Many of us have read several times an email about a patient narrating a storing from a hospital bed. It was one of the most popular email forwards with a proving thought.
The one I am writing is from my real life experience. The window you see is from a twin sharing ICU support room situated in one of the leading cancer hospitals in Bangalore. My mother in law was in the last stage of her life and was admitted to this room. We were in the first bed which was next to the entrance and there was another bed, which was close to the window outside.
During the last week of her life in this world, she was here. As by standers, me and my wife was also there with her. She was conscious and in the adjacent bed, patients came and went. Most of them returned back to their home from there.
During the course of the day, we made friendship with them, their relatives as we discussed each others conditions. Amma was in conscious state and was able to see people coming and going. All Cancer Patients in various conditions.
On the 2nd day, there came a new patient, a Lt Colonel’s wife, and a Doctor by Profession. Her husband Lt Colonel Ray was with her and working abroad. He was a short tempered man, but witty at times with us and with his wife, giving her courage. His temperament, made her scary at many times as he interacted with the hospital staff. However, he was very nice.
Talking to him as we introduced we became very close, and discussing further our roots, we realized, we have some common friends. My school mate Sarath’s father Dr. Sudhakaran was a friend of him when he was serving with the Navy at Cochin Naval base. After all, this world is really small.
Mrs. Ray talked to us very closely and openly whenever he was not with her. She talked a lot to our Amma. On the second day of her arrival, amma was still keeping conscious self, although her conditions were becoming severe. A sweet girl from the Yoga and meditation division of the hospital came to Mrs. Ray and was giving her a discourse of Vedas and meditation. She was narrating her several incidents from our epics to give courage and boost her morale to fight the disease, along with some simple techniques. Me and amma were overhearing it from the other side of the room. After the little girl left, she expressed a desire to my wife, I too wanted to do this course, when I recover.
That afternoon Mrs Ray was discharged after her course of treatment was finished. It rained heavily, and we were alone in the room. Amma was sad, why all others coming and going and she was still there.
I thought may be next day, I will ask the doctor to change her to the bed near to the window, so that she will also recover and be able to come back home. But, it never happened, or I never got a chance to speak about it even.
Evening came, and as we listened to the sound of rain from our side of the room, our Amma was recapitulating the stories she listened overhearing from the other side with me. Again, she expressed a desire to learn from that girl the art of meditation technique that she explained. I promised her, I will call her the next day, for our Amma.
Unfortunately, all stories in this world do not have a happy ending. This one too.
Although, I went and booked her for coming to our room to teach our amma yoga and relaxation technique, that afternoon, she developed serious complications related to her disease. Slowly she fell into an unconscious state…. The TV programme that evening being showed was one on learning Hanuman Chalissa, and as it was aired, I felt her tapping her hand slowly and rhythmically for the first time in her life, to the rhythamic chants and narrations and explanations going on. Soon, she had to be shifted to the ICU and then to be put on ventilator as she never regained her conscious self….. Was it a farewell programme to divine world…. For so many things we do not have any answer in this world.. This is one such thing.
She never returned from there, although till the last moment of her conscious self, she was confident, she will come back safe and be with us for a long time. Her hands held close and tight mine as I stood near to her…….
She will be there and here, forever and ever.
I am sorry Amma, it was probably one wish of yours that I couldn’t fulfill and of course my Aviyal….. Happy New Year Amma……….. I am sorry, I am helpless to control my tears…………