Story part-3

My brother – about 2 years younger to me – fell sick. In school, he was just one class behind me. The illness was just head ache and vomiting. When it was not reducing, he was admitted to a nearby mission hospital. They diagnosed some stomach ailment (I think it was ulcers), and started treating. But symptoms were not reducing, even after days. He was then shifted to another hospital farther. That doctor suspected something in the brain. And asked to go to Medical College, Trivandrum. It is from him that I heard of this wisdom – there are 64 potential causes for head ache, the simplest being excess nasal hair, and the most challenging being a tumour in the brain. My parents and a few others went to medical college — about 250 km away. Further tests there revealed a tumour in the brain.

A shock to our entire system. Life fully changed. Prayers, well wishers,… There was hope. It can be cured. Money was difficult even normally, continuously struggling to make ends meet. The treatment needed money, in large amount. This was a different situation, and nothing was more valuable than getting him back. Money was created pawning, selling, etc. Surgery was done. I think it took weeks there. But he never came back alive.

One day when I was coming from school, there was a lot of people in my house. And an ambulance in the front. I knew something was wrong. And then I realised… Inside my mother’s cries could be heard loud, when I entered… I hardly remember anything else from that time… It was difficult days in all senses of the term.

Mother was gradually gathering courage; she had to. Everyone told her, there are two other kids needing your attention. That is, me and my little sister, quite small when this happened. We can’t sit in grief for long. And life had to move on. Now, neck deep in debt too. It would take a long time to recover sanity.

My studies resumed slowly. Since my brother was away in hospitals for a few months, I think, I had adjusted to being without him around, despite the sense of loss.

The plans all changed. They had to. Continuing at our home was difficult due to multiple issues. After much discussion, it was decided that after my 10th, we will shift to my father’s quarters at his work place. We used to visit him in some of the school vacations. It was in one of those visits, I picked up how to read Tamil script, on my own, with little support from my father and others. Anyway, with a 10th pass, I would get a better entry as an apprentice or something in his factory. Eventually it would ensure a slightly better job than that of my father; that seemed good enough. Now you know why I was looking for a ‘pass’.

And then something else happened….

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One Response to “Story part-3”

  1. moebiuscurve Says:

    Sometimes you need an “empathy” button than “like”

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