Monday, April 19, 2010

Stranded but alive

Hi all,

Thank you for all the love. I have received such generous notes from people enquiring about my welfare; I feel truly blessed. Just wanted to inform everyone that I am alive and kicking. And no, I am not buried under any volcanic ash. Apparently, that's what some of the news channels in Asia have been talking about. 

Some of you know that our original plan was to celebrate my husband's birthday in Ireland. I was supposed to have finished my residency by last evening, and he was going to join me right after in picturesque Eyeries. Our hotels, flights, car rentals, trains etc. were all confirmed for a week of fun traveling. I even had the name of the bakery written down - the place from where I was going to order his birthday cake. My fellow residents had recommended restaurants. But much to our disappointment, as some of you know, the Srivastava-Vikram plans got disrupted.

Of course it's been upsetting and on many levels. As a friend pointed out, I have had the interesting fortune of being in a similar situation not too long ago. But you know what, life doesn't happen the way we want it. And we need to take the good with the bad. I can't say much because I have sorta been commissioned by a couple of magazines to write an essay and a poem about my experience. But I will share one thing with you. 

At the residency, I met this woman about twenty five years older than me. She was in a very happy marriage when she lost her husband to a tragic accident on Christmas eve. He was barely 33. She had two little boys at the time of his death. You could tell from her vulnerability, she still loved him even after two decades of his death. This lady said something that I will never forget: "What is a date? It's a concept. You can celebrate his birthday next week or next month. The wonderful thing is that you are both alive." She and another fellow resident, a famous Hollywood celebrity (an Emmy award winner), further suggested that once we are both back in NYC, I should organize a surprise birthday dinner for my husband.

It's unfortunate how one person's loss becomes another person's gain - in terms of learning. I did learn an important lesson that night: It's all about perspective. I have never been a pessimist, and I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. My husband believes I can take something positive out of any situation. But this writer taught me something valuable - to appreciate what I have instead of obsess about what I don't. And I have hope and loved ones (family and friends) in my life. 

So what if I am stranded in Ireland? Despite the wrath of the volcanic ash, so far, I have a roof over my head, thanks to the magnanimity of a new but dear friend. Given what others have been subjected to, I want to count my blessings. If anything, I am humbled by the shower of generosity from everyone. Strangers have done what only friends and family would and more. 

I just saw on the news that a fresh round of eruptions has buried hopes of travelers, again. I am booked on a Sunday morning flight to New York and until last night, I was feeling pretty good about it. But as of now, I don't know. No one can tell what'll happen between today and then. But the human in me has faith that the skies will clear. Good follows bad. It's a cycle. And that I will be home sooner than later. But until then, the writer in me has an obligation to fulfill. I have these few days in my hand and a situation out of my control. I'd rather write than mope.

I will ping you next week with an update. Until then, stay safe!

More until next time, 



Copyright © 04. 20.2010

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.” – Raplh Waldo Emerson


s said...

I enjoy and learn a lot reading your posts ...

Can't wait to see you in person. May be in summer of 2010.

BCS said...

Dear Sweta,
It is so refreshing to read your mail.To face any situation is one thing but to enjoy the adversity needs a personality like yours.It only reminds me of the age old saying " I always complained that I have no shoes till I saw a man who had no legs". So there is always something that you can cherish about in which Good God (or what ever you may call) puts you in.

God bless you. You can, for sure, throw a surprise Birthday party for dear Anudit, once you are back in NY.This also give you an opportunity to see the present situation in real retrospect and enjoy the memories of every moment that you are living now.
ith lots of love and blessings.

N said...

thinking of you stranded there...but as you wisely wrote - we have to count our blessings...hope you make it back soon.