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A MATTER OF RESPECT!  (mar 2011) and THE KISS AFTER DEATH! (jun 2011)

Mar 2011

We were called by a Special Force for training. A prestigious task of training a team which will then train others. Once again we peaked in our performance. I always believe that you must peak again and again each and every time, even if u are the best and hv already excelled to heights unknown. This time too we excelled but still reached newer heights in exploration of our subject, where there is no second player to us.

One interesting thing. Sometimes, some junior officers hv a problem saluting us. They feel, we are outsourced specialists and so salute is unneccesary. The salute actually is just an acknowledgement that we r the instructors. So, when an officer is giving the report in front of the participant soldier/officer audience, if he decides not to salute, it can be quite an unnecessary humiliation. However, I have always chosen to ignore it. It never did matter. After all, my proficiency or dedication cannot be measured by a officer participant who has an ego issue to respect someone sent by his force HQ, usually the Force chief.

Similarly this time too, the Special force officer thought it unnecessary to salute me during an official session. I ignored it, smiled & asked him whether he had a problem in saluting his instructor, who is teaching him advanced skills. He diplomatically shied away & I let it go, despite the fact being observed by my entire trainees.

Many sessions followed for a number of days. I demonstrated my prowess and dedicatedly trained the force. The Force Commander – Commanding the special force had come over. He sought my expert advice on advanced matters of training and was very impressed by my knowledge, skills & commitment to the country. On the final day, there was a ceremony in front of the entire battalion and we were felicitated. We then entered our vehicle & bid goodbye to the battalion. As our vehicle headed away, I looked back at the commander to wave bye. As our eyes met, he saluted to me, I acknowledged with a salute. This was an honest appreciation and acknowledgement of respect. From the Commander himself. I thought to myself – We have earned….the respect of a few good men… at the top. That’s all that mattered. No national award can out do this personal win. Of respect & of honour.   


June 2011

Death of my deraest Mom. Amma, I called her. Had many differences with her but loved her nevertheless. She too loved me nevertheless.

Gave me a great upbringing. As a child, we lived a lower income group existence. Chawls, common toilet. Mom was a villager who got married at 12 yrs to dad. Dad came to Mumbai and learnt electronic trade of repairs - radios, recorders, gramaphones. Mom did her SSC in Mumbai alongwith her first daughter and then BA, B Ed, ended up a teacher. When I was a kid, she gave me a kings attitude. taught me that I was the best, above the rest. never realised we were poor. When I wanted a cycle as a kid, she never said no, but rather "you shall get it in 2 months" and she would collect money by giving additional tutions after her teaching job at school.

When I stood 17th rank in first standard, she said you can stand within first three ranks in school if u try hard enough. I stood third in second standard. First in Third Std, First in Fourth Std. Always First thereafter till my Gold Medal in Medicine.Kings attitude. Gift of Amma to me, forever.

As I grew up, we had our differences. I decided to look after her in old age. Despite differences, despite the fights with Amma on many issues. After Dads death, I got her to a new house in an  Appartment, a welcome change from the chawl. Stayed together for last ten years of her life. 

Now came the end. Congestive cardiac disease. Draining her slowly and steadily. I took her out of Mumbai, to meet her relatives. despite her illness. To many fun trips. Celebrated her 82nd birthday with pomp last month.

After some days found her on the floor with a stroke. My hear sank, here is the end I thought, which I was dreading. Came D day. Returned to find her semi concious. I decided to make peace with our differences. Spoke to her. Told her I was grateful to her for my childhood and upbringing. Apologized for my differences of opinions. Understood her stand on some issues. forgot ones I couldnt. She smiled and said. I have only loved you, nothing more than any other mom would have done. She would open her eyes wide when she heard my voice. I would take her semi concious body in my arms and talk to her, flirting mischieviously. She would smile and giggle like a teenager even at such a time of her end. 

LAST day. Went to work, training the local police force, I asked her to hang on till evening. She nodded. I returned to find her totally unconcious, deep coma prevailing. no talk, no movement, no eye opening, failing pulse rate. relatives filtered in to pay respects. After loving her and hugging her and holding her for a while, I went to my appartment adjacent to hers. Suddenly I was called after 2 hours, by a panic struck relative. She died, She died they said. I rushed back. Pulse rate Zero. No Breathing. Cardiac Arrest!

I shouted loudly "Hey Amma, my darling, YOU CANT GO AWAY LIKE THIS.Common open your eyes and kiss me. Guess what, She takes One deep breath. Pulse comes back to 32, Her LIPS POUT to meet my cheek. Wow She kissed me. Did I imagine this, I thought? What nonsense, I am a doctor. Let me try again. COMMON OLD GAL, KISS ME ONE MORE TIME. There it is ONE MORE POUT. Felt wetness of her saliva on my cheek. My Sister follows. I shout again. HEY AMMA, ONE MORE KISS FFOR SIS. The Pout and pursing of lips as Ammas lips met my sisters cheek. Seema shouts WHAT ABOUT ME AMMA? NOTHING FOR YOUR DAUGHTER IN LAW? Seema gives her cheek. Amma pouts once more. WOW! And suddenly pulse disappears. Breathing still. Shes gone. I supress the tears in my eyes.

