Thursday, March 11, 2010


I called my mother and while we were chatting I was short with her. She got upset and asked me

Amma: Why are you being so curt.

Me: I think I am getting a headache. Sorry.

Amma: Did you not tell me that you had a backache yesterday?

Me: Yup.

Amma: What did you do?

Me: Tylenol

Amma: And today? What are you going to do?

Me: Coffee and Tylenol

Amma: So now, you are taking a Tylenol everyday?

Me: Not everyday, but at least once a week.

Amma: In my day we never got headache and we never took any drug at all.

Me: But you did not have any tensions like we do now.

Amma: Nothing of that sort.

Me: Amma, just for starters you did not drive a car in crowded streets trying to stay alive.

Amma: True, but your father single handedly took care of his entire huge family while I had to work out the math to keep our family fed and raise three children and do all the household chores that kept me busy 18 hours a day. Don't tell me that is not stress, look at you, one child and already complaining about age.

Me: Ya, whatever amma.

Amma: Eat healthy and sleep well.

Me: G eats healthy, see how sick he is all the time...all that is a myth.

Amma: No...listen to me and stop taking these drugs.

Me: ok Amma, talk to you later. Seems like the headache is getting worse after all the advice.

Amma: Drive safe and get some rest. Not Tylenol-vylenol and all.

Me: Bye.

I got home, promptly popped two pills of Acetaminophen and waited for the drug to do its work while I lay down on the bed playing with Babs...and I thought of my conversation with amma...I really do not remember her ever having a fever or a cold or a headache. She was always the strong woman who had heart and diabetes issues...but none of those common immunity related stuff. She could not do anything about heart or diabetes, they were in her they are now in mine too...thank you forefathers!!! But what about the rest, how could Amma and Naana live so healthy while I cannot?

First off my physical activity is close to 5% of what mom did. She ate ONLY organic food, they rarely ate out and absolutely no processed food including frozen stuff. Infact, till I moved to the US of A, I do not remember eating anything processed/inorganic either. The most would be the icecream or some snack that came in a pack which was again a rarity. So yes, my amma ate healthy, had tons of exercise and never had weight issues, and she is so organized that she never misses a meal or her bedtime, no Wonder Amma...huh!

So it is not me, but the unfortunate age and time we live in...where we live in one country but work in another country's time zone, eat everything that comes out of a packet or that was put into a packet after it ingested a lot of pesticides/chemicals, I hardly have time to get out even for a walk and forget being stress-free because to meet friends I have to make appointments but in my childhood, we would get out and bump into friends!

Anyhoo, I think that I should cut down on my Tyle intake...I should set a good example for Babs!!! Whaddya say?!!



Sum said...

Very very true!
I can not even compare my health with that of my prev generation. Headache, backache, etc are common, everyday part of our lives now, thanks to the way of life we're leading....

Anonymous said...

Why don't you buy organic veggies then?
I think your mum didn't realise that she had a headache. with you as a child, I am sure she had plenty of those ;)

lifeisbetter said...

True. This is the problem of our modern lives... driving for hours taking polluted air, taking stress without family support, work - life imbalance etc is eating us up. Surely, junk food adds to it.

Thank God, I didnt move to Toronto when opportunity came. Moving back to Assam from Mumbai is easier...

This is a classic problem that migrant labourers like us in a developing country face. We dont stick to our hometowns and move for a better career and life, basically leaving our family support for money and supposedly a better life.

I read your comment in IHM's blog and my response was not to agree with IHM. She is promoting a separatist theory which is destructive to our sweet family structure.

Anyways, these are long discussions. I liked the way you write. Very cute.

Take care, cheers.

Anu Russell said...


Hello and welcome. Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate it.

The way I look at this whole situation is this, our lives in comparison to our parents is a little bit more stretched out. Irrespective of the location, be it Assam or America, we have the same issues; travel, bad food habits, untimley lifestyle, headaches are bound to happen and on most days I thank God that it is just a headache.

The simple truth is that even if me and my husband were in India what are the odds that we would stay with out parents in the same city? Just like you mentioned, you area also a migrant in your own country right? Things are changing fast but our bodies are not :(