Picture from 1974 at his work, posing with a visitor.
Everybody has will power but in varying degrees. Persons endowed with strong will power are the ones that successfully wade through adversities. My father was one such as I was to observe a number of times.
My father never beat his two children, except only once. He never wanted to repeat his mother’s torturous acts in his younger years when he often used to say that he bled from the nose and even eyes. It was difficult for us to hear it. He had anger but had the ability to overcome it without probably suppressing it. His job was tough, taxing, strenuous and responsible. Later when he fell ill and used to require rest, his cruel boss was not sanctioning leave! Yet, he endured all that, what with backbiting.
He used to get light attacks of cardiac asthma around mid nights that used to make everybody anxious and sleepless. One Sunday afternoon in 1978, the severity had gathered momentum as he sat reading a magazine. We had to call Capt. Srikantaiah in the opposite house for moral strength and for his car which would be the emergency vehicle to take him to the doctor's house. The doctor showed helplessness and advised an immediate admittance to the Hospital as the situation was very bad. He was gasping for oxygen. I followed it on my bicycle. My mother accompanied him in the car.
It appears that he almost kicked the bucket on way to hospital. Miraculously, he did not, because when the window glass of the Captain's moving car was opened up - it appears he made a gesture to my mother - the fresh inflow of air supplied him more oxygen. He turned round the dreaded corner before he reached the hospital, but was still admitted for further treatment for some days of stay. It was at K.R.Hospital. I was so relieved to see him sitting on the bed as I reached a while after they reached, as I was on my bicycle. He recovered to a great extent and resumed his work though not as before.
Again a year later, while in hospital, for the same problem, this time at Kamakshi Hospital, his complete body had turned blue. As if sent by a divine force, a passer-by doctor who came in to see what the anxiety was about, could find his vein for the intravenous injection and administer that emergency dose. Other doctors present were not able to find the vein! My father was fully conscious and watching the action around him! Within minutes, he had turned the corner. The doctors had told us to give up hope. But my father had not. Such was the strength of his will power.
He knew that an open-heart surgery for a valve replacement was not affordable and he was fully aware of his condition: that he would not live long. He had written his case with details to a relative in the US for suggestions and there was a factual response. Yet, he never seemed to be afraid of death. He was always his old cheerful self that hid his discomfort from others. He was unflinching throughout. But in 1981, he could not survive the stroke to his left side. Even in such a state, he was to exhibit his power that lasted just a few hours.
Perhaps the tough upbringing had to do with that will power, I cannot say. I also wonder if they are transferred through the genes, when I come to think why my cricket captains have turned to me in crises (and I seemed to relish) as well as why my sportsman-grandfather won many trophies in his time. Without strong will power people cannot be winners. I have always drawn inspiration from them.