Editor's Choice
Theme: Story

All about a 'Non' Mover and 'Non' Shaker!

By the ripe old age of twenty four
She had seen life with all its gore!
Her wonderful spouse,
(Who was nothing but a louse)
Inflicted such violence,
That her neck lost balance.
Bless her, she had the courage
To annul an abusive marriage…
But only after suffering intense pain
And efforts to reconcile went in vain.
She consulted an Ortho well-known,
And told him that she lived alone;
That she was a single working parent
With a pain in the neck apparent!
He said, she had a dislocated C-spine
And that she would have to lie supine
For three months after a major surgery
And life thereafter would be drudgery…
Her condition had a grand name,
That earned her quite some fame,
As the one having Atlanto Axial Subluxation
That needed an Occipito Cervical Fixation!
Many a Neuro and Ortho came to see
And study her Cervical Spine C1 to C3!
The surgery was considered quite rare,
With chances of survival 50-50 to fair!
A day before the operation,
She was given Skull Traction -
A hole was drilled on each of her temple
(That was by no means a process simple..)
For inserting a contraption like a bucket handle
On which a 10 Kg weight was added to dangle!
The major operation was six hours long
As surgeons could let nothing go wrong.
A piece of bone, removed from her hip
Was grafted to fuse her broken neck,
To stop its further movement
And perhaps, to relieve her torment…
Post surgery, she spent in ICU ten days
And challenged death in many ways.
She was later shifted to the room,
Yet, with a sense of impending doom.
The rehabilitation was painful and slow.
Then one day, the docs permitted her to go.
“But, remember”, they said
“No walking, remain in bed!”
She was declared physically disabled
And was often indifferently labeled,
Thanks to the cervical collar she wore,
That, to many, was quite an eye sore!

Another issue she manfully braved,
Was a head that was kept shaved
For more than a year
To keep infections in the clear.

Disability or otherwise,
Glances of pity or bias,
She had a life to lead
And two mouths to feed –
Her own and her son’s,
Her priority, at once…
As fast as she possibly could,
Whether she felt bad or good,
She quickly stood up on both her feet
And returned to her bank manager’s seat!
Life was really not that easy,
As she was always very busy,
Both at home and at work,
With transfers always on the lurk.
Blackouts, aches and pains
Injuries, sutures and bloodstains –
All became a part of her life,
But was it all only tears and strife..?
No! Her son became her backbone,
Never letting her feel down or alone!
He was her sheet anchor and life boat,
Supporting her always to remain afloat.
He grew up into a fine young man –
His mother’s now his biggest fan!
For, it was from him she learnt
To always smile and be patient.
Despite a fused cervical spine,
She managed her life pretty fine
And also a job from nine to nine
With a smiling face and a V sign!
With her head held high, she stands proud,
Her “stiff neck” marks her out in a crowd.
Finally, she is sixty and (almost) done,
And believes, hurdle race is great fun!


More By  :  Padmaja Iyengar-Paddy

Views: 1397     Comments: 22

Comments on this Poem

Comment Thanks Rajji for your kind feedback and for the lovely quote from Sant Guru Nanak.

14-Aug-2013 22:34 PM

Comment Just Wonderful.
Guru Nanak ends Japuji Sahib with two lines:

Jinne Naam Dhayaya Gaye Mashakkat Ghal
Nanak Te Mukh Ujle Keti Chutti Naal

Those who meditate shall sublimate their toil
Say's Nanak
Such are the faces effulgent bright
Redeeming many with their stride.

God bless.

13-Aug-2013 23:07 PM

Comment Thanks Mr. Nair for liking this one. And many thanks for your kind words of praise.

Padmaja Iyengar
13-Aug-2013 22:34 PM

Comment Thanks Jaya, Renu and Kulbir for your kind and generous words of appreciation. Oh no Kulbir I'm not a Devi or anything - not at all - I just chose to flap my hands and stay aflaot on choppy waters as I don't know swimming and couldn't afford to sink!!!

Padmaja Iyengar
13-Aug-2013 22:29 PM

Comment Padmaja - it brought tears to my eyes - what more can I say!

You are a Devi - really.

God bless you.

