Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Longest hour


6th February 2013.

It was yet another ordinary Wednesday. Except that J came home pretty late from work the previous night and I was half asleep when he reached. Was a bit surprised that J was still sleeping when I woke up as I knew he had an flight to catch early that morning. I woke him gently and asked about his trip and he sleepily said that he trip was cancelled.

Since the slightest sound wakes him, made sure I tip-toed the whole morning when I went anywhere near the bedroom and he woke up only around 8 am. He came to me holding his lower tummy saying I wonder what it is but I seem to have pain here. I was checking about what he ate the previous night suspecting flatulence. Mornings are generally busy with working couples and we didnt have time to discuss about it more and I didnt check either.

While dropping me off at work, I felt his face was different from usual, so I asked him if he was fine. He had a grim look and said it is getting late for him.

Lunch time – I open my lunch box proud of making the lunch without help from J, and wondered if Sonny boy ate the lunch completely. I took a bite and wondered if J liked the Stir-fry I made. It was almost as if he read my thoughts – my mobile rang and it was him.

The way he called me, I knew something was amiss. There was a pause – so I asked him if he was okay. No answer. He asked me if I was free, and I told him I was having lunch, but tell me, I said, bit more worried. That’s when he said can you come to Adyar, I have terrible stomach pain. a bigger pause.

The world around me blurred. Like you see in movies everything around me was in robotic voice, including his voice over the phone. Where are you? I checked. Malar Hospital, Emergency room. My lunch friend looked at me and asked if everything is fine – I was closing my lunch box and said in hushed tone J is not well I need to go.

J and pain – not to be mentioned in the same lines. If I fuss about a miniscule bruise for a week, he is the type who would bear pain without any fuss at all. And so I know if he says it pains it must be really really intense.

I was still on phone - J who speaks normally in super sonic speed was talking so slowly that I knew he is in terrible pain. I was checking with him if anyone is with him, no answer and I heard the line disconnect.

My workplace is Ambattur (closer to Anna Nagar) and Joe’s workplace is Santhome, two corners of Chennai, roughly around 25 kms. Given the traffic diversions for the metro rail that is coming up it easily takes more than an hour.

I cannot describe to you what I was going through during that travel. I called J’s cousin who is kind of closer to this hospital to reach emergency at Malar. I was so restless. I could not even pray. I counted all the numbers on traffic signals just to distract myself. The events of the last night and the morning was going all over. I brushed every thought aside and kept myself blank. 57, 56, 55, 54, kept counting the numbers that were reducing at every traffic signal. I watched the moving traffic like a zombie. people were fading in and out of my vision.

It took an hour and 15 mins to reach the hospital – The longest one hour of my life thus far.

I ran into the Emergency ward and saw J dosing off. Shirt pulled off the trousers, shoes off. I put my shivering hands over his hair and he opened his eyes – the pain is okay now, he said. By then doctors came with the ultrasound and scan reports. It was a case of kidney stones.

We was on a heavy dose of pain killers. We had to admit him for a day to make sure the dislodged stone is out. J is now back to work and has even resumed his official trips.

I still shudder when I think of that call and that longest one hour of my life. I could only thank god that his official trip was cancelled that day and he made it safely to the hospital ( My brave man walked out of his office and drove on his own and just managed to bring the car to an halt in front of the hospital and staggered into the emergency where he could not even lie down due the intensity of the pain. While driving more than a couple of times he wondered if he will pass out.)

I truly do not know how to thank God for guiding us through this day.  Everyday now, we do not miss out on the litte niceities of every day life.  Every single day looks like a big blessing.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

When did you grow up?


School bag slinging on your shoulders
You call out “Bye ma, Bye Pa”, every busy morning
I feel my heart walk out of me
Behind you, to make sure you are protected.

I see time slipping through my fingers
My little one stands taller than me today
A fine young man in the making
Like his father, maybe.

Your smiles welcomed me home as a toddler
Hugs and kisses and the need to be in my arms
Talking dime a dozen and wrecking havoc
With all the hyperactivity of a dynamite

It broke my heart to let you sleep alone
And it shattered me when you told nightmares
About the dark man in the corner of your room
Dragging your Pink Panther along in the middle of the night.

Homework, projects, studies, exams
Tennis, swimming, Karate, Cricket, falls from bicycles
Cuts, bruises, mischief, friends, crushes and our little conversations
I didn’t realize the years roll by

Today, I melt at the sight of you help me carry heavy stuff
Or when you put a protective hand around when we walk together
And when you ask, you want any help, Mamma?
Do you see me momentarily frozen in time?

In a couple of months’ from now
You will grow out of that school uniform too
And I am still wondering stupidly
When did you grow out of my arms?

Vincy Joseph

Friday, February 01, 2013

Mindless Prattle

I cannot perceive with any certainty
The frequency of your calls
that you make erratically, once in a blue moon

While I want to squeal in childlike happiness, I act casual
As if its just another random call
Although, its the most important one of all

Your voice is invariably calming
Sound of your laughter, my best medicine
And I value you immensely.

I hang on to every word, every sound
Like a rappeller hanging onto the rope
For it makes the difference of his life and death

I am heedful of every word that escapes me
For you are one who’d catch the simplest nuance
And have the ability to get under my skin

It’s all in the mind
And I end up cherishing
Even the silence in our conversations.

In spite of all precautions,

I plunge into mindless prattle
Capitulating to my vulnerability
and you catch me at unexpected moments

Yet, I may not utter any of these in our conversations
Lest I may unleash the sprite in you
And your devilry would be too complex for me to handle.

Vincy Joseph

p.s This poem is dedicated to a close friend, who is a busy entreprenuer, a globe trotter, someone who is a online social networking recluse.  My telepathy with this friend, surprises me to no end. :-)