennae.

Well, as with major afflictions, this life-style threatening condition also has its support groups. Usually victims gather at these meetings with full of remorse over their latest forays into bargain sales but not before proudly displaying their acquisitions still complete with their tags displaying their discounted prices. Despite the numerous vows and painful reminders of the long list of credit card expenses blacklisting their name, most of us are repeat offenders still struggling to break out of this condition. Meanwhile not just the spouses complain, but even our closets do trying to contain all our purchases.

PS: This post was written in remorse as a self-flagellation act after yet again spending (3 times just this week alone and it is not even mid-week yet) my hard earned lentil sorting money on stuff that I most definitely do not need. Er, having said this, I still have a few sales to check out the remaining week.

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“Life is like a rainbow…..you need both the sun and rain to make its colours appear.”

– Anon

It was a cold and dismal day, the continuous rain making it even worse. Days like this remind me of our judicious (??) decision to move interstate where the Victorian weather is as finicky and unpredictable as my moods. After a long day at work, especially being on my feet and the monotony of the work hardly offering any respite to my unwelcome train of thoughts, I was glad to be out of the workplace. Thankful that the rain had finally eased, I get into my car hastily turning on the car-heater on full blast. As I drive past the gates, still struggling to shed off my gloomy thoughts, I look up at the sky to see the most beautiful sight. Rainbows are still capable of producing that wonderful jolt in my system and this particular one, a huge complete semicircle of vibrant hues was a top contender for the most perfect one I had seen in years.

Almost close to breaking the speed limits, I rush to pick up Mugil hoping that the rainbow would last till he gets to see it as well. Perhaps something to cheer him up while he misses his sister who is away spending her school holidays with her cousins. I pick him up and drive nearby to an open field and park the car and show him the plethora of colours in its resplendent glory. I watch him, at a loss for his usual babble, awe-struck at the beauty and we both spend a few minutes of silence while the liquid sunshine bathes us in its feeble setting rays.

Inevitably, as if I could already foresee what his next words would be, he asks if we can climb the rainbow and see what is beyond it. Of course, the child within me rushes to answer him with the fairy tale of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But I bite down the garrulous flow that threatens to spill out of me and wonder how to explain the phenomenon of rainbows in simple words to a kid who strives so hard to be on equal footing with his sibling despite their differences in age towards understanding the mysteries of science and nature.

At around the same time my mind wanders to the biblical explanation of the rainbow. It symbolises the Lord’s promise to mankind and a sign of the covenant that God would never flood the earth again. I let my imagination run wild and can almost visualise pictures of Noah’s ark tossed by the tempests of the flood and in the end, the majestic rainbow, bringing promises of new land and new life. Perhaps most of us wait for one such rainbow to materialise in our own lives – with no signs of the storms abating, left adrift in a rudderless raft tossed by the tempests of life, with no shores materialising on the horizon, perhaps we too wait for one such divine sign to be the harbinger of glad tidings and hope.

With all these thoughts clashing within me, I proceed, rather contritely to give a watered down version of dispersion and refraction from the rudimentary physics lessons of ages ago. I watch him trying to understand my words as I strip the magic of the rainbow and present it to him without any trimmings. As he tries to pronounce “refraction”, I hear the uncorrected lisp, a harsh reminder of the time I had been away from him. He giggles at his own attempts, his tiny face, a miniature version of my own unflattering features transformed with that heartwarming smile of his – the sight sure did warm the cockles of my heart. Was I searching for my own rainbow when I had the pot of gold beside me the whole time??

The glint of his smile, my own unshed tears…….perhaps Mugil and I have created our own rainbow, who knows…….the glimmer of a faint hope and smile touches me while I try to take strength from the hues of my life !!!!

Pictures: Courtesy of the net 🙂



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