A prayer

Friday, January 15, 2010 |

Dilawar Singh aka Philip, as we friends call him is now in the hospital recovering from his third surgery...

A month ago Philip, Jaya and myself had met up in town for a pre christmas get together…We had reasons to look forward to in the coming month…I was going home on a vacation after a year...Jaya was getting married soon…and Philip was visiting India to start life afresh…Three of us wished each other good luck and parted ways that night…

My vacation was going as per plan…Surprising dad with a car on his birthday…throwing a party on his retirement…meeting friends and relatives…traveling around…the typical happy vacation for a once in a year visitor!! .A few thousand kilometers away Philip had come down to start life afresh…Going through a painful divorce he was under lot of emotional stress…Harassed by a dominating wife and in -laws he had taken enough of it….And he had decided to turn a fresh leaf and start life all over again, quit his well paid job abroad to find a new one in India and start everything on a clean slate…While Jaya and myself bid Philip good bye during the get together, I was not sure that I would be meeting him any time soon…coz he would never come back from India if everything went as per plan…I was both happy and sad at the same time…Happy that he was positive after going through the emotional atychaar on his personal front and sad that I would be missing a good friend back here…

Two weeks later I get a mail from Jaya…Her mail read…

“Hey...sorry to disturb your vacation…but I had to tell you this!…Philip met with an accident in India…He was driving in his new car with his mom in Delhi…His mom passed away on the spot…Philip is in serious condition…His number is xxxxxxxxx…take care...Jaya “

There are times in your life when you start questioning...”Why it happens to me!!” …But that day I was asking...”Why it happened to him!!”… To someone who had left the country where he was working for 10 years hoping to get over with trauma of parting with his wife and kid…how bad could it get!! I could manage only bits and pieces of information from his Punjabi dad…Two weeks later I got a call from Philip himself...

I am normally not short of words…But when I have to talk to someone who has just gone through a huge loss like this…or someone suffering from painful physical / emotional injury….I am at loss for words…But when he called up that day, the first thing he said…

“Hey dude…why don’t you come down to the hospital …there are so many beautiful mallu nurses here…!!”

I smiled at his sense of humor…his ability to joke and make me laugh inspite of what he was going through…Philip had multiple fractures on his hands…His facial bones were crushed…and a good deal of skin on his face lost….One of his eyes is probably damaged…A team of 8 doctors had performed surgery on him for 11 hours just after the accident…His face had to be simply held up by a assembly of metal rods and plates!!!.They were amazed how he was after all alive!!! But then he is a proud sardar who wouldn’t give up without a fight!! His jaw bones were broken and he could hardly speak…And yet he was checking out about my vacation…or whether I have gone bride hunting…and whether I was having a gala time with friends…He wished me a merry christmas….And when he ended the call he just said ‘take care’ as always..!!! Me?

I talked to him a couple of times later….Meanwhile I was back after my vacation and getting used to my routine life….A call few days ago, Philip told me that he was coming back to continue rest of his treatment abroad…Apparently it had already cost him 10 lakh rupees in a span of 2 weeks and unfortunately his foreign insurance wouldn’t cover it…He flew back alone from Delhi….a excruciating 14 hrs flight spending a night in between at an airport inside of being in a hospital bed… He wouldn’t even tell us when he would reach the city since he wouldn’t want anyone of us to bothered to pick him up at the airport…On the same day he got himself admitted to a hospital here…

Few days ago….Myself and Jaya went to the hospital to meet him for the first time since the accident…It was almost a month ago when we had met up last…We were chilling over some wine at one of the christmas markets back then ..All three of us had something to look forward that day…my vacation, Philip’s plan to start afresh and Jaya’s wedding… So we were obviously quite happy that day…But for my flight next day afternoon, I think we would have just stayed back fooling around… But that day when I met him in the hospital…I was shocked!! I was shocked that I almost cried!! Seeing him in the shape he was in, it was hard for us to just act normal…I tired my best to put a regular look and did not want Philip to know that how dismayed I was….But then we were not good actors!!

It happens that when you see someone change so much in a span of a month, you forget how to react for a moment…We talked for a few hours in the hospital with Philip…A month on liquid food, the sturdy sardar had become a frame of bones….His face disfigured and swelling all over…plastic surgery done with skin grafted from his legs….This was not the Philip I could imagine…Philip was tired…and in pain…but he was putting a brave face…A lesser mortal would have succumbed long ago!! On the way out from hospital, I did not know what to talk with Jaya...and I could see that she did not know either…

There are moments in our life when it suddenly strikes how helpless we could be…how fragile our life is….how much human relations matter…how important it is to love others...and to be loved…how desperate you would want god to hear you…..all these thoughts just came flashing by!! Some times when I have those one to one silent conversations with god I complain about trivial things which I thought were big in my perspective…we crib about people not reciprocating camaraderie, love…we crib about work…we crib about lack of respect from others….but then….when I saw real pain…i couldn’t help but think how na├»ve I was….I realized when I saw him the importance of having good friendships..(Not the hi...wassup...take care…thing)..i mean real ones…how important it is to take care of people around you…how important a hug can be…I also realized how powerless as humans we are…

Dear lord, I know I have bored you several times with my little requests and its probably a overflowing mail box…but this time I really wish you would help Philip recover fast…Its hard for me as a fellow human being and a friend to see him and feel all helpless.. A little prayer for Philip to reduce his pain…to make his life worthwhile again!! Please give him the strength to fight and recover his confidence…to fight the adversities!! Over the past one week when I visit him I attempt to make him laugh with my silly jokes and though I manage to make him once in a while I realize deep down he is missing the love of a family…Its hard being in pain…but its harder not to have a family around…I wish to anyone who reads this…Love your family, your friends without any strings attached…Love them without expecting anything in return…these are little things which often we realize when it is too late….I wish Philip recovers soon and gets to start life afresh….as he had wished!!

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