Saturday, March 13, 2010
Bidding a tearful farewell
Shyam Kumar Singh*, a poor auto driver, came face to face with the most difficult situation of his life when he was detected with having cancer. Even though he was the sole bread winner for the family, his left leg had to be amputated above the knee to curb further spread of cancer. His wife, being a woman of very simple nature & hailing from a rural back ground of the State of West Bengal had a lot of dreams for her three children, and was doing house hold jobs to make a living. After Shyam was detected with having such a chronic disease, the family suddenly felt doomed and sank into a great despair. The very same family is now wholly dependent on the hapless women, who herself had undergone a lot of hardships prior to her life with Shyam. There, DNipCare volunteers reached out with their helping hands by providing an initial moral support to the family and the patient. The technical team of our organization had also visited the patient numerous times to give them immediate relief, which was imminently required on those occasions for the family. We are also providing monthly ration to the family. Curative treatments were being received by him from AIIMS. Later, when the patient was admitted in AIIMS for lungs surgery he had a ray of hope of recovery but to his utter dismay the doctors had to tell his bad prognosis that his journey in life is very short.
The family further collapsed and their will to live diminished so much that death began to be viewed as a final relief. The patient gradually started to keep himself away from his wife and children and finally decided to go back to his ancestral home where he could get some relief during his last stage of life. He thought the presence of his brothers and other relatives there would help his family to do his last rites. At last we had to hear his plea for a ‘train journey back to his roots in Bhagalpur, Bihar’.
DNipCare arranged the train tickets for the patient including family members and the journey was about to start on the 28th day of February, 2010 at 2.00 pm. The moment was as heavy as many of us could not control our emotions. When our hamsa(kka) hugged, Shyam could not stop his emotions and tears were falling from his eyes on his realization at that moment that he would never be able to see us all further more. We could also hardly stop our tears at some moment. His wife too was praying for his life loudly by touching the hands of Sumitha, our volunteer. Our Doctor, Sandhya done his medical check up as he was feeling breathlessness after all the ordeals of getting into the compartment, consoled him and advised his wife to take necessary precautions while traveling. Our two volunteers Antony (sir) and Karim (sir) struggled very much to place his belongings inside the coach. Shyam was keenly observing all of us continuously up to when the train started moving. His wife’s waving hand till the last bogy reaches the end of the platform still remains unforgettable to all of us.
I don’t have anything to add here except a few lines of what our great Rabindra Nath Tagore wrote:
“The numberless meetings and partings in the world, and on death the great parting, from which there is no return. The dictates of reason take a long time to assert their sway. The surest proofs meanwhile are disbelieved. One clings desperately to some vain hopes, till a day comes when it has sucked the heart dry and then it breaks through its bounds and departs. After that comes the misery of awakening, and then once again the longing to get back into the maze of the same mistake”.
*Name of Patient changed to hide identity