I created T SEWA Yahoo Mail Group with sole aim of dissemination information of importance and utility to Ex-Servicemen (ESM) and Single Ladies. I repeatedly advised members of this group not to post anything other than (a) pension (b) Arrears of Pension (c) CSD (d) ECHS and (e) Any information which can benefit ESMs and Single Ladies in this mail group.
I am not very sure whether this long mail fits in any of the above five categories. You may hit DELETE button instead of going through this long mail.
This mail is culmination of my thoughts which I got while lying in bed in Room No 1287 of KIMS (Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences) Hospital, Secunderabad from 11 to 14 Jan 2017. I thought life of ESMs and Single ladies should revolve around the five issues I mentioned above.
Now I realise I am wrong. Terribly wrong.
Life is not just pension, arrears, CSD, ECHS and some useful information to you and I.
Then what is it?
I have been an arrogant guy all my life having never been admitted in any of Military Hospitals in my 32 year long career in the Army nor in my 12 years of retired life. I was proud diseases cannot touch me. Yet I landed in a bed in an ECHS empanelled hospital for three days for various tests before Biopsy for Enlarged Prostrate.
I could have been a Gama but in few seconds life takes a different turn. It made me philosophical.
I am 68 and now I realise for me a second, a minute, an hour or even a day God gives me is a bonus.
Should I keep cribbing all the time about my pension and arrears or my lower status compared to Civil Group A Officers and keep lambasting Govt of India?
Should I keep regarding others not worthy of my respect?
Should I keep using harsh words in mails to those who oppose my views?
I get Rs 97,726 a month as pension. My two children are reasonably settled. I am blessed with Pari, my 5 year old little granddaughter who studies in First Standard. I should by theories of probability have no problem. No Sir, in life such theory of probability does not work.
Pari does not walk like a normal child
Pari does not run like a child of her age.
Pari does not bend or get up like any child of her age. She needs support of hand rail to climb stairs.
Pari has been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy
There is no cure for this ailment. It hits one in a billion. Pari happened to that one in billion. We showed her to the best of the doctors. They tell us that it is a progressive degeneration. My Son and Daughter – in – law are not related by blood.
I know two Officers in Secunderabad whose children / grandson afflicted with Muscular Atrophy. By the time they reach age of 16 they are wheel chair bound. Their life span does not cross 25 years.
Pari’s lower part of the body does not support her much. Even for walking she uses her upper body. Her gait is awkward because her spine does not give her that much support.
So what should I do?
One day Pari came and asked me innocently “ Dadaji why don’t you play with me instead of typing all the time on the lap top?”
I take her down to playing area in our residential complex to play with her .We play Football cum Hand ball with a plastic ball of football size.
She tells me to stand 20 feet away from her where as I stand only 2 feet away. Because I know she cannot kick the ball that far. She kicks the ball. It hits me on my chest and I pretend to fall down and yell at her in false pain “Pari you hit the ball so hard. You see I have fallen down and cannot even get up”. She laughs loud. That laugh is worth a billion US dollars to me.
Pari comes to me with her peculiar gait and says “ Dadaji. Didn’t I tell you that you should not stand too close to me? You did not listen to me. Now take my hand and get up”. If I take her hand she will fall down. A little child who is unbalanced cannot lift me.
Now I get up. “OK I will stand little far. But don’t kick the ball very hard” I tell her.
Pari kicks the ball second time. This goes in some other direction. She cannot run and fetch the ball. I go and pick up the ball.
Pari kicks the ball third time. It hits me on my knees. I pretend to fall down second time. Pari yells at me “ Dadaji I told you stand far away. You know I kick the ball very hard. You do not listen to me”.
Five minutes and five times kicking the ball exhausts her. Now she says “Dadaji, Mera Peir Dukh Rahe hain. Hum Abhi Hand Ball kelenge”.
I hand over the ball. She throws the ball and says catch it.
I pretend not able to catch and Pari laughs loudly. I tell her “ Pari you throw the ball so far. I cannot catch it.”
Paris says “OK Dadaji, I will throw the ball for a lesser distance”.
This is what I am doing instead of sitting all the time in front of my laptop and replying to all the mails I receive every day which I used to do till few days back.
Now every moment I spend with Pari is a joy for me. She is in First Standard and goes with her mother to HPS (Hyderabad Public School) Begumpet, Hyderabad where her mother teaches computers to primary school.
After our play session which last just 15 mins, a tired Pari comes back to her Dadima and shouts at top her voice excitedly “Dadi Aaj Maine Dadaji ko do dafa gira diya”.
Dadi is happy at achievement of her pothi. Dadi pretends and shouts “Pari aap aur do dafa Dadaji ko girayiye kal”.
Everyone in our family pretend that Pari is a normal child.
I realised, may be late in life, that there are more in this country who are more unfortunate than I.
My two children acted as Attendants in KIMS Hospital for three days turn by turn. KIMS hospital does not admit you as a patient if you do not have an attendant unlike MH.
What about those who proudly say “My both the children are in USA / Canada / Australia etc?”
A Wg Cdr met us in KIMS Hospital. His 76 year old wife was brought in emergency condition the same day I was admitted in KIMS Hospital. He tells me that as per doctors her chance of survival is just 5%. She is put on Dialysis.
I met another friend of mine who brings his wife for Dialysis every third day. So there are many in condition worse than I. There could millions in our country whose condition is worse than mine.
Now what is my course of action?
I should thank God for all small mercies he has shown to me.
Be respectful to even lowest of the low as they are all humans. It costs me nothing to be kind to them.
Be down to earth and be humble.
I can achieve nothing. There are so many who helped me in many ways unknown to me.
I have seen young people admitted with all kinds of health problems.
Life is much more than Pensions, arrears and other things.
I have not put up this mail to seek your sympathy. It is just to make me realise there is a lot I have to do to be a good human being.
Brig CS Vidyasagar (Retd)