Monday, April 28, 2008

Tryst with pain

Pain always hurts, its just varying tolerance and proportions. After what I was exposed to yesterday, I shall try and never say I know what pain is. What I saw was grief, the feeblest form of misery, the gravest experience of near pain. I was at Dharamshila Cancer Hospital.

I cautiously walked into the ICU. My careful steps and observant eyes passed through all those who even the doctors would say, were waiting for their turn. All of them so lonely, so much in pain, with maybe so many questions and unachieved dreams in their lifeless, expressionless eyes.

Meeting naani is never depressing. She is always chirpy and becomes excited seeing visitors. When asked why she was feeling low, she told me that since the others in ICU were critical cancer patients, she too was kept in that silence and solitude and wasn't allowed TV. Her report says that the cancer which had been sucking her from inside for past two years had now infected her bones too. When her hemoglobin touched 3, about four days ago, none of us thought we would ever see her that cheerful…but there she was - smiling in all that pain while living a chemo and drug dependent life.

Naani hated the ICU. When finally moved into the hospital room, she sighed relief. She had hated the last three days as she could not do her morning chores well and was badly missing a hand and body lotion. The only complaint from my 74 year modish grandma: “I hate these wrinkles. I know its age for me, but the wrinkles are suddenly getting worse”. Thank God, I have learned to hold my tears.

Everyone at the hospital had the same story. The disease that pushes one towards his/her end slowly, painfully had infected many. The lonely patients in the room weren’t saying that there was no one for them. There story said that to assist their treatment at the hospital, their family was really slogging hard. Quality treatment in our country is a privilege. A day in the hospital can rob you of your monthly salary and even after spending all that money, what one can guarantee is a little less painful death. But death, for almost all the admitted patients there, was a soon approaching reality. The time, which money was buying for them, was only to ensure that everyone gets ready to face the loss.

Death, just like their pain, is inevitable.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Back again...

Not that life was devoid of any excitement, it wasn't. But it had also loaded me with countless responsibilities, both at the office and home front. Even the 18 + hours in the day seemed insufficient and everything has been taking toll on me and my time – almost literally.

A flashback and recording of all that I travelled through in the past few weeks-

Holi was good. Masi and family doubled the fun. Awesome masti, and the day ended with a dinner at Murthal. The price for all this - the next day came with shock – my maid refused to come back (never!!!) from her chutti. With Maulik in Sonipat and us at Gurgaon, the days that followed were not so good. A week later, came a nice lunch at Veda (CP) with Mom, Dad and Abby. This was a good bye treat for Abby and a welcome thing for my little angel. It rained, in emotion and otherwise. Maulik was back to Gurgaon. A new maid followed soon. Wish me luck.

Abby left for Seattle on the 10th night. Amidst all the confusion and madness at the airport, all of us managed to get emotional. This time it was Maulik crying and hugging Abby – Mein maamu ke saath US jaaonga. Finally we convinced him that once he has his papers to show to the guys there, he can follow Abby. Mauli agreed to show his Amiown (his school) papers the next day and take off. Bye Abby, hoping you have a rocking time.

The 24th of April was special. It was a hawan at Amiown. We were as thrilled as he was. Not to miss that he thoroughly enjoyed the ceremonies and seemed to like the vibrant and flashy school building. Everything, except Mr. Chauhan’s (the chairperson) long, ill-witted, na├»ve and advertisement-sounding speech, was good. Even the ladoos were delicious.

Yesterday was Mauli's first day at school. When we went to pick him up, the puppy look on his face when he sobbed and said, "mummy app mujhe chod kar kyoon chale gaye they", is a moment i will never forget. Bless him.