Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Wish I had just some more time!

Yesterday I stormed into the hospital room and opened the curtains. He was lying on the bed and smiling. His smile made me feel warm. It gave me the confidence that I could probably be a little stern and get my way with him. All I wanted to do was to make him sit on his own. And he did albeit with a little bit of coaxing, some cajoling and yes even some emotional blackmailing. Yet I achieved my aim and hence was eagerly hopeful.

Today I walked into the room and found him in pain. The surgery and the anaesthesia had disoriented him more than his illness already had. I gently walked up to him and he took my hand into his. He clutched it tight and motioned me to sit by him. His grip was firm, despite his age and the wretched Parkinson’s, and that said all he wanted to but is unable to – he wants me close. His only grandchild in the city and I am not there for him for more than just a few hours in a week.

I can recall numerous evenings of umpteen summer vacations when I held on to his hand to cross the road and go horse riding. He never let go of my hand till I was on the horse. If I accompanied him to his morning walks, he would hold my hand as I stepped on the rocks by the sea and urge me to be careful. He would even hold my hand as I threw the grains to feed the pigeons on the terrace. Today, it is he who is holding on to my hand; and expects nothing but some time. Time to sit by him and talk to him not waiting for a response. Time to help him say all that he is feeling. Time so that he can be a grandfather once again. But alas! It is time that I do not have.

So caught up am I with the responsibilities of my own life that I have to ration it for the person who is responsible for the life that I have and I lead. If not for him I would not have had parents that I do. If not for his insistence, education would not have been valued like it is in my conservative family. If it was not he who encouraged not only his granddaughters today but also his daughters forty years ago to have a career, I would probably not be independent. So if not for him I would have not had the chance to know myself. And today that I do, I am too caught up with myself!

Ironic! He helped me be where I am today and I am unable to help him today. He stroked my head just a couple of years ago as I lay with my head in his lap. Now, I cannot even stroke his hand for long enough to comfort him. He was the one who was most eager for me to return to India. And my return seems to have disappointed him the most!

If such is the compromise required where I need to forsake emotional fulfilment for financial independence, not fully undertake my duties because I choose to endorse other responsibilities and where my ideals constantly clash with practicality; then I question if we as a generation are on the right path of growth. With the growing availability of resources, are we becoming more efficient or just more complacent? Or am I just being overly sentimental?


Anonymous said...

ask him to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and saviour,so that he can go to heaven.

Amrutha Ragavan said...

you are definitely inspiring some thinking..