“Papa is not doing well, ”mummy called nervously. My papa was suffering from chronic cirrhosis of the liver. He was down with fever and was delirious… this happens to people with chronic liver condition.
I took a long breath and told mummy to pack their bags. “I will be there soon,” I assured her. I was quite nervous, somehow managed to travel 400 kilometres to get him to the country’s capital city. I was aware that the medical facilities in my hometown were not equip to handle such medical emergencies.
My hands were sweaty and my heart was beating unusually fast. By the time I reached home, mummy had readied everything. “Beta tum aa gayi,” she was relieved to see me. Mummy looked frail and tired…lack of sleep and care does that to you. Papa looked wasted and miserable. I remember, how he loved talking about his yesteryear adventures in wrestling and weight-lifting. My heart bled seeing them in this state. But I had to move on…
Without wasting any time, we moved papa into the ambulance. Those four hours in the ambulance were the most dreadful hours of my life. I kept tracking the GPS till we reached the medical facility.
I had a ginormous task ahead of me… keeping my sanity intact and comforting my mummy and papa at the same time. Mummy was unusually quiet. I guess, she was silently praying. Prayers heal! I kept talking to papa, trying to keep him awake. He was mumbling something. He had no sense of time or space…but somewhere I felt he was listening. Maybe, I was just imagining.
We finally managed to reach the hospital. I took papa directly to the emergency. “we don’t have space in the emergency,” I was informed. I didn’t budge. Since he was already seeking treatment in that hospital, they couldn’t deny him admission. Mummy was surprised to witness my new avatar-courageous and determined. I am sure she was smiling deep inside.
“Badi ziddi hai tu,” papa used to tell me. Finally, I got him admitted in the emergency. I managed to save him from slipping into a coma. At last, I succeeded in preserving his dignity and self-respect. In the process, I discovered my new self…strong, determined and persistent me. Sometimes, it’s good to be stubborn papa. Isn’t it?
It’s only during these tough times that we happen to discover our true selves. Life is tricky, we can’t anticipate what will happen in the next moment. In the end, all we have is our inner strength and courage. Pata nahin kahan chhupa ke rakte hain hum itni saari himmat.
I lost my papa in September last year. The journey was long, painful and fruitful at the same time. Life taught me so many lessons. One was staying strong in times of adversity. Mind you, it wasn’t easy. But there is light at the end of the darkness…
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