It was 5:00a.m, Papa woke up. He wanted to have tea. My heart sank. I choked.
I woke my mother. She made tea. Papa had half a cup of tea. He looked contended. And went back to sleep. He looked so normal, as if he just woke from fever and now everything will be fine. But I knew...nothing will be fine now...never.
Somebody, I know once told me - when the day will come, you will know- It will feel as if everything will be all right. I will notice a strange shine on my father's face. And I don't know why, but I always knew that papa will go on a saturday night. And today was saturday.
My instincts were telling me-the day has arrived. For past two days every time, I tried to take papa's blood pressure and pulse - the machine always showed error.
I went to my home, took shower and was packing my bags when I received a call from my aunt. My aunt informed me that palliative care team( of doctors) visiting papa has arrived and wanted to speak to me. I knew the news was "not good". I took the receiver, and the doctor said( what I din't wanted to hear)..."Your father is half gone, you can call your brother".
I was just stabbed in the heart. And blood was coming through my eyes. I packed my bag and ran down the stairs. My husband followed. I was shaking when I reached my daughter's school. I picked her up hurriedly.
Back in the car, My husband said, everything will be okay...and I said "today is the day, and I know it". I called my younger brother. He was in office. I said bhai, "Come" and dropped the phone.
I reached home. My aunt told me, today papa had apple juice. After months of not eating or drinking anything, he even had porridge. Papa was having difficulty in breathing. I decided to get an oxygen cylinder( owing to my Asthma, I know how it feels when you can't breathe). I got the oxygen cylinder. But, I could see - It was not much of a help.
It was 7.pm. My younger brother arrived straight from office. I called papa. He opened his eyes and recognized my younger brother. He smiled at all of us.
Around 9 p.m: I noticed papa's breathing had become more erratic and irregular. I decided to nebulize him. Papa was restless. I put the mask, and started the machine. Around 11:30p.m, I held papa's hand and said, I will come in the morning. Papa put all his left strength together and screamed "don't go". And I din't...
I switched off the " Mahamritunjaya Mantra" and asked everyone to sleep. I said, I will sit. Everyone would sleep around papa. Lights were switched off. And, I took my tablet and started reading. Every two minutes, I would check if papa was still breathing. Papa was extremely restless and was panting heavily. He was struggling for life and life was moving away....far away!
My father was in deep pain. But he was trying. He wouldn't give up. I was suffering. I have to let him go......
At 12:35a.m, papa asked me to remove the mask. He wanted water. I gave him water and said papa, you can go now, I love you....
The time period between the breaths increased...and it kept on increasing...I woke my mother, aunt ...I called for my brothers, husband and uncle....
We all were there when papa took his last breath......1:15am, 26th October 2013!
I Love you, Papa!