Monday, November 11, 2013
On a cold winter morning, I experienced my ‘Platinum Day of Love.’ It was the day my husband, Vinod, arrived to be at my side as I struggled to live.
I was not on India, but in Berlin, where I had gone for a conference. I was suddenly taken so ill that I had to be hospitalized. I had been suffering from a cold and had been taking Crocin for fever on my flight. Delhi had been cold and Berlin was much colder. The conference over, I collapsed at the University where it was taking place.
It was December and Christmas time, but I was in a hospital in a strange country, away from my loved ones. I was surrounded by doctors and nurses. I had a severe case of Hepatitis A which had gone undiagnosed till now. I had to take pills. I received so many injections that the inside of my arm look like a red anthill. I was transported on a wheelchair to several rooms for some test or the other for I was too weak to stand. The doctors were cheerful, but I missed the love and warmth of home and country. I was feeling sad and morose, wondering whether I would ever go home.
At the time this happened, my husband had just returned from a trip abroad for work and had already spent the foreign exchange allowed (there were restrictions then) by the government. He had none and no one had any to give him. Eventually he managed to borrow a few dollars from my brother-in-law. He had to arrange a visa immediately for himself since the doctors in Berlin had asked him to come at once, “to see his wife’s face for the last time.” He frantically got in touch with the Indian embassy. I do not know what he did but he did manage to arrive by my side after a few days.
My brother-in-law’s friend, a stranger till now, met him at the airport and offered his home as a place to stay. Somehow, Vinod had managed against all odds to be with me, perhaps knowing that I had to see him in order to make my way back to recovery.
He tells me that when he walked into the room to see me, he did not know whether I would survive, I was so pale and thin and weak. I tell him that when I saw him walk in, I knew that I would survive. The doctors told me that I was a spunky and tough woman, but it was after my husband arrived that they noticed that I really began to recover. My liver, which had shrunk to an abnormal size, began to regenerate itself. I know for a fact that all organs of the body are connected. My heart had informed my liver, I think, that it was time to embrace life again and not give up so easily. My husband was here to make sure I did that.
Though it was a woman’s section of the hospital, they allowed him to come and visit me every day. They also allowed him to stay as long as he wished. This was a rule that was bent for my sake; these hospitals have strict visiting hours. The doctors marvelled at the fact that my husband would come and spend so much time with me. They had never seen this kind of love and attention being showered on a patient.
I thank the Berlin doctors for giving me back my life. I also know that it is Vinod’s love for me, pure, eternal and rare to find, that gave me the strength to survive. All these years, despite all the ups and downs that life has offered, he has never given up on me, and has never left my side. I am encircled by his love.
The day he came to the Berlin hospital is our Platinum Day of Love. And all our days together will always be platinum days, pure, rare and eternal. Just like platinum, glowing and strong.