Wednesday, August 12, 2009
When disaster(s) strike...
... they strike disastrously. Or so I feel at this point in time. First it was the earthquake that woke me up at 1.25 a.m. and kept me on tenterhooks for the next 15-20 mins. I was sleepy, and I was a bit worried too - not knowing whether it was a real quake or if it was a forceful wind playing its night-time tricks; whether it was true or if it was a fit of my dreamy imagination; whether I should pick up my sleeping daughter and run out of the house or stay and wait for the next tremor.
I was unsure if everything was all right, and if it was safe for me to go back to sleep. I was finally convinced that the quake was not unreal when my worried cousin working in the USA heard of a 'possible Tsunami' warning, and called us around 2.10 a.m. to find out if we were safe and how far are we from the sea, and safety! Oh my God! So the cot really moved - for full 20 seconds - and I've not imagined it at all. Hmmmm!
After a restless night with barely 3 hours of sleep, I woke up the next morning at my usual time only to find 15 minutes later that my daughter got up with a high fever. And this was the first time in the past six years that her body temparature touched 103 F. Why now? When we just moved to a village, choosing a totally different lifestyle. All was well so far - so why is this happening now? Suddenly!
Not just this!! Just a couple of days before these two nightmarish experiences occured, my loving husband came down from Hyderabad in our silver gray Maruti Alto car (in an act of affection and chivalry) so I can use my own vehicle and not depend on autos or public transport here. We hired Abhimanyu (a driver from Dharampur), bought him a ticket, and sent him to drive my husband down. Within a couple of hours after their arrival, Sr. S was down with fever, cough, cold and stomach infection (no, it's not swine flu).
Clearly, that was no joy ride for him - 900 kms of non-stop travel in a matchbox-ish vehicle when he had to fight sleep to make sure the driver was fully awake, and the speedometer did not indicate 80+ KMPH. And his arrival was nothing like homecoming :( . He was still recovering from the bout of fever and backache when the earthquake rattled our cot and indicated an impending disaster. Then came our little one's tryst with viral fever.
Obviously my mind was home to many questions and doubts! Did we do the right thing by leaving a city to settle down in a small village? Did we make the right choice at the right time? How can we justify ourselves if my little daughter S is unwell for long without proper medical aid? How can we forget that we're at a place with bare minimum facilities - medical or otherwise - with no good medical practitioner, leave alone a paediatrician. Will it be okay to get my 66-year-old mother here in the next couple of months as planned? Will we always be so alert and energetic to rush to the nearest town some 16 kms away to get a simple medicine for fever or flu!
I don't know if it's okay thinking this way!! But I wonder if we're justified in sacrificing our little daughter's life and future for a cause we are so passionate about! I've no answers now but this much I can say... the struggle (both in my mind and outside) will go on for many more days to come. And I'll probably learn to live on... with it!