Yesterday I read ‘The year of magical thinking’ by Joan Didion (Recommended by Apu and Himani).
Life changes fast
Life changes in an instant
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
Since I was adamant that she was going to be walking out of the ICU, I never said good bye to her. Since she was not fully conscious there was no time to know what she was thinking or feeling. I was trying to remember when I last said a happy ‘I love you’ to her. There are photographs we took on 15 July in front of a mirror – where we are laughing and I have hugged her and she is making faces. I hugged her all the time. I did that in the hospital too – but it wasn’t the same thing. When did we have a last happy conversation? The days went by in such a daze I can’t remember… she was irritable in the hospital and also just before that… the fever made her irritable. When we were still in the room she once woke up, got the nurse to detach the IV (drip) sometime late at night and sat on the sofa where I was asleep. She wanted to talk and I was extremely tired and sleepy, so I half listened, half dozed off. She wanted to create limericks and was annoyed when she saw me trying to record them on my phone. (I am able to hear nothing when I tried to replay them… ). Little things annoyed her by then. She was talking non stop (she usually did that) and I wanted to join her and talk to her but I was also afraid that I would be too tired/sleepy in the morning. We had been warned Dengue was going to make her more uncomfortable and she got me to raise or lower the bed and then wanted it raised again but nothing made her comfortable… My sister in law and brother in law had had dengue fever two years ago and she had described how it felt. We had explained to her also about how it runs it’s course and then the recovery is complete. She had later started sounding breathless because of the fluid around her lungs, and talking became almost impossible. The doctor described breathing then as trying to blow a balloon in a bucket of water. I had thought nothing worst could happen.
She always followed me around the kitchen and the house describing what happened in college/school – almost in a hurry, as if she worried she might forget something. Sometimes she just said ‘Hi’ or ‘Muah’ on Gmail chat… from her school/college . I did not delete any messages from her and sometimes we read them out and laughed at them, and some of the links were worth going through again.
She and some friends had talked about shaving their heads and I was strongly against it. I didn’t ask her not to, I said maybe I would join her. My sister in law conveyed (subtly) that perhaps it was a good idea, because with no guys looking at them – they would be able to focus on their studies better… So when she mentioned blue extensions I was very relieved. These blue extensions stayed with her.
The conversation below was at home – we were sitting in her room, on her bed (I think).
The blue extensions…
And I must have been asleep during this one, she was in Delhi, we were in Pune.
She loved Calvin and Hobbes. She shared many which reminded her of herself or of her brother… a whole lot of them came with messages like, “Calvin is me. 😀” or “I am definitely Calvin!“