He was always in a hurry...
As the cold waiting room grew colder,minutes turned into hours and the wait never ending..
It was fear that made the cold environs of of the narrow corridor at Nanavati hospital 'bone-chilling' cold as we later realized. Our trembling hands found each other for comfort,hearts thumping as my brother in law was wheeled into the ICCU. Having spent years in and around the hospitals,and having a family owned nursing home, didn't make the place seem less intimidating .
Almost everyone avoided eye contact as we saw a dignified cardiac physician,my brother in law,eldest of the three brothers ,break down completely as other doctors took charge.
As the wait grew longer,my niece and nephew,both doctors in making took turns in going in and out of the cath lab.Vee the wife was almost in denial of the worsening situation as she completely trusted the family of doctors,and the medical science in general.She and her husband were the only non medicos in the family.How could anything go wrong with the best and timely medical help available?...
Bad news..my husband's bbm flashed on my screen and in an instant I rushed towards the OT after I slipped Vee's hand into my niece's.I saw the two brothers emerge out with slumped shoulders shaking their heads still trying to absorb the fact they just lost their brother to massive cardiac arrest
Did you tell Vee? they asked.It was as if someone had suddenly kept tons of weight on my chest.I had never done this before,how will I do this..she will be looking up into my eyes with hope...
"We lost him" the rest of the words just tumbled out,incoherent... . they tried,be strong,there was no hope,sorry,it was massive,and I said -he didn't give us time..I actually said that.He was known in the family as one who did not have time.He was always in a hurry!
We sat huddled together as emotions took over and as the news was sinking in,came the tough task of informing. How does one inform two, young children that while they trustingly slept peacefully at home,we lost their father. .How does one inform aged parents that they lost their young son ..How does one choose words to be able to break it as softly as possible?
Vee suddenly got up and said she wanted to see him.The walk to the bed was the longest ever.
Assa ..Assa ..pahaayecha ..(Do I have to see him like this?) and she slumped like a heap quietly.. She got up again to stare at the calm and serene face .It was peaceful but white face of death ...and she slowly moved away. Bass.. just like that ...gone ,without a word?You think I should have stayed inside with him?,She asked.
We saw him being wheeled out slowly to the morgue. Did he feel our presence as we said good bye to him one last time?There was hesitation ..How could you go home leaving him alone with strangers in the cold morgue?Will he feel betrayed?
Practicalities rule our lives and this was no exception as we drove home in deafening silence.Vee glanced at her sleeping kids and decided she would let them sleep this night in peace and tell them in the morning . Tears welled up every now and then and as the darkness grew thick and the silence thicker,she talked about him,her life.. she kept on talking through the night ,non-stop and we listened till dawn broke with another day...
Life would be different now..