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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Incredible India

I wish I could do some sketching. It is a typical family scene from the rural India. It could well have been a chaupal in their village. Men , women and children  are comfortably reclining on the settees / beds; there are more women and children than men. All kinds of travel bags, gunny bags and packages are lying all around.

Meeting, feet touching, talking on mobile phones, and the non stop gossip keeps everyone busy. Some one is passing around some eatables on leaf cups. I am sure the women folk would have caught up on all happenings in the families and extended families. It was quite possible that some match making would have also taken place.

There is a  stream of people taking turns at the toilet for washing, combing, and changing clothes.

This is not a waiting room in a railway station, nor some choultry; just a scene outside an ICU; yes, people, an Intensive Care Unit of a city hospital.

The place is air-conditioned. There is a vent on the ceiling, from where there is steady trickle of water . There is small puddle formed just at the entrance and it serves the purpose of spreading the dirt brought in by street shoes over the entire floor area. There is a bored security guard sitting at the entrance to ICU , answering  any query with monosyllables and minimal gestures. Some people discard their footwear before moving in , and some simply walk on in street clothes and slippers.

Children keep playing by themselves, and when they get tired, the moms put them to sleep in any available space. If people are concerned about the health of the patient they have come to look up, it certainly doesn't show.

What kind of relative are you if you cannot look up your kin at an ICU ? So, they have all come to mark their presence. Probably a tractor trolley has made a trip from the village to ferrry maximum number of people, From the sticky clay soil on some of the footwear, stacked in one cornor, you can see that the men folk have rushed to the hospital straight from the fields.

Since most people use the elevators, stairs are convenient places for the spill over crowd to sit and the staircase landings are just enough for four people to sit cross-legged for a homely meal of dal and roti.  

And life goes on.......