“Was I too busy to care”- My story that changed my life

It was a cold February morning in 2015 when I received a call that changed my life. And my relationships. It made me question, “Was I too busy to care?”

My father had been diagnosed with a growth in his kidney and had to be operated immediately. He was to come all the way to Delhi for the surgery. We did not inform friends and family as it was sudden and also didn’t want too many well-meaning visitors to spread germs. Surprisingly, just two days after he shifted home from the hospital, my dad’s very dear friend called to enquire about him. He was worried because he had not been able to talk to my dad, he was completely unaware about his diagnosis and operation. Let us call him Uncle Hope.

Uncle Hope asked if my dad was still in Shimla (a very cold hill station of India) in the middle of snow and storms. I heard the relief in his voice when he came to know that he was in Delhi. And sounded happy with the operation’s results too. He promised to call later to speak with my dad, as he felt it was too early to disturb the patient.


As I put the receiver down I felt really small. I had been meaning to call and ask about his health for a long long time, but was busy with my twins, writing and just life. When my mom heard about his call, tears rolled down her cheeks. Ok, so mom was emotionally exhausted, I thought. Trying to change her mood I asked her about the kidney operation Uncle Hope was due for. My mom suddenly calmed down and what she told me was tough to hear.

Apparently while I was too busy too care, Uncle Hope had gone through a kidney surgery in Srilanka. Soon after he developed some complications and suffered a cardiac arrest. He slipped into a coma and the doctors gave up all hope of his survival. Being an affluent businessman, his family left no stone unturned for his treatment. He was moved to Singapore where he was diagnosed with Septicaemia and the doctors worked hard to stabilise his condition. Almost 6 months later he came back to India, only to be told that his arms and legs would need to be amputated.


My Uncle Hope, the father of three girls has been bedridden since then. Nothing in his voice could have warned me of all this. What was overwhelming was that a man who was going through so much pain and agony himself, still had the heart to care for someone else’s well-being.

A month later my mother visited Uncle Hope. When she returned I asked how he was and how had he adjusted to losing his limbs.

She said: “He was hopeful and looking forward to a new and active life with his prosthetic limbs. And he was asking about you and your welfare”.

Its been a year since and I have still not met him. Not because I am too busy but because I still don’t have the courage to smile back at him. But this past year I have reached out to my friends, rang up family on their birthdays and spent some ‘us’ time with my life partner and our kids. And I am happy!

Dear readers, we would love to hear your story – something that you’ve heard or experienced and has moved you, inspired you. #SpreadTheVibe with us and we will be happy to share it.

Comments (3)

snufflesjay Posted on Jan 24, 2016

Uncle hope #SpreadsTheVibe indeed. So much positivity. Truly motivating. Even though I am not married, I agree its really difficult in today's world to stay in touch. It really takes effort. Kudos to uncle hope and here's hoping the world is happily contributing to his happiness!

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Diane Posted on Jan 15, 2016

What a thought-provoking story. Thank you for sharing it with us! I don't think Uncle Hope would want you to waste even one more minute feeling small.

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Indra Posted on Jan 08, 2016

Hats off to Mr Hope. Would love to meet someone like him.

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Charu Chhitwal

Charu Chhitwal, Founder KetchupMoms has daring tastebuds, a love for travel and an owl for her soul. It’s little wonder then that she loves to write and share her tips and tricks on traveling, food,

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