Love triumphs - 3

Posted by Anantha | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006

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Few days later I got reports from doctor about Clive’s violent behavior with maids. He used to jump out of the moving car when taken on brief visits to home off the hospital. Doctors even complained Clive once threw a chair at the nurse who had come to medicate him.

An evening I visited Clive in hospital. Doctor was testing the damage caused by the virus on Clive’s memory. The doctor was prompting Clive to name few things he points to. The doctor showed him a pen and asked Clive to name it. Clive replied “It’s a chicken!!!!” in an authoritative tone. He said the same to an apple, a chair and a capsule too!! Shocked by Clive’s reply I looked perplexedly at the doctor. Doctor said that’s because Clive has only few words left in his memory.. very few words in finger counts. And chicken is one among them. Listening to this, I could not control my tears.

Few days later, Clive was moved to the hospital’s care home. It became the permanent residence for Clive. I had moved all his necessary things including his piano to the care home. Few days later I held a piece of sheet music in front of him. His eyes lighted up looking at that. His expression on face said that he could recognize the music notes. I helped him walk to the piano. He could play piano!! The doctor there explained it as “music is part of Clive’s procedural memory. Its like walking or riding a bicycle”. He only could read music; he was unable to read news papers and books.

I had accepted the fact that Clive's illness is incurable. I quit my job and founded the Amnesia Association in 1986. I even started to work in an arts center to pay my bills. Eventually I had to sell the apartment where me and Clive once lived. Once doctor told me Clive was suffering from a condition called perseveration, which makes him to repeat certain behaviors endlessly. Clive used to repeat the same phrases endlessly while he was talking to me. All I could do was weep in front of him looking at his behavior. Doctors said Clive has reached such a situation where he can no more store the new information in his memory. His memory had become as short as 7 seconds!! He could not remember anything that has happened to him before the last 7 seconds. He would accept if somebody introduces him self as Prime Minister! Such was Clive's memory. In spite of all this, some how Clive was recognizing me every time I meet him. I really don't know whether I would be living or dead if Clive had refused to recognize me. The only hope that I was living with was that some day some miracle would give me back my Clive, the same loving husband of mine. How beautiful life would be to have our children running in the garden and me listening to piano while Clive plays some of his favorite compositions. But may be I was too optimistic to hope for such a miracle to happen.

(to be contd...)

Love triumphs - 2

Posted by Anantha | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006

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Clive’s temperature was back to normal after 7-8 days. The physician had prescribed Clive to rest for few more days. That day I decided to resume my work in orchestra. Same morning I kissed Clive and was walking towards the door to leave for work. Clive called my name in a shaky voice and said “leave your work place number; I’ll call you up if I need anything”. At first I thought Clive was playing a prank with me as he used to call to my office number every day. I replied to him “Why…don’t u remember my number” approaching his couch he was resting on. Clive felt quite uneasy to reply, “No… may be because of the fever..” Then I told him my number. Clive wrote it down on a piece of paper. He stopped writing after marking the number. I could make out Clive was trying hard to remember something. Then he scribbled my name above the number. I was alarmed by the moment he took to write my name above the number. That said everything was not normal with Clive. Otherwise why would his hand stop before writing my name.. I rushed to work with all-Clive in my mind. I could not concentrate on the work. My inner voice was whispering that something terrible is going to happen with our lives. That very feeling shook me. I begged to Lord for the well being of Clive.

I took Clive to a neurosurgeon. There awaited a shock for me. Doctor reported a severe case of amnesia!! Clive had fallen prey for a virus called herpes encephalitis. The virus had damaged major portion of his storage area of brain. Doctor suggested me to admit Clive to the hospital. Doctor even told me that only miracles could save Clive’s memory. Our fairy tailish life had sunken. It was attacked by cruel fate. I still remember that unfortunate day of my life, the day I admitted Clive to hospital. I wept all through that night. I had accepted the hard reality that Clive may not return home as the same old charming and loving husband of mine. We may never get those loving moments of our lives again. It was a great challenge for me to live without Clive.

I used to visit Clive twice/thrice a day. The moment I enter his room, Clive used to smile at me. He was finding it difficult to remember words and talk to me. But I could understand from his eyes that he wants to talk to me for hours. He would have had millions of things to talk to me. But he had started losing his vocabulary gradually. He was losing everything that was stored in his brain for years... neither could he store anything new. During those days, the longest sentence Clive used to utter was "Hey gorgeous, I.... I... love you....". Listening to this all I could do was smile back with tears in my eyes. However deadly could that virus be, but that was not able to erase my husband's emotions for me....

(to be contd...)

Love triumphs - Part 1

Posted by Anantha | Posted in | Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006

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[Prelude: Call it a transcript or a compilation or an amateurish attempt to write a story. The day I read an article about Clive and Deborah Wearing in Readers digest, I decided to document it in my own way. In the process of writing about the Wearings, I came across many articles and interviews and other stuff in web. I wanted you people know about Wearings and also I wanted you guys to know about them in the way I narrate it! First I decided to write a story on them. Knowing its one of my first attempts and considering the limitations of my narration skills, I decided to make it an article (kinda). It was my own idea to choose Deborah Wearing as the narrator of this article. It was still a challenging task for me to put across a story as narrated by a woman. To understand her traumatic emotions and express them. I faced all the complications of first attempt. Still I am daring to put it across as a post.