13-Aug-2013 18:38 PM

Comment Beautiful and inspiring story poem, yes she can, she has the strength and courage to get over all the hurdles and difficulties, thanks for sharing this one Padmaja mam

Renu kala
13-Aug-2013 11:36 AM

Comment Padma

Awesum, fantastic,beautifully expressed the struggle of a loving and confident single parent.Hats off ......
Maa tujhe SALAAM..
with lots of regards, admiration and love

Jaya gaba

Jaya Gaba
13-Aug-2013 10:58 AM

Comment Manju, my lovely niece, thanks for making the time to read this one amidst your busy schedule and your appreciation.

Padmaja Iyengar
13-Aug-2013 09:39 AM

Comment Story of courage and resilience!
Written so beautifully!
Brought tears to my eyes.
But,I smiled thru the tears, as I read on.

Hats off to you, my dear aunt!

Manjari Aravamuthan
13-Aug-2013 02:35 AM

Comment Thanks a ton Srikanth, Hema, Raji and Prabha for your kind words of appreciation and for liking this story-poem.

Padmaja Iyengar
12-Aug-2013 11:39 AM

Comment Padmaja-ji,
Haven't been following what is happening here for some time now due to preoccupations. Your poem narrates a gruesome story of a courageous woman and, from reader reactions here, I gather that that lady is none other than you. A fantastic poem, fantastic narrative, fantastic message. My prostrations before you my fantastic sister.

12-Aug-2013 11:03 AM

When one door closes, another opens. The other door for that brave lady was her son, her self - confidence and confidence to move forward and lead life successfully.


Prabha Ramadurai
12-Aug-2013 02:32 AM

Comment It is a very touching one , especially so , because I know this Mother personally. Though I knew ur condition , I came to know the details only today! Hats off to u for bearing this much pain and I really admire ur courage and am very proud of having u as my friend. Hats off to ur wonderful son.It is a consolation to u no doubt. Hope u will get over all ur recent pains and come out as brightly as ever! With best wishes, Raji

12-Aug-2013 01:15 AM

Comment Ho wonderful to read this on garuda panchami day. Both mother and son are blessed to have each other......May their tribe increase!

"...When Garudan, the son of Vinathai was told how his mother was tricked into being a slave he was very angry. Garudan asked Kandharu how his mother could be free again. Kandharu asked Garudan to get the Amirtham from the Deva Loka to release his mother from slavery..."

For more info on garuda panchami read.....

Hema Ravi
12-Aug-2013 00:38 AM

Comment Dear Padmaja,

In 20 short stanzas you expressed in a very poetic way the life and struggles of an adult woman. It was very poignant and moving and her entire adult life flashed as one read the poem.

Keep up the excellent work of story telling in poems and wish you the best.

Best regards,


Srikanth Kidambi
12-Aug-2013 00:30 AM

Comment Thanks Inder (I M Wadhwa), my dearest brother, friend and so many more things throughout my life, for that lovely dedication. Yes, Dr. Celes, nothing is possible in life without His benevolence , which she had apparently aplenty and still has ! Thanks Shernaz for liking this story-poem about a woman of substance likes of whom abound in our country and elsewhere..

Padmaja Iyengar
11-Aug-2013 23:40 PM

Comment My admiration for the will power and love which made the mother stand up against violence and all other odds...simply and poignantly told.

11-Aug-2013 21:54 PM

Comment Thank God things turned out well after all!You took a wise but tough decision, so early in life. We cannot tread the path we seek in life but walk the one life lays ahead.Your success you owe to God as well, although you could have anger linger still and could be cross with Him. Why blame God for a mortal's foolishness? God loves you however estranged you be! Life is a gamble to many. Yet, we must continue to live on righteously.
Bravo Bharathiya Behenji! Victory to Indian motherhood!

Dr John Celes
11-Aug-2013 19:57 PM

Comment I have been a witness to the bucket handle through age
From the days of abusive marriage and her courage
Jiska koi nahi hota uska uska khuda hota hai
Kabhi woh Bhai hota hai to kabhi who beta hota hai
Asal baat to hai tumhare dum Khum ki
Har koi kahan aisi mushkilon se nikalne ki himmat rakhta hai
Aye maa tujhe salaam !

IM Wadhwa
11-Aug-2013 12:32 PM

Comment Mant thanks Bhaskarji and Jaipalsinghji for appreciating this poem.

Padmaja Iyengar
11-Aug-2013 10:51 AM

Comment My regards and admiration for the 'stiff neck' and author.

10-Aug-2013 20:46 PM

Comment wonderful expression....!!!

10-Aug-2013 12:34 PM

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