Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When you're helpless...

I had spoken, if you remember, of a friend D, who went into a coma during a surgery following a rupture of her fallopian tubes due to an ectopic pregnancy. It has been five months now. She has been taken off the support systems, and all her body functions are normal. But her brain is not working. She opens her eyes and looks around, but does not recognize anybody. She is being fed from a tube.

This is what I heard when I called her husband today, and no, I do not know any more details.

They had been trying to have a baby for a long time. When I had called to tell her that I was expecting Puttachi, I had started off with a "How are you" and she poured out her troubles to me - her ill-health, surgery to remove cysts in her uterus and a miscarriage, and how she is desperate for a baby. After listening to all this, I felt it was not the time to tell her the reason for my call, but I told her anyway. She erupted with genuine joy and chastized me for not telling her earlier. "I would have kept my mouth shut and not told you my tales of woe. A pregnant woman must listen to only nice things."

The last time I spoke to her was on her birthday in November. "What is happy about my birthday, all I want is a baby", was her refrain. And just two months later, I heard about this.

In the beginning, I was distraught, calling her husband every alternate day to find out how she was. Then you know how it is, life takes over and my calls dropped in frequency - once a week, then once a fortnight.... because each time, the poor man's answer was the same. "No change in her state."

But she has been in my thoughts all the time. In the beginning, I dreamt of her all the time, and the dream was always the same. She would call me and say, "I'm alright now! I have recovered! I called you because I knew you were worried!" There was one night when the dream was so real - in my dream, she had called me at 3 am, woken me up to tell me she was alright, and then told me to go back to sleep and that she would call me in the morning. When I woke up in the morning (in reality), I actually checked the Received Calls in my mobile, hoping against hope that it wasn't a dream.

There are so many things that remind me of her every other day. Fish, for example, "Feesh! I feel like eating feesh!" She would say with her eyes sparkling. Her loud voice (You don't need a telephone, we would tell her), and her tinkling, clear, rippling laughter keep coming back to me.

One part of me wants to catch the next flight to Mumbai and see her and hug her, another part, the selfish part is thankful that she is far away in Mumbai - because I don't think I would be able to see her in that state.

I wish there was something I could do, instead of sitting around twiddling my thumbs, feeling sorry for her and her husband and for myself.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Can Jeans Cry?

Every time I decide that I simply must do a non-Puttachi post next, it just happens that some new gem drops out of Puttachi's mouth, compelling me to share it with you.

So Puttachi and I were having a conversation about who can cry and who cannot. I will not waste my breath explaining how we landed up with this topic. Conversations with toddlers can take the weirdest paths. Anyway, Puttachi was asking questions like "Can Puttachi cry? Can Amma cry? Can Papa cry?" and so on, and I was supposed to answer yes or no. Soon, she ran out of people, and her attention turned to things. The first thing she spotted was a pair of jeans.

Puttachi: (pointing to the jeans) Can this cry?
Me: What, jeans? No, jeans cannot cry.
Puttachi: Why can't jeans cry?

I paused for a moment, wondering in what words to explain the concepts of life and emotions to a two-year-old. But Puttachi solved my problem.

Puttachi: I know why jeans can't cry.
Me: Why?
Puttachi: Because it doesn't have a face!
- -