Home CommunityCommunity Features Musings of an Aunty who’s come to terms with her own mortality

Musings of an Aunty who’s come to terms with her own mortality

by Aiden

Dolly Koghar grasps the difference between thinking and worrying during a ‘stroke’ of luck.

I’m as healthy as a horse, or so I thought, since I live an almost hermitic, banal existence. I’m a mungsaveerat vegetarian, I eat at Japanese timings, and rarely hog. I don’t drink or smoke; I’m in bed when people are getting ready to party, and awake by the time they come home. I drink enough water to qualify as a guppy and that too, warm water. To maximise the Vitamin-D factor, I walk in the park without a hat, and then do some yoga and pranayama barefooted on the dewy grass; I also gym with a trainer. I’m regular with my dentist and other physicals. I’m consistent with my body-servicing in the Ayurvedic treatment centre in Mysore, and always come away glowing and fit as a fiddle!

Thus far, my life sounds blissfully humdrum and sans excitement, but trust me, I have more than my fair share of exasperating and unsolvable predicaments that bounce around 24/7 like fleas in my cerebellum. I always let the worrying overtake the thinking.

Yes, worrying and thinking are ‘same-same but different’, very different! Worrying is overloading the neurons in your head by overanalysing the problem over and over and again and again, which is akin to giving an already knotted yarn to the cat to tangle further. The poor brain, however adept, gets overwhelmed, short-circuits, and literally freezes; incapable of a logical solution or to forge ahead. Even if the decision is daft, it can’t be stupider than wallowing neck-deep in a septic tank of self-pity, which is what I was doing, certain that things couldn’t get any worse – and guess what, it can, and did!

On the morning of 15th July, I woke up with a tingling left side, which I brushed off as sleeping too long and deeply on the side facing away from hubby dear, but it persisted through the usual morning must-dos. Providentially, fate nudged me to seek help, and within ten minutes we made it to Bangkok Hospital on the currently-empty Bangkok roads.

The two young, Punjabi ER doctors attending to me immediately pronounced a mini stroke; which flew over my head, since I was supposedly hattee-kattee; hale and hearty. Subsequently, the neurologist confirmed that it was a TIA (Transient Ischemia Attack) after my MRI, which was luckily open-ended, but still coffin-like. The claustrophobia was already bad enough with the wretched mask, which these days might as well be cloned onto our face DNAs. Then the murses (male nurses) ignored my plea and insisted I wear the earplugs and earmuffs, warning me that the machine’s sounds would be louder than jackhammers; something I hear more than enough of, thanks to a huge construction site right across my bedroom window. To all of the above, they added a curved glass shield right next to my face. The harrowing experience lasted a whole 25 minutes, during which my son kept up the lie that “It’s almost done, almost, any minute now.” In the final excruciating moments, I managed to resist buzzing the STOP button only by stringing together the ending to my August Masala Lite article in my head! It’s also bizarre, or perhaps a premonition, that this scary event happened in July, when the readers were reading my article in the July edition of Masala Lite, entitled, ‘Scared to Death,’ which I penned in June!

Anyway, thanks to the doctor’s timely intervention, and the miracle of medical science, I came out unscathed; doubling my faith in yoga and the Ayurvedic massages for pulling me undamaged through the tunnel; although with a much lighter wallet and a thoong (paper bag) full of pills, something I had always abhorred and avoided. Well, serves me right for badgering poor hubby about the kharcha (expense) of his very many medications, a crime I’ll be equally guilty of henceforth.

I came home to a hubby gearing himself for the eventuality that I wouldn’t return from hospital, and the kids comprehending that mum isn’t invincible, but human, frail and impermanent. I also learnt that worrying didn’t remove any of the hurdles, rather I’ve now added on the debilitating element of fear to the cauldron. It was egocentric to think I was exempt from the one-and-only constant of this vast creation, which is, paradoxically, change. I hope the ‘incident’ serves as a reminder to appreciate, value, and have kaddar for the mundane normalcy, problems et al!

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