We drove down to Hyderabad today for the final term at ISB. I was remembering your drive to Bangalore in the end of Aug 2008 …. You had your cerebral haemorrhage on 4th Aug at around 11.30 am and Amma managed to take you to Poulomi, and then to Yashoda and finally at 5 pm you managed to reach Apollo and Ashok was there, Krishnan’s contact had worked and you were seen by Dr. Ranjan. Sure, he didn’t give you any chance of surviving, but then how was he to know what your plan was. We had spoken just that morning at 9.30 .. I was at the toll plaza in Gurgaon returning from Bangalore to Delhi. We decided on what snacks you should buy and Amma complained about your trying to clean the upstairs balcony of the coconut tree leaves. I told you, remember you are 70 not 7 years old and just pay someone to get it done, and you had your stock answer “don’t you have confidence in me ? Don’t listen to your mother” hahaha, I can hear you say that. You said it when I asked you not to drive down to Bangalore – how stupid of me, I inherited your love of driving and seeing places and tried to stop you from doing it.
Appa, you stayed in the ICU for almost 21 days and then Dr. Ranjan said we should move you to Bangalore as Krishnan was working from there and anyway if you did live, it would be a long haul and that’s how you made the last trip by road from Hyderabad to Bangalore. Dr. Ranjan had explained why you can’t be air lifted because of the number of oxygen tanks needed. So he suggested that we take you by road and off we went to speak to the doctor who would help us organize that. He tried talking us out of it, saying it won’t work, and that you might not make it. We prevailed over him and finally a junior doctor agreed to accompany you in the ambulance besides Sampath Chitappa. We started early, it was a special moment to see you being wheeled out of the ICU and I knew you will be fine …. I told the young doctor , “don’t worry about my dad, he loves to drive, he has driven all the 600 kms by himself just a few months back”. Amma, Krishnan and I took the first of many flights together and as we were nearing the airport, we saw your ambulance on the road towards Bangalore at the same junction where we have since turned towards ISB !!
The funny end to the story is, as I predicted, you made the journey well, and reached Manipal Hospital with fever in the evening, but the young doctor who sat in the front cabin, threw up several times and was not feeling too good :):) Dad, you reached the same emergency entrance where three months later when you were wheeled in, you decided to use a cardiac attack and leave. Naik was there and Vidya had come just for a few days for some work, so she came over, but couldn’t see you. I met her in the same corridor and gave her the Hidesign bag I had got for her…. We saw a number if emergency cases being brought in, life is so temporary and Human beings so frail..
For the next three months we were at Manipal, Krishnan and I celebrated our anniversary, and you made sure that people you wanted to meet all were able to come over. So Parthy Anna, Veda Akka and athimber, Harish, Radha Athai, Anu’s in-laws, Mahesh and Rupa, Srini even took care of you for a day when we had to go and get the car from Hyderabad, Usha and Rangaraj, and ofcourse your best friend, Balakrishnan uncle, all came. Am sure you registered all that was going on even though you couldn’t communicate or recognize any of us.
Those were tough days but we went on with the hope that you will miraculously pull through, well, you didn’t and that’s fair. You probably completed all that you wanted to in this life and chose to end the pain. Appa, I don’t think I told you this … Ever since Krishnan had moved into the Coles Road house in 2007, I had this vision of someone being brought in, in a stretcher. Very strange and you were brought home the first time in a stretcher and so our hopes soared, because I hadn’t seen the stretcher go out, we thought you will make it – well, the next time you came back in an icebox, cold and lifeless. I guess my vision was partial, maybe I was not supposed to see the rest.
The other interesting coincidence is, for our last term we have to see Randy Pausch’s “last lecture” on You Tube. I completed reading his book “The last lecture” on Aug 4th, 2008 on my flight back to Gurgaon…. The day you stopped knowing us in this lifetime. So many memories came back on the drive today, none of them sad, because you lived a full life and I know you don’t like people moping around. Once life took a decision, you moved on, another trait that I inherited from you :):) So just want to let you know, am super thrilled about the ISB exec MBA getting done, it has been a lot of learning and I have made some great friends. We had lunch with Anu and family and Anu was remembering you on Raghav’s first birthday and how you set everything up. Raghav today talks non-stop and you would have lived to play with him.
Your favorite Australia lost the last one-day to India and are playing again today at Mohali. Nanagaru, the Indian side is better, just agree, ok, our board also has loads of money :):):)
Wish me luck for my final term at ISB as always and be around if I lose my confidence.
Lots of love