Before Sunrise




 I look out the window at the chilly October night in the hilly city of Dehradun, India. An eerie silence pervades the otherwise bustling parking lot of the hospital.

It is 4 AM and I haven't slept a wink. My father is in the ICU entangled in a web of wires and tubes. My sister and I are in the hospital room that was allotted to him before the surgery. She sleeps; her conscience is clear.

It has been a week since father’s abdominal surgery but he hasn’t opened his eyes.  His heart functioning is at a tremulous 30%, they say. He is not in pain, they say.

I slip on my sweatshirt, cover my head with the hood and set out. I walk past the nurses’ station lined with drooping heads, onto the citadel of the ICU. The security guard outside is in a deep slumber with his hat pulled over his eyes and his feet resting on a stool. They do not allow anybody in the ICU outside of the visiting hours but luckily father's bed is near the door, so I can peek through the window sometimes before being shooed away.

I open the door slowly and sneak inside. A gelid calm prevails.The sounds of snores are punctuated by the hums and beeps of machines. The vitals of the patients must be stable because there are no shrieking alarms.

I pull the blanket over father’s shoulders--the nurses have left his torso open after checking on him. They don’t know how he likes to bundle up in scarves and sweaters at the slightest breeze. 

I readjust his oxygen mask, which is etching grooves on his face and blow on my hands before I place the left one on his head and the right one on his hand, careful not to disturb the IV. 

His pupils seem to move under his eyelids at my touch. I’ve read numerous stories of people who have survived coma and near-death experiences.They say that they can see and hear everything around them in that state.

Hope is what reading brings you. 

So, I whisper apologies as my lips falter. Apologies for marrying outside the boundaries. Apologies for tainting his name.Apologies for not being a good child. Apologies for being oceans away when he needed me.Apologies for not being able to serve him  in the past two years of his illness. And I kiss him goodbye on the forehead.

I see a pinkish tinge in the sky as I walk outside in the corridor leading to the rooms and my eyelids feel heavy. 


Prompted by BlogAdda's 'The Day Before Sunrise'
Linking with #ChattyBlogs

Comments

  1. This is a brilliant blog. I had tears in my eyes reading it. Hope he is better now...

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    1. Thanks Alolika. That was goodbye.

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  2. A difficult story beautifully told. I can imagine it must have been hard to get this out.

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    1. Yes,it was hard.Thanks for reading!

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  3. You're a master storyteller. I'm terribly sorry for your loss and I hope this helped in healing your grief. Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Thanks, I feel lighter after writing this.

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  4. Gosh this piece is
    So vivid and beautiful in its imagery that I could almost feel I was there.
    The toughest part is to see a parent in pain and to see them go.
    A lovely potrayal of parent-child bond that is eternal. Lots of love and strength to you.

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    1. Thanks Natasha!Writing is a big healer.

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  5. Beautiful and painful too. I can't imagine that feeling and how hard it must have been.

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    1. Thanks Parul for reading and commenting!Every comment builds up my determination to write more!

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  6. I'm sorry for your loss. I've been where you were. Beautifully written.

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  7. Beautifully expressed emotions. We need to apologise and acknowledge our parents efforts before its too late.

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  8. This was beautifully expressed, but it must have been painful for you to write. I'm sorry for your loss, and wish you and your family strength and peace.

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