A gleam of the past is in the present. And in that present sometimes it is a blissful walk down the memory lane.
I was 10-year-old when one day I severely broke my right arm. A local pehlwan, as the practice or custom was in those days, was called to fix the arm. His oil massage and turning and twisting the arm to align the broken bones were extremely painful maneuvers. After a few days, the rugged treatment did not produce any improved result. Perhaps, it was more damaging.
Next, I was in an Amritsar hospital where a known surgeon specializing in fixing broken bones finally put the bones close to and in front of each other. This was followed by lying on my back all the time for a week or so. The operated arm was kept lifted up, tied with a string which after going thru a pulley was tied at the other end with solid brick. The heavyweight was meant to bring the two bones together and slowly become one solid elbow joint. It worked.
I don’t exactly remember how did I pass the time during this period on the hospital bed. But I do remember the early morning hours of each and every day. These were the waiting moments. Waiting for my mother’s arrival to take over the night shift from my father at the bedside.
The sound of her chappal, while walking from the entrance door to the long recovery ward and up to my bed, is a revered and treasured memory which is as blissful now as instinctively felt then. For a child a few minutes or hours of separation from the mother is really a long wait. The reunion is a sheer elation.
One day at the hospital my innocent joy was elevated. To my pleasant surprise my eldest brother, Balraj Puri
, respectfully and affectionately addressed as Papaji, was beside my bed. He came to see me from Delhi. He must be in his mid-twenties at that time. What made him undertake that journey! Just simple and wholesome feelings for the youngest sibling in the family.
He sat beside me. I don’t remember what he talked about, but his visit and giving me company must be an exhilarating moment between us.
A caring and compassionate person with love and feel his presence was a cheery treat for me. He presented me with a box of toffees. Sweet and unforgettable moments with Papaji. A gleam of the past is in the present.