Monday, January 28, 2013

The Extra Three

Today is the 26th of January. As per a carefully crafted plan that I started working on about three months ago, I should have been in Chandigarh yesterday with my mother, daughter and dog. But here I am, writing from Singapore.

On the day we were to leave, Jan 23rd, we were packed and all set to go. There was only one hitch- Atreya, who was supposed to take half day off and see us off, was nowhere to be found. I started calling him from 2 pm onward and would have called and messaged him at least 10 times till 4 pm, but there was no response. I was having a tough time keeping my cool. I then called his camp and asked the manpower branch to locate him. Just as they got back with a vague response that he had left the camp, I received a call from Atreya. He was sick and had overslept in his bunk. 

In a single moment, I felt relieved at having located him and totally stressed to hear that he was sick. You see, when Atreya falls sick, he usually falls very sick. A strong young man, he has amazing tolerance for pain and discomfort, but the downside is that by the time his body tells him something is wrong, he is usually sick like a dog. When he reached home, I rushed him to a nearby clinic in the same taxi. He looked pale and sweaty and gaunt. He asked the cabby to stop on the way and was sick on the road side. The nice doctor at the neighborhood clinic, located hurriedly via Google, diagnosed him with food poisoning and gave him a slew of medication and a medical leave of absence for two days. 

By now, it was 5 pm. Another two hours and we would need to be in a cab to the airport. I called up mom from the clinic and told her I won't be able to leave him like this. She agreed and assured me that she would handle Aloka and Anakin's transport to India. Back at home, we had more discussions about what to do. Mom, seeing the condition I was in, insisted that I should stay on and care for Atreya. Mallika, concerned about mommy and Aloka, insisted that I should go with them while she would look after Atreya (she was to stay in Singapore for an additional seven days). This went on for a while until Atreya, half conscious, looked at me and said "Don't go". Was there any room for further discussions after that?

I then made phone calls to my travel agent, who had to rush to align Aloka's to mom's and change my ticket to Sunday. I called the pet mover to discuss if I could change Anakin's departure date, but he advised me not too because it would entail getting a new health cert and NOC. I called my brother to update him and discussed possible complications and new pickup arrangements. Finally, after a few more phone calls to these three parties, I handed over to mom copies of my passport and an authorization letter to receive Anakin at the airport, and all documents to enable her to travel with Aloka and Anakin. Plans, carefully crafted and executed over the last three months, were changed and redone in less than two hours. 

For the next three days, Atreya and I stayed mainly indoors, watching TV, catching up on sleep, working at our laptops, making each other listen to our favorite music, and talking. These extra unplanned three days allowed us to be with each other without any distraction, enjoy each other's company in total peace, and align our minds to a common goal- that of reinventing ourselves in our respective new environments. It was an extended goodbye, totally unplanned and fully satisfying.

On the third day, Atreya, by now almost fully recovered, looked at me gleefully and said- "Isn't it great that I fell sick just before you were to leave mom?" Honestly, I couldn't agree agree with him more!

1 comment:

  1. Puja, I will say man (in your case woman ) proposes God disposes.God wanted that you should spend those tree days with Atreya.