Tag Archive | cancer

Happy moments, sad truths.

I was raised amidst lot of love. Though we were far away from relatives, friends of my parents, neighbors played a very huge role in my upbringing.

Birthdays, festivals people would just drop by without invitation. Some would come with sweets, some with cards. There were limited means those days, so there were no fancy gifts but there was abundant love. We learned to love Indian cuisine, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi and of course the different cuisines of South India.

When I think back;Bhilai of those times was indeed Utopia. I don’t know how it is today. It has been almost two decades since I went there last.

Now I just hear news of someone departing the place or the body.

Yes, I know the soul has to leave the body sometime or the other. But is difficult to accept when your own loved ones are involved.

When we are young we discuss about games and school, a lit older and its about love and passion, then it is the turn to discuss about kids and still later discuss about pills and illness.

In the past four-five years, news of some or the other dying trickles in. A teacher,a neigbor,a well wisher…and today an uncle i.e. my father’s friend. One who was with us through thick and thin. I remember him bringing kalakand on our birthdays. The one who carried our luggage when we returned from our vacation. I stayed with them when my parents had to go on an emergency to our hometown, those fifteen days he and his family treated me like royalty. SO many happy memories. And today I am left with those memories and he is gone.

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Somedays back before the new academic session, I was covering the books with brown cover. My son sat with me looking at the whole process intently. He kept on telling do like this, like that. I remembered similar times when my father sat doing the same and I sat with him.

Every cut had to be perfect. There would be no wastage. and then he would put handmade labels on each book. After that he would take out his pen and write my name with a flourish.

Today when I go home, he asks me to write something or the other for him. As I hold my hand to give him support when we have to climb stairs I remember his strong hands ever ready to shield me from harms and my eye well up with tears.

Two months back we came to know he has paraganglioma. He had been hospitalized. I wanted to rush to him but his advice, ‘Don’t leave your family and come. If you do come both we and you will not be at peace’. I remember 10 years back when I myself had to undergo surgery, how weak he had become. Days he had spent sitting in front of the altar; praying. My father had been the one who had fed me when I was small. And after my surgery he did the same for I could not see properly.

However much advanced we become in technology, there are four things which we cannot conquer-birth, death, old age and misery. That is the only truth.

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Long back I had decided that my blog will reflect only positives. But today I am in a blue mood and I needed to vent it out.

An inspiration

Today I would like to share a story of an acquaintance of mine. She and I do not converse much but her presence, her will power, her serenity and her belief inspire me immensely.

Lets call her I Mataji. I mataji has been diagnosed with a form of lymph cancer. I don’t know the exact name because I never asked her. As such I am a cowardly person, I am afraid to ask anyone of their sickness for the fear that how they would react. If by chance he/she starts crying then I am sure to cry along with him/her.

So I mataji was diagnosed with cancer, so what did she do? She smiled and asked, ‘what is to be done Doctor?’

There are few doctors here who can handle such cases and also the cost of healthcare is exorbitant, so she shifted to Mumbai to the Bhaktivedanta Hospital. Her husband says that though he was nervous, she was calm and in fact detached and consoled him that ‘what has to happen, happens, will your nervousness or me being panicky help in anyway?’

During her stay in the hospital she expressed her desire to be initiated. For those of you who do not know about the initiated devotee, let  me tell you, it’s not easy. 16 rounds of chanting, following the 4 regulative principles, eating only Krisna prasadam are just some basics. But because of her eagerness she was obliged.

Her cancer was spreading, treatment was being carried, her stamina was the lowest but what did she do? SHe asked her husband to return as he was wasting his leaves, their son was missing school. And she carried on her fight with resilience with faith.

And there was a positive change. She was asked for some rounds of radiation which she  said she will do in Bahrain and returned with her mother and sister. During the Damodar yatra she was hospitalized. Reason being that her food pipe had shrunk because of the radiation, she was not able to take solids and because she had to take medicines, she developed ulcers. During that time only the visa of her mother and sister was expiring and they wanted to witness one Damodar yatra and so a yatra was arranged at their home.

Mataji took permission from the hospital authorities for some hours came   home for the yatra and then returned. You may say why all this strain but for me its the strength of her belief.

many a days pass by when I feel sorry for myself but then I look at Mataji, she has become frail now, with a scarf on her head and a 4oo watt smile on her face and all doubts leave me. Some things happen because they have to happen and they have to be met with a smile in the face and faith in the heart.

Whenever we meet, she will come and hold my hands in gratitude. My husband being in the medical field had used his contacts to get her an initial out of turn radiation appointment and got her some discounts. It was nothing much just some phone calls here and there. But the gratitude she shows humbles me.She returned back to her job, she visits classes regularly and her mere presence fills us all with inspiration.

Dear I mataji my humble obeisance.