Tuesday, October 25, 2016

'Fingers Crossed'

Singing the birthday song for Karuna Waghmare (centre)
Today was Karuna Waghmare’s birthday. Surprisingly, nobody remembered. And nobody wished her when she arrived in the Garden. In fact, nobody even noticed she was lugging a huge white bag, obviously filled with goodies – her birthday treat. It was only when she kept interrupting the exercises, merrily singing and talking to herself, that we realized she was deliberately seeking attention. “Don’t you people know that today is my happy birthday?” she blurted aloud. And then the nickel dropped…
But first things first:
Shekhawat: Hitting jackpot!
Kiran Prakash is glad to have contracted viral fever (yesterday’s post)! He got his blood test reports last evening and sent in a pithy message: “It’s normal. No malaria, no dengue. It’s viral… It’s good. I should be in Garden by Wednesday.”
Najma Sayyed’s sister, Nadira has also been in touch. This morning she confirmed that there has been no change in Najma’s condition, except that her blood oxygen level has dropped to a precarious 85 per cent. “The doctors are struggling to raise it to at least 90 per cent to prevent hypoxemia,” she said. “Blood oxygen below 80 per cent can compromise the functioning of heart and lungs.” The latest is that Najma was shifted to ICCU in the afternoon.
As for Mallika Kagzi, we were informed by Navin Bhai in the Garden that he had found her “slowly recovering” when he visited the hospital yesterday. Late evening though, her daughter-in-law Heena informed that a major cause of worry was that Mallika's platelet count had dropped further to 12,000 mcL (150,000 – 400,000 mcL is the norm) and fresh platelets might have to be injected.
This morning, Heena text messaged: “Some good news after days. Till yesterday night her platelets had fallen to an alarming 12k. Doc said if it goes below 10k, she has to be given platelets through IV. We couldn't sleep whole night. Early morning test showed that it didn't fall through the night. It stabilised at 12k. Let's hope it starts going up from here now. Fingers crossed. Prayers continue.”
Meanwhile, Shekhawat found a reason to rejoice. He has bagged a house in a MHADA lottery and promised to treat us to “not a party, but a free picnic” the day he gets the keys. But that is another story.

Monday, October 24, 2016

What’s Happening!?!

Rukhsana Khan's pending birthday treat
News of Mallika Kagzi being hospitalized with an attack of dengue came as a rude jolt to us last Saturday (ref post of October 22). The very same evening, we were informed that Najma Sayyed had been admitted to Criticare Hospital, Juhu with a broken leg. Now we are told that Kiran Prakash is running high fever for the past two days and went to get his blood tests done this morning.
Kiran Prakash
The report is expected in the evening.
What’s going on?
Like most dengue patients, Mallika had ignored the early warnings of fatigue, body ache and excessive weakness from her trip to Surat and had even turned up at the Garden last Tuesday and Wednesday.
She did not exercise though and merely complained of “not feeling well”. A casual blood test at the nearby Millat Hospital revealed symptoms of dengue and soon after, she was rushed to Arogya Nidhi, Juhu on October 21 evening.
Mallika’s platelet count continues to hover in the region of 20,000 mcL (as against the norm of 150,000-plus mcL), but that is only expected till such time she responds to the medicines being administered intravenously. She has lost appetite, become nauseous and irritable and needs to be given mild sedatives to rest. According to her daughter-in-law, Heena, she is beginning to show signs of recovery from this morning and has stopped vomiting.
Tara Chand Seth (in white) is back from Delhi
She has also been able to sleep last night, but the weakness persists.
Najma’s condition is not so encouraging, largely because of her obesity. She had lost her balance on the way out of her house and the fall resulted in her thigh bone splitting into two. According to her sister Nadira, the surgical procedure that followed has been successful, but for a person who has never taken sleeping pills, the pain killers and sedatives could be having a counter effect.
The doctors attending to her say that all her vital organs are functioning well, but because of the nature of surgery and her constitution, she is unable to even shift position in bed, thereby leading to “accumulation of carbon di-oxide” in the body. They are trying to shift her to ICCU the moment a vacancy arises. Meanwhile, she is drifting in and out of consciousness.
Do remember these ladies in your prayers.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

