A friend in need is a friend indeed
(Words straight from my heart)

Rabin Prasad Kalita *

"Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.
Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend
." Albert Camus

I was suffering from severe palpitation which went up to almost three folds of 72 times in a minute of my normal pulse beats. Since, both of our children put up in two different cities for acquiring education, my wife alone got puzzled what she should do then. It was near about 11 o’clock at night. She had to call upon one of our tenants who drove us to the nearby hospital hastily.

I was detained in emergency ward until morning for a thorough medical check up. Finally my disease had been diagnosed as A Fib (Atrial Fibrilation) which is not a healthy sign for wellbeing of my heart. After prescribing two or three types of routine medicines to continue with, I had been released from the hospital.

Since then my wife was worried for further investigations to know exactly what has happened to me. While I contacted, some of my friends especially Jayshankar from Bangalore, asked me to send all of those check up findings through his e-mail. He persuaded me to seek a second opinion from a cardiac doctor who he knew personally.

But my impatient wife owing to her risen fear before my health gets further deteriorated, she convinced me to go along with her to Bangalore for an advanced treatment. Once I nodded her to move on, she booked two air tickets quickly for Bangalore for a master check-up in one of the premier Cardiac Institutes of India i.e. Narayana Hrudayalaya, Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences is a huge hospital equipped with modern facilities at its best.

In addition to Indian patients, people from many nearby countries particularly from Bangladesh visit this affordable hospital for the best of best treatment provided over here.

As per my disease, I was assigned with Dr. K Kumawat a senior consultant of Electrophysiology. In accordance with his direction and advice, I had to go through many tests for first four days to establish the precise problem in my heart. After having examined all reports, my doctor confirmed me that, yes, I have Arial Fibrillation as it was detected earlier.

By the time, Jaishankar too came with the same opinion. Dr. Kumawat had counselled me to go through the Atrial Fibrillation Ablation with 3 D mapping procedure, provided I would agree for. Otherwise, my medicines will have to be continued which may create serious problems in later stage or at any time.

My problem is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that occurs when the two upper chambers (left and right atriums) of my heart experience chaotic electrical signals. The result is a fast and irregular heart rhythm.

We two and Jaishankar sat together whether to go with the procedure or not. Finally, the decision was to go through the ablation procedure. By the time, I took an appointment with the chairman of the hospital Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, for reassurance and confidence building measure.

Accordingly, my admission process was in progress but while disbursement of payment for the entire procedure came, I was unable to pay through my card because of my online baking transfer issue.

I was stuck and thought of Jaishankar if he could help me out who was in his office then. A lot of questions were banging in my mind whether he had the requisite amount in his account or can he be able to spare to mitigate my needs etc.etc!

Moreover, I had to deposit INR Two Hundred Thousand right away for getting admitted, which was not a small amount. Being helpless I dialed to Jayshankar but hesitated to speak out the ongoing distress I faced, in case he expresses his inability to meet my requirement.

I was amazed that he could descry my unspoken words and said “is there something which bothering you Rabin”? From the moment I am talking to you, I could smell, something you are hiding me. Kindly let me know your problem, lest I can help you.

For God sake, please tell me what’s the problem, after all I am your friend? Don’t get wrong that I am being nosy. If you are facing any such financial constrain please let me know, I am here to help you out if it is within my capability.

His words pleased me a lot and I couldn’t hold my tongue anymore from briefing him about my intricacy. He said okay done without thinking much of it and asked me to share the account details of the hospital in his WhatsApp. Within a few seconds, the whole amount was transferred and thus he solved my problem in a snap. Done, as it was spoken out!

Subsequently, a few minutes of interval, he rang my wife again to know the present stock of the plight that which made us discomfort for a while. He also tried to know if I have any other inconvenience. It touched me so much which has craved me to have his company for life.

The next day morning my A F Ablation procedure was carried out successfully. Though my friend Nagesh was on official tour to Mysore, but hurriedly came to the hospital soon he had been informed by Jayshankar.

Both of them caught hold my hands, heeded, cared and assured me constantly that am going to be alright soon. Unfortunately, I developed with a Groin Hematoma just after the procedure I went through gave me a gruesome pain on my legs.

Sensing the stress on my face Nagesh was patting and pressing my legs tenderly to alleviate my pain. What a sensitive and adorable human being he is! The support they extended towards us was beyond words as well as invaluable. What else a patient wants from his intimate friends?

I met Jayshankar and Nagesh in 1986 while undergoing Indian Air Force Training at ATI, Belgaum, Karnataka. We stayed together sharing the same room for a period of almost one and half years. Thereafter, we had no correspondence amongst us for more than three decades.

In fact, we didn’t get chance to meet each other in any Air Force Units. Thanks to the WhatsApp group opened by some of our entry mates which eased me to meet such a far-fetched friends like Jayshankar and Nagesh.

Prior to the day of our departure from Bangalore, they came with their pretty family members to meet both of us and to know the progress of my health, though they had to drive from far-flung of the city. We had a palatable dinner at A2B Adyar Ananda Bhavan and spent that evening with a lot of fun and frolic. What an astounding and unforgettable moment it was!

Though my health didn’t allow me to act much, but I felt physically fit for time being and recharged with nostalgic memories we spent together once. An amazing twilight I Spent along with them which amused me and gave a space to smile after many days of arduous illness. It truly soaked my eyes for happiness we shared and the pain of bye them off.

Jaishankar is incredibly kind, gentle and friendly enough. All of his traits impressed me so much. He is ever ready to help anyone who is in need. It is hard to find such an implausible owner of a beautiful heart today. His unconditional intrinsic worth can’t be expressed in a simple gesture. He is the best find in my life as a true friend of mine. It reminded me a proverb, “A friend in need is a friend indeed”.

* Rabin Prasad Kalita wrote this article for
The author is a freelance writer and presently working in Indian Audit and Accounts Department as a Senior Auditor at Maligaon, Guwahati, Assam.
The writer can be reached at rabin1966(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on March 25, 2020.

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