When the world was planning their Valentine’s Day, I was going through agony at the hospital. I had been admitted for a monthly injection which was bound to make my week go bad. I was going to miss having a valentine date this year and that was the true agony. I have to go through this injection, once every month and have cursed God numerous times for it. Well God doesn’t mind me cursing at him for sure; he has been taking it quite well. The injection is given through an IV, an agonizing drip which runs for about 5 hours.
I usually sleep off. But at times I decide to interact with my immediate neighbour and I was lucky enough to find a family at the next bed who seemed to be a jolly lot. The patient was Muniyappa (Name changed), a farmer who was fighting a long battle against cancer of the intestine. His list of woes was really large and I was at shame to think that I was going through something incredible all this while. I will spare my readers from going through all the gory details of his treatment, but will add that Muniyappa has survived three surgeries and is very weak to undergo the much needed fourth one. He is under aggressive chemotherapy for the past three years and that is a standalone incredible feat by itself. Such people unwillingly go through so much pain and push their limits of tolerance every single day. These I believe are superheroes. Muniyappa is a true inspiration.
Muniyappa had his wife and son as his attendees. His wife would get his food and his son would help him with his daily tasks like using the loo. His son is a science graduate and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree. His son, Jagadish (Name Changed) had a dream of joining the Indian Army, but had cut his dream short when he learnt of his father’s illness. When I urged him to give a ‘try’ to the army selections, Jagadish said, “Army is just a dream right now. I think my services are much needed here.”
His wife says that Muniyappa is short tempered and is furious at silly things. I did witness a tantrum when his wife offered him some tender coconut water. I feel Muniyappa is not to be blamed as his treatment must have taken a toll on him and might have caused a very bad mental injury. His wife said, “At the age when he is supposed to rest and see his children earn, God has given us this grief.” I was of the opinion that after all this suffering, the family must have lost their faith in God. But later upon completion of my injection, when I was discharged and was pleasing my empty stomach at a hotel, I found Jagadish taking a meal parcel. His forehead was marked with fresh sandalwood paste. May be I was wrong after all, their faith was intact. I didn’t take their contact information. I think they deserve their privacy and that is one thing I can give them.
My Valentine’s Day was not a waste after all. I got to witness true love all over again. Muniyappa is really lucky to have his family beside him. Go to an old age home; you will see many aren’t this lucky after all. I am sure I know the source of Muniyappa’s strength now. It has to be that continuous stream of love he is being showered upon.