Dateline 15 May.
Suresh, from Olathaanni near Neyyattinkara, is married to my cousin, Reshmi who’s the second daughter of Indira kunjamma (My third ma’asi). After doing her MSW, she’s been working at the SAT hospital and has been a source of many interesting, yet complicated medical case studies that she comes across. Suresh is a chief engineer in the merchant marine and has many nautical miles and engine hours to his credit. Quiet and unassuming, he’s simple, empathic to others’ difficulties and ever ready to help people in difficulty.
I’ve always looked forward to spend time with him. He’s to be drawn into a conversation because he’s basically shy and interacts freely with people once he gets friendly with them. We both have a common passion of seeing movies and therefore, together, we’ve visited a lot many cinemas together.
Suresh is extremely close to his family. His respect, affinity and love towards his parents were endearing qualities that I’ve admired in him. When his mom had passed away, a few years back, owing to cancer on her tongue, it had shaken him because he’s always maintained that it was her untiring efforts that made him what he is today. His dad was almost like a friend to him and his professional preoccupations had brought him back only after his 41st day ceremony and for that, he still nurses a grudge on those circumstances! I remember the manner in which his parents eagerly looked forward to his return from an engagement at sea. The doting parents and their son complemented each other beautifully!
His attachment to his siblings is worth emulation. He’s ensured that all of them have attained good positions in the society and has personally overseen the progression of his nephews and nieces, helping them find their placements and funding them adequately, to achieve their milestones. To cite an example, he’d spent about Rs.10 lakhs towards the run up to his niece’s wedding about a few months back! An uncle providing such a help is rare in today’s world but Suresh is a unique personality!!
He was gearing up to go to sea last September when he’d a bothersome premolar on his lower jaw. While carrying out his medicals, he decided to get a detailed investigation done and it was during that examination that he was diagnosed for cancer. He was put under the care of Dr. Subramonia Iyer, a plastic surgeon who has made spectacular contributions in that field. Consequently, an 11 hour long surgery was conducted on Suresh towards the end of last Nov with the fond hope that he’d resume his professional activity after a lapse of four months. Things seemed to be headed the right way when around the fourth month, Suresh started having frequent bouts of severe pain emanating from the premolar – where it had all started – traversing toward the ear, ending up in blackouts.
It was decided to go in for a second surgery when it was found that he’d contracted a ‘vigorous’ strain of cancer and he’s, now, on a high dosage of pain killers with liquid food being provided through a tube into the abdomen, presumably to rest the area that has undergone two surgeries. The sad part is that Suresh is fond of good food! He’s lost a lot of weight - post surgery – and lies on the sofa in the sitting room of his house, meeting up with people who call on him.
Reshmi and their son - he dotes on him – keep a perpetual watch on Suresh and his needs but that’s taking a toll on them, too. My aunt goes through the agony silently. Savio, my friend and doctor in Chicago, Subbu and I have interactions, flummoxed by the ongoing trends of Suresh’s ailment. Last evening, both the sisters, Lekshmi and Reshmi, had rung me up to help them find a medical facility anywhere on the globe that would cure Suresh. I’ve told them that I’d get back within the next 48 hrs with a definite answer but as I inch closer to the deadline, I find that I’m yet to get an optimistic and definite answer.
O god, why are you putting him through pain especially when he’s been a nice guy all through his life? Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed his niceness?
Meanwhile, the searing pain deep within continues without any let up!
The sprucing up of Raj Nivas is nearly complete. Everything needs to be, carefully, put back in place! The house is agog with activity and my sisters say that they can feel my parents within the house.