Lessons in Humility

Lessons in Humility

For two weeks now my world is a room in our townhouse in Mysore. After a fall caused by a fit of anger that rose unnecessarily from the shallowness of an instant in which an employee stood there for whatever reason, unwilling to perform with 100%, I had just wanted to bang the door allowing me to work on what I had on my desk.

Well I have a strange way of doing things, since I have lost my right arm. I open the door with my left arm and close with my bended right leg thus shutting the door.  I was just doing that when I realised Shaka the King of Dhole’s Den stood just between my legs and I was going to fall on him, in a split-second I turned and after hearing a snap was on the floor a moment later . Unable to get up I called for help.

I was in pain and while I waited for my staff to come to my suite, noticed Shaka getting restless seeing me down and as if it were a way to announce my fall he let out a short howl which was immediately taken up by Zulu who rushed up and amplified by Jabu and Simba who were in their respective rooms ending in a staccato of complaint and worry. This instance is a matter of great pride to me as it only shows my position in the pack of canines that we are at Dhole’s Den.

I was helped on to my bed where I decided to lay still and gather myself after that sudden fall.  Lying down, I found myself starting to shiver and needed the blanket.  Noticing me Shaka and Zulu lay down next to me Zulu curling herself near my right leg and as if Shaka had realized what has happened lay his chin on my left thigh and later while I woke up after a brief slumber found his head on my chest which he doesn’t do too often and possibly noticed a tear in his eyes…

The decision was taken and I took the car to Mysore straight to our townhouse where we had last year stayed with Shaka. I rested and used an office chair to roll myself between the spaces. The doctor examined me that evening and an MRI done I was admitted to the hospital.

The night was a long one and my colleague helped me that night while I jumped like a one-legged stork between my bed and the bath.

The next day the wait was more painful than what came. The reports threw light on the subject, and they showed that I had had a fracture but as luck would have it, the broken chip of my knee joint wasn’t detached. But I had a clot in my knee cavity which was eventually removed and relieved me from pain. I returned after a full 24 hours to the townhouse. My dear friends Lakshmikant and Mekhala had helped me in this ordeal and have been around in this testing times.

The time to come was though not as somber as was after my accident some 19 years ago, but there was a very important difference. That was a time I was years younger, had many people around me and an ongoing battle for survival that lasted 18 days in the hospital intermittently broken by the visits to the doctor to get the wound dressed and a skin transplant. I only had one wish those days… Let me live and see this wonderful world. This time on I, forty something with my ego having left its weight on me, time was posing a seemingly valid question: What next?

I needed help in many ways than one, every visit even to the bath was torture on the right leg. The decision to get a walking stick and a wheel chair was taken quick and it wasn’t long before they were placed before me. I tried using the stick to walk but soon realized that having one arm was not going to make things easier. The stick could give me moments of relief not more, nor would the wheel chair play slave to me. A long period on the bed was staring at me.

It was to be a lesson in humility which I had to take to realise my own vanity. Trying to move one thing at a time, one thought at a time, start a move by thinking about it and above all accept the help that my colleagues so kindly offered to me. It was excruciating even to turn in bed and a brace covering my leg constrained every move of mine. The night’s sleep was regularly broken by the wish to turn or change position or to lift the leg. The taste of breakfast after a calculated move into the wheel chair and having been smoothly transported to the dining table was one to wait for. A shower on a wheel chair may not be something to talk about, but when water touched my body after a week and finally a shave that made me presentable again to visitors I was receiving, it did really put back a smile in my face.

I have in the meanwhile managed to create ‘Office in bed’ with the achievements of modern communication at my disposal. But after 2 weeks and the view of but the palms that the townhouse overlooks as my constant companion and looking at the bovines that so gracefully walk under those palms the ‘slowness’ eventually had to enter my daily routine. The point that we can do only a fraction of what we are capable of has truly been driven into me. My expectation from my colleagues have been high as my maximumis what I deliver in my work and life as such. It was then when a spiritual brother of mine promising to visit me soon, but mentioned what I needed to hear. Expect a bit less than what you want them to deliver and you shall not be unsatisfied. May be this was what I was destined to hear and ponder upon.

Thus, I await my return to our jungle home in Bandipur this time only to get lost in the eyes that shed a tear for me and those that shall raise their brows from far to welcome me, possibly a changed man…