A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS - FRIENDS AND FAMILY || PART 7 Skip to main content

A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS - FRIENDS AND FAMILY || PART 7

"You don't choose your family, you get it", I had read this quote a long time ago and the first thing I imagined that time was my sister. Fighting with her almost everyday grooved this quote because I thought, I really would not have chosen her. My sister was informed about my condition a day after I was admitted. In the cab when I was going to the hospital, I asked my mother to call and tell her but my father said, don't worry, no need to get her distressed, you will be fine tomorrow. I was not sure. While in the hospital that night, I again asked my mother to call her and tell everything. I knew having her beside me would make me confident. The next day she came from Delhi. She wore purple Jockey top and had a calm look on her face. I don't know what she was thinking looking at her brother whose face was all distorted, but she was calm. She was the best support I could have possibly got with anyone's presence. She would motivate me everyday around thousand times in a day that I will be fine. She would ask me everyday, "What will be the first thing you will eat once you get out". "Milkmaid", I would say. "What will you wear on the day you get discharged?", "Hmmm....That camouflage type of t-shirt". She made it her mission for the few days to get me out of there as soon as possible. Every night she would recite me a poem from any renowned Indian author. She would tell me the news and she would make me listen to songs. "Your will power is the only medicine" she would say every day. My sister was around me all the time and by all the time I mean even in the nights. I would make one sound and she would come to me and ask "What happened?" Every doctor treating me knew her. Even in the blood bank, doctors knew she has come to take the report of "Harish". She was the supporting pillar of the house that was constructing again. Maybe an umbrella when the rain was on me. When I went back to the hospital after being discharged for a routine check up, Dr. Arpita asked me about my sister and said, "You are very lucky, I have never seen a sibling like her". And as I now think about what I said earlier, I would have chosen her given a choice.

     My parents were more inclined towards seeing me get up and run as early as possible. My father was rarely present in the ward. He used to sit outside the ward almost all the time. Maybe he couldn't see me like that. But, he was always present during my cycles of plasmapheresis. My father was concerned about only one thing, my hands are numb. It was his criteria of knowing my progress. After every cycle he would come to me and touch my fingers and ask me, "Are they still numb?". "Yes, like before" I would say. It used to be the most disconcerting news for my father. He would go to the doctor and say, "His hands are still numb." to which the doctor would explain everything but still in the next cycle everything repeated. My father sat down beside me and told me tales of himself and his relatives. How they were once sick or how his hand was swollen to twice the size. I remember he told me that one day he lost his eyesight. He used to see at a man and think it's a buffalo coming. My grandmother would cry all day. They were some really satisfying stories for me. I was seeing everything double but at least I am seeing everything fine. He would say almost everyday, "This is nothing, you will be running in a few days". On the other hand my mother was concerned only about my eyes like my grandmother was to my father. Everyday my mother would place her finger in front of me and move left and right and ask me, "Is it still two?", "Yes, they are". You all will be surprised to know how much time my eyes took to be normal. My mother used to wake up by the sound of nurses around 5 am and around 7 she would clean me with a wet cloth soaked in antiseptic/bacterial liquid. She was present with me for the first two days and went home on the third day to bring some clothes and other little things. She never went again after coming from home that day. She would say, "I can't have peace in my mind when you are here. It does not look like a home". The next time she went home, it was with me.

   Another most important part here is my friends. When I got sick, three of my very close friends came to know it the next day. Abhishek, Gurpreet and Pranabh. They all visited me three days later in the hospital. Of all the things I first noticed, I can never forget the expressions of Pranabh. He reminded me of my condition, how serious it is. He almost did not speak for a few minutes. Abhishek was smiling and I don't think he was even a little bit of serious or felt I am serious. Gurpreet was the most calm among all. He is a son of a doctor and has his hands on few medical stuff. The first thing he said to me was, "You will recover fully, it is rare but fully recoverable." All these three friends were very supportive until they went on their respective jobs. Pranabh visited me almost every fourth or fifth day. Gurpreet too visited me almost every other day with Abhishek. They were all very supportive, they would talk for hours sitting with me when I was discharged and was at my home. It was like normal times although my speech was horribly abnormal. Gurpreet would say that you will recover don't worry while my friend Pranabh would always say me, "Now I don't think anything is left" Although he was lying, I know that but it gave me much strength. Then in his next visit he would say, "You are far better than last time, you will be fine in let say 2 weeks." These words would mean too much to me. He probably knew this, but giving me false hope was one of the most motivating thing. A very good friend of mine Swati came to hospital as soon as she heard about me. I could not talk to her or even look at her. She came on the day when oxygen mask was on me. She was very helpful. She arranged people to donate blood for me. She also went back to Max Hospital to bring my MRI back. She is very kind. The next most important friend of mine was my childhood friend Vibha. I met her around 17 years ago when we were kids and used to play together. We have been good friends since. She visited me on the fifth day in the hospital. I don't know how she reached in such a rush due to Kaavar fair that I mentioned in Part 1. It was very kind of her to visit me. She wore orange suit and sat beside me for around an hour. I was too weak and could not speak much. She would speak different topics out of the world to take me out of this place mentally. "You know these machines are from which company that are attached to you?", "Look I brought pomegranate but I don't think you can peel them" and she would smile on it. She held my hand and told me, "You will be fine, everything will be." She knew nothing, not even what I was diagnosed with, but she was full of hope and filled my heart too. She visited me at my home every weekend from her college to make me feel better. Sometimes she would make fun of me, sometimes she would just speak for hours. I was happy to have her company. I always am. And the last friend who was there for me was Ruqaiya whom I met 7 months ago. She flew from her home town (around 1600 km from mine) just to see me. She wore light pink kurti and looked really tired when I received her. She had missed the train that day and had to travel for around 10 hours. It was exhausting. She did not talk too much in those two days to me. Maybe I knew why, may be I don't. I never asked her. She would talk to me on the phone regularly to motivate me in every way. She would text to my sister and record audio just to say, "I am doing better". She was always present when I needed her. She bought some eatables and prepared them in my house which I craved for about 2 months. She was very motivating and very supporting to me throughout. I am lucky to be blessed with such friends while the story is different on the other side of same relationship with other people.

Pranabh, Gurpreet and me in 2016 (Left to Right)

There were many friends in my life who were always with me in my good times. When I earned something, I was always there to share and they were always there on the receiving end. Some friends who were like my brothers in my college times. One of them being my first year roommate Shashank. I always thought of Shashank like a younger brother to me, treated him the same way. He came to know about my condition after nearly 50 days. I was still recovering and still very weak. I always counted on him to help me in my bad times. While I was still struggling to raise my hands, he was busy in his life working. I do not have any complaints, maybe work comes first than your friends for him, but one day he visited my college for some work. He passed through my home town and said, "I forgot to inform you I came here." That's okay I said. There were many college friends who could not show up because they were too busy even after knowing about me. I was disappointed. I am. Vibha's sister is my very close friend but she could not come because, "She was busy in her engagement preparations" for about five months and could not take 20 minutes to visit me living very close to my home. Another of my "friend" Aman Sharma who used to live with me in the same flat for two years during college could not come living in the same city because , "He did not knew I was that serious". How can someone know about anyone's health without visiting him? All these sentences I quote exactly from what they said. I feel very ashamed, I counted on such people. I counted on many that did not deserve but I feel blessed sometimes that I got to know everyone at such an early age. They showed me the harsh reality of life that everybody recites in their writings. Should I bring my self-interests first when they are struggling for life? How will they feel if they are suffering from something like this and I say, I have a party tonight, can't come? How they did that, I can never understand but they lost every single molecule in my heart. This list can go very long and I don't feel I should dedicate more time, mine and yours, in speaking about them. They do not deserve it. All my friends who were there during this time beside me, are the ones I will never forget. I will stick to them in every phase of their life, I will be there for them no matter what it costs me. I am very thankful to all those whom I mentioned in this post.

And yes, when your grandmother says, "In this crowd there are very few who will stick to you during thick and thin", believe her, because she is damn right!!

Comments

  1. Hello Harish!

    I love the way you express yourself in your writing.

    I believe I understand your relationship with your sister. It is normal for siblings to fight while growing up. I think it is nature's way of preparing us for life. The good thing is we grow up to appreciate each other because there is a special bond of understanding and knowing each other like no-one else can.

    I am so grateful to hear you are close with your sister now and she was by your side during that awful time. I lost my brother (he was just 2 years younger than me) about five years ago to a defect in his heart. We fought like cats and dogs when we were kids, but we grew to have a close bond as adults. When he passed away, it was like having a piece of my soul ripped out. I still cry inside and pray he forgave me for being such a stupid girl.

    You are very blessed to have such devoted friends. It is rare to have one true loyal friend. Having three is amazing, but you seem to be pretty amazing yourself.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I hope many people get to read it.

    Blessings to you and yours,

    ~Gina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gina,

      I am glad you read my post and I am sorry to hear about your brother. I know he is someplace great and always looking at his elder sister. Thanks again Gina, I hope you share my story to as many people so that everyone can connect.

      Delete
  2. This was a very beautiful and yet sad post. Wonderfully written. I'm pleased to hear that you had so many people around you in your time of need. What a wonderful selection of friends and family you have x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks D.M. Cain for your lovely feedback and giving time to my post. Thanks a lot.

      Delete
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