An Incongruous Visitor

Look closely at this pic. It was clicked at Noida, a town bordering Delhi. Apart from the buffaloes and garbage commonly seen in Delhi too, there is one more thing that’s an uncommon sight in Delhi. In case you are still guessing, it’s a white crane casually walking around!

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Sunset Over Noida

 

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A few days ago, I had to stay back in office for some work that couldn’t be postponed. By the time I came out, the sun was about to set. It glowed brightly with varigated hues of orange and down below, the smoldering garbage and malingering cattle were no longer so conspicuous. They had turned into mere shadows, covered with a black film of darkness…It was a lovely sight! That was when I realized that Nature never gets affected by ugliness around her and never, ever forgets to look beautiful, so why must I? With my spirits considerably lifted by this thought, I got into an auto and went home…

A Cocoon of Safety

Where else can a woman in Delhi roll up her sari and expose her thighs and cleavage without being stared at other than the Delhi Metro’s ladies’ compartment? See these pics…

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Modern Scarecrows

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(This poster declares in Hindi, “Beware! You are under scrutiny by a camera…)

While our national army basks in the glory of their recent ‘surgical strikes’ on the terrorist camps in Pakistan, a foreign country, our local Police allows petty criminals to go scot free. Crimes like pick-pocketing and snatching of handbags, jewellery, and electronic items such as mobile phones and laptops are considered far too trivial, not even worth the paper used to print their FIRs on! You need to be murdered or raped or both to be taken seriously by the police and still no action is taken against the criminals till the Media raises its voice.

On 9 October 2016, my black purse was snatched away by a woman in a Durga Puja Pandal. I informed the Police immediately. While I described the incident to their senior officer, the junior constables smiled gleefully and said, “Madam, you were well aware that you were in a public gathering where all kinds of people come. You should have been careful. The CCTV cameras we have got here are all fitted outside, not inside where the crime happened. So we can’t do anything about this.”

I received a copy of the FIR through email the next day. Two days later, I submitted to them my mobile phone’s IMEI number. But nothing happened after that, so I had no option left but to just dismiss it from my mind as a bad dream and move on.

To be fair to the Police, obtaining an FIR is now no longer a painful exercise that it used to be in the past. But their efficiency, I am sorry to say, appears to be on paper only. Everything else is as it was and continues to be, inefficient and corrupt.

Dear Prime Minister, Chief Minister, MLAs, Ministers, Delhi Government, and everyone else concerned, are you listening? What are those CCTV cameras meant for? To act as mere scarecrows?

 

One Special Day

The Metro train was running as usual. Doors opening and closing, people entering and exiting. Just another working day, as far as I was concerned. My eyes were beginning to droop for a short nap.

But when we reached Tilak Nagar, something unusual happened. A Metro employee entered, pushing a wheelchair in front of him. A middle-aged lady who was looking seriously ill was seated on the wheelchair.  Her face was slightly contorted in pain. They were accompanied by a young man and a young woman in a sari.

Gently and lovingly, the couple picked up the old lady from the wheelchair and deposited her on the vacant seat in one corner of the ladies compartment reserved for the elderly and differently-abled people.

Just before walking away with the wheelchair, the Metro man asked, “Ap Laxmi Nagar utroge (Will you descend at Laxmi Nagar)?”

“Han (Yes),” They said.

All through the journey the young boy sat on the floor with his arms around her and the young lady kept stroking her on her back and her face. A few minutes later, the old lady lifted her arm a little bit, unconsciously revealing a little bit of her bare bosom plastered with bandage beneath the black shawl she had wrapped around her chest. It was obvious that she was having some breast related problem, probably cancer…

Going by the expressions on the young couple’s faces, the disease was probably something they had begun to live with and accept. The old lady was perhaps approaching death and they were only trying their best to make her life as comfortable as they could…

Soon, Laxmi Nagar station arrived. The doors opened and in came another Metro man with a wheelchair. The old lady was picked up again with the same love and care as before and deposited on the wheelchair. The couple wheeled her out. The Metro man took over and pushed the wheel chair behind the couple while they walked ahead close to each other, smilingly, confident in their love for each other and the old lady…While I watched them disappear into the lift, I found myself really touched and impressed by the quiet efficiency and attention of the Metro staff. If only every organization in Delhi could be so concerned about the people it comes in contact with! Then there would be no crime in Delhi, no orphans, no old age homes, and no unemployment…

A few days later, I saw another wheelchair-bound person being wheeled in by the Metro staff…

Hats off to you, my dear Delhi Metro! Keep up the good work and may God bless you…

Here are the pics…

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A Memorable Chapter Of Life

The word ‘hospitality’ and ‘hospital’ have one thing in common, hospital. But that’s where the similarity ends. While Hospitality wears a welcoming smile and has a soothing touch, the word ‘hospital’ makes you nervous. Try saying it aloud and you will feel waves of anxiety go all over you, unless, of course you work in a hospital or you are an expecting parent. A prolonged stay in a hospital is often a traumatic experience which completely transforms you as a human being.

On 20 September 2016, my father got admitted into an orthopedic ward of Delhi’s Hamdard Hospital at Tuglakabad Extension with facial injuries and a fractured thigh bone. As I already had prior experience with handling aged persons and helping them wear diapers, I volunteered to be with him till we found some assistant to take over. He needed immediate surgery, but he had to wait for 2 days as his condition was very critical. His hemoglobin level was too low and sugar and BP levels too high.

During those 2 days that I spent in the hospital with my father, I had to deal with a lot of things that I probably would have never encountered under normal circumstances.

On the first day, as soon as it was dusk, my father began worrying about how I was going to sleep that night. I hadn’t brought any bedding with me as everything had happened so suddenly with hardly any time for prior planning.

I told my father, “Don’t worry, Dad; I will borrow a white sheet and a pillow from those nurses over there and I will sleep right here on the floor just below your bed. So if you need anything, I will be there for you.”

Suddenly, a voice from behind me startled me.

“You don’t need to sleep on the floor. Just pull that stretcher here and place it next to your father’s bed. It has a white sheet on it already. Once you pull the curtains around, it will turn into a private cubicle.”

I turned around to find a young man in his 30s dressed in a patient’s uniform. His left leg was swathed in heavy plaster.

“But won’t they object? They might need a stretcher at night and I don’t want to get tossed out rudely on the floor in sleep mode.”

His face remained serious.

“No, don’t worry about that. That won’t happen. Trust me.”

I had no other choice, so I pulled the stretcher over as he suggested.

That night, I saw my father turn into a person I had never, ever imagined he would be; a weak, defenseless human being, not the strong and resilient person I was so familiar with.

That night was memorable for one more reason. I slept next to a stranger and he wasn’t my husband.  Before you jump to ideas, let me hasten to add that he was the man with the broken left leg who extended a brotherly arm when I needed it the most!

Here are some pics from my stay in this hospital.

My Dad, taking rest…

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My Dad, getting a blood transfusion…

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Another patient, a young boy with his Mom…

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Life outside the hospital always remains normal and continues undisturbed, as you can see below. It makes you feel grounded and stable…in spite of everything…

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