Monday, June 24, 2013


He's my second cousin.

He took me to my first movie, because my parents couldn't be bothered. (I'm not sure whether this was a good thing for him to do, seeing that the movie was Raja Babu.)

He's my mother's relative, the son of her cousin.

When my father was ill, he was there. He traveled with him all the way to Chennai, stayed there for two whole months, spending every night in the hospital, shielding my mother from some of the stress and bad news. He was a rock we could all depend on. He traveled with him on subsequent visits, accompanied him for follow-up treatment, visited often when he was ill at home. In spite of the fact that the two of them had a somewhat contentious relationship. In spite of the fact that we had no claim on him, and there was no reason why he would do so much for us.

He's the only relative (apart from my mom) I talk to regularly. The only one who's never judged (to my face) or been disrespectful of my lifestyle, who's never talked down to me inspite of me being his little sister, who's come and visited for more than a few days and lived in my home without being intrusive, just adapting himself to the rhythm of our lives. He's taken the time to try to get to know Nilesh, to make friends with him.

And now he's in hospital for a complicated surgery, and I'm nowhere near. He's so brave, he took himself off alone, making arrangements, traveling by himself to get to the hospital. So brave, he admitted matter-of-factly that he was in pain, but "I can bear it, you know."

I realize too late I didn't offer to come over -- though I know he would have assured me he didn't need me. But he's alone, all by himself in a strange place, and he's in pain and he's going to undergo an operation that might still leave him disabled.

And I'm worried, so worried, that he'll be disabled. That he'll find it difficult to resume his regular active life. And I'm mad at myself for not even thinking to ask which hospital, for not even hearing or remembering the one or two details he did tell me in the two-minute phone call. And his phone's not working and I don't know how I can reach him or know if he needs help.

I know my worrying doesn't matter, it doesn't help him, this is not to do with me at all. I should just concentrate on work while I wait for the phone to ring, and look up flights so I or the Guy can go if needed. But there's this weight in my chest that refuses to go away. I hope he'll be okay.

No comments: