31st May- World No Tobacco Day..
On this eve i wanna share a section of my life where i lost an important part- My Dad..
Born and brought up in a remote village named Muthoor at Thiruvalla in Kerala. His childhood saw many trials and tribulations, he had five siblings in all. My grandfather was a carpenter but could not get any proper work, watever he got he use to spend it in drinking & smoking. So Dad had a great thing to learn from, he had told me once that he started smoking at very young age… and that too with the remaining part of a beedi thrown by grandpa.
He somehow completed his studies, the habit of smoking had been with him all throughout. He got a job in Railways, a government job was quite a prestigious one at dat time.He was posted at Igatpuri, a small place about 300kms from Mumbai. He was one of the best in his work, a role model for many, specially me. A hard working, polite and had complete knowledge of his work. All this while his habit of smoking was on a great high, he used to finish a pack of 10 ciggies in a shift of 8 hours. Besides he used to smoke without filter, a self made type which was new in those years. He was not aware what damage it was doin to his health. Now he had a responsibilty of a wife and two childrens, but that didnt deter his smoking habit.
The damages caused by smoking was told every now and then by mom, but can a habit of 20-30yrs be get ridden all of a sudden. His friends were too of same category who cared a damn of their own health n family, so no one else was there to stop him.
We all were not ready for what was to come..in the year 1996 Dad started experiencing hoarseness in voice. He was not able to speak fluently, He was trying his best but could not start it, was it cold or any effects of smoking.We had no clue and in a place like Igatpuri medical facilities were not much.
It increased day by day, we took him to doctors but no one could get any proper reason as to what was happening. For a workaholic person like dad it was very tough to remain silent, He started getting frustrated with it. He would get angry at us without any reason, i was not able to see him this way, suffering with life.
The intensity increased day by day, medication was being done but nothing was on a right path. With the medicines he used to have, he started to have epileptic attacks. Mom was scared the most and we would be calling doctors in the mid of night. Were we losing him, was my role model going through a really bad phase.
He was then shifted to Byculla Railway hospital, where patients are sent to private hospitals if they find it difficult to cure and the expenses are borne by Railways. My role model was admitted and was in great pain, there was an eagerness in him to get up and see my 12std results, my engineering days, To see his dream of my graduation taking shape. His smile was there whenever i was in front of him, teased me with actions(as he could not speak)when i had first shaved my moustache.
On the 11th of Sep 1999 he was directed to Tata memorial hospital which is well known for Cancer treatments, he was taken there to undergo few tests. He was now physically very down, the joyful happy nature was nowhere to be seen. The hospital gave a report, it was CANCER but at a last stage, how it was not detected till now was an unsolved question. Everything around mom was spinning as she heard it, I was in igatpuri at that time and had planned to visit the next day(the report was not disclosed to me), in the evening i got a call n was called to byculla urgently. His health was detriorating, I reached byculla hospital by 9.15 pm, only to see mom standing outside and crying. As i entered the room, the doctor informed Dad is no more. In front lay my role model, my dad, my best companion completely still…i wanted to wake him up and tell….that my graduation is going on too well and soon your dream will be a reality…that i have learned to ride a scooter and can take him for a ride and many many more… Tears were flowing continuously (and now too).
He left us but with an impact on me, i ve not tried smoking or drinking and never ever want to… I saw the pain he was goin through and i dont want his son to do the same…i made his dream a reality…completed my graduation and am working at the same place in midst of Engineers and staff who once were with him..They too are all praises for his hardwork.
I just want all those who are dealing with Tobacco to strictly get rid if it, it gives nothing but just pain..I regret why dad didnt say a NO back then and get rid of it…Missing him in every step of Life..