July the 2nd. Five years now to this day, but those moments are ever fresh in our minds. Unforgettable heart wrenching moments. Especially those that struck deep into our hearts, – like this one ….
“What are the doctors saying? Why can’t they bring my blood pressure down and why can’t they give me something for this nagging pain all round my chest?” Mati was distressed and very uncomfortable. She had been rushed to hospital for emergency care and now, well over two weeks later, she found herself in the Intensive Care Unit.
She was agitated to say the least. All three of her daughters, living overseas and the rest of her children living nearby, had come to see her and she was edging to get back home and spend time with them.
“Well, Mati,” said my brother gently, “They’ve brought the pulmonary pressure, triggered by your high blood pressure, under a measure of control and are giving you medication. Your heart is a lot weaker now and they are trying to keep you as comfortable as possible.”
“But why can’t they discharge me? How much longer should I hang around here now? – getting really sick and tired of being in this hospital bed you know. How long do they want me to stay here? What are they saying?”
“Mati,” my brother cut in on her mini tirade gently, “I’m afraid …. they are saying that this is possibly …. your आखिरी पढ़ाव ….”
“हां ok, ok, but at least they can give me the medication and send m……” She stopped abruptly and spoke quietly – “आखिरी पढ़ाव?” The words sank into her being ever so slowly …..
Mati – a fabulous teller of family tales and one who was fond of family ties that spanned not only several generations but also several continents, had unwittingly enacted part of her own heart wrenching आखिरी लेख – Final Script.
History is replete with millions of migrants, both voluntary and involuntary ones, confronted with the stretch of distances from loved ones at emotionally distressing times such as these – the Final Episode. Technology and communication have taken us far – amazingly far in such situations across the seven seas. Many of us can remember the progressive differences of family arrangements of these emotionally fraught moments, starting from the post World War era to even the turn of this century.
Yet one thing remains the same; a loved one’s final moments – आखिरी क्षण – evoke an outpouring of emotions, a desire to hold on to the loved one and not let go, and a great appreciation of a beautiful life lived out amongst us, even in the midst of our global scattering ….
Those unforgettable moments with our Mati still catch our breath and touch us afresh, like my sister said, even five years later.
चल ऊड़जा रे पंछी Come fly away, O Bird,
के अब तो for this Land
देश हूआ बेगाना …. is now not our own ….