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It was a chilly January midnight in Delhi and I sat beside my dad wide awake. Helpless! He was trying hard to catch on his breathe and I could do nothing to help him rather than just sit and watch. The experience of that night still gives me goose bumps. He was tossing and turning in his bed to get some relief and I had no one to help me.

I was new in Delhi and lived independently. My work schedule left me no time to socialize. It had been two years since I came to chase my dreams here but the glitter and glamour of the metro took me nowhere. I might have changed overall as a person but when it came to personally know someone or have a 2:00a.m friend I was completely blank. My savings, my repute in my workplace or my skills were of no use to help my dad in this hour of need. I was desperately waiting for daybreak so that I could do something for him.

Dad had come to pay me a visit from our hometown and he did not confide me earlier that he actually was not well and wanted to consult a specialist here. I was quite glad to have him at my place where I stayed alone in a rented accommodation. We had a great time few days back but now I sat wondering why he not told me earlier or why I could not notice his problem before. It was fun to have him in the house. He would prepare the breakfast and when I came in the evenings he would serve me his special snacks. It felt like home again with his arrival.

But this morning when I left for office he had gone to the AIIMS hospital and spent the entire day waiting to meet the doctor who in turn did not bother to even listen to him for more than five minutes before handing him the prescription. Dad was very angry with the doctor’s behaviour and in turn he did not buy the prescribed medicine and returned home. When I came back in the evening he was looking very tired but I did not bother much. And in the midnight his trouble started and I had no clue what was it all about till I saw the prescription. Although I could not make out anything written on it but the date caught my attention. Dad was also not in a position to tell me anything. I felt so lonely sitting next to him watching his restlessness.

Finally it was daylight outside and dad fast asleep after a troubled night. I did not disturb him and tip toed outside. It was too early in the morning but I had to find help. I found one chemist shop in the market open by then. The owner was an old man himself. I showed him the prescription and asked about medicines. Till now I thought dad was having gastric problem and that was the cause of the trouble. The old man’s answer left me very disturbed when he said the medicines were related to heart. I asked him me to give me information about heart specialist here.

I made an appointment with the doctor and took dad when he woke up. The doctor conducted few tests and said dad’s condition was very serious and he needs to be admitted in hospital. Dad refused and went home. We had a heated argument regarding hospitalization but dad stick to his decision. I made another visit to the doctor and this time alone to ask if there was any other way. The doctor recommended complete bed rest and constant observation along with some medicines and diet.

I was confused by the time I reached home. Help was way too far and I had little confidence in my abilities to attend dad in this situation. Adamant that he was I knew he would rather go back to home town than get admitted in hospital here. There was no possibility that mom could come down here or dad could travel back. I did not know what to do. The doctor had said not to worry and just stick to what he had advised. I badly wanted to discuss my situation to someone who would help me out. Mom would not have helped me as she would fall back on me after hearing the situation. She was far more tensed than anybody else in the family. It was not right time to call my younger sister as she was taking her semester exams and would be disturbed hearing dad’s health.

So practically I was to handle to whole situation but I was not confident. The day passed out fine and dad felt fine after taking the medicines. However, after dinner he again felt restless but not like the previous night.  He was tossing and turning in his bed but his breathing was normal. I was sitting uptight beside him clutching the phone whether to call the doctor or not. But after about ten minutes he was snoring. Just when I was thinking of the long night ahead my phone rang. I was startled to see my aunt calling. She stayed in Mumbai and was quite close to dad. Usually she called up dad’s number but now she called on mine. I walked out of the room to answer the call.

“I hope I didn’t wake you up?” She asked

“No. Pishi.” I answered.

“How is Anu?” She shot back.

Her question was so straight that I wondered whether she knew about dad’s condition or not. She continued without waiting for my answer.

“Actually I was wondering to call him up since I heard he had come to your place. But I didn’t get time. He had mentioned to me that he would consult a doctor in Delhi. Has he done yet? ”

I told her the entire episode and she heard me without interfering. She, being his younger sister, knew dad more than me. So she did not advise on hospitalization. Instead her words were, “See dear. You know your dad does not listen to anyone. And as far as help is concern you know very well it is not possible for anyone to come down to you. You are old enough now and I believe you can handle all situations much better than anyone else. So be your own help and do what you think best for him. I have confidence in your decision and know he can come healthy out of it with you beside him.”

After tits and bits she hung up but her words kept ringing in my ears. Just talking to her I felt light at heart and her words boosted a new confidence in me. She injected the “belief in myself “with her words and there was no looking back from then on. I never questioned my abilities again.

We all must have encountered a situation like this in our life where someone’s words like our parents, friends, teachers, colleagues, boss or just someone we met at the bus stop or in the train must have build us or shattered us.  But then the same holds for our words too. So MIND YOUR WORDS as they can build someone or break someone.

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