While at the hospital today, I met with Kishwar. Kishwar is 90 years old and of Indian descent having moved to the USA when he was in his 20s. While in India he lived in a small village at the foothills of Himalayas. He taught himself basic English and overtime worked as a librarian in the USA for 40 years.
He was admitted to the hospital as his heart has weakened and is pumping at 20 percent of a healthy person. He couldn’t breathe at home due to the gradual build of fluids in his lungs. He is on a continuous intravenous drip of a medication at home which keeps his heart beating strong enough to keep his kidneys and brain perfused. When I went to see him, he sounded weak and tired. His voice was muffled and he barely had enough energy to raise his head.
After I examined him, I started talking to him about his birth country. A familiar smile appeared on his face. He became more and more animated. He told me about his life 60 years back and his memories of the fresh air and open fields.
Currently, at the age of 90, he is involved in raising awareness in his home state to start public libraries. He and his friends have raised enough money to start a model library in his village. In his fluent English and Punjabi (his native language) he is busy dealing with the bureaucracy of India. He told me, his voice very strong, his purpose of life is to get funding from his state to open public libraries to encourage grass root education.
As I left his room, I thought, likely this purpose in life is what is making him go on with the weakened heart that needs continuous medication infusion to keep it pumping.