It has been a while since I made time to pen a few thoughts. A _lot_ has happened in the last few months that has left me emotionally drained. Here are a few salient features from the past ...
My parents made the pilgrimage all the way from Chennai to the west coast of California in the end of April' 2008 to visit their first grandchild (Adith). Airline travel is getting to be a big pain these days what with the new baggage regulations and the fuel surcharges. The flying time from MAA to SJC is a grueling 19 hours - enough to shrivel up a bonny lad of 18. Imagine what this does to travel weary grandparents aged 65.
The weather in sunny California is not what it used to be. It was May but the weather was averaging a chilly 60 degrees Fahrenheit much to the discomfort of my parents who are used to 20 years of steady 85 degree Fahrenheit Chennai temperature . Due to the chilly weather, my father suffered a mild heart attach - or a myocardial infraction to those of you savvy in medical lingo. A visit to the ER revealed that he did indeed have a couple of minor arteries that were completely blocked or close to it. The cardiologist recommended a quick angiogram/angioplasty to fix this minor problem which could turn into a major problem if left untreated. This quickly turned into two nights in the cardiovascular ER in the local Good Sam Hospital. Three stents were placed in his heart to keep the affected arteries open. I can only thank God that this event took place in SJC where the immediate family were all present. I can not imagine the turmoil my mother would have had to go through if this had happened on the plane trip over here or earlier in Chennai.
I sincerely hope none of you ever have to visit a hospital here in the US of A (excluding those visits made to visit the new baby - those are quite fun). The care is very basic and very impersonal. The ER patient has to call down to the cafeteria to order his/her meal. If the patient forgets (even if he/she was unconscious) , then he/she doesnt get a meal. But if one takes a look at the bill (which is really a book/tome), it would appear as if the ER patient was tended to by President Bush's own personal medical staff and Air Force 1 was used exclusively to courier in the medical supplies (which were all purchased in Europe using euros).
Almost three months have passed since that fateful day in May. A lot of good things have happened since then. My father is healthy and has regained his strength and spirits. Adith has had a wonderful time with both sets of grandparents spending quality time with him over the past six months. Now my parents are getting ready to head back to Chennai and we are looking forward to about three months where we will have to take care of Adith all by ourselves :). Come November, we are all headed to Pune and Chennai to visit the grandparents - little Adith's first visit to his motherland.