Scribblings from time spent at the Hospital

Last Monday at this time, I rushed my mother into the Emergency Coronary Care Unit Ward of a leading hospital in the city. The doctors said that I had been not a minute too late and asked me to step outside and wait. I sat along with lots of other people who had brought in their near and dear ones for treatment.

After sometime I was called and handed over my mother’s clothes in a plastic bag. Then the duty doctor apprised me of the situation and said that fluid had filled up in her chest and coupled with high BP and sugar she was in a bit of a critical stage and they would have to run tests to check if there was any history of cardiac illness. I was then asked to go to the billing section and make an initial deposit.

In tandem, the doctors and nurses were doing their tasks. I was seated outside for over four hours and I looked at the other occupants of the waiting hall. A family of four – two elderly ladies, one man in his forties and another lady his wife in her thirties;  two men in their thirties, businessmen, constantly getting phone-calls and going outside the main door to talk about prices of metal, an old man, dignified and stoic in his silence. By a twist of the dice of the creator, we were all assembled there waiting for the doctors to heal our loved ones.

By about 9 PM the doctor called me in he said, “Don’t worry for now, we have pumped out the fluid that had filled up in the chest, we need to stabilize her, run more tests and keep her under observation.” I got a glimpse of my mother connected to a number of tubes and wires and the proverbial oxygen mask pumping in the precious elixir of life.

Called up relatives, informed a few friends and am thankful to all the friends who sent prayers, asked me to stay strong, thank you. Need to really thank Ganesh who despite his busy schedule kept checking on the status of my mother and offered his inputs. Sai who offered inputs as well and Viji – someone whom I befriended recently, a mere thanks is not sufficient for the amount of support you offered, I will remain indebted to you for your words of motivation. Veena Amma, Avis Sir, BP, Sindhu, Shilpa, Salesh, Shashi  sir, Sundari, Aravind Anna and Vinod who kept in touch, family across the country who kept asking for updates, colleagues at work who asked me not to worry; thanks everyone!

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Did not sleep at all that night, I kept walking through the hall, the attendant asked me to get medicines at about 11:30 PM and some disposables as well. Night progressed, the sounds of the city’s traffic went silent, the few attendants of the patients who remained were lost deep in fatigued sleep. The security guards smiled at me as I paced about the hall, the massive wooden idol of Maha Ganapathi seemed to offer strength. As the sky turned from pitch black, to a shade of orange-pink and then white and blue, the hospital buzzed back to life like a gigantic machine! Staff came in and set about their tasks and a fresh set of patients also started coming into the hospital.

I finally received an update that my mother is stable and would be moved to the general ward by evening! This update came late into the afternoon of Tuesday, I smiled inwardly, thanked all the Gods, the doctors, the driver who drove us down and sat down on the chair and closed my eyes and went into a deep sleep. This was a powerful nap – an hour of deep sleep! I woke up with a start from a nightmare wherein I was aboard a burning ship that was being swallowed in a whirlpool, I woke up with a fit, saw that I had perspired profusely. Got up went to the bathroom and washed, returned to the CCU and checked with the attendant, she said, “By 7:00 PM we will shift sir!”

When the shifting happened, we were given a double room, wherein one room would be shared by two patients and their respective attendants. Our co-occupant was a lady who had just had her bypass-surgery. She was being looked after by her daughter. The lady aged 65, same as my mother called me and asked me to sit by her side. She asked slowly about who I was, why my mother was admitted, why I wasn’t married, the long list of questions. Then she said, – “I have four children – three boys and one girl, this little girl is the one who nurses me. My sons are married, their wives have forced their ideas on my sons, I and this poor girl stay alone!” The poor girl was extremely embarrassed as this narration happened. The lady then told me – “Thambi, Amma va kai vitudadhinga, nalla paathukonga!”

The room had a TV set. The 8 PM Sun TV serial was played and I had the joy of narrating the proceedings to my Amma as well as the other lady in the room. Her attendant had gone to eat dinner, it was a strange friendship, I did not ask the girl’s name, nor did she ask mine, as usual, I got called Anna and I called her sister. She finished dinner and came and then sat patiently as I went up to finish my dinner.

The next day we had more visits by the doctor, dietician, nutritionist, nurses, everyone came and spoke to my mother. My mother had taken a liking to a particular nurse and at the rate words were being exchanged for one moment, I thought my mother would ask the nurse for her nakshatram, gothram and rashi!!! Jokes apart early evening on Wednesday Amma was discharged. Strict medication and diet and we need to return after 30 days for a detailed review and check-up!