I am planning to post this article in 3-4 chunks one after the other. So here goes my novitiate effort…]

Hi, I am Deborah Wearing and this is the story of me and my husband Clive Wearing. It is an unfortunate but still an inspirational, ill fated still triumphant, unbelievable but still a real story.

I was a singer in a famous choir of London in my early twenties. Clive was the charming conductor of that choir. He was a famous, kind hearted successful musician in his forties. Clive Wearing had everything that would attract a smitten like me. Those days I could hear a lot of rumors about his broken relationship with his wife from the colleagues of the orchestra. These rumors hardly bothered me. I just loved his passion for music. I could make out that Clive was giving some extra attention for me during the practice sessions. It made me jump in joy. The music and practice sessions kept bringing us closer to each other. And one fine day me and Clive decided that we should get married. One fine day of Oct 1983 we got married. It was one of the memorable days of my life. The day we decided to commit to each other in all the walks of life…

After the day of marriage, months passed by like minutes.Me and Clive were working together in orchestra. I never used to feel the fatigue after those long hours of practice. I still get goosebumps when I remember those ‘I Love You’ whispers of Clive in my ears. I had started loving everything about Clive. Whether it was those all-page-I love u-chants in my personal diary or those long walks in the evenings, I had started loving every bit of my life. I used to stand next to piano with my elbows rested on piano cover, When Clive used to play his favorite compositions on piano. I remember Clive saying ‘The most important things can not be spoken, that’s why there’s music’.

I had started experiencing the life-too-perfect, Life so romantic, Life so beautiful. I could not even imagine a second without Clive. May be the fate did not like this smooth sailing fairy tailish life. The fate hit our lives badly. It was almost a year and a half since me and Clive had started a new chapter in our lives. Those days Clive’s schedule was very hectic. Too many consignments, too many practice sessions. He was working day and night. It was one such day. Clive returned home late in the night, complaining of a severe headache. I though it should be because of his hectic work schedule. Clive used some tablets for temporary relief and went to bed. The next morning Clive had a high temperature. I insisted Clive to stay at home and take rest. On consulting the physician, Clive was given medicine to bring down his temperature. But the drop in the temperature used to happen till the effect of the medicine lasted. This continued for 2-3 days. Clive used to look really disturbed by his illness. He hardly could speak to me. I some how had a feeling that everything was not normal with this fever. This was for the first time Clive had fallen ill for such a long time in one and a half years of married life.

(to be contd...)

We are not here to make friends ?!?

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , | Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006

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Was roaming in Koramangala with my B.E. pals on SUN evening. After munching the junk here n there we were about to leave.. When we were walking towards the place where we had parked our bikes, there appeared two familiar faces... heyyy! thats Mohit and Jagadish [Me, Mohit and Jagadish had joined Mphasis 2 yrs back along with few more guys]. It was a long-time-no-c-mulaaquaat. Exchanged few words about work n life and dispersed.

The same night, so many thoughts ruled my mind while I was sprawling on bed. Thoughts flashed back to November 2004. We were 11 elated bunch of freshers who had joined Mphasis. Me, Jagadish, Mohit, Ram, Smruthi, Sneh, Arthi, Fatima, Jason, Manu, Shobha, Rashmi and Kusuma. All were excited holding the offer letter of our first job in our hands. Then began corporate training for months. We were all just out of college getting accustomed to the corporate mould.. were hanging out together.. few outings in the weekends..movies n theatres...celebrating each others' b-days with cakes and gifts...

By the time the training got over, we had become good friends! Then
on a fine day, We were all scattered into different projects [though in the same office premises]. Still our bonding continued.. calling up each other for snacks and lunch breaks. It continued for few months.. Then later, few became busy with their project deadlines and schedules and were not regularly appearing in our gang. I too started missing the gang for lunch and other breaks. Then it started getting difficult to gather in weekends also. If one had to go out with his/her friends, some one else had to come to office on weekends to meet the deadlines. So its just that we had prioritized our other schedules and had relegated our petty gatherings... None to blame.. I too had skipped many...

After few months, some of us were moved to different projects.. this time it was not in the same office premises.. I had to move to a different office in Bannerghatta Rd.. while the rest continued in Global village. Months passed by.. mail transactions reduced.. phone calls reduced... By the time we had settled down, we had completed one year in Mphasis.

We all got yearly appraisals.... some of us sulked, some of us jumped in joy... some of us got onsite opportunities... some of us fumed with the J factor! Sneh left the company and flew to Aussie land for higher studies. We all started becoming busy in our own worlds. If not so, at least we pretended to be busy.. I felt the bloody ego had crept in some how!!

I dont know what went wrong.. everything was nice and perfect once. Now it all seems to be a dream. Now it has become Mission Impossible to gather even 5 of us for a dinner or a movie. We have no one to blame but ourselves. Some of us do not have the courtesy to call back even after seeing 2-3 missed calls in their cell phones... I too have done that few times to few guys!!.. damn... it was so rude to do that...

Everything has changed with time.. Can colleagues be friends..? Then I get a voice resonating in my mind 'We aren't here to make friends...' But is that true?

Today here in the current work place I see Tony, Indrajith,Vijay, Anobika, Sindhu et al [freshers in our project] in the cafeteria laughing for each others' jokes.. sitting around the table for
lunch... I sigh and say long live friendship... I wish it was me, Mohit, Smruthi, Ram, Jagadish... around the table for lunch...

Here is a chunk of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness:

So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence."