Parents are Different

There is a famous story of a mother’s love, told in many ways. One of the versions is that a son took her mother’s heart to sell in the market for the money. While on the way, he tripped and fell. The mother’s heart asked: “Are you alright, son?”.

Mine is a little different:

My mother has been infected with COVID 19 and is in ICU. It is complete chaos here due to an overwhelming number of COVID 19 infections and already stressed (and now on the brink of collapse) the Indian Healthcare system. Her oxygen level was dangerously low and required immediate care. We somehow managed to find a makeshift ICU facility for COVID 19 while looking for a better hospital. Thankfully, we managed to find one.

I was with her in the ambulance while transferring from one hospital to another. The ambulance driver was in a hurry, and suddenly he applied an emergency brake. With her critical condition and frail body, she wailed in pain. I virtually fell off from my seat due to the sudden braking.

She managed to mumble a few words from her oxygen mask:

“Theek se pakad ke baitho, beta” (Hold on to something and sit carefully, son)

Yesterday, I came to know that my parents got infected with COVID 19. My mother was referred to an ICU due to her low oxygen level. My dad was asymptotic but has co-morbid diseases and was referred to an isolation center and kept under observation. In their 40 years of marriage, this was the first time they were separate in such a difficult situation.

Today I landed in the city today and came to see him. My heart sank when I first saw him. I never saw him so miserable. Lying alone in a room, sad.

COVID 19 has an adverse effect on my work and finances, and I have been struggling to find my ground since last year. Although I do not discuss my finances with him, he has the pulse of my situation. Recently, I had asked for his help in one of such matters, and he gladly did.

While I was asked how his health is and if he is taking his meals properly, he was still more concerned about my financial health and how I am doing.



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