In 2008, I was working in the US. Comfortably placed, nice salary, driving a brand new SUV and enjoying the best time in youth that one can have.
I had celebrated the arrival of 2008 with a bang. Partied all night and then slept for majority of the day just to spend the evening to kill the hangover of the binge.
This was routine for most of the weekends that followed. Work for 5 days and then party for the weekend. I thought life cant be better.
I was living a dream and I had already planned how would I spend the rest of my life in the land of opportunities.
Then in middle of Feb 2008, I got a call from my mother. She said ‘ Get on the next flight to India immediately. Your father is hospitalised. Doctors are saying chances are 50-50.’
I took the next flight and spent the toughest 17 hours of my life at the time, unsure what news awaits me when I land in Delhi.
I landed in Delhi. Thankfully, my father was on the path of recovery and was discharged in a week’s time. Due to some visa stamping delay, I was able to spend another couple of weeks with my parents in our home. They had been living alone there as all three of us (me and my siblings) had pursue our lives in the US. I enjoyed the time a lot.
On my way back, I pondered over the sequence of events and complete helplessness my mother faced, when my father fell sick. She had practically no straight means to take him to the hospital. The more I thought, the more I cursed my staying away from my parents.
By the time I landed in New York, I was convinced that I have to return to India and be with my parents to take care of them. I finished my visa tenure and returned to India in Feb 2011. After couple of years of wandering in different cities in India, I finally moved back to Delhi in March 2014.
Seven years later, we got shipwrecked with Corona virus. With all of us diagnosed with the deadly virus infection, the thing that kept us going for over 2 weeks of painful ailment was our being together and united as a family.
I am convinced that returning to India is the best family-related decision of my life. Unfortunate and painful though but the strength of togetherness during Covid times showed me that there cannot be anything better than this strength.
It was during the bad times in 2008 that put me on path to the best times in our lives.
Take everything in your stride.