Unwelcome Guests

This is a story for Friday Fictioneers, http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com


She was a tiny woman from the hills of Italy, now wed to an Italian man in America, an arranged marriage.

Her grown unmarried sons had jobs in a nearby shop. Each left an empty lunchbox in the kitchen after work. My mom was visiting the immaculate home and saw a couple of roaches. She guessed where the roaches had come from. The shop must have been full of them.

The latest addition to the family was still a baby. Mom spoke no italian. “The roaches–bite the baby.” she told the woman, making hand motions. The woman went wild.



I reblogged this on my blog. I hope you get a ton of reblogs because this is an extremely worthy cause.



All across Canada we have been seeing commercials with just this logo since right after Christmas.

I’m pretty proud of this campaign and I’m pretty proud of the company promoting it’s label.

Why you ask?

1. Because it’s being promoted by one of our oldest and dearest company’s of my country Canada. And that company is Bell Canada.



2. Because they are supporting a truly worthy cause. A cause that I suffer from daily and recently I’m sad to report my oldest daughter is now batteling from 😦

And that is mental health disorders, sadly this is the disease that you don’t always physically see and is often hidden by us with this disease because we are ashamed and sadly because that is what society has taught us is the way to deal with it.

Today, January 28th, 2014, I ask  my fellow Canadian’s, American’s and my…

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A Continuing Saga by P.S. Joshi

I’m sorry it’s taken so long for me to write this next post. It seems like there’s always something else to attend to, and I’m afraid I use these things as an excuse to procrastinate.

Our life is beginning to turn into something similar to a TV serial, what is called a “soap opera” in the U.S. I thought my husband’s urinary tract infection had probably cleared up but I wasn’t sure, and he had developed a cough that worried me. A good friend had come to visit and she offered, with the help of his caregiver, Prakash, to take Ajay to a local clinic to be checked. The same doctor who had seen him at the hospital for the first tests also works at that clinic. They hired a rickshaw and took him there. It was getting late so my friend, who doesn’t like to stay out after dark, took the rickshaw they had waiting and went on home. Prakash hired another rickshaw and brought Ajay home.

When the report came back it said that the urinary tract infection had cleared up but Ajay was put on medicines to clear up his chest cold. It’s now winter in India and many people get colds and have other health problems. It seems to never get too cold for the mosquitos though. I spend a lot of time in my bedroom because I have a TV in here, and I often bring my laptop also so I can work and not disturb Ajay. I bought a second TV because Ajay and my viewing tastes are different. Due to his bi-polar condition he often doesn’t want to share, and it caused friction. It seems that the mosquitos always find their way to my bedroom. They hang around on the outer landing  and are quick to enter when the front door opens. We have screens on all the windows but the little pests always find a way in. Many people in India don’t have screens. I’ve never understood that fact.

When my son was preparing to come to India, he was given medicine to prevent malaria. The doctor told him he probably wouldn’t need it though because he was going to a city and wouldn’t be in the countryside. I told him that doctor apparently didn’t know much about India. Malaria and dengue are everywhere it seems. Mosquitos don’t recognize geographic locations. Some people have told us that mosquitos don’t come inside at certain times of the day, but I remarked to Ajay it was doubtful they wore wristwatches.

It was easier to set up my own little environment in the bedroom. Ajay sleeps on the living room couch as he prefers that to the other twin bed in the bedroom. We have another larger bedroom, but it’s full of stuff that’s useful and I want to save like old photos, my knitting supplies, etc. and things Ajay collected from only he knows where when he was in his manic moods.

Ajay off his medication becomes delusional and decided to give himself a medical degree. This was very real to him and he acquired “patients”. If they couldn’t pay him for his “medical” help, they’d give him something. He even came home with a tiny kitten one time. It was ill and died within the week. The last time he came home from the hospital his cousin brought a woman she knew to help us. This woman had a man with a cart come and clear out much of the junk, but there were some things Ajay wouldn’t part with. He was an engineer and loves old radios, tape players, etc. He always insists he’s going to repair them but never does. They just sit and collect dust.

As far as I know he gave no drugs to his “patients” that would harm anyone but I still worried. I do know he gave liquids to be applied externally for pain. A friend of ours who’s a nurse warned him against giving anything with aspirin in it as some people can’t tolerate it.  I, and then our son, got busy when Ajay was in the hospital and cleared out all medicines that were out-dated or he didn’t need. He was prescribing for himself as well as others. He has a PhD, so can put “Dr.” in front of his name. The local drugstore (chemist) was only too willing to sell him things without a prescription. I warned them but it did no good. Money usually talks loud and clear.

To make matters worse, we had another visit from our mentally ill acquaintance. Prakash had gone to the chemist shop to buy Ajay’s pills and I got a call from his cell phone. He warned she was coming. I keep the metal guard door locked at all times.

I heard the doorbell and opened the door to see our next door neighbour standing there. He told me that someone had come to see us. The woman was standing in a corner out of my sight, and I suspect she thought I’d open the door when I saw the neighbour and she could come in.

