Monday, February 15, 2010

A prolific Sunday evening

Yesterday I along with Hamza uncle visited Mrs. Soma Mukherjee*, at the Cancer Hospital. Though she appeared to be happy her family not being with her was really hurting her. During my first visit I was convinced that she was quite comfortable with her mom. But the way she broke down yesterday, I really have to rethink what I convinced myself. I have promised her that I'll be visiting her in the hospital before she leaves after her present chemo. And I really hope that I could keep my word.



Here is a patient whose sole companion in her battle against cancer (Rhabdomyosarcoma) are her own morbid thoughts. However, there is hardly a dull moment amongst her ward mates whom she keeps amused and distracted from their own sufferings by her sharp wit and repertoire of anecdotes. Soma is a young 30 year old woman with two kids and deserted by husband. I have given 15 years of my life to him, but he could not give me even 15 days of his life when I am ill and in dire need, she sums up the marital misery candidly. Even though the association of the volunteers of DNipCare with her is less than three months old, yet the enthusiasm to meet the patient increases exponentially after every visit since we think her to be one amongst us.

Soma unlike so many others in her situation believes in living life to the full and craves for education to stand on her own legs. The notebook withholding computer basics learned from newly joined classes is kept safely on her hospital bed. Her only complaint is that she forgets many things memorized from the note book due to ill effects of her disease or chemotherapy. She has also registered to appear in the matriculation examination through the school of open learning. It is but a well known fact that Soma used to be the leader of her colony’s womenfolk; be it for getting their bank accounts opened to persuading them to save in anticipation of adverse times. It may also sound ironic but her appreciation for the dressing sense of doctors and nurses even while she is undergoing surgery endears her to all of them.

The sunny day also draws to a close, coinciding closely with the hospital’s visiting hours. We left the hospital with heavy hearts, but with broad smiles on our faces till she could see us through the glass windows from her bed, only on Soma’s insistence. A thought flitted past my mind; was it I who counseled her to fight back the disease mentally or was it she who counseled me to be happy always the real counselor today? Of course, I still do have to visit the hospital once more before Rema is discharged; after all she is a member of our family, the Palliative family.

kv hamza

(*Name of the patient changed to hide her identity)


  1. It is a good to see the experiences and the life in our works reflected in words.

  2. ya hasna ur doing a good job....its not al a job...their right actually..all wishes

  3. thanx a ton for ur its our palliative family who is gonna benefit from our efforts.
    so keep going.
    hasna najath.p

  4. Yes, 'our Palliative family' comprising the ailing patients, volunteers and wellwishers. Let us try to bring in a possible positive change through our concerted efforts. - hamza