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Last Day in DC & Phone Call

It was a typical day in Washington DC.   It was a Friday, September 10th, I had zillion meetings and deadlines.   Had plans in the evening to catch a movie at the Freer Gallery with Priya – a good acquaintance with great potential to become a good friend. 

In the morning I call my father to wish him on his wedding anniversary.  He is in India and its late in the night.   He sounds preoccupied and tired, I was rushing for a meeting.  I tell him I will call during the weekend and mentally make a note to call him and my mother, who was visiting her parents.

The day goes by at the speed of lighting.  The deadlines still await my attention.  Decide to work during the weekend.  Rush to the movie in anticipation of leaving the day behind.   The French movie was terribly French and did little to appeal to my Indian sensibilities.   Priya and I connect very well, we decide to meet the next day to continue our rather interesting conversation.

I get home and am all ready to hit the bed and Renu, my dear housemate, comes bustling home.   We sit at the dinner table and catch up on the day and talk things that only housemates talk.  My sister calls from India.  I answer the phone, a tad annoyed to be interrupted.  I tell her I will call her back in 10 minutes and she says its important and that our father is really sick.

Everything seemed to stand still, I tell her to hang up and call her back immediately.   She says he has a bleed in his brain was rushed to the hospital.  Did not know much details and said would call me as she learns more. 
Its mid night in DC.  I call my boss and tell him I need to leave to India in the next available flight with little idea on my return.   He is sympathetic and I book my tickets for the early morning flight.  Renu packs me food, makes me eat, I pack bare essentials in just a suitecase, leave everything in my apartment as is, go to office and put some papers in order, and Renu drives me to the airport.

As I was about to board my flight, I email the commitments for the coming week on my sudden departure.  Little did I know that my father suffered from a massive brain hemorrhage due to high blood pressure, his left brain had a hematoma in the size of a golf ball and a craniotomy was to be performed the next day and that he would be barely conscious even months after his surgery.  And that I was indefinitely leaving the life I had created for myself in the U.S.   


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