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Friday, 15 May 2015

Hospital Blues

Patients normally get admitted in those hospitals where their doctor recommends. Five star doctors will send you to the most commercialized hospitals where the treatment could give you one more heart attack especially if you are not covered under health insurance.

Such hospitals are more like hotels where you can stay comfortably. There are good facilities for visitors too, a beautiful cafeteria, a large luxurious lobby and even a beautiful garden. Rooms are large and spacious with flat screen TV and a comfortable bed for the visitor.

Then there are hospitals for middle-class people that might offer very good treatment but their services plunge.

There used to be time when patients were given fresh set of clothes everyday during their stay at hospital but not anymore. Nowadays the hospital clothes are given to patients only few hours before they go to operation theatre and one more day after that. Rest of the stay one is expected to wear their house clothes. That’s because of cost cutting, so although the hospital bills escalate, there is poor service.

All hospitals expect the patients to bring their family/friends to look after them. The hospital staff is responsible only for doing their rounds into the wards, recommending the medications and reporting the progress to the resident doctor. Relatives have to buy the medicines, take care of the patient and be there with the patient 24/7. This becomes very difficult because family and friends have their own things to do, in his fast pace life, not many have time to nurse the sick. Therefore you either appoint a private nurse or get your own maid.

The patient is encourage to vacate the room as soon as possible to make beds available for the new patient. Most of the hospitals rooms are occupied and one has to book rooms in advance.

The general wards are in worse conditions where you will find some people even sleeping on the floor. One bathroom shared by eight patients and their family/friends. Sometimes the hospitals may not have proper water supply too.

Class division is very wide. While the rich enjoy the comfort and luxury, the poor suffer under unhealthy circumstance. Pain is common to both but the treatment and care varies from person to person.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Respect For Mother

"Shut up Mom, you talk too much, all day you are just repeating the same things over and over again giving me such a headache" I looked at him, wanting to tell him to be gentle but was too stunned. "Don't listen to her, she has no pause button" he snapped. 

How could anybody talk to their mother in such a tone? I got up and came to sit next to her, squeezed her bony fingers. Her light grey eyes glistened, tears filled her eyes "I need to rest" she said as she got up slowly and limped to her room.

Thank God there are special days like Mother's day when every person speaks fondly about their mom…My timeline was full of love expressions….Lovely messages of how they love their mother but are not able to express on daily basis. The beautiful selflies with their mother. 

Today was the day to offer gratitude to mothers to whom they are rude many times……

I wish people showed kindness at all times….24/7 on all 365 days

Friday, 8 May 2015

Pavement Dwellers In Mumbai

At the end of my lane in Bandra, a large family lives on the footpath. It’s a joint family that includes couples, senior members, children and even a dog. They also have a large mosquito net that is spread at night to protect the young ones from mosquito bite from the gutters below them. During the day, the clothes are washed (don’t know that from where they get water to wash the clothes and themselves) but the clothes are dried across cloth-line that connects lamppost and a tree. Some evenings, food is cooked in large vessels on open fire burning wood and twigs. There is no shelter though. They have been living like this since last few years but nobody is able to vacate them…not even police..

But if some drunk driver bangs into them, they will make sure that he is beaten to death. Whenever there are accidents, big group of people gather and try to take the law into their own hands. That is the reason why there are more hit-and-run cases. I am not sympathizing with drunk drivers but I think footpath dwellers should not be allowed and Police should take full responsibility of ousting them off streets…but some of the policemen are so corrupt that they will take bribes from street dwellers/hawkers to turn their attention elsewhere…Sometimes the action is taken when one complains, and they (footpath dwellers) disappear but after few days they are back.

The plight of pavement dwellers has highlighted after twelve years now that Mr. Salman Khan has been punished with prison term for 5years for drunk driving and driving over the sleeping people killing one and injuring four. During the last twelve years, the pavement dwellers have increased ten fold with police and BMC collecting their bribes for turning a blind eye. Citizens complain of dirt, disease, hooligans, drug peddling and discomfort but they are powerless.

People have no idea as to how they can help keep the city clean. There are many NGOs in Mumbai who have taken up the task of educating their children and teaching them some skills. They even provide them food and stationary but they cannot give them shelter nor are they able to relocate them.

But why should NGOs take the full responsibility? Government should be responsible for relocating them. I am sure they are paid well. The BMC is the richest civic body in India with annual budget of over Rs40000crores, most of which never spent but stored away in huge fixed deposits. When are they going to use those fixed deposits?

There is enough money to relocate the pavement dwellers to proper shelters. System has to be improved. It is often observed that when people are provided shelter, they rent out their house and are back on streets. There should be some law to prevent such thing from happening. Every ward has their responsibility therefore a cooperator should be aware of every citizen in his area and he should be held accountable for all the activities in his area.

