As I sit here, I hear these reverberations created by women, I'm looking at a fish tank containing species from Jupiter, looking at those dim lights in the pharmacy and I'm trying to avoid every kind of interaction with the Malayali nurses out here as it always turns out to be an intimidating encounter with them displaying more facial hair than I could ever think of having. At the same time I cannot stop thinking of my Dad's tryst with these infirmaries.
This first generation System Adminstrator who once found me hitting an 'ls' command on my laptop terminal and asked right away, 'Tu bhi yehi karta hain kya?' (Are you doing the same job that I did for 25 years?), has been through all of those trials and tribulations of life that one has to go through to eventually buy property in Mumbai and get two daughters married (they cost the same). I still remember when his routine visits to Datacenters had resulted into Bell's Palsy which froze the left side of his face. I was young and didn't know what his silence meant, but it did mean that he was in utter discomfort.
15 years later, one fine evening, during his routine Mallu Samajam meetings, he felt a twitching pain in his chest. He knew what it was but remained silent about the same and without uttering a word, had a drink, came home, saw a Movie, followed the norm of having a 13 minute argument with my Mom and then went to sleep. Before I carry on any further, let me digress into one of these episodes which goes to show why my father doesn't delve into convolutions. During one of those 13 minute routine arguments -
Mom - "Upar waala Sab dekh raha hain..." (The Almighty knows everything, so don't you dare...)
And before she could go on...
Dad - "Well, the Singhs have absolutely no business snooping into our issues."
The argument ended in 11 minutes and 43 seconds.
When he woke up the next morning, he was moving restlessly, swithching sides, changing his sleep positions continuously. On asking him what the issue was...he said, without a hint of doubt..."It's acidity.". "Why don't you try a Pundin Hara now?" said mom without wasting too much time.
The very next hour, without depending much on his judgement we got his ECG done. That day we learnt a huge lesson, Pudin Hara never cures a Massive Heart Attack. My father, totally unaware as to why his incessant belching made him believe that he had three daughters (after watching me cry that is), got him into the ICU, got him a luxurious room in Asian Heart Institute and a week later...a new artery.
This was 4 years ago.
A couple of days back, after I came home from work, he was at it again. Belching. Holding his potbelly with a frown on his face. I asked him what he feels and what does he think it is. With a long pause, he burped and said ... 'Acidity'. Without wasting much time, I called my friend who arrived in his Innova, we got dad into his car and in no time got him admitted. The dreaded 'A' word again played it's part. This acidity was nothing but an inflammed Gall Bladder in disguise.
So, here I'm keeping my distance from Mallu nurses, watching women complain about Alastair Cook's batting and hoping that the food in the cafeteria lives up to that of Asian Heart Institute. And when it comes to my Dad...he is going to come out strong.
Moral of the Story: If your parents have crossed sixty and are complaining about Acidity...just find a Hospital with a good Cafeteria.
P.S: Pray that he comes out stronger.