Saturday, 15 July 2006

What happened to My Papa

My father died yesterday around 2:30 PM on the way to the hospital in New Delhi. It was 14th of July 2006 and I had packed my suitcase to leave for St. Petersburg to facilitate the G-8 summit. My brother called me up and said-“abhay come home soon, come home soon, papa is in emergency.” I said- “bhaiya, if papa is in emergency then take him to the Escorts, I am going to St. Petersburg ”. He said-“abhay come home, come home, papa is no more.” This struck me like a thunder. I had just spoken to him in the morning around 10 AM and he was absolutely fine. What happened I simply could not understand? He had a minor heart attack on 26th of June while he was at home in the village. The local paramedical practitioner measured his blood pressure and found it to be high. He accompanied him to the district headquarter in Biharshariff to see a doctor. The doctor declared that he had suffered heart attack twice and would be in critical situation for the next two days. He put him on oxygen and stabilized him injecting medicines. He was referred to the Jeevak Hospital, Patna. There he stayed for a few days. All tests were again carried out to ascertain cardiac arrest. The tests showed that he had heart attack in the past few days as his one artery was blocked. The doctors recommended him to go to Delhi and get checked at the Escorts. My brother, who works in Chennai, flied to Patna to accompany my father to Delhi along with my mother. My father was admitted in Escorts and a date for his bypass heart surgery was fixed. It was on 6th July 2006. The surgery was conducted by Naresh Trehan and was successful. I arrived in New Delhi in the morning of the 7th July from Moscow. I went to see my father in the recovery ward at the Escorts. He was recovering fast. He looked very happy to see me. The next day too I went to see him and he was improving fast. The third day he was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit. He found the place noisy and irritating. He was angry at the doctors about the issue of removal of the urine pipe. He wanted it to be removed as early as possible while doctors wanted to keep it one more day. Somehow we worked that thing out and he agreed to keep it one more day. I spoke to the sisters serving him to be kind and gentle with him and listen to him carefully whatever he says. The next day when I went to see my father he was happy about the services of the sisters and he praised them for their patience. He said- “however angry one gets these sisters never lose their temper. They always listen to us carefully and smile.” I was happy seeing the change in his mood. The urine pipe had already been removed and my father had started walking with the help of the sisters. That day I sat with him for more than 45 minutes because the security guard was not around otherwise he starts sending marching orders in 15 minutes. We talked about the oncoming G-8 summit, the political situation in Bihar, the careers of two prominent politicians from Bihar, about the marriage of my elder brother, about the sisters from Kerala and how education helps them to work and live independently. That was the last time I saw my father. He looked full of life and ideas even in the Intensive Care Unit. I told him that I would wait for his coming to Moscow after two months when he recovers fully. Earlier he was supposed to come to Moscow on 23rd July along with my mother and brother.
I left the hospital learning from him as always since I was a little boy. I returned to Moscow thinking of my father’s visit after two months. He was shifted to the ward the next day and on the 12th July he was discharged from the hospital. He had recovered fast and everything was normal with him. I spoke to him twice on 13th and once in the morning of the 14th July. He was recovering fast and asked me about the cutting of the stitches. I told him that after a week they would be removed. That was the last phone conversation I had with my father.
I went to my office in the Embassy as usual and had my lunch. Afterwards I posted a poem “For my great father” that I had written a few days back while he was in the hospital. Soon my brother called up and said-“abhay, come home, come home soon”.
My father was the best friend, philosopher and guide I ever had. Losing him is like losing part of my self. I know my anchor is gone but his ideals remain with me. He is immortal in my memories. I know papa I’ll miss walking with you so much.


Blogger rachana said...

hi abhay,,v sad news.....
some people live in our memories for ever..they never die...
may his soul rest in peace.....

15/7/06 3:25 pm  
Blogger Vasanta Athilat said...

Abhay, I am very sorry to hear about your loss.
My prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

15/7/06 7:43 pm  
Blogger susanlavonne said...

Your father lives forever in you and in your family. I pray for serenity, comfort, and strength for you and yours, now and in the days beyond, Abhay.

16/7/06 9:25 am  
Blogger Scheherazade said...

Dearest Abhay:

I read your words at this very moment from a hospital cafeteria in Texas that allows free internet access. They especially touch me even more poignantly, as I am here, staying with my mother who is ill.

Y vas yest moi sobcem cerdtzom. E menye ochen ochen zhal.

Thank you for sharing about your wonderful father. I'm sure you made him so very proud.

And thank you for sharing your memories about him. For being that vulnerable. For being you.

I can only hope that he continues to walk with you.


16/7/06 8:49 pm  
Blogger Haider Droubi said...


save our humanity

17/7/06 3:11 am  
Anonymous arulba said...

I am so sorry Abhay. My father died just over a year ago and it has been very disorienting for me. The anchor is still there - just situated differently now.

My daughter and I will light a candle for your family tonight. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

17/7/06 7:02 am  
Blogger Crunchy Weta said...

