How was the semester? – Not bad. New country. New climate. New educational system. An emergency surgery (a.k.a near death experience). Great friends. Yeah that was my semester.
So MIT has this “study breaks” organized during end of term madness. These are supposed to be stress relievers – for people who push hard, basically an average MIT student. But the administration missed a class of people (maybe there is no class, it was just me). How could they leave out me who didn’t want to work and was absolutely under no pressure to finish the term even though I had three courses in addition to research and was lagging behind by a month due to the aforesaid surgery! You know the admission committee made a mistake when you work between breaks and not take break between work. They seriously need to put in place some service or help or event for people who have given up – people like me. 😛
I will tell you about the surgery. I went in a cab to the hospital to get a CT scan done as I had fever and sever stomach ache. They gave me a maroon liquid, made me wait for 2 hours, took my scan and put me in ER and operated on me the next day! Whew! For someone who thought of getting back home that night, it was a horrible thing to happen. And you know what, I had taken my homework with me to the hospital as they had told me I would have to wait for 2 hours for the scan. Strange, right?
The hospital stay itself was not so bad. I was fortunate to have people who helped me out. Special thanks to my good friend and a great philosopher, I could probably say I am happy these days because of interactions with the man. However the surgery was pretty scary. At one point of time, just before being wheeled into the theatre, I had just closed my eyes and I thought I was being wheeled inside Vadakunnatha sannidhi. Yes, that’s what I thought. I had flashes. I was in the operation theatre, at Vadakunnatha sannidhi, at Guruvayur, at Kanchipuram and Tiruvannamalai at the same time. Glimpses to show that this birth has not been such a waste afterall. Sarvam vishnumayam jagat. Post-surgery, outside my hospital room, I could see a tower. It looked like a raja gopuram – the Annamalayar rajagopuram to be precise. bhagavAn had not decided to leave me out! There is still hope!
Another funny story, (well it is funny now!). The anesthetist asked me if I had any questions about being given general anesthesia. And I asked him, “Am I there when the anesthesia is administered. What exists then? Is it deep sleep? Is this I who is asking questions there in GA?” Probably the doc didn’t understand the question, but my friend, who had left his homework to be besides me as I was wheeled in to the theatre, laughed and quoted, “It cannot be burned by fire, it is not wet by water, it cannot be cut by knife, it cannot be mutilated by surgery. It is whole. You are that!” “Am, bhoH. Tat satyam.”
Ok, as I am taking this blog post to thank people who helped me during the surgery, many thanks to my guru, NSV anna and his guru Sri Ramana Maharshi. But he does not take thanks. But my brain says I should thank him – the brain is cheating me?
As I had anna with me, the psychotherapist entry on the patient chart was empty. 😛 The nurses were surprised that I recovered so fast! They didn’t know His secret medicine. Without His talks running in the background, my thoughts, mind and brain would have fooled me to believe that the body, which indeed was the disease, was the truth. Narayana Bhattatiri realised this when he was suffering from a disease and he petitioned to the lord of Guruvayur to deign to rid him of his body-consciousness. Ramana Bhagavan said “You should say the disease got a disease”. Now after everything, it seems so obvious, but then, at that time, my thought space was filled! And anna had an answer in Valmiki Ramayanam discourse – even Kausalya etc had become temporarily drawn away from the ideal state when they were in deep sorrow. Me being so far away from that state, it was okay to be disturbed. But the fact remains, if I had died then, a rebirth would definitely be on the cards.