Thursday- My H-jan returns to Kabul.
With lots and lots of pressies for everyone.
Didn’t go to work, went shopping instead. Bought bangles for BB, i like the look of bangles, but can’t wear them. Makes too much noise. Bought a few other stuff, waste of money. Throughout the day H would sms me or call me to let me know how close he is to Kabul. Just before his flight and during intervals.
We were going out for dinner- even though it was freezing.
H came around 5pm (with lots of bags). He propped them on my bed, in my room. We said hello and went through our photo album before he went to see my parents.
My favourite present of all was the photo album my sister in laws created for me. H had printed all of our Shirnee Dadn pics, my sister in laws had put them in order in the photo album. So very nice of them. Bought me Punjabis (something i have to start wearing), matching bangles, shoes and sweets.
Friday- Horrific encounter ever!
I experienced the worst on Friday. My dad was so close to dying. This is what had happened:
On Friday arvo, H was over. Just like any other Friday, H and I woke up early but stayed in my room chatting away. It was much too cold to get out of bed. Soon enough it was 12.30pm, time to have brunch. I went in the kitchen, said hello to all. H needed to go to the bathroom which was occupied by dad who was showering and getting ready for Jumaah prayers. We cooked breakfast. On my way to the lounge with the tray of food, I passed the bathroom door and I heard dad making unusual sounds. I looked at H, ‘do you think he’s alright?’ he asked me. ‘I don’t know,’ I replied walking to the lounge room and resting the tray on the coffee table ‘I’ll go and let mum know.’ I told H as I left the room.
Mum was in the kitchen. ‘mum, dad’s making noises in the bathroom.’ I told her casually to which she replied ‘maybe he’s playing with Dunya’. I told her it wasn’t possible. My brother also said that Dunya’s in the other room with my little sisters. I went to the lounge room, H asked if dad was alright. I can’t remember the rest clearly but all I remember was Mum and my brother knocked on the bathroom door.
Dad was silent now- he was no longer whimpering.
Mum was knocking harder calling out dads name, no answer and the door wouldn’t budge open. It was locked! She nudged the door with great force using her shoulder. The door flung open.
Mum screamed and called my name at what she saw. His body stiff. His jaw gritted. Eyes closed. Dry lips. Clenched fists. Pale face, purple lips. Unconscious. Dressed in a tracksuit and a t-shirt. It was my dad.
I ran to my dad, H lifted dad by his torso, I carried his feet. At that precise moment, Kaka S called from downstairs. They were late for Jumaah prayers. My brother urgently called him upstairs. Kaka S came and took dads feet from me. H and Kaka S rested dad on the floor in the lounge room.
Dad’s body was stiff. Kaka S immediately began with CPR and first aid. H tried to unclench his fists. No luck. I checked dads pulse. It was there! Mum was crying by now. H began making calls, doctors, hospitals. Don’t even bother calling an ambulance. Our Landcruiser has more of an effect on the road than the ambulance with a dying person. The cars don’t give way. No one cares. Death is all too common.
Dad was in a state I had never seen him before. Weak, helpless and almost lifeless. Kaka S continued vigorously trying to bring back Dad. I realized he was our only hope. No doctors, no hospitals. I found myself crying silently. This can’t be it, I thought to myself. They were rubbing dads hands and feet, warming his body while Kaka S continued to bring his heart to function again. I noticed a tear in the corner of dads left eye.
With great effort, dads clenched fist moved upwards. ‘He moved his hand,’ I exclaimed through tears. His fist opened, there was hope! Soon after, Dad opened his eyes. He was looking at us but could see nothing. He was dazed. Kaka S talked to him in Dari, dad replied in English. ‘I’m okay,’ he stammered. Clearly, he was not. ‘Padar, can you hear me?’ I asked in English. ‘Na’am batchem’. He replied. He looked around. Couldn’t recognize anyone, he was replying but didn’t know what he was saying. My brother put on a jacket for dad.
H and Kaka S lifted dad to take him to the car and to the hospital. I felt so relieved- there was a glimmer of hope. I silently thanked God as we made our way out. I carried a blanket. ‘What happened?’ dad asked slowly.
On the way to the hospital, dad was reciting his Kalima. I bear witness that there’s no God and Mohd (Peace be upon him) is the final messenger. I didn’t want him to recite that because that’s what most people recite during their final moments of dying. He was NOT going to die. It can’t be happening. I fought back tears. Dad asked for water, but we were in too much of a hurry, we forgot. ‘Don’t panic,’ dad was saying ‘whatever happens, it’s from God.’ He asked ‘did I miss Jumaah prayers?’ I told dad not to talk much and not to think, he was still dazed, speaking slowly. I took off my jacket, rolled it in pillow size and rested his head on it. Dad was sitting in the front seat. H was sitting next to me, then it was my brother and then Kaka S’s son.
We reached Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital. Kaka S’s son bought water for dad. Under equipped hospital in poor condition. I stood by my dad’s hospital bed, holding his hand as they put the oxygen mask on him. Dad began shaking. The doctors said it was alright. H called his uncle, a prominent doctor and explained the situation. H’s uncle said that it should all be okay and he’s only in need of fresh air and Vitamin C. I hoped he was right. He also said that if we hadn’t found him in time, dad would’ve gone into coma.
I held dad’s hand, telling him to take deep breaths. The rest stood by the foot of the bed. I saw dad’s eyes slowly closing. I talked to him so he’d stay awake, afraid of losing him to coma. He occasionally asked for water. Then it was the oxygen mask again. Dad was shivering, he was cold. The blanket was doing no good.
Soon enough it was time to go home. On our way home, i rested my head on H’s shoulder. Relieved.
The reason dad had suffered this condition was from inhaling fumes (carbon monoxide) from the bukhari (Afghan heater which burns sawdust and firewood).
Thankfully, he’s alright now but still a little dazed by all this. But I still can’t go to the bathroom, I keep envisioning dad there, unconscious. My mind plays tricks on me, I can’t even stay in my room. I guess it will take a few days before i’m ‘normal’.
Dad said the last thing he remembers is getting a headache and chest pains, he felt dizzy and then sat to rest. From what we gathered, dad had been unconscious and his organs stopped functioning for over half an hour.
But I’m getting there. Slowly, but surely. H has also been affected, he promised to help me through this (isn’t he a sweetheart?). His parents heard about dad and called last night. Relatives visited.
I’m so very grateful to God that my dad is still here with us.
My baby sister has learnt the most cutest things, I’ve decided to make a list
She gives high fives, blows kisses, wrinkles her nose and smiles at the same time, dances with her little chubby hands, talks on the phone. And she’s just over a year old. Naamekhuda
Saturday- Road trip to North Kabul
On another note, yesterday was good fun. My bro, the 2 R’s, dad and I visited Mahbobas Promise and granddads grave, it had snowed knee-high deep. Everything looked so pretty, we played snow fights. It’s what my grandfather would want us to do- to enjoy his garden as much as possible, whether it involved picking fruits or playing snow fights.
And H brought me a charger for my camera, so now I can take photos and post em here as I normally did. Alsooo, went to Mandayee on Thursday and actually found a diary! It’s not the best diary, but still. My last year’s diary was an A5 Madison diary with glossy pages and hard cover.
… is our (H and Me) one month anniversary (Engagement), mashallah. By the way, 10th of Muharram is just around the corner (20th Jan), so Kabul is in ‘mourning’. Black flags with ‘Ya Hussein’ written on them are waving all around.
Ba omideh deedaar, khuda yaar wa madadgaar (new line, you like?)