It is the first time in my adult life that I have had 12 days of reflection before my birthday!
On 7th May,2017 I had a near collapse at Kolkatta Airport while on my way to Bhubneshwar to address a gathering which my good friend Sujit Mahapatra(Bakul Foundation) had organized. After some dramatic moments including an ambulance at Hyderabad Airport to take me to Apollo Hospital, I was operated on 8th May. A nice looking…practically oval shaped 35mm stone was lodged in my gall bladder. The surgeon Dr Sainath did a great job…I have the stone as a memento in my study! After 4 days of hospital stay, I decided I will stay in my ashram, for multiple reasons, one of them being, to be near my work place as much as possible.
The last 12days were days of reflection. Have I been fair to myself and my body? Were the decisions and choices I made in my life the right ones? Do I need to have a separate lens for times when I might be helpless and need assistance?
Being a fulltime volunteer for the last two decades, was never a regretful choice…it was difficult at times but since my personal needs are so few…it never really acted as a big hurdle. My occasional consultancies, speaking engagements, part of my awards was more than enough to sustain my life. After I got married to Raj in 2006, it was even more easier as he took care of the food & shelter and clothing was always my younger sister’s domain.
But this time when Raj had to pay my hospital bills…I for the first time realized I do not even have a medical insurance. Something that I have ensured for all my girls, I personally do not have it. My physician Dr Rajib Paul tells me that this stone has grown this size in the last 3years…I did not even have a whiff of it…occasional abdominal pains were always about indigestion and gas which was best sorted with a home remedy of eating raw ginger with lemon…
Why is it that I became deaf to the call of my own body…while I am so tuned to the call of pain anywhere else outside. I am blessed that my wonderful partner, my team and all my girls looked after me so well in the last few days…but is there something that I need to learn for myself now?
I am 45 today…I am not growing young…each moment, each day, each year adds urgency to my mission…long way to go before I accomplish what I was sent to do in this world. I cannot afford to collapse physically before my tasks are completed….I need to find a way to nurture and care for this vehicle…which will take me closer to my destination.
My lens as I view myself today is slowly modifying…I want to service and maintain this vehicle on a moment to moment basis so that it is in super condition as we travel this long journey….I also want to nurture and cherish each one in my journey so that some day, someone among them will continue this mission, when I will no longer be able to travel…
Life so far….has been beautiful and blessed….each moment nourishing me…creating opportunities for learning & growing…and most importantly giving me the vision to see and experience ‘God’ at every step. Each one of you out there is part of my God experience.
As I celebrate my life today…I thank each one of you for being part of my journey in some way or other…