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Monday, February 28, 2011

The smile that signaled my road ahead

Mani whom I affectionately call Maniyettan (Ettan means elder brother in Malayalam) fortunately or unfortunately is the reason for me to start my journey through the spirited path of palliation.

I still remember those childhood days when Maniyettan used to get me chocolates from the shop near by my home, how he used to hold my hands during those brisk evening walks through the green field to the river which flows through the village.

Life turned dark for him as he lost is father and he was forced to take up the responsibility of his mother and younger sister.He had to stop his education in the primary classes itself and work hard as a daily laborer to make both ends meet.He had to approach the local money lenders to make sure that there was sufficient money to arrange for his sister's Marriage.

Life turned even worse when he himself got married in a very early age to take care of his old mother. A year after his marriage Maniyatten kissed his pregnant wife good bye as he decided to go abroad to earn ample money as he was even finding it difficult to earn the daily bread for the family.

Maniyatten with a heart full of dreams was shattered as he was not able to find a promising job abroad.The deserts could only drain him worse.the news about the birth of his son filled in hope and he decided to stay back dreaming of the day he will be flying back home with lots of love and gifts for his baby boy.

The happiness didn't last long. few days later he heard the news that his sister with her two children were back home separated from her husband which mentally broke his mother.Maniyettan somehow wanted to be with his family to support them, but it remained a mirage. The totally depressed Maniyettan started falling ill.On the fifth year of his stay at abroad his health was so worse that his friends on the instruction of his doctor had to help him fly back home.

He was taken to a private hospital which was one hour drive from his home. The two major surgeries made him half dead. Maniyettan along with his family stayed in the hospital just to hear that "Sorry, Nothing more can be done".With unbearable pain he was shifted to the Medical College where he was diagnosed cancer at its secondary stage. Discharged from the Medical College he was taken to his home to just get stuck to his bed, counting his days as if in hell.

I took few days off from my college to get back home so that I could spend some time with him. On my way to his home I found a vehicle near to the gate on which it was written 'Palliative Care Home Care Team' something which I never heard before.

Maniyettan was sitting on his bed leaning to the pillow placed between his cot and the wall next to it.He was smiling through his pain to those wonderful team caring him.That smile made me understand the essence of palliative care in its most powerful way.I could see the added life to his days. That smile signaled me my road ahead.


  1. Very touching and so true. God has strange ways and leads HIS children to the path HE has chosen.
    Very well written. The emotions can be felt by the reader.
    God bless you!

  2. very touching and inspiring.nice life can be so difficult and we need to get through it .and always remember that something better is waiting.good luck.i hope man is better now.

  3. Really True ,,, And Heart touching... It is always said that "God help those , who help themselves..." I pray for them.

    Nice and good job .

  4. my heartfelt prayerz... n u r doin an incredible job... gud luck!! Allah bless..

  5. Good notes Saif. Glad to see your sharing your experiences. You should convince others , social workers, patients, doctors, nursing staff to start sharing stories. It will be an incredible way let the world know of palliative care movement and might inspire several others to join and contribute, G