Gradually she showed herself and started in with her usual explanation of coming to ask about Ajay’s health. I told her “We’re fine. Go away!” and then closed the door. I can’t talk to the woman as she’s too disturbed. I could hear here talking to the neighbors. Finally she seemed to have left.

Later I went next door, explained and apologized to them. They knew she’d been there and created a disturbance before. I told them I was afraid I’d have to notify the police. The problem is I would need to write a letter and have someone deliver it as I have difficulty going up and down all the stairs in this building due to my arthritis and sciatica, and people here often don’t like to go to the police. Ajay says that she’ll get discouraged and quit coming. I wish I could believe that.

Our Last Goodbye

Today I’m writing my first offering for Friday Fictioneers Challenge at Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s-Addicted to Purple blog. I’m doing something wrong and having difficulty unloading it so this is my second attempt. Please be patient with me.  P.S. Joshi

Genre: Literary Fiction

100 Words

Our Last Goodbye

We stood, chilled, our breath freezing in the cold air, as the silver moonlight sent its shafts earthward. It was caught and reflected in the glistening liquid which now flowed silently through the meadows swallowed by the ebony night.

This river of my childhood was now fenced off, a warning to all that one year ago, swollen and a raging, vicious force crushing  all in its path, it had swept away our town. Our lives would be forever changed; our trust in nature now shaken. My dad and I had come to say one last sad goodbye.

Today I’m writing my first offering for Friday Fictioneers Challenge, at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple blog. At least I hope I am if I can make the right connection.– J.P. Joshi

 Genre: Literary Fiction

100 Words

Our Last Goodbye

  We stood, chilled, our breath freezing in the cold air, as the silver moonlight sent its shafts earthward. It was caught and reflected in the glistening liquid which now flowed silently through the meadows swallowed by the ebony night.

This river of our childhood was now fenced off, a warning to all that one year ago, swollen and a raging, vicious force crushing all in its path, it had swept away our town. Our lives would be forever changed; our trust in nature now shaken. My dad and I had come to say one last sad goodbye.

Rajah, The Society Guard Dog by P.S. Joshi

You often read in the newspapers about the thousands of feral dogs that wander in packs around the city, sometimes causing trouble.  They feed from the garbage bins and some people feed them.

The apartment complexes in India are called Societies because they’re organized and managed by a group of the tenants. The tenants hold meetings during the year, vote on various management issues and collect money for the needs of the Society.

Sometimes a feral dog will attach him/herself to a person, bungalow or Society and take on the duties of protecting the territory. In a  Society where we rented for a time there was one such animal, Rajah. He originally came with a man who was the watchman for the Society, but Rajah liked the Society so much he decided he’d stay there and not go home with the man each night. I decided to write a poem about that faithful dog.


Rajah, The Society Guard Dog

There stands the mighty Rajah,

Eyes alert and muscles taut.

He defends the Society courtyard.

Many battles he has fought.

He guards the gates and stands his ground.

He checks for any foe.

He has to know just who is there,

Who comes, and who will go.

“Rajah! Rajah!” He hears the call.

He suddenly awakes!

Then to the caller, slowly goes.

The snack he gratefully takes.

He first came with the man who comes

To clean the grounds each day.

This man goes home, but Rajah stays;

He will not go away.

Rajah’s life is not a hard one.

He sometimes strolls the street.

He checks a corner garbage bin

For something good to eat.

You hear him bark quite late at night.

He’s always on the job.

He let’s you know he’s there for you.

So no one dares to rob.

Yes, Rajah, you’re a true free soul;

You know not fence or pen.

We’d miss you Rajah, if you left;

For who would guard us then.

We’re Slowly Making Progress But There’s a Problem by P.S. Joshi

`I’m sorry it’s taken so long to write this blog.  Our son was using the computer a lot typing up this and that, typing, scanning and printing.  He was trying to pull together important papers necessary for the possession of the flat, etc.  He’s hired a local lawyer and a new Will is being drawn up as Ajay can’t remember what he did with the original of the old one.  Our son insisted I start applying for a PIO card (Person of Indian Origin).  I’m American but it seems I can get one of those cards since Ajay is an Indian citizen and I’m married to him.  I don’t quite understand it but our son said that if I ever had to sell the flat, I’d need to have the card.  Our daughter, a U.S. citizen since birth, has one and our son, also born in the U.S., is applying for one.

 Perhaps I shouldn’t worry about what might happen when I become a widow because our son and the caregiver we hired, Prakash, took Ajay to the hospital for tests and results came back that, other than a urinary tract infection, my husband was judged by the doctor to be the healthiest 83-year-old he’d ever seen.  He has some mental problem being bi-polar, but otherwise might outlive me. I’ve suspected that for some time.  He’ll likely be one of those very elderly old men inching along the street to the park and back.  One old fellow used to ride a bicycle.  It seems though there are worse problems than old age to be faced.

