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…


My Dad, getting a blood transfusion…


Another patient, a young boy with his Mom…




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…




hosp pic7.png

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