Home > Uncategorized > Neeraj Hirani: Paragraphs of Woe (2007)

Neeraj Hirani: Paragraphs of Woe (2007)

This is a very sad time. Last January my father suffered a stroke of paralysis which put his left and right side out completely and permanently. And there it stays. He has improved now and may stay on in this state for a year or more. There are barriers psychological as well as physical. I have never run into so many barriers. The few words that I put down are written in the midst of constant interruptions. Instinct makes me want to run away from the situation, a thing impossible of course. Needless to say I will not be leaving Bangalore for a long time in the future.

I spend about two hours a day with him. My mother ten. She works very hard. She goes about her tasks like one of those spirited bombardiers at war who jump to battle with serious disregard for the dangers lurking there. She stays cheerful and makes things easier than they are. There are terrible washings every day. 5-10 sheets. There are countless shifts in positions, innumerable changes of sanitary diapers, and infinite pleas to get him to sip some water – he refuses and why shouldn’t he? Let someone help YOU go about the rather private functions of defecation and you will know exactly how he feels. He has taken a fondness to sitting in the courtyard on his wheelchair, where he sips his tea, with the warm rays of the sun beating down his hunched frame. There we sit, Father, Mother and son, and have most of our daily conversations. His nerves have gone and that has brought on a numbness and loss of eyesight and he worries of his condition all the time. His once booming voice now reduced to a gentle whimper, tells us each moment that he is trying his best to fight, to come back. He tends to easily get discouraged, and breaks down often. A kind of second childhood has fallen upon him. He cannot bear the idea of trading his violence for a life such as this. He has always lived life on his terms and cannot stand that the head of this house has to be treated like it’s youngest child. He goes to sleep early, and wakes at the first tempering of dawn with darkness, for he has to brush his teeth, empty his bowels, finish off other daily duties of cleanliness and be ready to greet the physiotherapist. Just before we bid him Goodnight, the intake of 12-15 tablets, signals a harsh reminder of his pitiable condition, and the end of another day. Tomorrow will be another day of the same, just better, we tell ourselves inwardly and retire to bed.

Neeraj is now studying at Babson College in Boston, U.S (Batch of 2011). He was awarded a scholarship of $ 20,000. He went through a tough time deciding whether he should take up this offer. His dad was his primary concern. With support from his family and encouragement from his friends, Neeraj made the toughest decision of his life. His dad continues to be in the same state as described above. His mom and sister are take care of him back in Bangalore. You can leave your prayers for Neeraj’s family in the comments box. Thank you.

  1. Bhadra Mehta
    January 20, 2010 at 8:46 AM

    Hi Neeraj
    I had to nurse a mother in law who had parkinsons for over fifteen years. The daily routine is so hard to take care of.My prayers are withyou.I can just imagine what you and your family are going through.Hats off to your mom and sister

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