Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Our homegrown celebrity

A few years ago, grandma fell very sick, taking to the bed. Diabetes led to the gradual failing of her kidneys, and she had to be hospitalized for a long time. It's a story from many years ago, she is perfectly fit now after working out, having lost 55 lbs and slimming down beyond recognition. But back then, my mom visits her one day at the hospital. She is hooked to a dozen different pipes and monitors. Her face is all swollen, eyes closed, breathing heavily. A number of instruments are constantly recording her vitals. The doctor is wondering if they should start dialysis. Grandma is sick beyond recognition.

When my mom sits by her bed, grandma slowly opens her eyes. With great effort, she tries to smile. Despite her condition, there is a twinkle in her eyes. She tells mom, "Do you know, Suchitra Sen's physician is now my physician?"

In her tryst with death, what excites her about life is that she now shares her physician with a celebrity. When her physician recently died, grandma expressed her sadness to my mom, "We lost our physician. Suchitra Sen and I."

Suchitra Sen was a renowned Bengali actor of the yesteryear from the 1950s. Someone like Meg Ryan of Hollywood or Madhuri Dixit of Bollywood.


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