My father-in-law, Ahsan Syed, was recently in the intensive care unit at a hospital, called Noble Hospital, in Pune – he’s since been moved to a private room. It’s not as bad as it sounds. He has COPD and caught a bad cold, which makes breathing difficult. So he’s being treated for the infection, and getting oxygen when he needs it. He should be home in a few days. He’s had some similar issues before, though much more severe. One of them could be called, without exaggeration, a near-death experience. Here’s Zak on a previous visit:
His reaction to these difficulties has been noteworthy. He takes such episodes as challenges and comes away with greater energy and a renewed sense of purpose. A very devout man (he has been an imam at various times in his life), he sees his time since that experience as a gift from God, and is determined not to waste it. And he gets good support from his wife and family.
Baba’s wife, Farkhunda, stays by his side every second – sleeping in the hospital room with him. She’s usually on a cot, but sometimes (like last night when he was in the ICU) she has to sleep on the floor. There’s a Hindi phrase, “Pati-vrata patni” which translates roughly as “devoted wife”, that her children use to describe her during these times (for obvious reasons).
Additionally, their daughter Amina stays in the hospital with them as well. She works full-time during the day, but then goes to the hospital straight from work to help. She drives a scooter, so can run out for anything that might be needed.
And Rizwana takes over running the house while Ammi is with Baba in the hospital.
The whole family provides moral support and anyone with a vehicle (especially Faizan) gives rides to visitors back and forth from house to hospital.
Time in the hospital can be incredibly boring. So to help pass the time, here are some pics – of and for Baba – that we’ve taken since our arrival:
Here’s Baba getting ready to enjoy a “paper dosa” – a specialty at a nearby restaurant called Sai Sagar. It looks like a big sub, but it’s really a paper thin sheet of bread rolled into a tube.
I had one too:
Baba loves spending time with his grandkids. Here’s a pic from when he and Ammi came to Grandparents Day at Zak’s school a few months back:
And taking on Zak in chess:
Here’s Baba and Eli at Eid, and Eli trying to fill Baba’s coat:
Baba with a very important T-shirt message:
Some other random pics that Baba might enjoy. Here’s Simmi meditating on Baba’s words of wisdom:
Baba teaching his daughters the art of the selfie:
Which his sons couldn’t quite figure out:
Baba and Ahmed discussing hairstyles:
Ahmed was obviously convinced:
Though, later came up with an idea of his own:
And here’s Baba complimenting his oldest daughter on finding such a wonderful and handsome husband:
Baba and Ahmed have a special relationship, so that’s a good excuse to post some more cute pictures of him:
Get some rest, Baba. We’ll see you soon at Gulistan.