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Spouse & I With Dad - A Surgical Operation

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Thyagarajan, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello: SPOUSE & I WITH DAD - A SURGICAL OPERATION :hello:

    It was year 2011.

    Spouse Raji & myself used to be busy on Sunday mornings with a surgical operation.
    With announcement of our well-wisher Mari going on pilgrimage for a month, we had taken over his precision task on ourselves.

    One such Sunday, commenced at dawn with listening to melodious enthralling voice of SANGEETHA KALANIDHI MLV Amma’s rendering of THIRUPAVAZHI.

    Dad finished his ablutions and in readiness to face the ordeals and luxuries of sunny day ahead.
    When time went past eight, Dad was getting fidgety. His routine is structured.
    Raji filled lukewarm water upto brim in a tall plastic tub over a stool alongside a moulded chair below a shower in well illuminated bathroom.

    I gathered the equipment ready for the operation to commence. I tied an large azure blue apron over him behind his nape ; and so I did over me.

    As Dad was approaching a century and my mom hospitalised for hip-bone fracture, we tentatively planned for modest celebration.

    Venue with lift facility in the heart of the city for celebration stood finalised. Invitations several times redrafted and were in the look out for a suitable printers.
    Many of our relatives and his colleagues in small groups were calling on him on holidays, keeping him enthused and regaled by recapitulating bit loudly his glorious past and joyous events with which he was associated.

    Our home replete of instalment laughters. On holidays, home used to have stream of visitors, seeking blessings of my parents leaving us with pile of banana bunches and Washington & Gala apples.
    Adjacent to attached bath, Dad sat-still on the tall plastic red moulded arm chair with his forearms resting over it.

    Infront of tall dressing mirror, with illumination of candela bulb focused on dad, Raji proffering bowel of warm water, I dunked a Turkish napkin in it squeezed and dabbed it over stubbled chin and cheeks of dad.

    From gently compressing the top nozzle of can, I filled onto my fingers silky snow-white shaving foam and applied it over stationary Dad’s cheeks and chin.

    As I removed content from a blister pack, quite an irrelevant association - Somerset Maugham’s novel the Razor’s Edge crossed my mind.I retrieved the razor twin-blades from its blister pack.
    Eyes closed, Dad seemed to be immersed in the joy of being gently dabbed and instant cool of menthol. With rich foamy face, through penetrating eyes dad was watching the proceedings akin to an inquisitive baby.

    From ear shot, Raji and our domestic help Shanthibai who nonchalantly appeared little later with a soft-broom in her hand began watching, as I glided the razor smoothly, slowly intermittently in short downward arcs over his foamy cheeks and chin.

    A meticulous operation of removal of a week’s stubble revealing his clean shaven oily skin was just nearing completion.

    It was, as ill-luck would have it, at this juncture an house-fly darted past his nose and his abrupt move to ward off the fly landing on his nose, caused a jerk of my elbow resulting a sharp nick on his chin.

    Dad staring through his welled-up eyes softly told “Take due time. No need to be hasty”.
    While Raji quickly dabbed the tiny-spot with readily kept wet alum stone, Madam Shanthi with her index finger flicked the tear, jerked over her dimpled cheeks.

    After a hot towel-bath, Raji and I supporting him on either side of dad, ambled to his king-size cot and gently left him to lie down and relax.

    He gestured “a thumbs up” sign toward his mouth.
    Raji understood, rushed and returned in a jiffy from kitchen with a half-filled gun-metal tumbler stirring its content. The flavour of beverage hit our nostrils.
    While my right foot on the head side of the cot, Dad’s back supported on my thigh, Raji from other side fed a spoonful coffee carefully into his open mouth. .

    His Adam’s apple bobbed up and down indicating that he had just swallowed. A vein in neck - greyish green - was visible for an instant.Few more spoonful followed
    His palm searched beneath his silk-cotton pillow, a packet of Palani scented sacred ash (விபூதி ). With his back arm resting on the bed, he applied the sacred ash on forehead of Raji and I.

    A few minutes went by.

    Barber Mari
    showed up and enquired whether dad is ready for a shave. I said it’s just over .
    Then he desired to have a look at my Dad.

    Mari peeped into Dad’s room and went closer to bed; a minute later, came out with welled up eyes with right palm cupping his mouth.

    Bewildered but after a while, we all realised Dad’s spirit had departed heavenward leaving us to mourn His irreparable loss and suffer void.

    Take due time. No need to be hasty” - I remembered and mumbled again and again his last soft words .

    A man of few words!
     
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  2. messedup

    messedup Platinum IL'ite

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    So much of love and care he has taken with him. His soul must be resting in peace as it seems no more desires left. I had seen such kind of people in old movies only. So mature loving caring I mean how you became like that. Hats off to such parents their children and their next generations.
     
