Archive | 2:37 pm

My Daddy Strongest

9 Jul

You’re at the hospital as I write this. Lying on a bed, a machine transfusing your blood, unaware of your immediate surroundings because you’re busy cracking up. Benny Hill is clearly too funny to feel any pain. And with those headphones firmly in your ears, you’re guffawing behind drawn curtains, oblivious to the curious stares of newer patients. For the old ones, you’re a familiar sight: cheering them on, on their low days, lending CDs to a yesteryears’ movie star, grumbling when he sends you sugar-free chocolates, joking with the nurses, announcing to each one that all this trouble began in their very own native Kerala, lest they believe that Munnar is merely a hill station.

When the doctor asks, “You’re still alive?” you smilingly tell him, “Only to torment you.” Complications arise and ebb, with the regularity of waves. Perhaps the very same ones that all the patients fight over beds # 5 and 6 for—sea-view, see? Clots and a hugely swollen arm result in grand declarations: “On the one hand, I’m the Great Khali; on the other, Mr. Vakatlan!” you proudly say, vakatlan being the Parsi term for scrawny.

But who will tell of the expansive spirit, greater than any wrestler’s arm, that surmounts the pain, triumphs over failed kidneys and still craves popcorn on the way home?

Happy 62nd, Dad.

I wish you a lifetime’s supply of health and popcorn.