Sunday, November 3, 2013

At the last stages of his life... (hopefully not)

The Emergency room is dark and silent. It's a little cold these days in Ludhiana, and the temperature inside the Emergency room is cool. Faint sound of a few cars passing on the outside road can be heard every few minutes. It's 1:25 AM and it's the festival of Diwali today, the biggest festival in my country. A few firecrackers burst outside every few minutes.

In front of me on the hospital bed is an old man, at the last stages of his life (hopefully not). His name is Sh. Sita Ram, and he is my dear grandfather. The L&T Medical pulse oximeter beeps faster than the clock ticks. His pulse fluctuates between 85 and 90, and the blood oxygen level fluctuates between 96-97%.

He was unconscious in his bed today morning, and that's when we realized that something is really wrong. When I looked at his unconscious face today morning, a strange sense of philosophical and spiritual sadness dawned upon me. The sadness grew when my uncle told that Sh. Sita Ram, his father, during his youth, used to dive into the river Ganga on one bank and used to swim to the other bank.

I looked at this 90 year old man's still face, covered with white stubble, and the thought that this man used to rage and rumble half a century back gave me an eerie uneasiness. The world was so different back then. My country India was so different. I wasn't even born. It was his time, his era back then, just like today it's my time and my era.

Time is an unstoppable force. An agent of change. A cleansing agent that weeds out the old and brings in fresh life. It's an agent that no human has ever been able to avoid, from Alexander to Hitler.

For a moment, I will make a tiny wish that the feeble old man, my dear grandfather, regain his consciousness. That he look at me again and recognize me as Rishabh, as he always had. But I don't know. I can wish though. Deep inside I know that the hope is little.

I started writing this page on my phone inside the quiet Emergency room and completed it on my computer.

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