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HAPPY PONGAL

Four months and three days since the incident we are still at Apollo Speciality Hospital, Chennai. Its ‘Pongal’,  biggest Tamil festival, and all of us are here with our father.    Surprisingly the hospital is not buzzing with the usual frenzy of activity.    Emergency ward is relaxed, the ICU seems empty and there are very few families at the waiting area.

Its evening and the small shrine at the hospital, usually buzzling with people with frantic prayers is empty.  Yes, empty.  I have barely seen it so quiet in all my days at the hospital.   My sister pushes our father in his wheel chair close to the idol.    Our male nurse stands next to our father in case there is an emergency.   The priest approaches us and applies the sacred ash on my father’s forehead.  

My sister and I finish our quick prayers and stand next to him.  Its dark and still with very few people outside.  We don’t talk, don’t feel the enormity of the situation, there is no despair.  We enjoy the stillness outside, feel the peace and hope within and proceed towards our room where our mother is waiting for us. 

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