After marriage, I was staying with my parents (who were retired school teachers then) – I didn’t get new job after my stint with Hindustan Times’ Weekend Review. My parents told me to stay with them till I get a good job. This incident happened when my wife was pregnant -eight month.
One day my parents went for a function. My wife developed suffocation and pain. I didn’t have much money with me. So I called an auto rickshaw instead of a taxi car and took her to Green Gardens Hospital, Mathilakom. (I also asked my neighbor boy to inform my parents).
The doctor (Dr. Lissamma, one of the best gynecologists) scolded me for bringing her in an auto.
She got admitted at 9 AM. Another duty doctor has asked me to get a medicine from outside. “Very urgent,” the nurse said. I didn’t know what to do – I had only Rs 26 left in my pocket that moment. What to do ?…My brain was not functioning properly at that point of time.
I took a bi-cycle on rent from nearby shop and went to the town which was 2 Kms away. The speed with which I rode the cycle took me there in few minutes. The medical shop owner was just opening up the store and keeping everything in place.
“Can I get this medicine please?”I gave him the prescription paper. I was sweating and breathless.
He looked at it and said: “It is not available here right now…may be in my godown…”
“Please can you get it for me?” I asked.
“Can’t you see, I am alone here? That sales boy won’t come in time…Come back in the afternoon, let me see…”
“Please, it is very urgent…”I was literally begging.
He didn’t even reply. He continued putting boxes in place and arranging the display.
I stood helpless there. I was like frozen. I felt sad and angry…But what to do? I might have prayed to almost all Gods. There were no other medical shops in the vicinity.
Suddenly, he looked at my face and casually asked: “Where are you from?”
I told him.
“Oh, there is a Ganesha temple…”
“Yes- my house is situated on the east side of the temple,” I said.
“Do you know Sreemathi Teacher?” he asked.
“Yes – I am her eldest son…” I told my name…
He put the box down and stared at me. “Oh god, Oh god…how could I? I am….” he said something that I didn’t understand.
He picked up the phone receiver from the cradle and dialed a number. “Hello, check the boxes in the third back rack – you can find this medicine…get it immediately”.
He listened to reply then raised the sound: “I said, right now…drop everything there…send him NOW…I am holding…”
He did hold the receiver until he got confirmation that the boy has left.
“30 years ago, during my tenth standard your mother gave me 50 paisa to pay my fees…Otherwise, I couldn’t have passed my SSLC. I am sorry Uday…I couldn’t recognize you…” (A school teacher’s salary was around Rs 60 during his time.)
In ten minutes I got the medicine. I didn’t know its cost. I gave him Rs 25/-. He didn’t accept it. “How can I take money from Sreemathi teacher’s son? No way…” But I left money in his table, thanking him a million times.
I reached hospital. My parents have already reached. Her parents were also coming, I was told.
I looked at my mother’s face…She was smiling at me: a re-assuring smile: “Don’t worry, I am there” her eyes would say. Thinking about it makes me sad now; she is not there to smile at me. Still, whenever a helping hand appears from nowhere to support me when I am in dire trouble, I could see her smile engraved everywhere.
“Now I understood the meaning of “sukrutha”, yes” said the American. He ran his fingers in his handset display and said: “One moment, I just felt like calling my mom…”
So what’s sukrutha? When we get something our ego says “I deserve it or I achieved it or this is my ability” – but old people in the family would humbly say: “it is God’s grace!” Those who realized GOD would say: “it is the result of the good karma or “sukrutam” done by our ancestors.” (Su means good and krutya means work so together it makes good work (karma) and can be interpreted as virtuous deed or meritorious and good action karma). The result of virtuous deed may not happen ASAP. It transcends along with the DNA – from generation to generation. A reason as to why our ancestors gave more thrust on checking “gotra” and “family”. ( http://udaypai.in/ )
© Uday Lal Pai. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing at email@example.com