Published on: January 15, 2024

Keerthi pulled a chair, asking me to sit, while she sat next to the patient on the bed, holding her hand. What followed was 45 minutes of conversations between Keerthi and the family, her gently admonishing the patient for not cutting her nails, and magically, a nail cutter emerged from her bag, and she clipped the nails. I never thought this level of compassion would exist in anyone.”

Pratibha G, who spent three weeks in Pallium India, writes about her experiences in The News Minute, in connection with Kerala Palliative Care Day, January 15:

“Maybe you didn’t realise it, but you donned the role of a caregiver even before you knew the world of palliative care,” Dr. MR Rajagopal broke it to me as gently as he could and waited patiently till my tears stopped. He gave me the space to grieve and assimilate the thoughts running amok in my mind.

A chance conversation with an ex-colleague led me to palliative care and Pallium India. It was a conversation that broke myths and misconceptions and made me realise that palliative care had been a part of my life without me knowing it.

Pallium India was started in 2003 and is led by Dr MR Rajagopal, often called the “Father of Palliative Care in India.” His work in this field has been recognized with the prestigious Padma Shri.

After being associated with them for nearly nine months, I landed in Trivandrum on December 14, in the early morning hours, and I was sure of one thing: I didn’t know when I wanted to get back home. It was the first time I followed my heart, not an itinerary that is generally a core part of my travels.

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(When not working with words, Pratibha creates magic with social media. With bylines in LiveMint, Quint, QuintFit, Arre, and more, she writes on topics ranging from mental health to self-care and more. She’s on Twitter as @myepica.)

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