The journey continues… rather than calling it a struggle, this is a test, a moment in time as orchestrated by the director above in the heavens who pulls all the strings…

Some Points:

  • Keep the medical records of your family members easily accessible.
  • However many cards you carry, the importance of ready cash in hand is paramount!
  • Befriend cab-drivers in your locality, it helps, trust me; you never know when an emergency may arrive.
  • Learn to pack, super-quick, learn to cook, when you have to nurse others and have no support, it is critical that you know how to cook.
  • Stay strong, be calm, though lots of people may spread negativity and not care two hoots about our troubles, there would be a small group of friends who really care for your good will. Remove the negative elements in your life and stick with the people who spread light and joy in your life.

Till we meet again, signing off, goodbye, good night and may God bless us all!

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Anger Management

 

My mother does not realize,

That pleasing 1001 gods,

Is not going to help,

Her BP or sugar,

Every single time there is a festive occasion,

Fat-laden foods in the name of prasadam,

I am not a big fan of all this,

On top of that fasting,

Rituals, decorations, and what not??

Which God demanded all this?

So many years of doing these rituals,

To what effect? To what joy??

Falling ill, making me worry to no end.

Not heeding to my warnings,

And all to what end,

Like one idiot I have to rush,

Hunting for medicines, looking for a specialist.

I am tired, I am sick and tired,

Of this repeated loop,

That I am stuck in.

How easy it would be,

To run away from all this.

A cross and a burden,

That is testing my patience,

Where is this God?

Who plays joke after joke after joke on me!

Where is He/She/Power/Energy/Light??

What blasted adjective should I use,

To describe this all powerful,

Omni-potent, all-knowing energy,

That seems to forever laugh at my antics,

As I falter again and again,

In trying to create some semblance,

Of sanity in this great gift called ‘Life’!

How long does one keep travelling,

In this tunnel, hoping to get,

One glimpse of light,

That seems to be at the next bend?

How long should I continue??

To be weighed down,

Morally, physically and mentally,

Because of decisions taken by others,

Which have ruined my dreams beyond repair!

 Depression, anger, blindness,

What word does one use,

What phrase does one create,

To represent this massive lie,

That I am being forced to lead??

I shall never find redemption.

This is the truth,

Till the end arrives,

Like a welcome release,

Continue to mock me,

Continue to blackmail me,

Continue to destroy my life.

Thank you dear family, relatives and well-wishers.

Thank you!!!

 

“Songs of the Mist” by Shashi

These are trying times wherein everyone is being questioned about roles, designations, rules and ‘conflict of interest’.  I had the chance to beta-read end edit a manuscript by fellow CBC-member and India’s leading spiritual blogger – Shashi – “Songs of the Mist”.

I was captivated by the manuscript. No two thoughts about it – it was good. The challenge was to structure and rephrase words in a way that would appeal to the younger generation for whom the book is primarily written. I am happy to say that to a fair extent amidst various contributors, we have done an extremely good job!

The contributors include Nandhitha Hariharan and Rajesh Venugopalan.

The book is a love story cum spiritual journey. Ashutosh, Ayan, Calliope, Anishka, and the elusive monk are the key characters.The tale goes back and forth and in time and the description of the Himalayas transports you to the snow-capped peaks. I do not wish to reveal a lot about the plot

The book incorporates the essence of the Song Divine – the Bhagvat Gita and is the first in the “Monk Key” series. It is one man’s search for his true identity and his quest to sort out for once and for all the purpose of his creation in the bigger scheme of things! All the people whom he meets in this journey, their conversations and their intertwined lives get featured in the book.

You can buy the book here –

I also attended a reading of the book last Friday at the Leela Palace in Chennai it was graced by Timeri Murari renowned novelist and playwright. There was a Carnatic Music performance and display of paintings as well. It was a wonderful event.

Lovely pics from the event can be seen here- shot by the legendary fine arts enthusiast Jothivel Moorthi – http://www.jovemac.in/songs-of-the-mist-book-reading/

 

 

The Day After Tomorrow

I just don’t like it,
You crazy kids of mine,
I thought you would,
Be my greatest triumph,
You have disappointed me badly,
Killing each other in my name,

Destroying the bounties,
Of Mother Nature,
Cleaning away forests,
To make way for resorts,
Seas that have become dump-yards.

