A happy home
My name is Harish. I have one sister. I was born in a middle class urban family. My father had a two-bed room flat on the first floor of an apartment in East Delhi. We were having ancestral business of garments.
One day while my parents were out on the shop, my sister, Usha, had serious injury in her left leg. She had collided with a three-wheeler while crossing the road. The condition of my sister was deteriorating fast. Lot of blood came out from her body. The hospital was about two kilometres away. But nobody was helping her.
Two college girls while returning from their college saw Usha crying on the road. They picked up the mobile lying on the road. They telephoned the local police and also informed several persons in the contact list of the mobile. My father received the message and rushed towards the site of the accident.
By the time my father reached there, the police had already taken away my sister and admitted her to a nearby government hospital. On learning this, my father immediately rushed to the hospital. There he was told about the serious condition of Usha.
The doctors were trying their best. Lot of blood loss had made her condition critical. She was operated upon. The operation continued for four hours. The doctors were happy because Usha was saved but her left leg had to be imputed. This was absolutely essential to save her life. My father heard this announcement with heavy heart. In the meantime, my mother, too, had arrived. Other family members were also rushing towards the hospital.
This incident changed the life of Usha entirely. She was now dependent on others. However, she did not lose heart. She continued to go to the school regularly and secured good position. In fact, she became a source of inspiration for her fellow students.
My parents were busy with their business and had little time to take care of other issues. I was studying in class eleven in the school. I was aware with the difficulties of my parents which was compounded further by the recent incident. I focussed on my studies. I stood first in my school examination and was promoted to the class twelve. I worked very hard for the board examination. My hard work paid me. I got 96 percent marks in the board examination.
I did well in the IIT entrance examination and got admission into IIT Delhi. I got scholarship which included free food and lodging. That saved my father from lot of botheration. I concentrated on my studies and always secured excellent results.
One day while I was walking with my friends, I got phone calls on my mobile from Usha. My father had a heart attack and he died instantly. No medical care could be provided as there was hardly any time to respond. This was as ever blow for my entire family. I immediately rushed to my house.
By the time I reached there it was 8PM in the night. Everybody was looking sad. My mother was fainting again and again. Many friends and relatives gathered around the dead body of my father. My sister was unable to adjust with the situation and fell ill. The death of my father had put me in a very difficult situation. I had to manage my mother and the sister. The ancestral business was in bad shape.
One day while I was sitting alone in the hostel I got a registered letter. It was an offer of my appointment as a project engineer in a MNC at Seattle in the USA. It offered annual package of two crores besides other facilities. I was extremely delighted. I immediately informed my mother about this. She was very happy to know that I got a job but she did not like the news of my posting abroad.
I thanked God for this timely help and started preparing for my departure. I took help from a travel agent in getting my passport, visa etc. He charged some money no doubt but everything was done smoothly. I still had about one-month time for departure. I thought it proper to spend this time with my mother and sister who were yet to recover from the trauma caused by the sudden death of my father.
My mother was delighted to see me back at home. She immediately called Usha. All of us sat together to discuss the future planning. It was in fact a memorable time for us. I was now in a position to save it from financial hardship.
But my mother was worried She asked:
Can not you get a suitable job in our country?
I understood her anxiety and consoled her:
“Mother, you do not worry. I shall always keep in touch. The World is now like a family and no place is far away.”
She ultimately agreed and wished me good luck.
My mother saw me off at the airport with her eyes wet. She kept waiving her hands till I became invisible. Usha, too, was there looking straight at me. I do not know when and how they could return.
I reached my destination next day evening. In between I had a break at Dubai airport but I could not do anything and kept sitting in the plane. On reaching at Seattle airport, I reported to the immigration counter for clearance and security check. I got the formalities done in an hour or so and came out of the airport through the exit gate.
I saw a staff of the company outside the exit gate with placard containing my name. I went along with him. A private car was waiting outside in the lane. We got into it and left for the company guest house.
