It has been two months since I returned from Shimla, and with a bad back, thanks to the hilly region and the structure of the Institute: our guest house was somewhere slightly down – about 60-70 giant-size steps below the top of the hill. On top are situated all the essential services like the library, mess, canteens, shops, all the offices, and anything you can think of. And to climb up and down these 60-70 giant steps everyday, at least 4-5 times!
Will power can work miracles; and that is what it did to me till I was there – it didn’t permit me collapse, though I could feel the strain. But the moment I landed in Bengaluru, I collapsed! My back gave up. I was confined to be for at least three days; and then visited a doctor, who saw that there was some strain, and advised some physiotherapy. The therapy did some good; but it was just about four or five days, and it could not wipe out all the pain/ strain.
But in spite of all this, I engaged classes, lest at the end of the semester, I should fall short of the number of prescribed holy hours! (I don’t need to worry about content, by God’s grace, I have deep faith in my students: with slightest hints, they are capable of learning from wherever you suggest). And then, again, met another neurologist and an MRI, which suggested some growth in the spinal cord, which pressed a major nerve going down to legs, and generated pain. Since I didn’t want a surgery, decided to manage with some exercises for my back (thanks to YouTube!)
As I was recovering, slowly I tried to get into the mood of games – shuttle badminton – a change from my regular walks. On the first day, it was a controlled game; it was ok. The second day brought some body pain, hence only a walk. On the third day, I went for another game of badminton. There were two lay teachers and two Jesuits playing (the second lay person joined after I exited). And then there was that injury: my calf muscle game me such a pain, that it sent shivers down my spine, remembering the accident I suffered six years ago and how I tore my ankle ligament, whose niggle I still carry! Just could not move.
I came out of the court, asking the second lay person to join. The game went on. I came out and lay down trying to wonder what was happening. When the game got over, struggled to come out. Fortunately, one of the laymen sensed my agony, felt pity for me, and helped me climb down the stairs. The other layman offered to drop me by his vehicle; since he had to bring his vehicle from another campus to fetch me, I politely declined, and started crawling home (which is about 100 meters away), with a fond hope of finding someone who would offer me a shoulder home. None!
Finally, I reached my room all by myself, literally crawling. Since then, it has been bed and only bed! They say, when troubles come, they come in companies! I tried calling at least five Jesuits, and the kitchen staff, and not even could be accessed Fortunately, after I reached the Rector and spoke, he and the Jesuit community tried meeting me. Thanks to Br. Thomas Rama, he has a tender heart; besides attending himself, he has also instructed our kitchen staff to take care. And not forget some other Jesuit companions – Leoraj and Mukti.
Rest has done me tremendous good; there is so much of improvement, now I am sure the injury is not a dreaded sprain! Just a muscle catch. That also gives me the much desired rest and avenue to read!