One day in the morning by around 10 o'clock,my dad got breathless & started to sweat profusely.We all manged to make him wear a formal set of clothes & arrived at the hospital.He was admitted into ICCU( Intensive Care Cardiac unit ) as he is a heart patient.
As per the hospital guidelines,any patient admitted in ICCU has to be accompanied by a relative continuously.The relative is made to sit in the lounge outside the ICCU ward.So I would be there in the night staying in the hospital & later on during the day as well, whenever I had to relieve my mother.
It was here, in the lounge, that I met Shri Moorthy,a senior citizen - old enough to be my dad.I had observed, that he would be there eternally like a fixture- nobody seemed to come & relieve him.One of my dad's colleague came to visit my dad & he introduced me to Mr. Moorthy.I came to know that Mr Moorthy's wife was an asthma patient.Mr.Moorthy had two daughters- both married & settled abroad- one in Gulf & another in the USA.Mr Moorthy got talking with me.He was always full of praise for the Gulf & obviously USA.He was sure, that his daughters were lucky that they had settled there .The fact, that nobody was there to help him or his wife in emergencies did not deter him at all.That is why,nobody was there to relieve him.Occasionally,a relative would come in the mornings to relieve him & he would be back after his morning ritual of a bath & breakfast.
I felt sorry for him.I erred by asking him ,"Why don't you ask your daughters to come as your wife is so ill ?"He was furious," How many times can they come ?Recently only,they had visited us when she had been hospitalized a month back."Also,he made it very clear, that he was very snug with the fact that they were all abroad where everything was plenty & better than in India.How does he & his wife pass time ,I wondered.I came to know that he had taken up consultancy after retirement & as for his wife-she was usually down with asthma attacks.This was in sharp contrast to my father's wish that my brother who was abroad with family should come back & settle down in India.
Time passed & my dad was discharged from hospital but Mrs. Moorthy continued to be in the ICCU.Later,she breathed her last.I still ponder, as to whether Mr. Moorthy is in India or has settled abroad in greener pastures.lounge,