Hi Abhay, Sorry to hear of your and your family's loss. I am sure with all the love you have for your family that you will be a great support for them at this time. I hope your dad got to read your poem before he passed. Thinking of you,

17/7/06 5:04 pm  
Blogger ozymandiaz said...

You have my sincere condolences.
May peace be with you and yours

17/7/06 5:22 pm  
Blogger Paul said...

Sorry to hear the sad news Abhay.

My heartiest condolences.

It is not easy to come to terms to the reality of a life without papa. But, we have to.

Remember him for all the good he did to you.

Remember for all his hard work for you.

In fact, he is not dead, but he is still in you. In physical form.

Otherwise his sould is there in all of your cells.

I hope you also gave your love to him when he was alive. When we are in different places, it is difficult to be with him at his departing time. I had also the same situation in 2001.

All my prayers....

17/7/06 8:25 pm  
Blogger Omni said...

I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. :-(

18/7/06 10:22 am  
Blogger Pranav Ganesh said...

I have been reading your blog for quite some time, but this is the first time i am commenting. I really dont know what to say. I dont really believe in courtesies. I can only say ... May his soul rest in peace...

Take care... with a son like you, I am sure he will be a happy soul

19/7/06 3:49 pm  
Blogger xanjukta said...

i am so sorry to hear of your loss... i haven't been able to open your blog for a few days since the mumbai blasts. found a way through the firewall today, and this is what i saw on your blog. once again, i'm so sorry for your loss... i can't believe it..only ten days or so ago, you were here in delhi with me and you said that he was recovering fast... my prayers are with you, as are Raj's...
Please take care...
lots of affection...

19/7/06 5:08 pm  
Blogger Shaneena said...

My sincere condolances for your father. I can only imagine how it must be like... and so quikly!? But then again, he cannot have had much pain, which is a good thing.

And he will never die, after all...! While living as a vivid image in yours and your siblings minds.

Love and light, Shaneena

20/7/06 1:19 am  
Blogger Gary said...

Oh Abhay, I'm so sorry for your loss. It is not only difficult to lose your father, but so suddenly after he was doing well.

My father died 6 years ago and I still talk to him in my mind. The hurt has diminished from the first year or two, but not the loss.

You're a good man and I'm certain he was so pleased to have spent that time with you before you returned to Moscow.

With warmth,


20/7/06 3:53 am  
Blogger Vee said...

Abhay, really sorry for your loss. I know it has struck deep from the wonderful relationship you've shared with your father. Your 100th post was a great tribute to him. Wishing for strength in this time of need for your family and yourself, Veena.

20/7/06 6:58 am  
Blogger Tina said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your tremendous loss. Prayers and well wishes sent are sent your way.

20/7/06 1:32 pm  
Blogger Granny said...

I just came over from Gary's site.

You don't know me but that doesn't matter.

My deepest sympathy to you and your family on the death of your father. The death of a parent is so hard.

20/7/06 3:43 pm  
Blogger Granny said...

I just looked at your blog roll and found some familiar names.

I'm sure we've seen each other on other blogs even though we haven't met.

Ann (granny)

20/7/06 3:46 pm  
Blogger DA said...

You have my sincerest condolences my friend. I am so sorry for your loss. You will carry your special relationship with him withn your heart forever now..Take care!

20/7/06 4:01 pm  
Blogger Lindsay Lobe said...

Hi Abhay, very sorry to hear news of your dear fathers passing, so suddenly.

Your Father I sense was proud of your accomplishments and compassionate humanity. May his kind thoughts of you accompany you, as will his wisdom to remain in your consciousness.

I lost my father at the same age as you are now, and I still think of him frequently so many years later, so I do pray that spirit will help you at this time as you continue on as you have in life’s journey, take care.

20/7/06 5:21 pm  
Blogger bee said...

i am so very sorry to hear of your loss.

20/7/06 5:54 pm  
Blogger Nova said...

Abhay, I am so sorry for the sudden loss of your father. How much harder it is still since he had appeared to be recovering so well.

My deepest and most sincere condolences to you and your family.

Love and prayers,


20/7/06 11:36 pm  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

Please allow me to join the rest here and say I am sincerely sorry for your loss. I shall be thinking of you and sending you strength in my thoughts.

Tuck his memories tenderly and warmly into your heart and a part of him will be with you forever.

21/7/06 3:45 am  
Blogger haimavat said...

hi abhay, i checked your blog just now. so sad to hear about your father. i could feel it. i lost mine 13 years ago, same feeling when i got the call. it's hard to believe.

take care!

warm regards, haimavat

21/7/06 3:05 pm  
Blogger ian russell said...

Abhay, i know how intense the sudden loss of a special loved one is, my deepest sympathies to you and your family.

21/7/06 5:34 pm  
Blogger glenda said...

May your heart find peace. I am so sorry.

21/7/06 7:03 pm  
Anonymous Nanda said...

Dear Abhay,

Read your post and felt moved. I had felt a similar kind of feeling some sixteen years ago when I had to stoically receive the message about my father's demise while I was at Delhi. For quite sometime, before that fateful moment, I had been noticing him getting nearer to death in every visit of mine just like the fast decimating guave tree in our village courtyard. I had felt the approach of the inevitable profoundly. Years after his death, I wrote a poem which I included in my collection of poems "In Harness" that was published by Writers Workshop Calcutta in the year 2004. Let me quote a stanza for you:

With dignity soon they vanished into the past
Leaving behind me in ever bereavement,
No tree as empathetic would ever be recreated
No soul as benevolent would ever be encountered.


For more of my poems, vignette, anecdotes, transcreations, short stories, goodies, jokes, book reviews, visit my blog at

21/7/06 9:07 pm  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Abhay, I'm so sorry to hear this.

22/7/06 3:46 am  
Blogger Josie said...

It's a very hard thing to lose a father. You have my deepest sympathies.

22/7/06 7:53 am  
Anonymous atul said...

abhay,one thing is for sure,your dad must be watching you from heavens and thinking of the wonderfully strong son he is blessed with..god bless his soul and give you the strength....

23/7/06 1:51 am  
Anonymous karena said...

I'm so sad for you and your family.

23/7/06 4:08 am  
Blogger ketki said...

very sorry to hear this

23/7/06 2:09 pm  
Blogger Caty said...

I am very sorry.........I understand you very well, it happened the same to my father some years recovered and then (after me telling him that yes, miracles exist.....) he passed away. May your father guide and confort you always.

24/7/06 1:47 pm  
Anonymous mayank joshi said...

hi abhay,

it is a very sad news,

may his soul rest in peace. it is a difficult time on ehas to go through at some point of time in one's life. mnay god give you and your family the strenght to cope up with the stress.

take care

25/7/06 5:52 pm  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Dear Abhay, I'm so sorry. What a terrible blow to lose your father so suddenly. I've written a comment in your previous post about what a great man he seemed and how proud he must have been of you, the person you've become and your many accomplishments. Thinking of you during these difficult days...Stay strong; your father will live forever in your heart and in your memories - and in your beautiful writing.

26/7/06 1:06 am  
Blogger Aman said...

Abhay, I am very sad to hear about your loss, I am sure he will continue to live through you and through all the people whose lives he touched, my memory of having received blessings from uncle will remain with me, may god give strength to you,Aunty and Bhai to be able to go through this difficult time,
may god give peace to his noble soul.

26/7/06 3:21 pm  
Blogger Neelima Arora said...

It is very sad to hear about your loss but I am sure he will always be alive in your memories. It will be difficult to come to terms with life without him, moreso as u shared a wonderful relation with him, as reflected from your tribute.
May his soul rest rest in peace.

26/7/06 4:42 pm  
Blogger KASI said...


I feel sorry for your dad's loss and I pray for your Papa's departed soul to rest in peace. I had lost my dad 5 years back just few months after his bypass surgery in Hyderabad Apollo Hospital. Then I was doing my first Engineering in Coimbatore. It was hard to accept, like you I too felt like losing a part of myself. Your words reminded my dad a lot and he's still immortal in my memories. All this made my memories travel back and reminded the good old days with my dad. I love him lot and I always consider that he's with me still and that I am guided by his ideals and principles.

PS: I got your blog link from Vivek's Blog

26/7/06 11:25 pm  
Anonymous susanna said...

Oh my gosh...I am so sorry... My father died from a heart attack, too, and it's still hard to look at his photographs or think of him. Maybe the pain we feel after someone dies is a measure of the love we also have for him or her... It sounds like you both had a good, loving relationship and no doubt he was very proud of you.

30/7/06 7:25 am  
Blogger Jhumur said...

very sorry about ur dad's death...hope his soul rests in peace

31/7/06 6:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear abhay - got the news today. Want to speak with u right now - but not sure where u are right now - u take care of yourself and aunty.


31/7/06 11:52 pm  
Anonymous **Silvermoon** said...

I'm here from Scheherazade's blogroll. This news is devastating. You speak of your papa with such love. I hope that those dear memories will help ease the pain you so acutely feel now.
Deepest condolences to you and your family

2/8/06 2:10 pm  
Blogger Kaskuss said...

Hi Abhay,
I am very sorry about this loss of yours. I pray that God gives you great strength at this time to take care of yourself and your family.

Take care

6/8/06 5:57 am  
Blogger rch said...

Dear Abhay, I just read of your woes and wish you well. I pray your father rests in peace and that you and your family find strength in each others arms. Take care,


7/8/06 8:16 pm  
Blogger wendylou who? said...

I am so sorry also.

10/8/06 11:31 pm  
Blogger ketki said...

so sorry to hear abt it!

13/8/06 9:52 am  
Anonymous danny said...

Hi Abhay, My condolences and prayers.

18/8/06 10:08 am  
Blogger Anu Russell said...

I am sorry for your loss. Tears welled up my eyes when I read this post. I hope you are coping up with it...

6/9/06 11:41 pm  

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