 Several years ago my husband made the acquaintance of a greying, middle-aged, mentally-disturbed woman.  He had met her family, probably felt sorry for her and brought her here once.  She didn’t seem threatening, but I had a feeling that there was some problem.  I didn’t even realize at the time it was mental, but told him not to bring her here to our home if he met her again. Naturally he didn’t listen.  He seems to be a kind of human magnet for what our daughter calls “Birds with broken wings.”  This woman came the other day all of a sudden and I couldn’t get her to leave and go home.  Our son came in and asked her, as he was leaving to go somewhere, if she wanted to leave at the same time.  It was now dark and he thought he’d walk a short distance with her. She left with him but soon returned mumbling about leaving something.  I gave her a few minutes and then told her she “had” to leave “now” as it was getting late and already dark.  She began to stall, starting to stick foam ornaments on the wall for decoration.   My patience gave out and I started to count to ten.  She began to tear open the ornament bags with her teeth and frantically smack each ornament onto the wall surface.  “Get out!” I shouted.

 Then I told her I’d call the police if she didn’t leave.  She said, “Go ahead and call the police!”  I rang up the police emergency number but no one answered.  Neither Prakash nor I wanted to push her;  she finally walked out the door on her own and we practically shut it in her face.

  Parkash said, “My head is aching.”  I hoped it was over.  Ajay’s cousin had told us on a visit the next afternoon to always keep the outside metal guard door bolted.  I’m glad we did.

 Next evening the doorbell rang.  Prakash opened the inner door and I heard her voice.  I told him “Shut the door!”   She went wild, repeatedly ringing and ringing the doorbell, banging and shouting.  I told her to “Shut up!”  She shouted back at me, “You shut up!” You hear of “raving mad” and now I knew what it meant.

 Finally Ajay shouted from the couch for her to go home.  They started to speak loud in loud Hindi.  Ajay finally got up and walked to the door and told her again to “Go home!”  She shouted some more but eventually did leave.  I told him that if she came again I’d call the police again.

 There was hope that it would end, but fear that it wouldn’t.  Today she called again and I told her to neither call nor come again.  She asked a few questions then hung up.  Perhaps the phone company will block her number for me so she can’t call here anymore.  The phone near where Ajay is resting has been unplugged.    There’s the scary feeling we’re being stalked.





The New Year Begins by P.S. Joshi

A Happy New Year to everyone reading this. I haven’t been able to write a post for this blog for a while because our son arrived in India, visited the hospital the next day and brought his dad home since he wasn’t satisfied with the care he was getting and his condition. Ajay was very weak and was having trouble with incontinence. All his clothes were sent home dirty. We couldn’t let the hospital know ahead that he was coming home because of the quick decision on our son’s part. He thought his dad would be better off at home with someone from a home health care provider here during the day. The problem we face is that many of those people don’t speak sufficient English to understand me as I speak only English and I’m going to be the person they’re working for.  We have family members and friends looking for someone while meanwhile making due on our own.  We’re interviewing as I write this.

In the meantime our son is also trying to get legal matters involving the flat, plus matters concerning the banking, straightened out. His name is on both our accounts to inherit when we’re deceased. He’s getting frustrated with the paperwork and time it takes to process things here. People living here are used to the delays but also get frustrated.

He took Ajay to another hospital to get tests made and a physical exam but found they wouldn’t accept either a check or his credit card. They wanted cash, so he had to leave his dad at the hospital and look for the nearest ATM that would accept his U.S. debit card. The next day was New Year’s Day so the tests weren’t ready then, yesterday or today so he has to check with the hospital again tomorrow. Our son suffers from high blood pressure and all these complications aren’t helping.

One of the reasons I’m behind with this blog and my email is that he’s been using my computer to do a lot of typing, scanning and printing. He’s a Law Librarian, so understands legal matters and so hopes he can avoid hiring a lawyer.

He’s been updating me internet-wise.  I’ve been using a flash drive to connect with the internet and he contacted a local company who came yesterday and installed broadband for me. Now we’ve had an electrician install a number of new switches and outlets. The electrician wanted to replace the wiring in the whole flat, but we vetoed that as I don’t want plaster dust everywhere at this time. That may come later since this flat was built in the early 70’s and could no doubt use all new wiring.

It’s been some time since our son was last in India so he brought a bunch of family photos on a memory stick and made a file on my computer so I could just click on it and bring them up.  Since there was some memory left on the stick, he copied my files onto it too so they’re saved from extermination in case of a computer malfunction.   His wife and daughter stayed behind in the U.S. for this trip since it’s more for work than for pleasure. If the relatives want to meet with him they’ll have to let us know ahead and come here. He’s short for time to get everything accomplished and can’t run all over the city.  A couple of members of Ajay’s extended family have already come to visit. Plus, he has to help with his dad until we can get some hired help. He’s been great with Ajay since he has a lot of patience.  

We have to be satisfied as long as things are progressing slowly, but at least moving. We live in hope.