Saturday, 19 November 2016

Time to take that leap of faith - my personal experience

Dear Reader,

One of my all-time favourite quotes is:

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth; the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans.

The moment one definitely commits oneself - providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can - begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
W.H. Murry The Scottish Himalayan Expedition, 1951

The last 18 months have been a live demonstration of this quote in our lives. Here is the experience:

In July 2012, my father, who lives in Jaipur, had a paralytic stroke. It left his right side and his speech impaired. My father is a heavy man, at 95 kg. He needed 2-3 people to move him in an ambulance. His illness sent my mother into depression. Life, as my parents knew it, came to a standstill.

My wife Ruchi, and I, stay in Mumbai. The news of my father’s stroke hit us hard. Both of us knew we had to reach out and act fast, but it was quite a dilemma. In our workshops, we recommend that people come to a closure on the issues they have with their parents, as those are the source of their present-day issues. And here I was, completely stuck. I work in Mumbai and have a life here. I couldn’t possibly relocate to Jaipur. Ruchi and I had no experience of taking care of a person confined to his bed and just couldn’t think of shifting my parents to Mumbai. But, that did not stop me from worrying about them.

Every time I visited them, I would either come up with some advice or start cleaning up things. Soon, everything returned to its former state. I felt both helpless and exasperated, and started avoiding the situation. I reduced my visits too. When I did, I counted the days left for my return to Mumbai. Once, I altogether skipped meeting my parents, while I was in Jaipur for a lecture. I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do. Guilt cropped up. This was no way to handle the situation. I had to take a caring, positive step. I sent out my intention to do my best by my parents, to the Universe.  

Creation works in magical ways. In February 2015, I mentioned to Isha, a physiotherapist friend that this was one area in my life that I feel incomplete about. She asked me, “Why don’t you bring your father to Mumbai? I know a physiotherapist who specialises in neurological cases.”

I replied, “Are you out of your mind, Isha? With our busy careers, how will we handle it? We have no idea of what will it take. It will disrupt our lives forever!”

But, the seed was sown. The thought kept rolling in my mind. I had to make this decision jointly, with Ruchi. “Maybe we can bring them here for six months,” I suggested. “This can’t be a short-term step. Think of it as a forever step,” she replied.

To be honest, we were both quite scared. We wrote out all that could go wrong if we brought my parents to Mumbai. It was a long list, full of uncertainty and ambiguity and worst case scenarios. Doubts and uncertainty assailed us. Yet, an inner voice reassured me. “Do it. It will be okay!” it said. As it goes, I chanced upon the above-mentioned quote and we took the plunge. No big plans, no calculations. We asked for help from friends and relatives. It poured in from all quarters:
  • A college senior connected us to Jet airways to operationalise an in-flight stretcher, in March 2015.
  • Dad’s ward boy and physiotherapist agreed to accompany him to Mumbai.
  • In Mumbai, reference to hospitals, specialists came up promptly.
  • We found a ward boy who was an expert in handling overweight patients, by himself. He found a way to shift father to a car instead of depending on an ambulance. Dad sat in a car after three years of traveling in ambulances.

By May 2015, life was a lot easier than it had appeared two months earlier. But, the best was yet to come. In June 2015, another friend, Anand, referred us to The Health Awareness Centre (THAC), in Worli. THAC helped me recover from Urtcaria (a skin allergy), naturally, in five days flat (I’ve written a blog post on it). For father, THAC suggested some key changes in our diet, environment and sleep patterns. After incorporating those changes, in July 2015, under their guidance, we stopped all medications for both mom and dad.

It is November 2016 now, 16 months since my parents arrived to Mumbai. Our home has been medicine-free since then. There have been no ‘medical incidents’ either.
  • Mom is out of depression. Incredibly, at 70, she is growing new black hair. Her skin tone is three shades brighter.
  • Dad’s health has improved considerably. He has started playing and winning card games with one hand.
  • Our fear of death by illness has disappeared.
  • We are all positively glowing.

The quote has come alive for us. Most of our support stemmed out of our decision. It has been one of the most worthwhile decisions I have ever taken. Many unforeseen, delightful surprises have come our way.

Providence moved and how!

May this quote and our experience inspire you. May you take a relook at the most difficult challenges and pending decisions of your life. May you take that leap of faith. It will all work out beautifully. Trust me. Trust the Universe. It delivers!

Warm regards,