Life is not always rainbows and butterflies, but a bitter truth, that confronts and hits you hard when you least expect it to.
The year was 2015, when a selfless and carefree man (my brother) was diagnosed with cancer. As scary as it seemed, scarier was the lack of any concrete treatment for it. As our first marriage anniversary was approaching, my brother decided to gift us a holiday to the beautiful city of Jaipur. It was an amazing trip full of adventure and thrill, but I had a feeling riding at the back of my mind all along.
I was on my way back when I got to know about the acute body ache he was going through. Unable to control myself, given my emotional and brotherly attachment with him, I rushed to comfort him as best as I could. It was a matter of few days and hoping from one hospital to the other, that the reality hit us hard.
He was diagnosed with advanced ALL (Acute lymphocytic leukemia) which is a form of blood cancer, or simply put he was dying. The reality was staring us in the face but none of us wanted it to sink in. We just wanted him to be safe and sound, for souls like these are a rare species. Selfless, always smiling and standing by anyone in need (family and strangers alike).
But I think he was the first and only one to make peace with his fate and took on the task to leave behind a smiling legacy till the very last breath.
Sometimes I feel he had it all planned well in advance, as if he had orchestrated the whole thing. It was not even a matter of thought, when I decided to spend every possible moment with this crazy, carefree and alive human being.
The days were few and he had a lot of ground to cover. Being in the depressing environs of a hospital and still being able to pass on the contagious smile and humor to each and every soul he came across, from relatives, friends, doctors, nurses to ward boys, he was on a mission.
It turned out to be the longest and emotionally most draining year of my life. Being by his side was not my duty but a privilege. We shared more than a bond, deep inside, beyond words and sentences. From changing bed pans to giving him sponge baths, cracking up on the stupidest of jokes and reliving every journey we had taken together, I was battling dual fronts.
It’s never easy to watch the thread slip away. Mentor, friend, philosopher, guide, big brother, hard task master, spoiler, he was my Superman. Being so close, yet I could never read his thoughts, or rather he never let any of them slip away.
The last thing I vividly remember was the shine in his eyes and a smirk on the face. He was a nomad to the core, an explorer who was always hungry for more. And so he left his worldly possessions and attachments for far greener pastures.
The date was 17th Aug 2016, 5 am in the morning, light breeze and drizzle accompanied with thunder showers. He couldn’t have chosen a better day to say his final goodbye!