I was worried that when I express my desire to do a Mumbai-London driving trip, I will have to go through a bout of medical exams.
Way back in 2008, I had proposed to trek Mt. Everest base camp. My wife is too good a lady and encourages me to do whatever I like! My daughters were excited and slightly hesitant respectively. But the son resisted, “Mt. Everest is not for senior citizens. It is considered very risky.” I appreciate my children for their love! I had to undergo a series of medical and stress tests as prescribed by my daughter, Seema and son-in-law, Nilesh, both doctors by profession, practicing in the UK. I passed these tests with flying colours!
I had lower spondylitis and syncope problems. They did not make that an issue. I did not highlight it to them either. But they probably did not know the details of four cervical slip discs and a misaligned toe. Except these, I did not hide anything from them! Other than these, I was physically fit. Even in academic examinations 40% is considered pass. So I thought I have passed my physical fitness exams.
It was only during this Mt Everest trek that I learned from the guide that it was vital that even the slightest of health problems like headache or lack of appetite or sleep ought to be revealed to the organisers. Thereafter, I have been more transparent about my health matters with my family.
I was 63 then. Now I am 72.
Their love continues to flow with even more intensity. My son, Anand probably loves me the most and hence is the most cautious. His was the first resistance I had to pass through for my Road To London adventure. It is a long trip with a lot of inbuilt risks.He was not in town when I had made the decision to go on this trip. Since, it was an impromptu decision, I could not wait for him to be back in 3-4 days. I sent Anand the details I had. This time too I did not hide anything from him except…….! I was anxiously waiting for his reaction.
“Enjoy the trip – it should be good fun” was Anand’s response. I was surprised by his support. But it was a conditional “yes”. I am a little carefree about trip gear, in general. I didn’t even carry trekking poles for the Mt. Everest trek! But Anand extra-cautious about any of our journeys, even the local ones, and rightly so. I wanted to drive the distance in my favourite Skoda Superb. Anand’s condition was that the vehicle I would use would be of his choice! He had traced what I was trying to hide.
No one else had any concerns. Everyone was thrilled at the thought of such a venture.
To be continued ….RTL # 7 – Route Across India………………….
Written : Badri Baldawa
Edited : Meeta Kabra