kokaa's blog

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Opening doors

*knock* *knock* .

The door opens and an elderly couple hesitantly walks in... you know the name, you know the age, you know the address... because that's the information shown on your computer screen... you knew that before having called them in for the consultation... .

You have a closer look at them... theirs are faces lined with anxiety... you try to put them at ease, and go ahead with business as usual... .

But, do you see beyond the anxiety? do you notice the faint laugh lines at the corners of their eyes? Do you know their story? .

You and I know that there are more doors to be opened... like the one shown in this picture.. Their's is a door that I've walked through a thousand times and more... walk in with me, won't you? .

Their's is a home full of light and air... potted plants and colourful flowers... butterflies dancing in sunshine... a home, filled with the sounds of ping pong balls bouncing off the TT table, or the rackets or the walls (or someone's head)... sounds of laughter... the din of people of all ages engaged in animated discussions.. or the sounds of everyone going about their daily routines... students recording radio dramas... or deciphering the means of poems... I was one of them...

The doors are always open... the house is always full, the extended family, neighbors, colleagues and students all swarming around.. always welcomed... always loved... .

Their home is built  on the foundations of love and mutual respect... if i am to choose a perfect love story, it would be theirs... they are a team... 

They met during the good old days of rely bicycles and bell bottomed pants... the times of lime stone walls... the times when the girl would stand at the doorway. A rose tucked in behind one ear, and she's wearing a coy smile.. The boy would appear by the side, super cool, on a bicycle; one hand on the handle and the other swung Cooly over the wall... when you try to make that smooth stop, sometimes your arm gets bruised, (especially when you're bicycle paddles are a little lower than it should be!) *ouch* but you try your best to keep that smile on, never flinch... and wait to tend to your bleeding elbow in the privacy of your room...thus would be the courtship.. .

                                                              He wrote "aakujekey" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSI4KZ1Po0g
when they met. a song our generation grew up listening to; immortalized by one of our music legends. A story beautifully written by them, forever engraved in the hearts of their loved ones. 

But, when you sit across from them, in that seat of yours, do you see the love? do see how they've lived their life? No... All you see is a diminished light... a tiny hint of their story, but never the whole story... 

It happens so gradually that one doesn't notice, until one day, the door opens, and the realization hits us. We see that the light has receded slowly... we see that the shadows have crept in... and we are left wishing, if only for a moment, we can stop the sands of time from spilling... We wish that we hadn't been so busy growing up, that we didn't notice that they were growing old. 

We wish we could turn a wheel and go back to those childhood days, when it was all sunshine and light... we wish that we could freeze those moments in a loop; because, we realize that those moments are gone forever. and that those were the moments that had made us who we are... 

Our parents and their friends walk a bit hesitantly now... We wish they would walk again with confidence and dignity, full of zeal, in the best of health... not uncertain... and scared... We wish that it was not time yet for the transition... that it wasn't time yet, for us to take the lead... 

A wonderful lady I met

This had been home for 6 months... Here, I met a wonderful lady aged 90+, and she's still living life on her own terms!

She is up with the rising sun, and has the house running... .

At 7:00 am she gets a call everyday; its from the Cancer home run by the Cancer Society of Sri Lanka, in Kandy... The head nurse gives her a status update on the overall condition of patients in the home, and their meals within the last 24 hours... She makes sure, that there are enough supplies.. If there are any inadequacies, she takes it up with the board, and sorts it out... .

Cancer home is run on donor funds, providing meals and accommodation for patients from far off places, who no longer need hospital stay, although they require frequent follow-ups or chemotherapy... Their families who live on daily wages, go about their work, with the assurance that, their loved ones are  well taken care of there... .

She then goes about her work, pushing her walker, tending to her garden. She owns a plant shop and is still an active member of the horticultural society of Kandy, which she had lead for 25 years... They hold weekly meetings here, even now 😊

She had been born at a time when education for girls had not been a priority, but marriage had been... Her home is full of books, and she, an ardent reader... Here, she welcomes women and girls pursuing their studies (at Peradenjya university, especially foreigners) and makes sure they feel at home!  Lovely lady she is! ❤

Precious seconds

#throwback to 220515 to perhaps the first ever spinal tumour removal in a child in #maldives ..

Here we see a team of dedicated Maldivians, working together, with an aim to preserve the lower limb function of a little boy aged 5 years. Every minute matters, the longer the wait, the less chances that he would walk, even if he eventually triumphs over #cancer.. .

The surgery went on for 10 + hours in IGMH... The group tirelessly working, was lead by Dr. Ali Niyaf, along with Dr. Neeza and assisted by Dr. Hammad. Anesthesia HOD, Dr. Rizana, came down to the hospital, although she had not been on-call that night, and did what she did best.. The paediatric team continued with the medical management... Dr. Shimal (Pathologist) and lab team, were there every step of the way, processing urgent pre-op labs, arranging blood and finally doing the histopathological diagnosis.. OT, ICU and Paediatric team of nurses worked round the clock... It happened because the health administrators allowed it. 

That day, It didn't matter that the neurosurgeon was from a private hospital... It didn't matter that the child would eventually need to be referred for chemo... That night, it didn't matter... What was important is, emergency care was being given.. the patient being stabilized... 

Here, was a team dedicated to saving a child's life.. And nothing else mattered... That's what I understand... In spite  of the difficulties, everyone came through and did their bit... 

Giving healthcare is a labour of love; amidst numerous challenges and frustrations that the practitioners face, which is rarely brought forth...