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Friday, 18 September 2020

Let’s celebrate his life, not grieve, says 95-year-old’s family friend

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17

For quite a few days, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur was waiting for the news of her 95-year-old father's discharge from the PGIMER. When it finally came, she spruced up every corner of her home to welcome back her father Raj Pal Singh Mahal.

Tested positive for Covid earlier this month, all his health parameters were fine and he was doing well after complete recovery from the virus, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur was told. She was certainly relieved.

Full of vigour and in excellent shape, everyone thought he would live to be at least a hundred. Indeed, he would, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur thought.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge was expecting him around noon. But, her enthusiasm of having him back gradually gave way to anxiety as moments went by without the announcement of his arrival. He did not come. Only came the news that he was no more. To her utter disbelief, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur was told that he had suffered a cardiac arrest.

Medical experts believe a substantial number of recovered patients throng hospitals with complications such as chronic fatigue, inflammation, pneumonia, pulmonary fibrosis and cardiac issues after successfully battling Covid-19.

Available information suggests there have been instances where patients after testing negative and being discharged from hospitals died within two or three days due to cardiac arrest. But, the family will, perhaps, never know the truth about his departure after travelling on the much-traversed road to recovery.

Fondly called 'Papa ji', Raj Pal Singh Mahal belonged to old chief's Jat Sikh Sardar family of Killa Kathgarh in Balachaur tehsil now in Nawanshahar district. People close to the family remember him as 'zindadil'. He was well-versed with literature and would share anecdotes at any given time.

Always dressed up meticulously, the family remembers how 'Papa ji' slipped into formal footwear before leaving for the PGIMER after testing positive for Covid. There also he remained quite active and ready to beat the virus against odds brought about by age.

For Justice Nirmaljit Kaur, her father's journey in this world ended when it was least expected. But, there is a lesson for all in the way the family is handling the situation. For her and the family, it is not the time to mourn his passing away. "Let's celebrate his life, not grieve. He lived by his principles and his life was a success. Mourning would mean great disservice to him," says a close family friend.

from The Tribune

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