  3. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Such a heart-warming and poignant narration. I could feel the love and tenderness for a parent who becomes one's child at that age and roles reverse. It brought back the days when dad was terminally ill with cancer and I used to do the shaving for him. He used to protest because he probably found it embarassing, but I could not bear to see him with a stubble and he was too ill to do it for himself. I remember those occasional nicks and the guilt that went with it.

    Sad that your dad did not make it to the century mark. My dad completed 80 in hospital when he was in a coma. That, I guess, is life.

    Just 4 days ago was the 4th anniversary of my mom. We were indeed very fortunate to have our parents as our parents. I am sure your dad is in heaven looking over you and your wife and blessing you both.
     
  4. peartree

    peartree Platinum IL'ite

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    So beautiful and so relatable. I can't help thinking about RK Narayan again.

    As I read your narration, I am envoloped with thoughts of my own thatha and paati who were tended to so lovingly by my parents/uncles and aunts in their final days.
     
  5. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

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    Very beautiful narration Thyagarajan Sir.I am reminded of my sister and brother-in-law.Since the demise of their son-in-law in his 50s he became depressed and didn't show any interest in any activity.Such a brilliant man , who retired as director of Industries and commerce could hardly remember anything.Daughters and son were living elsewhere.My sister used to take up shaving etc as her routine.
    They arranged for Kanakabhishekam.As they poured mild warm water little by little , he seemed to enjoy the mild shower through sieved plate.After two minutes every one realised that it was his last bath.All the relatives assembled attended the final rites.The body was cremated within two hrs.People left after taking the heavy lunch arranged for Kanakabhishekam.
    In big families such things happen.
    There have been occasions when the girl's father passed away in the mandapam after janavasam was over.The man was admitted in the hospital.As it was considered inauspicious to stop the wedding after Vratham and Janavasam,the marriage was performed and Kannikadanam was done by some close relatives.The girl was in profuse tears as the mangala sutra was tied.
    Nothing could be stopped.Lunch was served.Official announcement of death was made.The girl was taken to the bridegroom's residence for usual reception and came back after an hour to mourn over the death of her father.
    May look like a story to others.One could not explain the magnitude of tension faced by
    the close relatives.I was distantly related.So I could manage to help them to complete the formalities in the hospital, to make a seemingly good send off to the bride therafter organize for funeral etc.On such occasions only third parties can take up responsibilities since they are are so much overpowered by emotions.
    Life goes on like this.

    Jayasala 42
     
    HazelPup, Thyagarajan, kkrish and 3 others like this.
  6. rgsrinivasan

    rgsrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    That was a touching narration @Thyagarajan sir. A man of few words is remembered but, by dear ones who have so much words of praise and respect. -rgs
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  7. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    @Thyagarajan Sir,
    A poignant incident narrated in your inimitable style covering even the minutest of details! It is sad that he couldn't be there for the century celebrations but by the mercy of God, he passed away peacefully fully content with the love and care you both showered on him. I think it was a wonderful farewell given to him by both of you. Feel sorry for your mother that at her ripe old age she had to go through so much of suffering. A big :worship2: from me to such a loving and dutiful son and the daughter-in-law.
     
  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri Thyagarajan:

    Congratulations on the nomination to the FP.

    I read it three times to digest the content as sometimes I feel your scintillating narration buries the important content in your snippet. Even I felt a lump in my Adams Apple when I read the last few paragraphs of your narration.

    Frankly, at that ripe age, your dad's life was already celebrated with so many people visiting and taking his blessings. It doesn't matter whether a separate celebration was organized or not. What a divine soul he is to shower his love to both of you tending to him at that ripe age by applying Vibhuti as parting blessings. What divine souls you both are to be so detailed in your attention to an aging parent.

    I need to learn a lot from you and Mrs. Thyagarajan. I don't have the age to send my wishes to you and hence my :worship2:.

    Viswa
     
  9. kkrish

    kkrish IL Hall of Fame

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    Sir
    It brought tears.
    I am bereft of words!

    To you and Raji maami :worship2:
     
    HazelPup, Thyagarajan and Viswamitra like this.
  10. messedup

    messedup Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Sir, Your post made me realise many things. If we respect elders then only we can have respected life and finer generations. I am feeling bad about myself. From the day I joined here I am complaining about one or the other. But how actually one should behave I have learnt from you elders. You kkrish mam vishwamitra sir iyerviji mam geetakashyap. I feel that god must had felt for me that's why he made me join here to meet such great persons like you. I have no words to explain how greatful and thankful I am for everything. This post is really an eye opener for me. I don't know I will correct my mistakes or not and how I will do that but I am feeling bad for what wrong I had done till date. Thank you for writing your experience and giving us the privilege to know how much positive is there and how one should live his life. :worship2:
     

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