No Regrets

May 1997

Kasturba Medical College Prof.Dr.S.N.Rao looked at the x-ray, he sighed deeply

“70% tissue infiltration. Grade 2” was his diagnosis. The four faces before him resigned. There was no moaning or why me happening here. It was acceptance of a situation. Dr.Rao had just diagnosed cerebral tumor in my 74yr. Old grandmother.

“actually we do surguery ”  young Dr.Jadhav was saying.

“lets check the option,” Dr.Raja thought it was time Dr.Jadhav learnt that there were patients and there were “Patients.”

Grandma heard Dr.Raja out  she shut her eyes and asked,”let me get this clear, 70% of my brain is gone, after surgery 80% will be non-existant. I will live for another year you say. but what is the quality? I will be a vegetable. I think I had good innings. Let me go gracefully and thank my maker.”

Dr.Raja smiled and looked at Dr.jadhav.

“But ajji, there will be pain’  Dr.Jadhav still trying to defend his alternative.

“doc, at my age dying is not a tragedy. As for pain, morphine is always there, again at my age addiction is not an issue and from what you say, I have what few weeks?”

As we came out, Dr.Raja looked at Dr.Jadhav and told him, very often we come across patients like this. They are peace with themselves. This was life lesson one for me. Then came Dr.A.V.Rao, he was a doctor with a reputation of having the healing touch. But in his personal space he was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.

The last conversation I remember was,”Life has been good to me. ’ then he smiled, as if sharing a secret,”noodu, everytime you are angry, look back on those moments when you were saved from disaster, those moments that make you happy and just say a thank you to providence, or what ever you want to call it. Also thank all the people who held your hands through it.”

As I recovering from 40% burns it was as if these people were revisiting me, to remind me of the wisdom from their life, like my father said,”why me,’ is a serious question… why me…what I am not learning here. Each time things are not as we planned, or we have a challenge to face there is something to learn or something that we are disregarding.

Then there are Karmic obsessors, who are in your life to ensure that you gain that wisdom. You call them the draconian teacher at your primary school, or your mother-in-law. But yes, they are the most important teachers who ensure that we gain the wisdom we have come here for.

Looking back on 50yrs of my own life, I think I have had a good life too. I raised hell, broke rules, then I followed them. From my father I learnt that being ambidexterous was absolutely okay, I am both practical and creative, hence maths is essential for me to ground myself. The simple formula learnt coming from a tradition f mathematicians, well my father despite being a ophthalmologist had a BSc. Mathematics,  was

Collect all the data you have –> take stock –> check the possible options –> choose the option you are most comfortable with –> be prepared to pay the price. à bend your knees do your best (thank you Kalyani for the amazing title.)… be prepared for the worst.

Life has been good, I have been living it on my terms, being a mother, daughter, well maybe not a very successful wife, but okay, a dancer, a dentist, a hypnotherapist, I realize life is about balance and not this or that or at least in my case. If someone is this or that so be it. Each time I enjoyed the role I played, even when I was being the complaining daughter-in-law I allowed myself the self-pity and came out of the churning mess to find the moon.

“shakti alone creates, and shakti alone destroys.” I am the adishakti—the Mahamaya – the Yogamaya and the dashamahavidya. I am who I am and respect who you are.

This post has been written as a part of a Blogthon by Women’s Web for Kavaree Bamzai’s new book  #noregrets published by Harpar Collins, why would I consider reading it

  • seems like an interesting collection,
  • It would be great to see what these various women really have to say.(I can skip Sudha Murthy and Smriti Irani)
  • I used to like reading Kavaree Bamzai both in Indian Express and in Times Of India. I have read her columns of India Today too.

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