Wednesday, June 03, 2015

cancer and workplace policies

Each employee in my office gets 20 days of paid recreational leave a year. 

Each employee in my office also gets 10 days of paid sick leave a year. This can be claimed if employees can produce medical certificates that show that they themselves were sick or that they had to care for a sick person in their family. 

My workplace defines family as spouse and children. 

I told my workplace that I need leave to care for my mother who has cancer.  They told me to file it under recreational leave. It's not sick leave because, OBVIOUSLY my mother is not my family. 

Obviously, visiting the chemotherapy day care centre, endless chasing up with insurance guys, going for follow up tests and doctors appointments is pure recreation. 

I'm almost so jealous of how refreshed I'm going to feel after each such session.  


My mother goes for chemotherapy roughly once a month. After each session, she needs about 10 days rest before she feels normal. 

My mother needs her job because it comes with a health insurance cover which we otherwise cannot afford.

My mother offered to work from home on her toughest days, usually the 10 days  immediately after each chemo cycle, because this is when the side effects of the medication really kick in, leaving the person exhausted. 

Her workplace said no. They said no because if they allow one person to work from home, apparently EVERYONE will want to start working from their homes on their sick days. 

Also, apparently, if you want to get paid, you need to physically be in the office. So, no salary for the 10 days of rest that she needs .... the 10 days when her mind needs distraction the most, to be able to fight of the depression that chemotherapy can bring and the very 10 days that she offered to do her work from home. 


I'm wondering who these idiots are, who formulate workplace sick leave policies. It is safe to say that most people who do this kind of job DO in fact know a person who has had chemotherapy. I'm wondering how it is possible to be aware of how cancer works and STILL be okay with handing down these policies with a firm rap to their fellow colleagues. 

I'm wondering when it became normal to be desensitized.   

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

chemotherapy shrinks bodies

Last month, my mother cried all the way to the radiologist. 

When I hugged her, I felt how small she was, just like a child. 

I tried to calm her. 

It felt like the first day of school. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

the boy who controls phone covers

My flatmate, the Costume Designer, is in love with a boy who bought her a plastic phone cover with little pink and green cats drawn all over it. 

She loves the boy but hates the phone cover. 

She bought herself a sleek metallic white phone cover. 

She loves the sleek metallic white phone cover but she knows that the boy will hate her for using it. 

Every time she goes out to meet this boy she frantically changes phone covers so that her phone is ALWAYS wearing the pink and green cats on the days that she meets him. 

Her phone has two clothes. One for date night. One for every other night. 

I said - "What's the point of all this?"

She said - "He will fight with me if he sees me using this white metallic phone cover."

I said - "Why will he fight with you?"

She said - "He will not believe that I bought myself a phone cover. He will think it is a gift from another boy."

One day, in her enthusiasm to meet the boy who controls phone covers, she ran out of the house and FORGOT to give her phone the right clothes. 

They fought that day. She came home and they fought that night. Then at 2.30 AM she decided that she would drive all the way to Kancheepuram to meet him face to face and resolve the fight. 

So she got out of the house and drove her car. All the way from Chennai to Kancheepuram at 2.30AM. 

She made sure her phone sat in the passenger seat, wearing the pink and green knitted cats rather than the slinky white ballgown.

They met. They kissed. 

Because the boy who controls your phone covers is the one who deserves to be loved. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

life with Sebastian (part 2)

As Anand rightly pointed out, Sebastian, the 2 year old child who stays in my house, is much like a kitten. 

Let me tell you why. 

Sebastian purrs outside my bedroom door and scratches on it, wanting to be let in. 

If I don't answer, he pushes open the door anyway and peeps in with his tiny head. 

Then he kicks the door open and races in. 

If I have locked the door from inside then he scratches and cries until I let him in. 

When he is in my bedroom, I have no idea what is going to end up where. If I want him to leave, I have to scoop him up and he makes small kitten whiny noises and kicks around wildly. 

Because Sebastian is a human child and not a kitten, he thankfully doesn't have sharp claws. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

life with Sebastian

Sebastian is a 2 year old child who often comes to stay in my house.

Sebastian doesn's speak yet but he knows how to swipe and change pictures on a smartphone.

The whole world, according to Sebastian, is an edible object.

Thus every item that ever enters his line of vision immediately meets his mouth.

Of course, as we all know, the whole world is NOT edible. Most items are not. This is always a surprising discovery for Sebastian. Every time his mouth meets a non-edible object, he clutches it with his tiny hands and  throws it with all his might.

Sebastian is small but his hands are strong. Every thing that he throws lands a million miles away from its original position.

Two year olds can be so volcanic.

I wonder what are the scientific applications of this?

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

genuinely jealous

My Costume Designer flatmate is in a middle of a fight with her boyfriend. As a revenge tactic, she thinks going out on a date with someone new is befitting. 

She was getting ready and I was watching her, because my life really is that exciting. 

She - "Do you think I should tell my boyfriend that I am going out with someone new?"

Me -  " Why do you think you need to tell him?"

She - "To make him jealous."

Me- "I see."

She - "Actually, no. I'm not going to tell him. He doesn't deserve to know because I don't think he is going to be GENUINELY jealous"

Sunday, January 18, 2015

how the maid got fired

My flatmates fired the maid.

This is because they thought the maid was stealing onions and bananas from our kitchen. 

One of them claims she shot a video of this in action. 


The maid wanted a bonus. 

They said - "No. You can't have a bonus because you have been stealing onions and bananas from our kitchen. "

She said - "I have not stolen onions and bananas from your kitchen."
They said - "We have a video."

She said - "Show me the video. I will tell you if these are the onions and bananas from YOUR kitchen."

************ (action) **********

They said "You are fired."
She said - "I'm not leaving this house unless you pay me a bonus."

They said - "Leave now."

She left. She took the broomstick with her. 

We don't have a maid. 

We don't have a broomstick.