The Nurses’ Station | Ward E Saint Martha’s Hospital | Bangalore.
I write to you collectively since rays of sunshine cannot be distinguished from one another. It is difficult to choose one ray over another or to claim that one created more vitamin D in my skin on this or that day.
While you titter over that extremely lame attempt of a medical joke, I hope that you remember me for the girl who listened to cross-over songs by AR Rehman, who convinced herself that bad-ass drum thumping phone music would raise her SPO2 levels when the hospital was running out of non-industrial oxygen. Or the girl who loved listening to your stories of vaccination side effects, PP suit malfunctions and sudden on-our-floor-outside-of-the-ICU deaths. Or even the girl who went from eating fifty grams of food per day to demanding a second three-course dinner at midnight after the side effects of dexamethasone kicked in.
Or maybe you remember me as the girl who pondered crossly over the missing liver profile in her file. This was the time you considered the Remdesevir shots in Week Two of the infection — yes, the girl who lectured you on the importance of these shots in Week One. The girl who was daft to the possibilities set aside for patients who were unresponsive to other treatments and thought she knew better.
Perhaps, you remember me as the girl who closed her eyes and traced her fingers along designs in the air, hands deeply in motion to an imaginary sitting choreography, the lyrics spilling out of ear phones in streams of hope. “Join me, follow me — knowing not how far this road is or how twisty, be not tired, or weary… for one day our dreams will live beyond us, the future will frolic at our feet and the world shall dance with us.” Yes, that was me. And the movie was Lagaan.
Remember me for being the grateful one, when you converted the chemotherapy room 407 into a Covid care room for the two of us — both women, both in our mid thirties, strangers only for a few moments. Friends from the second we waved feebly at one another.
Remember me for my stubbornness at demanding a pediatric needle for my collapsed veins. Remember me when you feel futile or fatigued. Remember me, because I will be unable to forget you.
Yours in recovery,