Joy in the little things of Life!!

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Potter, Writer, Blogger, Quiller, Avid Reader, Chatter Box, Traveller, Foodie, photo crazy, Orchid lover, FB addict, and an enthusiast.... I work on extremes... You'll either find me laughing insanely or discussing something seriously serious.... I suffer from a laughter disorder...I am a lover of arts and crafts and anything that's colorful, bright and beautiful which includes my plants and my little lovely birdies... I am a mad friend, an insane daughter, a crazy wife and an unconventional sister... I choose to love, laugh and live!! My smile is contagious....So be careful :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Let's get drenched!

This post has been published by me as a part of Blog-a-Ton 55; the fifty-fifth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. In association with ​Rashmi Kumar, the author of Hooked, Lined and Single and Jyoti Arora, the author of Lemon Girl. .





1993:

“What are you looking at K?”, Papa asked me as I stared at the rains with tear-filled eyes.
“I want to go play in the rain.”
“Then go play, beta. Who is stopping you?”
“But Maa will scold me.” I pointed at Maa who was angrily looking at me from the other end of the dining table.
“But she can’t scold me. Come, let’s get drenched.” I squealed with delight, while Papa and I ran downstairs and played in the rain like crazy. 

After this episode, Life intervened. Papa continued working too hard to provide for us and we got busy growing up. We got so busy with Life that we never got a chance to play in the rain again.

2013:

“K, Papa has been talking endlessly and randomly.” Mom worriedly informed me one morning on the phone.
“Randomly?” I asked
“Yes. He has been like this for the past few days. He has been telling me things that are about 3 decades old. Last night he was talking about A's childhood suddenly. Before that he had abruptly gone quiet for about a week talking only a few sentences in between.” Mom informed.

I think when you are away from your parents, you become closer to them. I sensed the panic in Mom's voice and left for Mumbai immediately. For the first time in 5 years (after my marriage) I wasn’t welcomed home with open arms and smiling faces. Instead, an indescribable situation unfolded itself brutally. When Maa opened the door, I was welcomed by a frail man with a sunken face. I looked at him, hoping for a smile. Instead, my father kept staring at me with an uncomprehending gaze. With a sharp pang, I realized that he did not even recognize me and moreover, he looked visibly upset that someone strange was in his house.

“Papa? How are you?” I asked as tears rolled down my cheeks.
The frame of my father simply walked away and sat on the bed quietly. I followed him and grabbed his hand. He lifted his head and looked at me, trying hard to recognize me. It strained his mind. But soon a pale smile spread across his face.
“K, is that you?” He whispered.
“Yes, Papa, it is me. What took you so long?” I asked with a lump in my throat.
“I don’t know. Something is happening to me. I am unable to tell you.” Helplessness choked my father's tongue.
“Don’t worry. I am here now. You will be fine.”

Deep within my heart I knew that something was wrong, terribly wrong. I called up my siblings and spoke to them. Both of them were away and all we could do was to try our best to do what we can in our individual capacities. We arrived at a conclusion that may be meeting a neurologist could help Papa. I felt a throbbing pain in my chest. The man I had always seen strong and healthy had suddenly reduced to a piece of bone with little understanding of what was happening to him. His appetite had reduced, which was quite visible in his health. His memory had turned dizzy to such an extent that he had forgotten that a tablet is swallowed and not chewed.

The appointment with the neurologist was just another blow to our deteriorating situation. Never in my wildest dream did I ever think that I will be told something so horrible, so bluntly. The neurologist – Dr. Bharucha - was a well-known doctor in his late 70s. He had a reputation of being grounded and empathetic. He studied Papa’s case for a few minutes. Soon after, he wanted to have a conversation with me, alone. You know that something is not right when the doctor says, "Aapse akele mein baat karni hai". After Maa and Papa left the room, Dr. Bharucha's face turned pensive. He leaned forward from his chair and looked straight at me. I can still recall his gaze, his eyes, and his husky voice. 

“You must see a psychiatrist.” He said. All hell broke loose. The world around me came shattering down to pieces.
“Psychiatrist? What do you mean?” I revolted as I tried to gather myself.
“It is a case of depression, K.”
“Depression? Do you even know who he is?  He is a retired scientist with patents to his name. Do you even know what you are talking about?”
“Yes. I know. And now as you tell me that he is a retired scientist, I can connect the dots. You must see a psychiatrist as early as possible. People with analytical bent of mind often encounter this.”
"No. That cannot be true".
"K, as a daughter I understand that it is difficult for you to see your father like this. But denial will lead you nowhere. He needs help and you must do as I say".

I was annoyed and abruptly walked out of Dr. Bharucha’s plush cabin, my head doing all kinds of hoops. There are a few occasions in life that makes you pity doctors. It must be so difficult for them to deal with people and situations like me. I am sure that a part of Dr. Bharucha ached when he disclosed Papa’s condition to me. As I reached home, I could not contain it any longer. I broke down in front of my mother. I cried, like I had never cried before. My mother hugged me tight and tried comforting me.

“We will see a psychiatrist, K. What is wrong in it? Why do you have that inhibition?” Mom told me while wiping my tears. “If that is what it is going to take to bring back your father to us, we must do it.”
I wondered if Maa had some super powers. How could she not break down? We siblings were broken and frightened. I am sure that deep inside, she felt shaken too. Yet, as always, there she was, standing strong in the face of this adversity that stormed into our lives without any warning. She was our strength, she had always been, I realized. 

Finding a psychiatrist in no joke in India. With so much taboo surrounding mental illness, finding a psychiatrist is like finding God. Nonetheless, a psychiatrist was referred by a close relative in Mumbai. Though I was unsure of him, I had very little choice. We had been told that he will be able to help us and that he has cured several patients in the past.

We arrived on time for our appointment. Papa sat next to me, frightened. It reminded me of my childhood. As a kid, I hated going to the doctor and whenever I was taken, I would sit quietly like a timid child. How time had changed and turned upon us!

The clinic was filled with gloomy faces eagerly waiting to break free from the illness that caged them. If I had seen those people in a crowd, I wouldn't have ever known that each one of them was fighting a battle within themselves, I reflected. On the outside, you are a healthy person, and given a chance, the world will try to hurt you. I could relate to each one of them sitting there. They say difficulties make you compassionate.  I realized it to be true.

The doctor finally arrived. I must take time to describe this doctor. Not much about his physique or his suffocating clinic room, but more about the cloud of arrogance that surrounded him. We had waited patiently for about an hour for him. Then the receptionist gestured to us that we could go see him.
We entered his cabin, took our seat, and I explained everything to him. He did not even bother to ask any questions. After listening to my description about the change in Papa, he announced that my Papa’s case was a lost one, that there was no hope for him, that such patients lead a very miserable life and that very little could be done for them. He wrote about 4 tablets and suggested that we start him on them immediately. He didn’t bother to explain anything. Seeing the long queue of patients impatiently waiting for him, I took my dad and walked out of the room. Unsure if I was doing the right thing, I started dad’s medicine. Of course, I did not trust this doctor much and decided against following him blindly. To no surprise, after just two doses of his medicines, dad started sleeping continuously for hours together. He lost his ability to speak clearly and blabbered in sleep. Instead of improving his condition, it had worsened due to the tablets.

Losing all hope, I called up my husband who was anchoring me emotionally through all this. R calmed me down and suggested that we speak to our family doctor in Bangalore. Sometimes God speaks through your loved ones. R's advice worked. To my disbelief, I was informed that the long list of medicines that were prescribed for Papa were nothing but sedatives, rather, different forms of sleeping pills.

“Sleeping pills? What?” I asked in disbelief.
“Yes, these are sleeping pills to sedate him and make him lethargic and sleepy. Many doctors do this and the patient’s family thinks that the patient is feeling relaxed, hence the sleep” Said my doctor from the other end of the line.

I was furious. My blood boiled. I felt cheated. But in a situation where my father on one end was sedated and my mother was putting up a brave front, I had no choice but to attend to them. I immediately informed R about the cruelty that was served to my father. R suggested that I get my father to Bangalore so that we could consult a better doctor. I knew he was right and that my father also needed a change of place. We left for Bangalore in two days. Every minute of those 2 days of my life were spent praying. I prayed while I slept, while I ate, and while I did all I could to keep Papa happy.

As soon as I reached Bangalore, I booked an appointment with Dr. Srinivas – a well known psychiatrist. The way things had shaped up, I wasn’t hopeful. But Maa kept on telling me that it was just a phase. That God was just testing us, our patience, and our love for each other. Maa was perhaps right. Meeting Dr. Srinivas turned out to be the best decision of our lives.

Dr. Srinivas is a compassionate doctor and is sensitive towards his patients. He doesn't quite believe in medicines as much as he does in care and affection. He spoke to papa and made an effort to understand his history with me. He was both patient and considerate.

“Hmmmm!!! Nothing to worry. This is a borderline case of depression. I am glad you discovered it soon. He will be fine. All he needs is a loving environment, and some work to keep him occupied.”
“Was I hearing things? Isn’t dad the classic lost and hopeless case?” my head scramed.
“Are you sure, doctor?” I blurted.
“Of course!” He insisted.” Just take this one tablet I have prescribed and see me after two weeks. I am certain by then he will be fine. Be around him. He is feeling lost without his kids.”
“Kids?”
“Yes. You siblings have all settled in your lives and your father now finds himself lost, away from you all. That’s all. My father had a similar case, K. He just needs at least one of you around. He needs to do something to be busy.”

I nodded and walked out of the room. Dad held my hand and I held his hand tighter because, I, his child, was scared too. We walked towards our car and as we walked Dr. Srinivas’s words echoed in my ears - Papa was missing us, his kids!

For the next two weeks Papa improved significantly. In fact, within a week the change was visible. Slowly yet steadily he started talking like he did before his illness. His diet improved and so did his health. He started reading again. And we started our debates on environment, politics, war, religion etc, again. Our consultation with Dr.Srinivas also continued albeit less frequently because Dr.Srinivas insisted that my father didn’t need a doctor anymore. 

During our last visit he congratulated my father on his fitness and amazing will power. Papa actually didn’t need any medicine or any doctor anymore. He was fine.

"Mr. Singh, I like saying this to my patients. Please don't see me again." Dr. Srinivas laughed.
Papa beamed and wished the doctor well. As papa left the room after the consultation, Dr. Srinivas gestured me to stay back.
“Your father is fine, fit, and super fine. He just needs loads of love and care. Give him that. Your father once told me that you look like his mother.” Dr. Srinivas giggled.
I laughed through my tears. “Yes, he often tells me the same.”
“Then it’s time to be just that, strict and gentle like his mother. Let him do all that he likes doing. Get him more books. Keep his mind occupied and spend time with him” Dr. Reddy smiled.
“Thank you, doctor. I will forever be indebted to you.” The lump in my throat appeared again but my emotions were conveyed through my eyes.

I walked out of the room beaming with joy and saw my papa smiling at me. He looked so lovely, so handsome. His dimpled cheek shone with all its might. He was standing right in front of my eyes, hale and hearty and not to forget, happy too. This time, I held his hand and he held it tighter, aware of my emotions.

That evening it poured in Bangalore. The aroma of pakoras filled the room as mom served them hot. Everything was finally getting normal. A battle was won. My hero had come out victorious.  I stood gazing outside the balcony, overwhelmed with the series of events that had unfolded in the past few months. The daughter in me felt like her world had finally come together, again.

“What are you looking at K?” Papa asked me as I stared at the rain with tear filled eyes.
“I want to go play in the rain, today.”
“Then go play beta. Who is stopping you?”
“But Maa?” I pointed at Maa who was watching me with tear-filled eyes from the other end of the dining table.
“I told you she can never scold me.”
“Papa!”
“Come, LET”S GET..... DRENCHED!!”

It rained heavily that evening and a father and his darling daughter let all their pain wash away through their eyes.



Happy Father’s Day to all of you! Go splash some water and play in the rain with your Papa, Appa, Paa, Daddy, Abbu, or whatever you call him. That is all he wants. :D

Love,

Strong Daddy’s strong girl,
K



We celebrated Dad's recovery in Coorg and he was his usual naughty self

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 05. Image Credits: Monsoon by Yann (Wikimedia Commons). Shared with GNU Free Documentation License CC Attribution-Share Alike.

