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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Eternal Stalker Named Death

Late Ramen Sarma
Death strikes its victims in varying forms. Sometimes it takes one unawares. Sometimes it makes one embrace death second by second. It's not known why a particular kind of person deserves a certain kind of death. It stalks, always; be it in terms of diseases, accidents or any natural or unnatural causes.
When I lost the youngest of my beloved maternal uncles that was a kind of an experience I was desperate to share with all.
He had only minor ailments like pain in the legs, of course, apart from well-controlled diabetes and moderate blood pressure. Ramen Sarma worked as public prosecutor in the district court. He was always a cheerful person and cracked jokes or mimicked funny lines at every encounter we had. He had been my all time favorite since childhood days. He was a happy-go-lucky one. He never bothered about what to eat or what not to eat and spent more than his salary-always. He was a renowned stage actor and also acted in a few Assamese feature films. It was only much later I found out that he never had even a bank account. But Ramen mama (maternal uncle) was lovable and had a lovable family of wife, daughter and a son.
Over the years pain in his legs started causing worry—not to him, but to his family. When it became continuous and ringing and pinching he was advised to go for treatment. Under family pressure he got admitted in a reputed hospital away from his home. It was immediately found that all the arteries and blood vessels of his body from waste downwards were completely blocked. Only way was surgery. But then, they found blockage in the heart too and could not operate. Luckily, the heart blockages eased up after angioplasty and he was taken to the operating table for the second time. They cut open the less affected right leg, but even in that the doctors finally failed to operate due to the advanced state. After two months of mental torture my uncle returned home with his family, suddenly feeling lost and resigned to fate. The doctors gave some hope, maybe the treatment and the new medicines could work and he might get better.
It was only the third day after his return home. Since the previous day he was feeling a little more energetic. He was moving around, doing his errands and making tea himself. On the fateful day too he got up early, shaved and had a hearty breakfast. Then he felt stiffness in his right leg.
As the stiffness was creeping upwards he decided to inform the doctors of the hospital and called his doctor brother-in-law home. Slowly whole of his right leg became stiff and lifeless. The stalker crept on up relentlessly and his right hand too became lifeless. Whole of his right side was now paralyzed. To relieve his anxiety the relatives made him some tea and he sipped it managing with his left hand. But he knew what was happening to him and so called his elder brother who was also a doctor, "I'm paralyzed on my right side. I just wanted to inform you." Then he broke down and cried helplessly. The march of death went on. He could no longer sit properly. He had a blood vomiting and then crashed. The stalker made sure that he was still conscious and responding by opening of eyes and feeble movement of his left hand. The doctors advised a CT scan and finally he was taken to a hospital in the nearest city. Nothing could stop the stalker. He died later of a massive brain haemorrhage.

Let him be Ramen Sarma of a remote town called Nazira in Assam, a state of North Eastern India or let him be someone in the most advanced medical home of the most progressive United States; man is finally rendered helpless before this stalker. The only question is why the stalker discriminates and dishes out either painless or instant or fully conscious or cruel or horrible or protracted treatment to its never ending victims. What are the yardsticks of this discrimination, if any?
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