Before relatives get a chance to cry, I STAND UP AND CLAP. Relatives follow suit. ALL OF THEM STAND UP TO CLAP. They have seen her outstanding performance. I had to give her a standing ovation.        

10 minutes after cardiac arrest, the Brain is still alive. Brain death occurs after 10 minutes or so after the heart stops. This is the time a dead person is still perceiving, hearing, feeling, emoting with the sensory inputs of the environment. AMMA will surely have heard us clap, We followed by EMBRACING HER ONE BY ONE. I HELD HER ON MY LAP for 15 minutes before beginning rituals.

AMMA used to say. Son, I will always die when u r around. On your lap. Not only did she die on my lap, but also kissed me and went. BYE AMMA. Will never forget you!  


AUGUST 2011 - MY SURGERY           

I never believed in operations. The human body was too perfect to be corrected from outside. So after 35 years of martial arts & rigorous physical training, when my intestines decided to protrude from my abdomen, I developed a swelling in my lower abdomen called as indirect Inguinal hernia. Whenever I would strain or breathe out during exercise the swelling would increase. After observing for around 10 months, I saw the swelling increase from 1 inch to 3 inches in diameter tearing thru my tissues.

I now had a choice. Let the swelling lie harmlessly without operating _ but in this case I would have to give up rigorous training including Martial combat arts. Or Get Operated and continue practice of the art I loved more than my life. I sat contemplating_ For the sake of my survival, specially of my ageing body, which was now caving in at various places, like the present hernia, Should I stop the art which was meaning of my life and living? Was living a life worth it without doing what u like? without an art which had given me so much, almost everything I got in life was via the practice and understanding of combat and martial arts. I couldnot live without it. The operation on the other hand was in my own ideology a hostile invasion into my body in order to attempt correct a defect based on wear and tear. I was terribly against operating as the hernia was in no way bothering me except that it said slow down and stop hard core arts, which was the love of my life.

I was demoralized and my spirits started failing. The whole meaning of my life was lost. In my life I had chased art rather than material gains and status. Now even that was threatened. Nothing was left. Without any doubt, after contemplating 8 months, I reached a decision. I then decided to get operated within 3 months.

I approached the best surgeon in speciality, someone who does transplants and persuaded him to operate on my minor problem. But instead of giving me a date 3 months later, he was free only tomorrow. So like a fighter, I said yes and agreed. So without fear, I lay on the op table and submitted myself to the process.

I came out of the theatre and was paralysed below the waist due to spinal anesthesia, couldnot pass urine and couldnot stand. Plus the severe pain on site of the surgery unable to even turn in bed. Others recover within 4 hours, I stayed like this for 24 hours. It was helpless not being able to pass urine and the severe pain preventing any movement. As I lay helpless in bed I wanted to groan in pain, but I thought what the fuc, how can I display such weakness/ but then I said no weakness in vocalizing what the mind thought, so I went ahead and groaned my pain out. My mind was however extremely alert and sizing the situation for survival at any cost.

The recovery is bad as hell. I have very stiff back, immobile legs, difficult urination, difficulty in sleeping. Very restless and eager to atleast get out of bed. I seem to have chosen hell when I could have enjoyed with you. But my mental weakness is not supported by my brain and it is compelling me to endure and survive as is ingrained over years. I know this too shall pass and it was a logical decision.

Sometimes I allow myself to crib and groan like a pawn but at the same time do all actions rigidly with the head the KS way. KS or King sperm is that one sperm which beats 30 million to reach the female gamate ovum. I am also studying myself and sizing me at all times. There is lots of impatience and intolerance but also undying conviction and will in the core with a finality to goal.

I saw my buddy Seema beside me her face creased and troubled with empathy. My Tina was shocked and kept reassuring me trying not to show her distress. My Angel was tearful and couldnot bear to see me in such a helpless situation.I took a sedative and a painkiller, and woke up next morning. With suprahuman effort I willed myself to stand up, the pain shearing through my abdomen like a cutting knife and tried to walk a few steps. As soon as I succeeded in baby steps, I announced I am going home from the hospital. I walked down from the hospital and headed home. I had done it. Survived. Overcome my weakness.

Through all its troubles and disdains life always gives you an opportunity to stand tall , walk bold and be tough . Like Nelson Mandela once said , " courage is not absence of fear , but the ability to act despite it". Similarly, toughness is not the absence of pain perception -but the ability to endure it while continuing to walk , in the direction of survival, fighting all the odds without giving up. Without allowing the body to stop its forward movement while discouraged by the torments of pain.

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