Also the school and the colleges in the area should be given the responsibility of checking that the environment in their area is kept clean. Students can be held responsible for checking that street bins are kept clean, lamp posts have proper lighting, supervise the person in charge of cleanliness, check that footpaths are in good condition with no broken tiles, manholes are properly covered and they should plant and adopt more trees. There should be a civic project in their syllabus that gives them a brownie point for the social responsibility carried out effectively.

One person cannot bring the change. Unity can. Quality of life is our birthright but we have to put in effort too. A sense of responsibility has to be inculcated from early childhood. We can live comfortably in a clean society. Everybody can.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Slumber Party

I have never ever attended a slumber party in my life, although I have spent many sleepless nights during holiday with friends. It sounded exciting when my friends invited me to meet for a night at friend’s home.

Furniture is moved away from the living room, mattresses and cushions randomly placed across the room. The wall is decorated with fun on the mind, (Hungama scrolled in crazy manner).

The preparations were done,(excitement and planning began fifteen days prior to the event) although the girls (actually women) were to meet only after having their heavy dinner of roasted and spiced finger foods followed by proper dinner at Sasural restaurant.

But still, the home kitchen had to be stocked with late night snacks. There were biscuits, banana wafers, chocolates, sweets and unlimited supply of cold water. The women refused to eat, saying, they were full but still tasted tit bits from every packet that was passed around till they slowly stretched their legs, then their body and soon went under blanket when their eyes began to droop.

Group pictures are must- it is mainly for those who could not make it to the party.(100% attendance would be 50 close friends, many could not attend due to unavoidable circumstances)

At Sasural, women were anxious to finish dinner and go home. The dining table at the restaurant was too long, service was slow, and conversation was not easy, so while the food arrived, there was some time for photo sessions

The ladies were fashionably dressed for the party and all looked gorgeous.

The fun began as soon as the women slipped into their nightdress, saris folded and tucked away neatly into their bags, Some with bad knee quickly rushed to sit on comfortable sofas while other sat on cushions or cross legged on the floor, some rested on their elbows with hands on their chin while others leant lazily against the wall.

The show begins…..

It is Oscar award night, most of us have dreamt of Oscar awards or simple recognition in some field, after all we are the bunch of talented people who are often recognized on Watsapp for our witty messages throughout the day. True friends know our worth and we were to celebrate the grand event in our nightdress (oh, I wish we all could have worn our flowing night gowns instead of pyjamas)

Anyway..Jahnavi, Lata and Nalini entered the stage (on the mattress facing the audience) Nalini held the red Oscar ribbons and envelops, Lata swinging gracefully around her hips, with a smile and blinking eyelids, walked towards Jahnavi who most animatedly welcomed everybody in the room. She was really fabulous with her role as the compere, her voice loud and clear. Since they were meeting Bindu after many years, she was invited as chief guest to do the honor of giving away the prize of recognition.

Awards of different categories were called out one by one, each one for their distinct talent. The names were revealed after opening the envelopes and the recipient honored with the red ribbon with heart shape medal around their neck. They were encouraged to speak few words. The winners expressed their appreciation with raised eyebrows, some overwhelmed by the honor, burst into tears, wiping their eyes and nose with the hem of their dress and some too excited to say anything at all.

And the awards went to:

Vijaya got the HASI TO FASI Award for laughing and giggling all the time.
Lucy got the FAST AND FURIOUS Award.
Dilu got award for BANDIT QUEEN
Lata got an award for being NAUGHTY AT SIXTY.
Shipra got the IRON LADY Award
Madhu, Bindu and Annie(in absentia, she attended only the dinner)  got the award of THE THREE MUSKETEERS
Jahnavi got the CHETAN BHAGAT Award for her writing skills.
Sharbari got a STRAWBERRY PUDDING Award
Sita and Nalini got SADHU AUR SHAITAN Award.

Many of them had ribbon round their neck, throughout the night (and I am told that some of them even took the medals home to decorate their living room shelf.)

The eatables and drinks made their rounds while we prepared for the next game of tambola.

We had many more games planned for the night, like playing antakshri and some naughty group games, but heavy dinner at Sasural and then additional snacks at home played tricks over the eyelids…with droopy eyes, some of them chose to stretch, just lie down for a while..

The voices became blurry, and suddenly lights went off with just few of us who sat alert on the couch in darkness....whispering away our anecdotes till the daylight began to sweep inside the room.

After the hot cup of tea, we, like zombies, headed home to catch up on sleep that we had lost during the night…….

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