Short Take – GULF TODAY – Dt. 30.10.2010 – At the hospital

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At the hospital

As a regular visitor to the Oncology Department at a prominent hospital, I get to see several patients and interact with them. Some of them old, but they are striving their best to hold on to the pain and agony of this dreadful disease.
While waiting for my turn today, there was an old man, unlike others, and he was curious to see me fiddling with my phone and answering messages promptly as they come in without disturbing the others.
After some time, we sat close to each other, and I started casually conversing with him. He was a retired agricultural engineer from Iraq and now living with his son who is employed here.
Talking to me about his disease, he said it is nothing compared to the days he had seen and lived during the last couple of years. I, too, had memories of the country passed on to me by a friend who was working there in the 80s. He rekindled it with the fertile soil and the life around before it all turned bloody and continued thereafter. Even after several years and several hands at the regime, the lost glory has not been restored yet, nor is there any sign of serious effort towards it in sight.
While talking, we found an infant on his father’s lap, crying continuously. Hardly more than 2 or 3 months old, he was also there for treatment. Looking at the eyes of his father, we knew the state of affairs, and we all looked at each other in silence and our conversation discontinued as the baby’s cry overtook our emotional quest to share personal experiences.
Driving down, I was stuck on the road – again another accident – a death, due to the crazy driving of a driver. His car also was in a wreck and was struggling to come out of it in pain and blood while the other vehicle was a total loss.
As we drove ahead, I was thinking of the guy who caused the accident and his life ahead and comparing with those at the oncology ward. It is a difficult world especially when we create our own cancerous environment due to arrogance and attitude.
Ramesh Menon

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