On reaching the guest house I found extremely friendly environment. I was welcome by [p1] the CEO of the Company and was given assistance throughout. I joined the office next day. I was surprised to see the beautiful office campus. I joined my duty and completed office formalities in an hour or so. Thereafter, I was introduced to the Officers of my project. The entire day passed away in formalities. I never had imagined that I would have such a smooth transition from Delhi to Seattle.
I called my mother over WhatsApp in the evening. The phone was picked by Usha. She was extremely happy to talk to me . My mother was in kitchen. On hearing about my phone call, she rushed and picked up phone from Usha. She started weeping on hearing my voice. I consoled her. She asked so many questions about the arrangements there and was quite satisfied to learn that I was comfortable.
I settled very fast in Seattle. I was getting a handsome salary. After a few months, I bought a house there. My mother and Usha were very happy to see the palatial building which I had purchased. I requested them to come and stay with me but my mother was not willing. She had lot of attachment with her flat in Delhi and wanted to continue there. However, I was quite worried about them. I wanted to give higher education to Usha. Besides, I wanted to give a fresh try to her leg problem.
I consulted the surgeons in the USA. They went through the records and agreed to conduct fresh operation of Usha. According to them there was fifty-fifty chance of her recovery. I decided to take the risk and go ahead with the operation. I was able to get medical visa for Usha and mother, too, was allowed to accompany her.
I had personally gone to receive mother and Usha at the airport. They were very happy to find themselves in an entirely new environment. It took them one or two days to adjust with the new timings but ultimately, they started feeling comfortable.
After two days we went to the famous surgeon of Seattle. He was immensely happy to see Usha and was very much confident about positive outcome. The surgery was conducted next day. It lasted for six hours. The team of doctors came out smiling after the successful surgery. I was told that they would be required to stay there for about two weeks after which monthly check up would be required for subsequent two months.
After successful operation, Usha was given physiotherapy for two months. She responded miraculously and started walking without any aid. However, physiotherapy was continued for two more weeks as a precautionary measure. The doctors who had conducted surgery were extremely happy to see Usha walking on her own. My mother, too, was extremely happy.
I had never thought that Usha would ever be able to walk on her own. She, in fact, had got new lease of life. She started her studies with double vigour. She was admitted to the post-graduation in Science and completed it within a year. She did very well and was provided scholarship for PHD course. The University was bearing her entire expenditure.
Usha did remarkably well. She completed her PHD course before schedule and got a teaching job with lucrative salary package in the same University. The employers helped her to get the green card.
The doctor attending upon Usha was an NRI Indian. He belonged to a small village in Kerala. During the process of treatment, he had developed liking for Usha. Even after the treatment was over he continued to be in touch with her. Usha also had the same feeling towards him. The doctor was a saviour for her.
One day while I was talking to my mother, both Usha and the doctor revealed their plan to marry. My mother was initially reluctant because she wanted to marry Usha in her own community but she also ultimately agreed. The marriage of Usha and Dr Pillai was held with great pomp and show in Seattle itself. Next day they left for Honeymoon at Switzerland.
One day while all the family members were chit chatting, mother expressed her desire to return to Delhi. She wanted to spend her remaining days in Delhi flat. In fact, Dr Pillai and Usha also wanted to return to India and open a hospital for the especially abled children. So, the proposal of my mother was endorsed by them instantly. I also liked the idea to return to Delhi and to set up my own factory.
As planned, they returned to Delhi after a month. Usha opened a rehabilitation centre for the especially abled children. Her husband Dr Pillai dedicated his entire resources for the welfare of such children and also started working there on full time basis. I opened my own company of electronic goods. This gave employment to a large number of youths.
My mother was very much satisfied. She always blessed us. She would always say:
“God should bless everybody with such children!”
Years have passed away since my mother died. She did not give us any indication. She was just taking her dinner. Before anybody could guess anything, she fell down and left us for ever…….
We always miss her but have a satisfaction that I served my mother well. That she could go peacefully leaving a happy home behind.