After two days, finally I have been able to open this page. Technical glitches!
I finally gathered the courage to go and meet Dayal and his family on Monday. Veena, another colleague and I made our way past busy streets, making mundane conversation, until we reached home. I spotted Dayal from a distance, standing on the street, waiting for us. Poised and dignified, he seemed to have aged many years since I last saw him. No words were necessary; we just stood mutely holding hands. A few ladies sat, huddled around the mother, who clung to me as I went and hugged her. For a long time, she stayed within my embrace, grieving, unbelieving and embittered at Chander’s absence.
Dayal spoke lovingly about his son. About what Chander intuitively knew was to come. In the one month that he was well and at home, he jotted phone numbers of everyone of any consequence; he coaxed his father into purchasing a refrigerator and getting the cable installed. For some years now, he had been quietly saving up the little 10, 15 rupees his father would give him from time to time. He had opened a bank account and even owned an ATM card. A few days before he went to the hospital, he had his pictures taken – alone and with his friends. Dayal had no knowledge of the bank account until Chander explained to him how to use the card. He paid from his savings to lessen the burden on his father. And then, in the final act, Chander left.
Ever since Chander had stopped coming to me for sessions, the family had made not kept in touch, whatever news I received was from Veena. The last I knew he was recovering, then sick, then recovering. I debated on calling or not. Each time, as I processed the information, I said to myself ” Well, they haven’t kept in touch. Out of ignorance they are unwilling to consult specialists…….blah…blah…They had stopped coming and now I should distance myself, because it was Dayal’s choice.”
On Monday, Dayal thanked me.
It seemed that Chander loved coming over. He spoke fondly of me, our time, how it helped him and expressed the desire to come back. He was grateful for what had offered to his son.
Nothing can express how small I felt in that moment. All that time when I debated and did not bother to call up, all that time when I put aside the relationship I shared with Chander and let it be shadowed by their decision to see another GP; that they felt it was useless to continue with reflexology; all that time when my anger with Dayal for not understanding the seriousness of the situation and not doing enough..all that time Chander had wished he could come back.
I had just been thrown to the ground with a loud THUD! All this while, I had sat passing judgement while I should have put myself aside and done what was necessary. And here, Dayal was sitting with folded hands, thanking me. The helpless father who went from pillar to post, trying very hard to keep his son alive. Trying, like every parent, to protect his child from all the agony and all the pain. Helpless and confused, caught between million opinions, he did everything possible..
Me? I was nothing. I was too consumed with myself. It was never about me; it was about him. And he taught me that lesson. It is never about us – as healers and as human beings. It is about those who choose us to experience the magic. Chander did everything. He chose me; chose all of us and made our lives magical. In the grand orchestra of life and its myraid tones, he was the conductor, we simply played along.