Religion and caste,
Reservations and gender bias,
Am I supposed to love you???
Day after day,
I look at you from the skies,
And just keep wondering,
Where did I go wrong???

It is time to reboot,
This planet called earth.
I am triggering the Apocalypse!
Let me think of a better world,
Where people will respect each other,
Where narrow thoughts,
Don’t cloud sensibility.

Where truth and justice
Will prevail!!!

I have often wondered how it would be to play God?

Think starting from scratch create a new world.

Well how about a world where no religions remain, no countries, no passports, no complex legal systems. One unified earth where everyone can make an honest living.

A world where no God exists. Where men and women can choose to live a life that they envision. Where the law ensures swift justice. Where rapists and terrorists and paedophiles are hanged to death. There are so many things that can be done!

The only thing that is valued is money. Love, relationships, friends and siblings, parents and relatives, everyone is expendable. We see more old-age homes and orphanages with every passing day. The people on the streets seem to be more tired and worried. Everyone awaits the weekend to drown one’s worries in some intoxicant or the other.

Science and technology has made so many advancements, but there is still no substitute for a caring warm hug, a hot meal shared with a stranger, learn to love unconditionally… For any chance at redemption at all.

I guess, humans will never learn, they will evolve and start creating religions and assign names and laws and traditions and rituals and more lives will be lost in the name of God than any disease or natural disaster.
No you humans will never learn…..

Perhaps the new world will have no humans. Just animals….. That is the best way forward.. Triggering the Apocalypse now….!

“I am participating in the #TheWorldRemade activity at BlogAdda in association with India Today #Conclave15

HOPE

It is a Friday evening,
Another week at work,
Has come to an end.
The weekend will flash by,
In a hazy blur.

What is it that one does,
As dream after dream,
Keeps haunting me.
I have not been able,
To forget Mother Mary.

I am just not able,
To figure out,
What the vision,
Actually means!
Is it a sign??

I may seem like a mad man,
Penning away lines,
Which at times,
Do not even rhyme.
Perhaps I should let go!

Let go of my fears,
Believe in myself,
Believe in the vision,
Believe that there’s a purpose,
Believe that the vision will guide me!

Hope that is all,
That is all,
That is left,
That is right,
That remains – Hope!

A Vision of Mother Mary

Ever since I can remember, I have had dreams when I sleep. Some have been pleasant, many have been nightmares and some well just plain unexplainable.

Last Saturday on May 24, I returned home quite late and after a very late dinner I fell asleep at about 11:30 PM in the night. I don’t know what happened but I had a beautiful dream. I was walking in a forest-like area and I came to a small stream, the stream had sparkling clear water. As I was thirsty, I went to the stream and cupped some water in my hands and drank from the stream. I was very tired and I decided to rest. I rested under a tree, looking at the stream. Suddenly on the other bank of the stream I saw a benevolent lady in a white gown-like dress with a blue scarf-like wrap on her shoulders and she was smiling at me. This is when I woke up!

I did not understand this on Sunday morning and dismissed the dream! I had this dream again on Sunday night. On Monday, on reaching office, I ran some key-word searches on dreams and visions of old benevolent women. What I found indeed surprised me and as I dug deeper and deeper; I think I really saw Mother Mary in my dream. The dream repeated on Monday night as well and I also wrote a short story with Mother Mary’s benevolence and miracle as the central theme!

By birth and by my practicing faith I am an orthodox Hindu Brahmin, but I visit all centres of religion be it a mosque, a church or a monastery and have picked the best nuggets from all major books of various religions.

Can any of my readers please guide me on what this dream and vision means?

I look forward to your valuable thoughts!

The Fire Within

I am caught,
On one side,
A promise that I made.
On the other,
A mask that has to drop.

Am I being true to myself,
This life of values and morals,
Of what purpose it is,
My being true to my conscience,
Has it served any purpose.

Believing in the greater good of things,
The sacrifices that have been made,
Of what value are they,
Am I really a good human being?
How do I even define ‘good’?

Behind all the nice deeds,
The soft-spoken words,
What is it that lurks,
In the darkest labyrinths,
Of my sinister mind.

There is a deep fire,
That burns within,
As day after day passes,
The fire rages within,
Burning away a bit of me.

Where do I seek salvation?
How do I find redemption?
What is is that I do?
To find a solution,
To quench this thirst!

If only…I knew!!!