Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bidding farewell to Kamla and Lata in a span of 12 hours.

Lata and Kamla were two strong ladies I came to know in my short span of ministry in Lakhnadon .
Lata had been an obstetrician here for a little less than a decade.She and her husband left the ministry for a private practise nearby.She had a strong tie with the hospital.She came from a hindu background so called the hospital her home.When I was first asked to join the ministry here in Lakhnadon she was one of the person here to fill in during the transition.When I came to Lakhnadon,the ladies around fondly remembered her and kept asking after her.
Lata reiterated my belief that ladies are made of a stern stuff.She was a strong person and a brave girl to boot.While she gasped for breath within the BIPAP mask one youngster breezily entered the ICU and asked me,'Are you her sister?'I said 'Yes' and Lata smiled through her struggling gasps.
Kamla was a bright nurse who was full of life.She was a friend in many ways.Everytime I saw her she had her brilliant smile and I found her extremely resourceful.Anytime we wanted something done from Chappara we could always count on her .She would not dissappoint.One thing that touched me about her was that whenever she brought ANC patients for delivary from Chappara she would stay awake with the patient the whole night ,deliver the baby and then go for her duty bright and chirpy.She had her idiosyncracies but I always took it all with a pinch of salt because in a sense I was fond of her.For instance there was a time when one of the hospital vehicles were going on an auction .I received a phonecall from her saying that her husband was putting in his papers for the auction and could I make sure that he got it.I literally had my mouth open when I heard that . I explained to her that it would not work that way and it would go as per norms .
Next time we met there was no awkwardness.I always used to tease her about her dressing ,she looked after herself well.
The last time I met her was when Dr Ann Thyle visited with the idea of starting palliative care service in lakhnadon.We really thought she could be the point person and she had a list of twenty stroke patients from around Chappara.I called her to talk to her about it and the first thing she said was,'My heart fills with joy whenever you remember and call ...' I took it to be her normal chirpy way of greeting me.
That was how we were.Little did I realise that, that was the last image I would carry of her .I left for Delhi for some training and when I came back my colleagues updated me about how she had been suffering from fever and cold but was not mantaining saturation with breathlessness and so since I was not around they reffered her to Jabalpur.By the time I saw her she was knocked out on invasive ventilation.She never came out of that .
One other lasting image this lady kept for me was the sight of a poor man with a tattered clothes standing in a corner and weeping away during the funeral .I was deeply touched and keeping an eye on the person , later I realised he was the local 'dom' or the person who  burns the dead bodies in the crematorium by the river side.
That was one of the biggest testimonies of the life lived ,I have seen in a while.


Shantanu Dutta said...

How well you write Chering! So uplifting and straight from the heart... Look forward to your posts..

pixi said...

Thank you SIr.