17 October 2017

The best laid plans of mice and men…

First of all, please help me in keeping this a secret. Do not let my immediate family in India know of this for another 36 hours.

Second, let me share with you something that I had not made public for a few weeks. You probably recollect my trip to India to see my parents from mid August. Well, my plan to see them next was Dec end. In fact, the daughters wanted to come too. Excitedly, I started the process of getting all passports renewed and new Indian visas stamped around the end of Sep. (still waiting the daughters’ visas).

In the middle of all this, my dad decided to have a brain stroke. His right side is paralyzed and he cannot speak!! To cut thru the last four weeks quickly, after a long stay in the hospital in Kolkata, my brother has successfully moved him back to home in Kalyani. He and the entire family supporting him are going thru a very tough adjustment process.

Thru all this, my brother, who is quarterbacking all the ground level realities there has been actively dissuading me from coming to India right now. He is worried that this might disrupt our December plans (and he would rather we all go to see my dad in December). He also thinks that at this juncture, I might add more work for my mom than actually be helpful. (She is undoubtedly going to worry about what I am going to eat). Finally he thinks, I should preserve money during an “off year”.

All good points. Except, a week back, Sharmila and I discussed and I decided to override my brother. So, here I am – at the familiar Atlanta airport international terminal again – headed to India to be with my dad hoping he can recognize me and say a couple of words.

Regarding my brother, while I am sure he is going to be very happy seeing me, I have also prepared my excuse codes…

(*) I will be landing at my parents place on Diwali day – the biggest festival day in all of India. I have not been with my family for Diwali since 1985.

(*) Saturday is “bhaiphonta” for us. I am not sure if there is something equivalent in the Western world – but this is where sisters celebrate their brothers with all sorts of ceremonies. (For college goers, this is like an anti-Valentine Day. If the girl tags you as her brother, you have pretty much reached the End Of File on that budding relationship 🙂 ). Anyways, my younger brother always goes to my sister’s house for this celebration every year and sends me pictures. Guess who is showing up this year?

(*) My brother and I have not had a drink together for way too long 🙂 I have to say thanks to him for the inhuman effort he has put in for the last four weeks.

I have my doubts if I can achieve much more than be with my dad and more importantly my family who are having a tough adjustment period getting used to a semi-invalid patient. But, if I can, highest on my list is visiting a couple of teachers from my early school days and say Thanks to them before I lose my chance. Most of them, I have not seen for 40 years or more.

Soooooo…. we have a deal, right? No breathing of this trip to my family in India. In fact, I am blocking them temporarily on Facebook so they cannot read this either…

Posted October 17, 2017 by Rajib Roy in category "Vacations


  1. By Shelly Semrad on

    I am very sorry about your dad’s stroke. I’m sure your brother will be happy to have some assistance- all the best for your dads recovery.

  2. By Rosemary Griesmer on

    I realize you already know this, but you will never regret time spent with your dad, no matter the circumstances. I made two visits to see mine while “between opportunities “, and am so glad I did since they were the last we had together.

  3. By Carol Krishnamohan on

    Safe travels and hope your dad feels better soon. Enjoy Diwali with your family they will surely be happy to have you back surprise or not. Thanks again for the lovely wishes.

  4. By Debyani Dasan on

    While this copy reads good, I can understand the worry and stress you must be going through. As I said before more strength to you and yours.
    Keeping Kaku in my thoughts and may whatever is best happen to all of you.
    God bless you and your family. Dad’s are precious – am glad you are making this trip

  5. By Seema Singh on

    Hoping for a speedy recovery for your dad! It’s awesome that you’re able to be there to be with your family. Take care.

  6. By Amitesh Mukherjee on

    Oops…What did you really mean by “No breathing of this trip to my family in India” ? – only parents and brother ? or sister included also ? 🙂 …oopsie…

  7. By Subho Nath on

    All the best dada!! We will pray for your family. You set the bar so high of how to deal with this tough period. Your every step is learning stepping stone for so many of us.

  8. By Kent Lingerfelt on

    I’m certain you are doing the right thing Rajib, and you will know it as soon as you get there. Sincerely, all the best for your dad and family.

  9. By Geeta Bhandari on

    Safe travels Rajib and may all your wishes comes true. “A stitch in time saves nine” – good decision taken jointly by Sharmila and You!

    1. By Rajib Roy on

      Michael, I was just thinking about you when your message came thru. I am at Frankfurt airport!! Everything good on your side?

  10. By Atanu Prasad Mitra on

    Boss!!!! Such feelings for mom and dad is really very hard to find.U really am a icon for all those NRI s who leave abroad and never even bother to wish their mom and dad Subho Bijoya.I have seen professors of US universities who did not even know his dad was dead for more than 4 days.This ill fated father stayed all alone and died a lonely painful dead and we only came to know about the situation when foul smell started coming.I myself being into business do lot of travelling both national and international and find thousands of NRIs who doesnt even know the names of their own cousins.But as bcos at d end of it we all all r Indians and more Ryan that humans we should really learn from what ur doing.Keep it up bro!!!! We really love u !!!!Last tell me anything if I can b of any help!!

  11. By Jon Martin Karl on

    So sorry to hear of your dad’s stroke. You are a good son for going…I’m sure it will mean quite a bit to your father. Have a safe trip!

  12. By Alan Chenkin on

    Your father will be in my prayers for a speedy recovery. Enjoy this time in the bosom of your family – your caring and love will give them great strength.

  13. By Al Blake on

    Sending good thoughts your way! My Mom had a series of strokes and it is a really hard adjustment for everybody but it can get better!

  14. By Jay Vikram Bakshi on

    Roy Rogers- so proud of you! And happy that you’re heading home for celebrations, even in trying times! Wishing speedy recovery for your Dad, and wonderful homecoming! Happy Diwali!!

  15. By Supti Roy on

    Kaku r khobor ta jene kharap lagche bhogobaner kache Kaku r sustha jebon kamona kori. Happy dewali. Sabai ke nie bhalo thakis.

  16. By Padma Lakshman on

    Rajiv, have a safe and enjoyable trip. Sorry to hear about your Dad’s stroke. My mom had a stroke 2 years ago and it was a pretty tough period immediately following, but she has made a remarkable recovery. Happy to share any learnings from that experience if you’d like. Wishing you and your family a Happy Diwali and your Dad a speedy recovery.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.