Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Birthday

26/11 is my birthday. It is a very painful day for a Mumbaiker (someone living in Mumbai). All kind of abstract nouns can express love, lust, wisdom, fear….etc, but the pain has no expression.

In year 1985 I was living in Hardwar. Second week of September my 3 year old son, Pakku had cough and cold. His father went to Germany for an official tour. My in laws were staying with me. My mother in law tried to sooth him with home remedy.  He had no fever so we had nothing to panic. But as time passed he became restless. Within two days, the intensity of the cough increased. Next morning I went to nearby clinic. The doctor said that this was an allergy, and gave anti-allergy syrup. It was a temporary relief. But as the night fell, he was becoming more and more restless and coughing continuously. Gradually he became inactive. He hung his head on my shoulder and stuck to me. By then my in laws were also worried. We were feeling helpless. It was 9:30. That day was Saturday. Entire neighbourhood went to the club as they had a Saturday program. It was a cloudy night. Pakku was breathing very slowly.

10 O’clock I saw Mrs. Doctor Majetia enter the building. She was living at ground floor.  I wrapped my son in a small blanket and rushed to her. She was just entering in her flat. She stopped and asked me “what happened?” I told her the whole thing.  She put her hand on his back and said intensely “you must take him immediately to hospital he is serious.”  Hospital! How I will take him there? What was wrong with my child? Hospital was two Km. far from my house.

It was raining. My father in law said, “Wrap him in a rain coat; we will walk.” I did the same. When we came out of the building we saw that the people were returning from club. A motorcycle’s headlight hit us. The motorcycle crossed us and stopped. “Meenu!”  It was Ranjana’s voice.  Dube bhaisab was returning with his family. They stopped and asked us “In this weather where are you going?” .I could say just two words - Help Me.

Dube bhaisab left Ranjana and Sona (their son) at home and took me and Pakku to the hospital.  He stopped his bike near emergency in the hospital. He parked his bike and snatched pakku from my arms and throughout the rain coat and went into the medical room. Male attendant did not allow me. I was watching from outside through glass panel. Dube bhaisab, dr. dutta, a nurse and a paramedic were standing surround the table. I could not see my child. I was waiting in half wet clothes. A kind of unknown fear grabbed me. It was raining and the night was cold.  15 minutes later, bhaisab and Dr. Dutta came out and said he was out of danger.  Bhaisab said, “Abhijit ka beta hai use kuch nahi hone dunga.” (I will not allow anything to happen to him because he is Abhijit’s son). They went in the room and I stayed outside. Night passed and dawn came Dr. Dutta came out and said, “You may go inside now.”   

In the room bhaisab was sitting on a stool beside the bed and kept his head on the bed with eyes closed.  I put my hand on pakku’s chest. He was breathing normal and his heart beat was little fast. I.V. Tube was settled in his arm. He was sleeping. I kneel down beside the bed and joined my hands to say “Thank You God”. My eyes were closed. Someone pat my head. That was Mrs. Dr. Majetia. I stood up. She said “Pakku’s bronchia were choked due to mucus. He is now out of danger. You have to stay in the hospital for a few days. Mucus will be cultured only then we start antibiotics.” Bhaisab raised his head.

He did everything he could and he and his wife took care of my in laws. We spent 15 years together in Hardwar. Lots of merry time we spend together. 26th April 1996 bhiaisab expired due to cancer. But Ranjana never failed to give me good wishes on my birthday because 26/11 is bhaisab’s birthday. She said “Happy birthday Meenu. Have a happy and long life…” every time I feel the pain in her voice.

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