Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mamu… Jaldi Acche Honeka… Boleto “Get Well Soon”!!!

You must have heard a popular joke about a priest and a bus-driver standing at the gate of heaven in front of St. Peter. Bus-driver gets flowery appreciation for his service to Lord while priest is simply allowed to pass. The priest is confused and asks for this different treatment. He gets an answer “While you preached everyone slept. But, when drove his bus everyone remembered Lord!”
Jokes apart, in our day-to-day life we rarely remember our Creator. Nor do we touch our spiritual side often. This leads to weakening of faith and eventually our life becomes so stressful that it crosses the bearable limits.
Can you think of any place where faith of a person is restored? Any wild guesses? Apart from our fast driver’s bus… well the place that comes to our mind is hospital… a place where life is saved, new life comes into being and where some unfortunate lives even come to an end. (‘Unfortunate’ word is being used here assuming the hardships that particular soul has to endure. End itself is inevitable. But at a hospital it becomes more difficult…). A place where few men play demigods and remaining pray to the real God with all their hearts.
A few days at a hospital brings to you an eye-opening experience. Not that we wish anyone should land up at hospitals, God Forbid! But God has his ways of testing the faith of his herd. Some go back with stronger faith, others with whatever is remaining of it.
You get to see a variety of emotions at a hospital. Many relationships have to withstand the trials and tribulations. It is a litmus test for many.
You need to display some emotions like warmth, hope and courage. And you have to hide certain emotions like truth (from patient at times), fear. You need to trust unknown people with your life. Sometimes people whom you’ve trusted all your life fail to live up to the expectations. You might have been a non believer all you life but here you need someone to hold on to. An indescribable urge to feel someone, to believe in something, which gives you the strength to last… a tinge of hope amidst hopelessness.
Patience is another virtue very essential in such a backdrop.
Medicine has been looked upon as a noble profession for ages. This notion has not changed a bit. The only thing is a lot of money is now involved. And it is this cost that decides the future of a patient… not compassion or charity or love of humanity… also the seriousness of a disease or an operation is associated with the hole it makes in your pocket… not how difficult it is to perform or what are the risks involved or what might be the complications… These nitigrities are informed to people who ask about them, not to each and everyone. More often it is blind faith and not an informed decision that people take. All this happens because of one thing and that is the emotion of fear. This is all business of fear… not a noble profession any longer, isn’t it?
Fear does play an important role… but more important is the idea of loving anf caring for our loved ones… it’s not fear of death as much as love for life which still runs the business… which just confirms that it’s still a noble profession, albeit with a lot of money involved…
Times are changing and in present age, health/medical insurance plays a major part in the finances of patients… but this is still not as widely used as it should be. And it is still not accessible to the people who need it the most; the poor… instead of giving free meals, government should perhaps bring the under-privileged under some kind of medical insurance.
Emotions, ethics, finances… does it complete the health trip?? It certainly would not be complete without the inclusion of the people. Doctors do play the role of demigods. They are the best part, bringing hope to the patients and their near ones. Certainly they are the experts and they do play a key role in this entire system. Next come the ever helpful and caring nurses. Without them you simply cannot imagine the daily life in a hospital. They run the daily chores effortlessly, closely monitoring the patients’ progress and helping the doctors. That ends the good part, at least for the relatives of patients… rest of the people are pretty scary… security, ward-boys, billing people, admin-staff and others… although they just perform their duties, they seem to dilute all the good experiences and leave a taste of a bitter pill… all the sugar coating gets eroded…
The other people, who are in the same boat as you, share a good rapport. Take for instance a Cardio Intensive Care Unit. The patients: a senior gynecologist, father-in-law of a very senior doctor, a very religious old man who has been worshipping every day, a drunkard who worships only the bottle, a famous politician, a young businessman in his 30s taking stock of market on his cell-phone. This is the scene inside the ICU. Their relatives outside now begin building a bond which might not last life-long but the common fears haunt all of them. Few scared souls being comforted by others. People, who have already “been there & done that” and have gone under the surgeons’ knife and have survived, share their experiences and pacify the troubled ones.
Where else can you find such a camaraderie and love and affection? Such faith and fear? So much proximity to the Divinity? Such closeness to the end and yet so much more eager to live. Aren’t then hospitals better than mandirs, masjids, churches, gurudwaraskya bolte ho Mamu???


  1. Yes....This is exactly what i thought of the situation..just in different words...Sad , the medical industry has turned into a cheap profit making business.