DAY 2056

Pic(s) of the Week


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Warm Welcome

Shekhawat holds forth on his return from a trip to Bihar and Rajasthan
Hari Singh Shekhawat was accorded a warm welcome this morning, befitting his position as a club chairman. This was the first time in ten-odd years that he was away from the Club for such a long time – almost a month.
Bijoy Gupta (l) greets Shekhawat
And it was very much a pleasure to find him back fully refreshed, radiating energy and mischief in equal measure.
Bijoy Gupta was among the first to greet him with a hug and handshake, but apparently not so much for the joy of having his old friend back, hale and hearty (ref previous post). He pretended to be unduly concerned, wondering whether Shekhawat was treated well in prison. “When did they release you?” he asked cheekily.
Shekhwat was stumped for words but recovered soon after when Gupta explained that he was collecting Rs500 from everyone towards furnishing his bail bond.
Happy Birthday, Rukhsana Khan!
“You may require a bail bond, I don’t,” Shekhawat retorted. “I am a fauji, an ex-serviceman. Nobody can dare arrest me. You better watch out for yourself!”
Before long, Shekhawat went on to recount details of his trip from the time he left Mumbai last month for Patna and onward to Gaya to attend a religious congregation meant for propitiating the spirits of ancestors. “It is a huge mela, held once in ten years,” he narrated. “I was lucky to find a priest of my (Shekhawati) community who could fish out records from my great-great grandfather’s time.”
Mallika Kagzi: Get Well Soon!
Back home in Rajasthan in time for the Navratrati festivities, Shekhawat went on a pilgrimage of some holy sites,
Chocolates from Vasudev Batheja
including Nathdwara, Pushkar and the Sanwariya Seth Temple of Rajsamand. “We were a group of 12, mostly ladies,” he said. “I wanted to treat them to air travel this time, something they have not experienced. But one of the ladies had misplaced her Aadhar Card and it wouldn’t have looked good had we left her behind. So we traveled by road, in hired cars.”
While Shekhawat held forth on what was obviously an eventful trip, Rukhsana Khan celebrated her birthday with a round of Swiss rolls. Pity, the snacks’ boxes she had ordered did not arrive in time; but then, there was Vasudev Bhateja quickly making up with fistfuls of chocolates he had picked from a recent trip to London.
In all this revelry, there was a spot of disturbing news: Mallika Kagzi is down with dengue. She had been suffering from body ache and fever for three weeks, little realizing that her platelet count had crashed drastically. She is now in intensive care at Arogya Nidhi Hospital, Juhu. Further details are awaited.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bum Chums

The love-hate relationship Bijoy Gupta enjoys with Shekhawat is the kind of stuff bum chums share. On the surface, they would appear as arch enemies, constantly taking digs at one another, much of which is of course, meant for public consumption/ amusement.
Bijoy Gupta, busy spinning yarns
For deep inside, they are bound by a strong sense of mutual love and camaraderie that is hard to come by these days.
It therefore came as no surprise that Gupta should disappear soon after Shekhawat took off on his Rajasthan holiday late last month. He stopped turning up in the Garden, obviously because there was nobody for him to spar with during the exercises.
(He is not as close to anyone else who he might call a “rusty engine”, “virus”, etc.) That apart, the monsoon had turned really foul and Gupta was down with viral fever.
Now that the weather has cleared, Gupta has started showing up and is back to his old ways. That he misses his dear friend is evident from the manner he makes discreet inquiries about his welfare and when he is expected back from Rajasthan. Outwardly though, he never spares an opportunity on going hammer and tongs at Shekhawat, accusing him of various acts of misdemeanor – clearly, all a figment of his imagination.
His latest now, is that Shekhawat is behind bars for an unspeakable crime that he too would rather not utter. “I got to know he was arrested in Jodhpur last month,” Gupta told Fehmida Khan this morning. “For how long can he escape the law? A notorious chap like him deserves to be behind bars. I had warned him earlier...”
Fehmida walked away, realizing Gupta was pulling a fast one on her. Before long, he moved on to Bhaswati Bose and Geeta Latte to spin another yarn. And then, on to Swati Panjabi… when the truth is Shekhawat would be boarding the train to Mumbai this afternoon from Jaipur. He has had a “first class" tour of the pilgrimage spots of Rajasthan and is now itching to narrate his experience to us.
“I will be there at the Garden day-after morning,” he informed on phone.