Death is not news to me or for that matter most of us. I have received news of strangers, friends and distant family member’s expiry at odd times, mostly with someone shaking me and waking me up to it. Dont know if it was the disturbance to sleep, but I have never felt anything much. Infact it was strange that I feel odd in a way that sadness never engulfs me at such events. Even when a case of heart attack and a breast cancer hit my parents, it was something of a feeling that never meant anything more than a few seconds for me. I refused to believe they will die and so it happened. They are healthy today. On a more personal note, I have had a couple of brushes with it myself, when I slipped on the foot board of the train (or the bus in another instance) or the excruciating pain when I hurt my spine while bowling. But the seriousness of it never struck me. It all changed the last sunday.
Last sunday, I was packing my bags for the evening train to bangalore when the kid in the apartment came over and told me “your granny slipped the gate and is lying on the road”. I ran and there she was, her legs giving away and trembling. She was putting all her effort in getting up but in vain and writhing in pain. I lifted her up and realised something wrong with her foot, so carried her away and sat her on the sofa. My immediate reaction was to shout at her (out of genuine concern) “Why the hell did you do it. You are old for heavens sake. How many times have I told you to take care? Why the **** dont you listen to me?” These words will stay with me and hurt me for ever, though I know she will never take it seriously or will forgive only with an understanding she can exude for she knows that she matters to me the most - more than my parents or love, ever will. May be I never associated death to a person who matters to me the most and that made all the difference.
The slope that she tried to climb down was notorious for kids and old people and after all these years, her legs gave her away. At this time, shes been taken to the hospital after a hip fracture and waiting for better diagnosis results.
It has shown me death closest to my face than any incidents have ever shown me. Suddenly the whole truth of our vulnerability to death lies stark naked in front of my eyes and refuses to budge. Its a deep sad feeling that tugs your heart making you feel so sick and helpless. At her age of 90, it is going to be one strong struggle to get out of it and I’m counting on her never-say-die-attitude, to beat it and get up in a few months. I have been amazed at her all through my life and if I’m ever anything today in life, its all because of her. It is no easy deal for a country bred tam bram lady who married at 13 and became a widow @ 28, penniless with three kids walking to the streets of chennai, to make a life and a life she did make, for all of us. For all the struggles she has gone through, I wish her journey to the end is as peaceful as it can be. I’m sure I will do what it takes to get her out of the bed, but this is against a force that you can only wage a fight with all your might, but still hope for the best of the luck to be on your side.