The Silver Lining in Every Cloud

We have heard of the saying “Every cloud has a silver lining”. Many of us take it with a pinch of salt or consider it philosophizing to just avoid facing the harsh realities of life. But off late, I am beginning to think it is possibly true. I am going through a tough phase in my professional life these days and that made me reflect about the worst times I have had in my life.

One of the really worst things to happen to me was being run over by a truck when I was ten years olf. I was running across the road being chased by one of my friends – can’t actually call him a friend, more a rival. I have mentioned him in some of my childhood memory posts. Anyways it doesn’t matter who he was but what he did. A truck was parked on the road and I just crossed it when he caught hold of my shirt collar and pulled me back. It so happened at the same moment, the truck driver chose to start the vehicle. I was pulled clear of the truck. But unfortunately the same could not be said of my foot. It got caught right under the front wheel of the truck. I somehow managed to tug my leg off with such force that it came free of the truck without a minor fracture. But the wheel managed to retain all the flesh of my foot and my foot came out clean with the bone exposed. 

That heralded the start of two most horrifying months of my life. Immediately I was rushed to the hospital to have my leg stitched up. But that clearly was not enough and I had to remain bed ridden for the next few weeks. By then the doctor passed the verdict that no way was all the flesh going to grow back on its own. So they had to take out flesh from my thigh and graft it to my foot. That brought me under the scalpel for the second time. The anesthesia time was limited and most of it would be consumed in performing the graft. In order for the graft to be accepted, apparently the dry tissue had to be scraped off and the tender flesh had to be exposed. This operation of scraping it had to be performed with me in a state of full consciousness before the operation. So I was held down screaming by 5 nurses while the sixth one went about scraping up the old wounds.

Well – now where is the silver lining in this entire thing one may ask? I was coming to that. Without the darkness of the cloud being described in detail the silver lining can’t be appreciated, right? Now when I think about this period, the memories that come to my mind are not those of the operations and lying helpless on the bed unless I deliberately rake them up. On the contrary the memories I hold of this time are very pleasant ones that I cherish. How could that be, eh?

Well – somebody had to be with me at the hospital all the time. My mother stayed with me during the day time but in the evening she had to go home to get some rest and freshen up. Initially my dad used to stay in the evenings and nights. But then his leaves got exhausted and he could not stay with me through the night and go back to office the next day. So the lot fell upon my maternal grandfather. That was when the good times started. My grandfather had been a voracious reader since his childhood. So he knew many stories and used to narrate them to me. I really used to love the stories but could never get enough of them as either I would be busy with school work or he would be busy supporting my grandmother with household chores. So the stories used to be rare treats for me. But this accident changed things. Every evening I would have the entire evening with my grandfather with nothing to come between us and the stories. Every day we would take up a new story – Ramayana, Mahabharata, the Puranas, Shakespeare, Alexander Dumas, to name a few. In addition to these that he read over the years, I had him read some of the Enid Blyton books gifted to me and narrate the story to me. Then he used to narrate the historic events from World War 1 and 2, the Napoleonic wars, the Indian freedom struggle etc. My grandfather was an inexhaustible resource of stories and every evening during those days was literally a flight of fantasy for me forgetting the hospital and my foot to soar high into the skies and explore different worlds. 

That is just one example. But when I think back to the different tough periods of my life, I find something to cherish. That is probably a reason why somehow I seem to relish reliving my past so much. 

Picture Credit:

For whom the bell tolls

A book of faces