About totkas, pricks, hospitals, Salman Khan and flirting sessions!

As a parent there’s nothing as scary and frustrating than to watch your kid suffer. To watch him in pain and not knowing what to do! It’s been a while since all of this happened, and I’ve been too caught up with V that the journal has taken a back seat! Let’s do a slight recap…

The first three weeks of August have been a harrowing experience for A and me. First there was a terrible, terrible bout of food poisoning in the house and all of us were left ill. The worst hit was of course the little man! We didn’t realise the extent of V’s illness because despite the runny stools, the boy was up and about when the rest of us at home were bed- ridden crouching over our tummies! As parents we said, “It takes a child to teach us how to deal with pain.” And really, that is how it turned out to be…

While Appa, Mum & Nanny recovered, V continued to slip a little everyday, until the day when the fever came. This was the first time that V was running temperature, and I as a mother was extremely paranoid. Then followed the vomits. The poor boy couldn’t keep anything in his tummy and as the fever rose, he continued to throw up even more. Nothing was working, no medicines and we were helpless. My mother-in-law asked me to try a ‘totka’ of burning red chillies and mustard seeds. I took three red chillies and a pinch of seeds in my fist, twirled it around V’s head and threw everything on the stove. Nothing happened. V with his Nanny and I stood inside our little kitchen and there was not a whiff of smoke! The forever sceptic in me decided to try again. This time I took the exact same amount of chillies and seeds and threw them straight into the fire. Lo & behold! I just had a fraction of a second to turn off the gas and scamper out of the kitchen. Within a second our house was filled with smoke! Cough, cough and cough, I ran back to switch on the exhaust and so did my neighbour on the floor above with who I share a common exhaust. We stay cooped inside our room for good ten minutes before we ventured out again! The non-believer in me was hit hard on the head. BANG!! I was surprised that all it took was an ailing child to make me turn to traditional totkas (ways of exorcism) which until then I had little patience for!

Less than 24 hrs later, things got worse and V by then was reduced to small, frail, lump of bones. For the first time in my life as a parent my heart skipped a beat and I found myself scared. The last time I went through similar emotions was the day before V was born when my doc said that its time to take out V. His heart beat was dropping and that got me really, really scared. But now, nearly 11 months later fear had a face that was pale, eyes that were vacant and a body that was limp. I cannot describe in words what went through me.

We decided to admit him into the hospital. The doc said its a severe case of gastroentitis and dehydration. From thereon, till the next three days we stayed in the hospital. It took the nurses a while to decide where to put the canula. I suggested the foot because there were lesser chances that he’d take it off. Two hours later when the fluids refused to push through, it had to be changed. Again, we went through the pain of pricks and tears. V didn’t forgive me for letting the nurses hurt him so much. With his hand bound in a needle and cotton padding he slapped me, hard, once, twice and many times over. I hugged him tight and said, “Sorry baby, I’ll take it off tomorrow.”

That night the scorching fever was back at 104 degrees. More medicines were pumped in. By now his little hand had swollen and he cried everytime he was being injected. The push of fluids hurt him. And me.

When the temperature dipped, V woke up with a smile. He played with his blocks and cars. Almost everyone in the hospital came to see the youngest patient admitted and everyone, everyone said, “jaldi theek ho jayega.” The food was unpalatable! V refused to have daal ka paani and starch.

C’mon! Who has that food anyway? Definitely not V! The hospital being close to the house, V’s Nanny ran to and fro. He had his familiar ghar ka khaana and he smiled again. What stabilised him further was Salman Khan on TV. Ek Tha Tiger was close to release and the songs were all over. Katrina and Kareena’s matkas came close second and third. By the third day, V was in his elements. He flashed his dimples at the nurses and happily went to them. He was soon the cynosure at the nurses’ station and picking up pens from nurses’ shirts!

We came home on the day V turned 11 months. Older and stronger – all of us.

4 days later, V was on the way to his first holiday. The pricks and pains were forgotten. The gurgles and naughty grins had returned. And this time he flirted with pretty air hostesses with lipstick marks across his tiny cheek…more on that in my next post. 🙂

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