Writings on The Wall #24: Breathing Freely

Hello folks. This is probably going to be the last of my Writings on The Wall blog posts, that I have been sharing with you all for the past couple of years. I have enjoyed writing and sharing my thoughts with you all on a variety of subjects, all to do with culture, travel, art and architecture and of course, the pandemic. I hope you have enjoyed reading them.

In fact, thinking of my Writings on The Wall series, I realise that while the posts of the first year were all about travelling as a journey of discovery, and of embracing new cultures, those of the second year were dominated by the Covid pandemic and its impact on us, on travel, and on the importance of face to face human contact, etc.

While I am saying goodbye to Writings on The Wall, I do so with a message of hope. With my thoughts on breathing, that we all take for granted. This month, my mum who is 84 years old was admitted to hospital in Goa with a particularly bad attack of asthma. She has been in and out of intensive care, the past fortnight and I would like to dedicate this piece to her and her fight for life. Thankfully, she doesn’t have Covid-19, but her asthma which has plagued her now and then throughout her life is taking its toll at her advanced age.

I can see now what patients who suffer from Covid-19 must endure. Breathing freely which we do involuntarily as the most natural thing is, for some people, hard at times. Never before have I, my sister and my father had to worry so much about oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood, the respiratory rate, ventilators, etc. The entire struggle, just to be able to breathe normally, is heart-rending.

Our thoughts are with her at this time, and I hope you will join me in wishing her a smooth recovery. I also wish to thank the doctors and staff attending to her at SMRC hospital for all their efforts to help her recover.

I decided to use one of Annie Spratt’s photographs again for this last Writings on The Wall post. It was her pictures of flowers scrambling over walls that set me off on this series two years ago. This is also a picture that my mum would love, if she could see it now.

In place of Writings on The Wall which was about transcending cultures, travel and meeting people, I intend to start a new monthly feature, or column if you like, on the most important issue of the month in international news. Owleye, as it is going to be called, will have my commentary and views on the most topical subject of the month from the worlds of business, economics, politics and culture.

See you then in October, with Owleye. It is also when my blog begins its fourth year.

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