20 comments:

Megha said...

Khushi,

I must warn others- to sit with a box of tissues! :)
I absolutely loved your take on the theme..each time I come to your blog through Blogaton, you win my heart with your simple words and seamless narration.
My Dad has been behaving like that too..and it is after both me and my sister got married. Now I understand it is because he is missing us. I try to spend some time with my parents..actually I wish I could live with them. :)
I hope your Dad is doing great..beautiful picture there :)
All the best for BAT 55, sorry for the long remark.

Regards,
Megha

Khushi said...

Thank you for your kind words, Megha. As a daughter I can understand your feelings. :)

Warm Regards to your parents.

All the best for BAT.

Jini Fernandez said...

Wow, you write beautifully. That again is an understatement though. As far as the story goes, you reminded me of my parents...

Someone is Special said...

Khushi,

I agree with Megha. This is a very different take on the image. The photograph of your Dad, the final few lines, took me to a different world. Wish you very good luck for the crown! Keep writing for BAT!

Someone is Special

Vibhuti Bhandarkar said...

Khushi,
Half way through the post you had me in tears.
I've been there too and so I know how it feels to be the child, holding the parent's hand to give support and courage but shivering in one's own shoes!
You touched my heart with your story. I could connect with every emotion.
And by the end I wanted to join you in the rain!
You are my winner..
Wish you and your family loads of love and good health..:)

Please do visit my short (fiction ) story..
http://klishmaklaver.blogspot.in/2015/06/the-man-in-wall-mural.html

Cheers
Vibz

Khushi said...

Thank you for your kind words, Vibhuti. I guess as we grow up our parents look up to us for strength and courage, just like we look up to them during our childhood.

Loads of love and warm wishes to you and your family too.

Love,
K

Khushi said...

Thank you Jini and Sarvana for your kind words.

Wish you good luck for BAT!

Panchali said...

From the ashes grow new strong lives...only if people at home are caring and loving. What a beautiful story you have crafted, Khushi. Hope your father is doing well. Phenomenal write up!!!
ATB for Bat!!

cifar shayar said...

it is difficult to explain the feeling of reading it, a wonderful and unique take on the prompt, Happy Father Day to you

My Blogaton55 entry The Monsoon Pain

Vinay Leo R. said...

Beautiful. That's all I can say. That is left to say. The rest has been said by many before me :)

aativas said...

Lovely narration of the range of emotions.

Khushi said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words. Papa is doing great and sends his regards to all of you.

All the best for BAT.

Warm Regards,
Khushi

Vinayaka Vidhya said...

Ah! This is a beautiful story. My very good wishes for you to win!

Vidhya

Simran said...

Hello Khushi,

I literally had tears in my eyes while reading it as I too share a strong bond with dad. It's quite disgusting to see him sad or ill. I can understand the emotional trauma you must had have been through. I feel proud of your mom who stood strong :)

I am glad that uncle recovered and is fit and fine now. Wishing him a Happy Father's Day!

And you are a wonderful daughter.

Someone is Special said...

Congratulations on the win!

Khushi said...

Simran and Vinayaka Vidhya, thank you for your kind words. Happy Father's Day to you too.

SIS: Thank you Marshal. The win is dedicated to my Hero, my dad. :)

Gunjan said...

Wow, this is simply amazing. A piece of writing that mirrors life so beautifully.. Happy that it ended well.
Congratulations on the win.

Gunjan said...

Wow, this is simply amazing. A piece of writing that mirrors life so beautifully.. Happy that it ended well.
Congratulations on the win.

Gunjan said...

Wow, this is simply amazing. A piece of writing that mirrors life so beautifully.. Happy that it ended well.
Congratulations on the win.

Leena Walawalkar said...

Hey there Khushi, very nicely written..Anything about a father, and I can't stop my tears..Fathers are the unsung heroes of our lives..I'm happy that your father is hale and hearty now..Best wishes to him..Savour every moment with him..this comes right from the heart, as I have lots of unsaid feelings and words for my departed superhero