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Defining Moment

Each one of us would have had one or more defining moments in our life.
Defining moment can be explained as a very crucial moment which brings out the essential nature or character of a person

For me the Defining moment of my life was My Mother’s Death in front of my eyes on December 22nd 1998

In the first week of December 1998, my parents had come to Dubai on a visit . We were having a good time .visiting malls and parks and other places.Having lot of discussions or various subjects.

One 19th I came home very happy and exclaimed to my mother "I am going to earn 1 lac Rupees in 1 week. I have got one of the best accounts of one of the respected group. a simple work of preparing a report which can be finished in 1 week. Their timings are from 8 to 3 which means I can manage this urgency along with my current assignments on hand."

I showed her the contract

She said very good. Perform very well and earn a good name. Go an extra mile . Do not fail in your duty as commitments are important. - be good , do good.

I replied " I have heard many times from my childhood. I still have to figure out how being good has helped me’

She continued calmly – " Let me tell you three things whether you like it or not
1: everything is predetermined , even the time and place of birth and death
2: Perform you duty according to your conscience
3: Humanity takes care of everybody. At appropriate times

I replied "Enough of your lecture and I will perform and be good . let us enjoy this happy moment. Today for a change I will make Hot hot Bajia and Masala tea."

My mother said " no need let me perform my duty and let us enjoy the happy moment"

Next Two days I got up early and worked on my new account.

On December 22 1998 evening I was at a client’s place when my mobile rang. My wife told me that Mother is restless. But she feels it is only gas.
Her voice was full of panic.

I told if my mother is restless then something is drastically wrong with her Better you take her to the nearby doctor and I would be there in 15 minutes.

She took her to the Doctor and I reached the clinic in a few minutes.

The doctor checked her and said that there is a chance of a very very mild heart attack but now she is stable . please take her to the nearest hospital.for further checkup.

I asked whether Ambulance should be called

He told no need we can take her in our car as as it is less than 5 minutes drive.

I waited with My mother by the side of the road and told her we are only going for a further check up to the hospital while My wife brought the car.

My mother identified the car so we crossed the road and sat in the car.

We were on the road when my mother started taking deep breaths.

I contacted the doctor and asked him whether I should stop the car and do something to help my mother..

He mentioned only thing is to rush her to the hospital.

We reached the Hospital’s emergency entrance.
I got down from the car.
The attendant immediately brought a wheel chair.
I slowly helped her to move her feet to the wheel chair and held her tightly to take her out of the car to the wheel chair.
I felt her last breath.

I exclaimed " I feel amma is no more"

My wife was my pillar of strength and always composed and said please be relaxed. Still there is a chance as we are in the hospital

The attendant said Do not panic Many people come in this stage and are recovered. I got some hope with these words

No questions asked , No documents required except our ID, she was admitted in the hospital. She was rushed to the emergency.

Many doctors and Nurses with the best of gadgets tried to revive her for 2 hours.

The doctors said we could not save your mother at 9-30 pm she was declared dead

fortunately my sister in law was also with us who could take care of my five year old son and 3 year old daughter. She also took care of My father was also at home.

We informed my sister ina law and my father about the sad demise.

We called India and informed my brothers , Sister and all relatives.

I told my uncle about mother’s’ death. He felt that why should we take the pain of bringing the body to Mumbai. Since I was here along with my father, we could conduct the cremation in Dubai itself. He felt it may take a long time to bring her to Mumbai

I told him it is my duty towards the family in India who should have the last glimpse of mother. Whatever time it takes I am bringing mother to India.
He asked what is the action plan?.

I said you take care of Procedures in Mumbai end and I shall take care of Dubai end.

The hospital authorities said they are sending the body to the morgue.

we would have to go through all documentation - first with the police station and then with morgue . Embalming would be required to take the body to India.

23rd Morning We went to Naif police station to start the formalities and waitied for the police officer.

I called accountant in the morning and informed him about the tragedy. I am att Naif Police station and work on the formalities.

One person arrived who was unknown to us and asked are you Venkat. I said yes.

And asked me to come along with him

He took us to meet the police official and showed his id started explaining our case.

He said he is the PRO of the company and has been sent by the accountant

The official mentioned that we will always do our best for people in distress.
you can take the body in three days.

We can go to the morgue the next day to identify the body

Since it was only 10 AM. We went to the companys office and continued our work

My mother always felt commitment in duty is the most important in one’s life

24th morning.

We got a phone call from Mumbai and they mentioned not to keep any jewellery on mother’s body.

I did not remove her bangle and mangalsutra as I felt she should wear the same. Until she is seen by family members.

I have never seen a place wherein the dead are treated as much as being alive.

The morgue is a place with a temperature of less than 0 degree wherein coffin size racks are kept. They opened one of the drawers for identification . .Seeing her face it appeared as though she was alive.

I explained to the caretaker that we would like to remove the bangle and Mangalsutra.

The caretaker took a gel and put it on her hand and removed the bangle slowly.

I felt very touched by his action and gentleness. An unknown caretaker and yet so human to the dead.

My faith in Humanity knew no bounds and I remembered my mother’s statement that help can come from unknown source.

We decided to take her after 2 days on 27th being a Sunday. So that relatives who stayed away from Mumbai will get enough time to be in Mumbai

My mother always said that everybody is busy with their own work and we should try take care of everybody’s convenience.

I also had to perform my duty of preparing the report and hand over.

Saturday we finished our work and handed over the report to the Accountant . I was very happy that I could keep up the word given to my mother

Saturday afternoon My mother was taken to Maktoom hospital and embalmed. We were advised by the accountant who accompanied us for embalming to put perfume , Camphor in the coffin.

It is one of the rare cases people who are alive has to wait for the dead to arrive..

We reached Mumbai and went to the cargo complex. Once we cleared the papers, we were taken to the Police station. At all places we were treated with utmost compassion. Many a times we feel that since these people witness these incidents frequently, they sometimes become mechanical in handling the cases. But at every step, whomever we met and dealt with showed a lot of patience and care. They tried to guide us in the best possible manner. Once we got the Police clearance, we could proceed home. At last we managed the entire journey successfully.

To summarise : Look at my defining moment how many people unknown people helped me

The attendant at the Emergency, Doctors and Nurses at the hospital, The accountant in Dubai,THE PRO,the Police Officer at Naif Police Station, the attendant at the morgue were all people who reinforced our belief in humanity.
And showed us the path that doing good will always reap goodness. Similarly, the persons we encountered in India, right from Immigration to the Cargo section to the police all of them contributed more to this belief.
They were all strangers in our life and maybe we would never cross paths again but they left an indelible mark on our belief system.

The entire episode revealed to us the true spirit of humanity. Perhaps at times we just take it for granted and cannot recognize the spirit of humanity in our day to day routines.

At the defining moment humanity takes care of the person in Need. I urge you all to believe in Humanity and perform your duty.

To conclude I would like to reitereate my mothers last philosophical words

1: everthing is predetermined , even the time and place of birth and death
2: Perform you duty according to your conscience
3: Humanity takes care of everybody. At appropriate times

A month later, we got a good news from the accountant that his wife is expecting a baby after 10 years of marriage. They had been taking various treatments and this time it was successful. He attributed the success to the help he rendered during the tragic event in our lives.
This news just reaffirmed what my mother always believed in.